How to target Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet

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A Pokemon in a tree and a Trainer in Scarlet and Violet
November 25, 2022: If you're finally getting into the game and struggling to target Pokemon, check this out

Generation 9 is here, and we're rushing into Paldea to start our new journeys along the Star Path and to fill our Pokedex once again. But as we discover new areas and try to catch more Pokémon, we're wondering how to target Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet while catching them.

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Pokemon battles have changed a little bit to fit the open world, and now we simply press ZR while near a roaming Pokemon, to send our party leader out and initiate a battle.

To help you throughout your Paldean adventure, we recommend checking out how to get Herba Mystica, where you can find Rare Candy, and all the sandwich recipes that you can make at the Picnics for boosts in the game!

How to target Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet

Allegedly, to catch Pokemon in trees and those flying around, you can hit ZR while looking at the 'Mon to send yours towards it and start a battle. In fact, the in-game hint is this:

"You can also start a battle by looking toward a wild Pokémon and throwing one of your Poké Balls at it by using the ZR Button! Try this tactic out to battle Pokémon that are up in trees or flying in the sky!"

However, that's not the whole process at all. Looking at a Pokemon in a tree and pressing ZR as instructed sent the ball onto the ground. In our experience, we tried holding ZR and R separately, as well as having the camera pointed at the Pokemon in the tree, and away from it.

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What you actually have to do to initiate a battle with a Pokemon like Hoppip, Fletchling, or Tarountual - or any Pokemon that's in an awkward spot or hovering slightly overhead, is to get close enough that holding ZL (the other large trigger button) makes the Pokemon's level appear above them - that's your sign that you're targetting them.

With ZL still being held down, tap ZR to throw your Pokemon at it, initiating a battle you can then use to whitle down its HP and throw an empty Pokeball using X.

Have you embarked on your Paldean adventure yet? If you have, check out our pages on possible DLC details, and post-game content. We've also got guides on how to farm EXP for levelling up, and plenty of money.