Pokémon fans commit to keeping their Scarlet and Violet starter in the party for the whole game — will you?

Loyalty is a virtue.

Image via The Pokemon Company

Choosing a starter is a time-honored tradition for Pokémon fans. In the Gen 9 games Scarlet and Violet, their options are the Grass-type cat Sprigatito, the Fire-type crocodile Fuecoco, and the Water-type duckling Quaxley. Starters are a staple of the Pokémon series, but the arrival of two new versions has prompted a question among fans: are you planning to keep your starter in your party for the entire game?

ResetEra member Spring-Loaded got the discussion going by posting a poll on the popular gaming forum: “Generally (or in your favorite/standout entry), was your starter Pokémon in your team at the end of the game (or by the time you stopped playing)?” Overwhelmingly, voters are choosing yes — over 96% of them as of the time of this writing. There’s a strong sense of loyalty in the comments, as many folks explain that it feels wrong to them to rotate their starter out of the party. As expected, many are committing to do the same thing with Scarlet and Violet.

The negative votes are interesting too. One commenter, thecowboypoet, switches theirs out for a Shiny version once they hatch one. Others cite the infamous Nuzlocke Run as the reason for swapping out their starter. In a Nuzlocke Run, a Pokémon must be released from the party if it faints during battle — it’s considered an extra difficult challenge for hardcore players.

Whether or not you decide to take such a challenge when the next Pokémon games arrive, you don’t have to wait much longer to get started. Scarlet and Violet’s release date is Friday, November 18, when it will release exclusively on Nintendo Switch. That’s coming quite soon, but leaks are already all over the internet. If you’re not averse to having some things spoiled for you, the final starter evolutions for the new trio are out there. We also have a roundup of all the leaks so far.