Are Pokémon Scarlet and Violet getting Expansion Pass DLC?

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet rider on Miraidon
(Image credit: iMore)

While there has been no official word on Scarlet and Violet DLC coming out in the near future there are plenty of clues to hint that something is indeed in the works. We'll more than likely be seeing new Pokémon, storylines, and locations to explore in the very near future. 

In this page, we'll go over the mounting evidence that shows that a Scarlet and Violet Expansion Pack is likely in the works as well as go over cost, release date, and everything we expect to see in this additional content. 

Proof that Scarlet and Violet DLC is coming

(Image credit: iMore)

While there has been no official announcement that extra paid content will be coming to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the fact that a long section of the Paldea map is suspiciously still greyed out on the northeast side of the map even after beating the game implies that this is where future DLC will be. 

Additionally, according to PokéXperto on Twitter, dozens of new Pokémon names have been registered in Japan. Don't take a look unless you're willing to see spoilers. Along with that, there are books currently in Scarlet and Violet's Academy libraries that show off illustrations of Paradox Pokémon we haven't seen before, so it's likely they are in the DLC. 

Besides that, dataminers have found additional clues in the code that reference characters and legacy Pokémon that weren't in the base game. It's very possible that this information is in there because it's for future content that hasn't released yet. I won't go into detail on what these datamining ventures have uncovered so as not to spoil anything, but you can learn more from CentroLeaks on Twitter.

Even without these clues, it seems very likely that Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and Game Freak would have planned for Scarlet and Violet to get their own paid DLC since this is what the Pokémon series is doing now rather than creating a third game that comes out later like it did in the past. (ie Yellow, Crystal, Emerald, etc.)

Even if Game Freak hadn't planned on DLC for the game, it's hard to justify skipping it at this point since Scarlet and Violet broke several records, selling over 10 million copies in their first three days. This has made Gen 9 not only the fastest-selling Switch games and fastest-selling Pokémon games, but also the fastest-selling Nintendo games of all time. If the developers don't follow that up with more content it will be a wasted opportunity.

What to expect in Scarlet and Violet DLC

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass

(Image credit: iMore)

Our best bet for guessing what any Scarlet and Violet Expansion Pass might entail is by looking to the Sword and Shield Expansion Pass that released in early 2020. Gen 8's extra content released in two parts at two different times of the year: One in winter and the second in summer. Based on that, here's what we expect to see in Scarlet and Violet DLC:

Additional Pokémon (new and old): Both sections of Sword and Shield's Expansion Pass brought familiar Pokémon as well as brand-new Pokémon we hadn't seen before, which added 200 Pokémon total to the existing Galarian Pokédex. It's very likely something similar will happen Scarlet and Violet. As part of this, we expect to see more Paradox Pokémon since this is what the main plot centered around. 

New storylines and characters: Sword and Shield's DLC provided two new plotlines to complete. In Isle or Armor, players were given a new Pokémon and were asked to train it up while competing against a new rival. Then in The Crown Tundra, players needed to assist a new Legendary Pokémon and explore the origins of Gigantamaxing. We expect there to be additional quests and NPCs for characters to interact with in any Gen 9 DLC. We'll likely be looking further into Paradox Pokémon  and the Tera Phenomenon.

Pokemon Sword Shield Expansion Pass Kubfu And Player

Kubfu and player from the Pokémon Sword Shield Expansion Pass.  (Image credit: iMore)

New Tera mechanics: Sword and Shield had the Gigantamax phenomenon, which in many ways is similar to Tera Phenomenon. But in the first half of the DLC, players got to learn a soup that allowed certain compatible Pokémon to become special Gigantamax Pokémon when fed. Who knows, maybe we'll unlock something that allows us to change Pokémon Tera types in Scarlet and Violet DLC.

New clothes, customizations, and accessories: One of the biggest disappointments for many Scarlet and Violet players were the limited clothing and accessory options available in the game. Sword and Shield's DLC brought additional hairstyles and clothing options, so it's very possible the same could happen for Gen 9.

How much will Scarlet and Violet Expansion Pass cost?

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Gimmighoul

(Image credit: iMore)

Sword and Shield's Expansion Pass cost $30, which is what we can expect for any potential Scarlet and Violet DLC (if Game Freak did the same amount of extra content work). Of course, if more work was done or The Pokémon Company decided they wanted to charge more they very likely could. 

This might seem steep, but consider that $30 is less expensive than purchasing a whole other follow-up game as we did in the past. 

When will Scarlet and Violet's Expansion Pass DLC release?

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Koraidon gliding

(Image credit: iMore)

Once more, we look to Sword and Shield DLC's time window to get an idea for Scarlet and Violet DLC's potential release date. Gen 8's extra content was announced early after the game's release on January 9, 2020 following the base game's launch on November 15, 2019. So, if Gen 9 follows this same pattern, then we can expect to hear about any potential Scarlet and Violet Expansion Pass in January 2023, or at least in the first half of the year.

More to come

While there's currently no official word on Pokémon Scarlet and Violet DLC, it seems very likely that something is in the pipeline. The biggest in-game clue is the fact that section of the map is still greyed out even after players see the credits roll. It's very likely that we'll get an official announcement for a Scarlet and Violet Expansion Pack within the first half of the new year. 

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.