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How to catch Pokémon off guard in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

They won't expect it.

The Pokémon you can find in the Paldea region are all over the place. While playing Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, catching Pokémon will be your primary practice and the big thing you want to do, alongside training and using your Pokémon in combat. When you’re trying to encounter a wild Pokémon for a battle, there’s a chance you can catch it off guard, giving you the advantage in combat. Here’s what you need to know about how to catch a Pokémon off guard in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

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How catching a Pokémon off guard works in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

There are a few things you need to do to make sure you have this happen to a wild Pokémon. The first thing you want to do is make sure you’re crouching down before you get too close to the Pokémon. You can do this by clicking the B button, and walking slowly toward the Pokémon. Once you’ve done this, the next thing to prepare is to click the ZL button and lock on to the Pokémon you want to catch. You will see the name, or a series of question marks, over the Pokémon and its level. You want to use this level to indicate whether you’re ready to battle them.

Related: How to get Maschiff Fang in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

The real trick while doing this is also to hit the Pokémon in its back. You may want to wait until it’s facing away from you. If you can hit it from behind, you can catch the Pokémon off guard, and you will have free round while fighting against them. This will be good if you’re exclusively trying to level and train your Pokémon in the game or you want to get a solid hit against a stronger Pokémon.

You will see an exclamation point when you’ve successfully done this; it could take some practice to get it down correctly.

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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.