How to Battle Friends and Other Trainers in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Link cables have been a thing of the past for a while, here's how to battle in the game!

by J.R. Waugh

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet is much more than just a game where you befriend and capture adorable or cool creatures in the Paldea Region. Despite the slogan of ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’ the game has a surprisingly deep, sophisticated battle system full of options and tactical plays to make you feel even more like a Pokemon master. But beyond battling the AI trainers built into the game, you might be seeking a greater challenge, especially if you’ve beaten the main story. Here’s how you can battle with friends and other trainers in Scarlet & Violet.

You Can Battle Anyone Online or Offline in Scarlet and Violet

Much like the Trade function in Scarlet and Violet, you can start battles from the Poké Portal by hitting the Main Menu button (X) and you’ll see 2 options you can use for battle:

  • Link Battle
  • Battle Stadium

Link Battle is for if you have an opponent in mind, or want to challenge a friend either online or offline. Battle Stadium is if you have built your team and are ready for an array of Casual or Ranked Battles, or wish to use Rental Teams put up by other players.

How to Set Up Link Battles in Pokemon S&V

From the Poké Portal, select Link Battle and you’ll see 3 options, Single Battle, Double Battle, or Multi Battle. The third option is meant for 2 trainers to battle cooperatively against another 2 trainers online, while the others are 1v1 but with different tactics (1 or 2 Pokemon on the field, respectively, for Singles or Doubles.) Set your Link Code as you would for Trades, and the friend who joins via your Link Code will be able to select the rules. If someone doesn’t wish to select the rules, they can hit ‘No’ and let the other player pick them, for which we recommend Normal (levels scaled to 50 with stats, best balance, 6v6.)

You can select for Online and have an agreed-upon Link Code (must be the same for both) and start a match. You can also go Offline and choose this option if a friend is in the same room.

Once rules are selected, you can choose one of your teams or build a new one, select it with ‘A’, then hit ‘Preparations complete!’ to start your battle. There is a 20-minute Battle Time limit so you won’t have to worry about people dragging the battle on for too long, either. Be sure to pick your most battle-ready Pokemon with the best balance of stats! Good luck!

How to Set Up Battle Stadium Battles in Pokemon S&V

From the Poké Portal, select Battle Stadium to be sent to the Battle Stadium menu. Currently, the only options are for Casual Battles and Rental Teams, but Ranked Battles and Online Competitions will be added at a later date. If you select Casual Battles, you can pick Singles or Doubles (1 Pokemon on the field at a time per trainer or 2 at a time, respectively) and select your party. Be careful, once you select these, you’ll be sent immediately to the queue so choose wisely. The Rental Teams option is also great if you want to import a team built by someone online or wish to showcase your own for others to use.

Use this information carefully and battle to your heart’s content, as it’s one mechanic that is thankfully not a victim to the technical issues plaguing this game!

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet released on November 18, 2022, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

- This article was updated on November 20th, 2022

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