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Do you need Gym Badges for Pokémon to obey you in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

Do you still need badges for Pokémon to listen to you?

In the original Pokémon series, Gym Badges were how you advanced through the main story and made it throughout the game. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet changes the formula slightly by opening up the world, giving you a chance to explore where you want to go. However, Gym Badges meant you could have stronger Pokémon obey you in battle. Do you still need Gym Badges for Pokémon to obey you in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

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Do Pokémon obey you with Gym Badges in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

We can confirm that having a Gym Badge will make it so much stronger Pokémon listen to you while you explore Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. This means that although Gym Badges are a part of the main story and not something you need to focus on immediately, we encourage you to complete them. Defeating the Gym Leaders in the Paldea region gives you Gym Badges, and they will allow you to control stronger Pokémon.

Related: Can you progress the story while playing multiplayer in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

For example, after defeating the Bug-type Gym Leader in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Katy, awarded us the Bug-type Gym Leader badge. She informed us that with this Gym Badge, stronger Pokémon would listen to us, and up to level 25 Pokémon would obey our orders in battle. If some of your Pokémon are struggling to listen to you in combat, it might be a good time to step away from your previous tasks and seek out the Gym Leaders.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Unfortunately, many of the Gym Leaders appear to have set levels. Although you can complete them in any order you want to battle them; the more powerful Gym Leaders will be the toughest challenges, so we don’t recommend seeking them out. Katy, the Bug-type Gym Leader, and Brassius, the Grass-type Gym Leader, will be good starting challenges.

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Zack Palm
Zack Palm is the Senior Writer of Gamepur and has spent over five years covering video games, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Oregon State University. He spends his free time biking, running tabletop campaigns, and listening to heavy metal. His primary game beats are Pokémon Go, Destiny 2, Final Fantasy XIV, and any newly released title, and he finds it difficult to pull away from any Star Wars game.