How to benefit from “date-skipping” in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

And time… is still marching on!

Pokemon games have a storied history with date skipping. Since the DS days, the mainline series has locked certain events to happen daily based on your console’s internal clock. It didn’t take long for players to realize that the ability to manually set your console’s internal clock made this system intensely exploitable. It’s the same concept as time traveling in Animal Crossing: eliminate the wait to get what you want now.

To date-skip, return to the home screen on your Switch and go to System Settings. Scroll down until you see the “System” option and select “Date and Time.” Turn off “Synchronize Clock via Internet” if you need to and manually alter the date. This can easily be reversed, with the worst case scenario being that you might retrigger daily events when you don’t mean to.

As of writing, manipulating the date on your console cannot get you banned from using online features. That said, use caution in case Game Freak decides to crack down on this practice. You may also need to turn on Airplane Mode to get this exploit to work properly. This can be enabled directly in your System Settings menu. With that out of the way, here are all the things you can do while date-skipping in Scarlet & Violet, ranked in order of least to most helpful.

Screenshot by Destructoid

5: Team Star Rematches

Here’s a feature you might not even know exists: you can rematch all the Team Star leaders in the postgame. Once per day, you can visit the five Team Star bases around Paldea and challenge each leader. These rematches feature teams of five Pokemon that hover around level 65.

While this is a neat novelty, farming the Team Star bosses is inefficient compared to running the Academy Ace Tournament. This is especially true when you factor in the time of constantly resetting your system’s clock, which the Academy Ace Tournament does not require. Still, if the Tournament is too hard for some reason and you just need EXP and money, there may be some niche value in farming these bosses.

Screenshot by Destructoid

4: Reset sparkling items

That’s right, all those sparkling spots on the ground in Paldea can return after enough time has passed. By date-skipping, you can trigger this manually to scavenge for more items while you explore the world.

There is some benefit here, especially since you can use this method to farm berries that reset your Pokemon’s EVs. Yet once again, this is somewhat inefficient compared to running the Academy Ace Tournament and using the next exploit on this list. This can be useful if you wanted a mindless way to grind for berries without needing to battle or farm for money first. Still, I’d only lean into this if I was giving my game to a small child and wanted to give them something to do that didn’t involve battling.

Screenshot by Destructoid

3: Reroll the auctions

Here’s where date-skipping can get super useful. The auctions in Porto Marinada can award a plethora of useful goodies such as the Rotom Catalogue. More importantly, the auctions are a consistent way to stock up on those berries to reset your EVs. If you need a stack of berries to turn your favorite Pokemon into an optimized competitive beast, this is the way to do it.

The only thing to keep in mind is that bottle caps and EV boosting items are inefficient to get via auctions. Just hit Delibird Presents and buy them for cheaper without the hassle.

Screenshot by Destructoid

2: Spawn new Tera Raids

If you’re doing any high-end content in Scarlet & Violet, you’re hitting up Tera Raids a lot. These offer several essential items in the postgame, ranging from EXP Candies to Ability Patches. Only one six-star Tera Raid will spawn on your map per day, but date skipping let’s you respawn this and swap out all your other raids.

If you’re looking for a Pokemon of a specific Tera-Type, this may be a way to obtain it without taking up the heavy grind for Tera Shards. At the very least, use this method to spawn more raids to grind the Tera Shards you’re searching for.

Screenshot by Destructoid

1: Get new Mass Outbreaks

This is far and away the most compelling reason to utilize date-skipping in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet. Trainers on the hunt for shiny Pokemon have a few tools at their disposal. You have the Shiny Charm from completing your Pokedex as well as the sandwiches that boost the encounter rate of shiny Pokemon. Once you’ve obtained those, the best way to encounter a specific shiny Pokemon is via a Mass Outbreak. Not only is it easy to tell which Pokemon is shiny when several copies of them are standing side by side, the rate at which shiny Pokemon will spawn increases the longer you fight Pokemon during an outbreak!

There are two additional reasons why date-skipping is specifically kind of broken for Mass Outbreaks. First, the area you’re located in has an influence over which Pokemon will appear in a mass outbreak. If there’s a Pokemon you’re specifically targeting, stand around where they spawn and reroll mass outbreaks until they appear. Second, it’s easier to reroll Mass Outbreaks than the other options on this list. Simply press X to open your map, zoom out nearly all the way, and open your system menu. Turn the clock back one minute and reenter the game. Just like that, watch your mass outbreak transform right before your eyes. This will also reset your Tera Raids as well!

Fortunately, date-skipping like this does not appear to impact the timer on your sandwiches. This means you can maximize your level 3 sandwich timer if you’re looking for more than one Pokemon before it expires. While some may consider this cheating, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if date-skipping is fair or not. Personally, I’d say as long as you’re having fun, use date-skipping as much as you’d like. Get all the shiny Pokemon you could ask for!

Timothy Monbleau