Obedience has been a mechanic in Pokémon ever since it began. It serves an important balancing role to avoid trainers being over-leveled for gym battles. The newest Pokémon games bring it back once again. But with three separate questlines, it’s not quite as obvious how it works this time around. Here’s our guide on if you need gym badges for Pokémon to obey in Scarlet and Violet.
Note: For more information about the game, check out our Pokemon Scarlet and Violet guides and features hub.
Do you need gym badges for Pokémon to obey in Scarlet and Violet?
Although it primarily serves as a way to balance the game’s difficulty, obedience does have some other uses. For one, it prevents trainers from trading for a high-level Pokémon and stomping through the whole game with it. Furthermore, in the open-world games, it serves the secondary purpose of preventing you from wandering off and catching a Pokémon that is far higher level than the rest of your team.
The only way to increase your obey level in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is to collect gym badges. Your obey level cap starts out at level 20 and increases by five for each gym badge you have collected. This continues up until seven badges, where your obedience level will reach level 55. Once the final eighth badge is earned, all Pokémon will obey you regardless of level.
However, obedience in the Pokémon series isn’t quite that simple. It’s possible to own a Pokémon way above your obey level that still listens to you. This is because your obedience level only checks for your Pokémon’s level when they were caught. Therefore, you could theoretically catch a level 5 Wooper at the start of the game, level it up to level 100, and it would still obey you even with no badges.
Although this can cause balancing issues, it’s a necessary evil to prevent trainers from getting frustrated. The last thing you want is for players working through Pokémon Scarlet and Violet to have to drop their favorite Pokémon because they won’t obey them anymore until more gym badges are collected.