What are the question marks on the map in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet? – Explained

Question Marks On Map Pokemon Scarlet Violet Resized

As you journey through Paldea, you will encounter mysterious question marks on your map. It isn’t overly well explained what these are or why you should care about them. However, they are important, especially for shiny hunting. Here’s our guide on what the question marks on the map are in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Note: For more information about the game, check out our Pokemon Scarlet and Violet guides and features hub.

What are the question marks on the map in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

When you load into Pokémon Scarlet and Violet each day, new question marks will spawn. These question marks that appear on the map show where Outbreaks are happening in Paldea. Outbreaks are a mechanic in Pokémon where one specific Pokémon will spawn in huge numbers in that marked area.

Outbreaks marked by the question marks on the map in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are great for a couple of reasons. One reason is that the mass spawning of some Pokémon can be excellent for experience farming. If an Outbreak spawns a Pokémon with a high HP stat or one that is weak to your team, it is worth farming them for easy levels.

Hoppip Outbreak Pokemon Scarlet Violet

Screenshot by PC Invasion

However, the main draw of Outbreaks is that they make shiny hunting much more viable. Ordinarily, a shiny Pokémon has a 1 in 4,096 chance of spawning. However, by taking advantage of Outbreaks, having the Shiny Charm, and eating a sandwich that provides the Sparkling Power buff, this can be reduced to just 1 in 512.

Sometimes you will head to the question marks on the map in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet and be disappointed by what Pokémon is mass spawning. In this scenario, simply exit the game, change the date of your Nintendo Switch, and load Pokémon back up. For each new day, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will generate a new set of randomized Pokémon to appear in Outbreaks.

Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet can be purchased on the Nintendo Store.

Related: Best Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Trade Codes on Prima Games

Kurt Perry
About The Author
Kurt is a passionate games writer who loves JRPGs, racing games, and FPS. Having grown up on Xbox, Kurt transitioned to PC gaming in 2017 but still enjoys playing a variety of platforms.