Pokemon Scarlet & Violet are arriving this week, but what time do the games release and when can you get going on your adventure?

The ninth generation of Pokemon is finally just about here, and we can’t wait to start exploring the Paldea region for ourselves.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve learned about the mysterious new Terastal mechanic, checked out all 3 story paths that trainers can explore, and seen dozens of new Pokemon unveiled!

Now, we’re ready to explore Scarlet & Violet on launch day but when do the new Pokemon games actually go live?

Read More: All Paradox Pokemon Forms Leaked for Scarlet & Violet

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Starters

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Release Times & Countdown

Pokemon Scarlet & Pokemon Violet will release at midnight on November 18 in most regions across the globe.

However, for those on the US West Coast, the game will instead launch at 9 PM PT on November 17 to coincide with ET time zones hitting midnight.

Here’s what time Gen 9 goes live in regions around the globe:

Time ZoneCountdown
NZT (New Zealand)
AEDT (Australia)
JST (Japan)
CET (Europe)
GMT (London)
ET (New York)
CT (Illinois)
MT (Colorado)
PT (California)
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Camping

How to Play Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Early

Unfortunately, there is no official early access period for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet – as it was not offered as one of the bonuses for those who pre-ordered either game or for those who bought a particular edition.

That being said, there is still a way to play Pokemon Scarlet and Violet early, but it could be quite a bit of hassle.

Since the release is set for midnight local time, the games will release in New Zealand before any other region. Therefore, changing your region will be the only way to play early. Here’s how to do this:

  • Create a secondary profile for your Nintendo Switch account. To do this, go to System Settings > User > Add New User.
  • Set the region to New Zealand.
  • Go to the Nintendo Switch eShop and log in.
  • Link the secondary profile to your main Nintendo account.
  • Purchase the game from Nintendo’s digital store using your secondary account. You’ll need to use a credit card or payment method that is valid for that region. To do this, you may need to purchase New Zealand Nintendo eShop Cards from a reputable retailer.
You can do this method at your own risk. We wouldn't recommend using this method as you will only be able to continue playing the game through your region-locked account. Plus, you will only be able to play the game early for less than a day.

In order to play the upcoming Pokemon titles as early as possible, players should also be sure to learn how to pre-load Pokemon Scarlet & Violet here!

Alternatively, it seems that GameStop will be hosting a midnight launch for the major release, which is often only at 9 PM in the US West Coast.

Hardcore Pokemon fans can pick up their copy early and get started on their Paldea region adventures before anyone else!

Need help picking which starter Pokemon is right for you? Here are all the Pokemon Scarlet & Violet evolutions to help you decide!

Managing Editor
Max has a wealth of experience in the industry and is a lover of all things video games, situated in Manchester, United Kingdom.