Odd as it may seem, you have to earn the ability to swim in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Here's how.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: How to Unlock the Swim Upgrade

Odd as it may seem, you have to earn the ability to swim in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Here's how.

The world of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is vast, and there are many rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water scattered about or separating parts of the Paldean continent from one another. Naturally, you’ll want to know how to swim sooner rather than later, but it will take some time before you unlock the ability.

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How to Unlock the Swim Upgrade in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Almost all of the traversal mechanics in Scarlet and Violet come from your Koraidon or Miradidon, and swimming is no exception. However, unlocking their swimming upgrade will take a little while, as all traversal abilities are locked behind the giant Titan Pokemon around the map. To earn the ability to swim, you need to defeat the Open Sky Titan, a huge version of the Flying/Dark Pokémon Bombirdier.

You’ll find the Open Sky Titan in the far western portion of the map, and you’ll need to navigate your way up a mountain, dodging falling boulders the whole way. Do so successfully, and you’ll reach where the Titan roosts.

Fighting Bombirdier is a battle of attrition taking place across two phases. In the first phase, you’ll need to reduce its HP to about 1/10, at which point the fight will end, and the Titan will retreat to its lair, but not before eating some Herba Mystica and powering itself up.

The second phase sees you trying to make the Titan faint, and you’ll have your friend Arven with you as support. Fighting Bombirdier is like fighting any other Flying Pokémon: bring Electric or Rock types, and if you’ve managed to snag a Fairy type, use that as well. It’s also weak to Ice, but those Pokémon are harder to come by in the early game.

You can use either Special Attacks or standard Attacks, as while Bombirdier doesn’t have the best stats in the world, its Defense and Special Defense are the same.

When you finally defeat the Open Sky Titan, a cutscene will play where Arven makes a sandwich with the Herba Mystica, which you can then give to Koraidon or Miraidon, unlocking their ability to swim. You can then use your newfound skills to cross the river in eastern Paldea and reach much more of the map.

Aside from learning how to swim, there are plenty of other things to discover in this Pokemon iteration. Check out our other Pokemon Scarlet and Violet guides.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.