Expect it to take at least an hour and a half to gain full control
Pokemon games have a long line of lengthy tutorials, and given how much stuff is packed into Scarlet and Violet, the new generation isn’t shying away from that formula.
Alright, so I used a stopwatch to time my copy of Pokemon Scarlet as soon as I was done creating my character, up until the point where most people would consider the tutorial fully done: and came up with one hour and 45 minutes until I had full open world access.
Here’s what the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet tutorial fully entails:
- This generation will give you the classic overview of what Pokemon even are, followed by a quick (unskippable) cutscene that showcases the Paldea region
- We then move into your avatar’s home, where the director of your academy will drop by to greet you before your first day of school: here, about 15 minutes in, you’ll start to get acquainted with the open world setup, in the limited area you have access to (at this point you can access the options menu, and auto-skip cutscenes if you choose)
- After you pick your starter, you’ll battle Nemona, who will choose the opposite elemental creature as is customary: after this encounter, you’ll be given the Pokedex
- At this point, about 30 minutes in, Nemona will teach you how to catch wild Pokemon at Poco Path (Lechonk): this is kinda-sorta an open world zone, but you’ll need to meet Nemona at the nearby lighthouse to really advance past the starter zone
- Once you decided you’ve had enough (15 minutes is enough to clear this place out), you’ll meet your legendary mount as part of a story event
- Afterward, you’ll meet (and battle) Arven, an upperclassman at the academy
- From here, you’ll make your way to Los Platos, the first tiny town of the game (with stations for a Pokemon Center, Union Station [online], shop, and TM creation): many would consider this to be the end of the tutorial proper, as you can craft TMs, catch tons of Pokemon, and battle trainers in the open world
- That said, you’ll need to continue on to the academy before you really get to the point where you have more freedom and storyline access: you’ll battle Nemona again, and she’ll teach you about the terastallizing mechanic
- After reaching the steps of the academy, you’ll encounter Team Star, the rival faction (one of the three main storylines), then you’ll enter your classroom and meet your homeroom teacher: Nemona will also tell you about gym leaders and raising your rank, and Arven will introduce you to the Herba Mystica activity (the other two storylines)
- You’ll then speak to the director about a key story component, and check out your personal space in the dorms: after resting, the director will give you a proper orientation speech via a cutscene
- Finally, you’ll get Team Star base locations added to your map, and you can ride your legendary mount (my timer hit an hour and 45 minutes here)
From there, you have full access to the open world, and can run around and catch Pokemon to your heart’s content. Gym locations, Team Star bases, and Herba Mystica locations will all be marked on your map, and it’s up to you to decide which storyline you want to start first.