Pokemon Scarlet & Violet fans feel let down by major Gym changes

Philip Trahan
pokemon scarlet and violet gym challenge header

The Pokemon Company officially confirmed that Pokemon Scarlet & Violet is making a massive change to its Gym challenge, and fans are feeling a bit down on it.

Following Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s fourth major trailer, trainers received a lot of new information about the game’s story and overall scope.

This second trailer focused largely on the three main story paths players can take through Paldea, one of which is the traditional Gym and Pokemon League challenge.

Now, it has been confirmed that players can take on any Gym in Paldea in whatever order they want, but it may not be what players are hoping for.

Pokemon trainers divided over new Gym changes

pokemon scarlet violet brassius gym leader
The fourth trailer showed the Grass-type Gym Leader Brassius using a Smoliv, likely indicating he’s an early-game Gym Leader.

Though the fourth trailer teased this change, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s official website confirmed it outright.

In a post titled “The Story Unfolds the Way You Want It To,” the piece explains that trainers can experience all three story paths in any order and however they like.

Specifically, one part of the blog post caught players’ attention: “There is no set path to the Gyms. You can purposefully seek out a stronger Gym Leader, or you can simply stop by a Gym that happens to be located in a town you came across on your journey.”

This phrasing heavily implies that Paldea’s Gyms are not dynamic in the sense that Gym Leader’s teams scale to player-level — but instead remain static — which did not go unnoticed by fans.

A Reddit post from user Im_regretting_this on the Pokemon subreddit sparked a discussion surrounding the change, where many fans voiced disappointment.

“It’s pretty clear there is no level scaling,” said user Shiigu. “The question is – why not just have a set path to begin with? It would be a lot better.”

Other players quickly found flaws in this open-ended system, like e_ndoubleu who asked “What would be the point of me fighting the stronger Gym Leaders first if it means the weaker ones stay weak?”

“I don’t want to steamroll the 2nd or 3rd Gym Leader who has level 20’s Pokémon with my level 40+ team,” they concluded.

While Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s emphasis on its open world and player freedom is welcome, it remains to be seen if it’s going quite as far as it should.

About The Author

Philip is a Staff Writer at Dexerto based in Louisiana, with expertise in Pokemon, Apex Legends, and general gaming industry news. His first job in the games industry was as a reviewer with NintendoEverything.com while attending college. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication focusing on Multimedia Journalism, he worked with GameRant.com for nearly two years before joining Dexerto. When he's not writing he's usually tearing through some 80+ hour JRPG. You can contact him at philip.trahan@dexerto.com.