Player character calling out moves for his Pokemon to use.
Screenshot via The Pokemon Company

Scarlet and Violet The Indigo Disk looks like a challenge worthy of Pokémon Masters

And there are plenty of secrets left untouched.

The Pokémon Company has finally given players an extended look at Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s The Indigo Disk expansion, granting multiple news outlets and content creators the chance to play part of the game’s intro. And most of them spoke positively of their time with the game. 

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Set to release on Dec. 14 and seemingly bring an end to the Gen IX story, The Indigo Disk takes place at the Blueberry Academy in Unova and has a focus on battling—compared to The Teal Mask’s content being geared toward exploration.

According to multiple previews, The Indigo Disk is the most challenging a Pokémon game has been outside of post-game content in a long time, with pretty much every battle shown in the preview being a Double Battle. Many of the trainers you face in this expansion will use strategies born from competitive play, such as giving a Pokémon with Guts a Toxic Orb to boost its Attack or teams built around Trick Room. 

In a battle against Amarys, one of the Blueberry Academy’s Elite Four members, players noted that she used “classic and brutal Double Battle strategies” that were capable of countering competitively viable level 88 Pokémon provided for the previewers to use. 

This kind of difficulty spike is something older Pokémon fans, especially those with an interest in competitive play, have been asking Game Freak to do for years. We saw glimpses of it with the optional Ogre Clan battles in The Teal Mask, but here, the challenge is built directly into the academy’s identity and might be a way for the developers to push casual players to give online battles a try. 

The Elite Four for the academy also mixes in challenges like the Gym Leaders in SV’s base game, with the preview having players fly around on Miraidon/Koraidon through rings in one of the biomes. 

And, speaking of biomes, the four unique locations in the DLC all feature Pokémon that you would expect to see spawning within those habitats—such as Blitzle and Girafarig in the Savannah. This also plays into an improved version of SV’s academy classes, where you will actually have to complete tasks to advance your lessons rather than just click through text boxes and take a test later. 

We also already knew every Starter Pokémon is featured in The Indigo Disk’s Terrarium, but it appears that they will be a bit tricky to find, at least at first. 

Not unsurprisingly, The Indigo Disk runs about as well as The Teal Mask did at launch, meaning there were noticeable performance issues and visual glitches visible during the previews. Most coverage noted that assets and Pokémon popping in and out along with occasional lag was the biggest problem while the rest of the game “did seem OK” despite the clear lack of performance fixes.

From what we have heard, no story content other than your introduction to the biomes and a few characters were showcased during the previews. There was no sign of Terapagos or any other Area Zero-related story elements, nor any hints at the mysterious Legendary Pokémon fans think is pulling Kieran’s strings by the end of The Teal Mask

According to YouTuber PhillyBeatzU, Nintendo representatives at his preview made it sound like you will head back to Paldea after you finish the DLC for “the grand finale to conclude the story of Area Zero.” 

We only have a few weeks to wait until what looks to be Pokémon’s biggest and most challenging expansion for a main series title ever is released, and even without the promise of improved performance, there should be plenty of treasure to dig up. The Indigo Disk is set to launch on Dec. 14.


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Cale Michael
Lead Staff Writer for Dota 2, the FGC, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and more who has been writing for Dot Esports since 2018. Graduated with a degree in Journalism from Oklahoma Christian University and also previously covered the NBA. You can usually find him writing, reading, or watching an FGC tournament.