Pokémon breeding has been a core part of the franchise since Gold and Silver. Scarlet and Violet shake up the matchmaking formula quite a bit, doing away with the daycare altogether. Instead, you’ll need to make a nice picnic for you and your team to hang out. But the mechanic isn’t as straightforward as just laying down a blanket and opening a nice bottle of wine.
Setting the mood
In order to start breeding, you’ll need two compatible Pokémon in your party and to set up a picnic. In order to breed, Pokémon need to be in the same egg group and be the opposite gender.
There are 16 egg groups in total, but you can usually guess which belongs where since it's dependent on typing and looks. Dragons, fish, and birds all snuggle with their own kind.
You can also find a Ditto, which can breed and reproduce with any other pocket monster. Using the purple blob, you can also breed genderless Pokémon, like Magnemite and Bronzor. Ditto can be found out in the left-most area of the map, pretending to be other Pokémon. Though they may look like other creatures, pressing ZL on the controller while targeting them will show that they are a Ditto.
Once you have two that can breed, just open a picnic on the menu and wait. There’s no clear set amount of time, but an egg will appear in the basket near the table. You can create multiple eggs in one instance, just make sure to clear the basket after each new one spawns.
You can increase the spawn rate of eggs by eating a sandwich. By making a meal with a sweet ingredient, you’ll be able to get an Egg Power bonus between levels one and three.
Hatch those eggs
Once you have the number of eggs you want to hatch, it’s time to put those legs to work. In order to hatch them, you’ll need to travel a set amount of distance, either by walking or by traveling on your mount. Some Pokémon take longer to hatch than others, so just keep on going, and eventually, they will hatch. You’ll also need at least one regular Pokémon for your party.
Bringing along a Pokémon with a special ability can help eggs hatch faster. Having the Magma Armor, Flame Body, or Steam Engine ability also will cut the time needed to hatch eggs. Keep in mind that these abilities don’t stack. There are eight Pokémon that can have these abilities. They include:
Pokémon caught in the wild are limited in their abilities and hidden stats. But hatched monsters can learn special abilities, have stronger stats, or even be shiny. A hatched Pokémon can learn special egg moves that in other generations couldn’t be taught to their non-hatched brethren. But in Scarlet and Violet, you can equip a Mirror Herb to give an egg move to another Pokémon.
Just equip the Mirror Herb on a Pokémon with an open attack slot and open a picnic. It should then learn the move unless it normally couldn’t (you can’t teach Camerupt Surf).
You can also pass along other stats to baby Pokémon. By giving a parent an Everstone, the baby will retain its nature, while a Destiny Knot will give its IVs.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are available now on the Nintendo Switch.