With Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet having been announced, a lot of Pokemon fans are eagerly looking to the future. For many, this often means that current releases, like Pokemon Sword and Shield, will be moved to the back burner as something new grabs players’ attention. To be fair, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, as well as Pokemon Legends: Arceus, have already contributed to Pokemon fans moving onto new sets of games. That being said, the announcement of a new generation means a lot of eyes are trained ahead. As Pokemon Scarlet and Violet get closer to releasing this fall, the games themselves should look to their predecessors for inspiration.

This comes in the form of Dynamax Raids and Adventures. The Dynamax Adventures and their Legendary Pokemon feature came as a part of the Crown Tundra DLC for Pokemon Sword and Shield, so it doesn’t carry as much significance as Dynamax Raids to many, but Max Raid Battles have been revolutionary for Pokemon since Sword and Shield released. The Max Raid Battles that were introduced with Gen 8 have completely changed certain aspects of the game, and also facilitated the following of the Pokemon slogan “Gotta catch ‘em all.”

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Max Raid Battles

Pokemon Sword Shield gyrados Pokemon Raid Gigantamax

Before Pokemon Sword and Shield, being able to complete the Pokedex was a feat that could be impossible for some players. Those that didn’t play online and set up trades could find themselves missing out on version exclusive Pokemon not available in their game. This could be fixed by purchasing a corresponding copy of the necessary game, but video games can be expensive, and a price barrier to complete the National Pokedex isn’t something that has ever felt good.

Pokemon Sword and Shield were able to tackle the struggle of completing the ever-growing Pokedex in two ways. First, the Pokedex in Pokemon Sword and Shield wasn't the massive National Pokedex often made available. This choice was contentious for many fans, but also allowed Pokemon Sword and Shield’s new Pokemon to shine, while also making the Pokedex easier to complete. Second, the introduction of Max Raid battles in the Wild Area of Pokemon Sword and Shield helped to fix this further by offering a novel way for fans to encounter Pokemon in Gen 8.

With Max Raid Battles, there is still the requirement for Pokemon players to be connected to the internet for a chance at a different version's options, but now there was an opportunity to catch version exclusive Pokemon without having to trade. Instead, players can work together to battle and beat a Max Raid Pokemon and get the opportunity to catch it.

Success isn’t always guaranteed, but the ability to complete the Pokedex in its entirety became significantly easier. When combined with the exclusion of the National Pokedex, catching all the Pokemon in the Galar region’s Pokedex became a lot more feasible. Later Max Raid Battles also helped with catching and completing the different additions to the Pokedex added with the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra DLCs. This created a tiered opportunity to complete a version of the National Pokedex while also keeping Max Raid Battles relevant, even in the face of Sword and Shield's Dynamax Adventures being added to Pokemon.

Gigantamax Pokemon


Max Raid Battles also brought with them a new Pokemon form. All the different Pokemon forms have helped the series numerous generations standout, but Gigantamax Pokemon as a feature in Max Raids helped to add another level to the mechanic. Not every Pokemon has a Gigantamax form, and catching one became a goal for many players. These unique forms have signature moves and incredible aesthetic changes that rival the redesigns that Mega Evolutions received in Pokemon X and Y, while also receiving stat boosts.

This added to the allure of Max Raid Battles and suddenly strangers and friends were clamoring to try and catch different Gigantamax Pokemon whenever they would appear. This continued even through Pokemon Day’s Max Raid Battles that featured Gigantamax Blastoise, Charizard, and Venus. This type of community bonding and effort hasn’t always been possible in Pokemon, despite the franchise’s incredible fanbase. Max Raid Battles have helped to bring Pokemon fans together like never before, and also provided another new mechanic for players to experience.

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A New Gimmick and Co-op Play In Pokemon Scarlet and Violet


As Pokemon Scarlet and Violet look to the future, the change Max Raid Battles brought with them should be taken into consideration. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s gimmick will likely be something as astounding as Max Raid Battles with its own twist for the franchise. As the second generation on the Nintendo Switch, Gen 9 will also be able to take full advantage of the Switch’s hardware. This means it should wow players like never before with a game that feels better designed for the system. However, even with whatever great plans Pokemon has in store for Gen 9, the concept and execution of Max Raid Battles are still worth keeping at the forefront.

Having a mechanic like Max Raid Battles that can unite and connect the Pokemon community is important for its continued development. Players are constantly looking for opportunities to play with one another, but more often than not these come in the form of competitive battles. Max Raid Battles provided a space for players to collaborate and work towards a goal that online battles don’t. Keeping the cooperative spirit of them alive in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's Spanish-inspired region will be important as the series moves forward.

This doesn’t have to mean copying and pasting Max Raid Battles into Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, but having a co-op oriented option for fans should be a priority. Theories are circulating that Gen 9 could feature two regions which would allow for a tremendous endgame full of opportunities for players to work together. This could come in the form of more adventures like those introduced with the Crown Tundra DLC for Pokemon Sword and Shield or something entirely different. Regardless, keeping some new experiences in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet as cooperative as possible is important.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet release in late 2022 for Nintendo Switch.

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