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Home > Pokémon Event Questions > Preparing for a Pokémon VGC Tournament (Scarlet & Violet)
Preparing for a Pokémon VGC Tournament (Scarlet & Violet)
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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet VGC events bring new procedures for how Video Game premier events are played. This guide is designed for players both new and old, to help you prepare for your upcoming tournaments.


Event preparation:
Below are tips and resources to better help you prepare for your tournament before it even starts.

  • Before you can even attend an event, you need to make sure that you are registered for an event. Before registering for a tournament on, you need to make sure you have set up your profile completely and accurately. If it is not, you will be delayed in registering for your event, and may not even be able to register due to the high demand for events. If you need assistance creating your profile, please check out our article on “How do I edit my profile?”


  • Get familiar with event deadlines and requirements before you attend the event by going to your Player Dashboard, selecting the event you registered for, and reviewing the Tournament Milestones on your Player Tournament Dashboard. Here you find your confirmation, your team list submission deadline, and when round one of your tournament starts. You will be using this page throughout your event.
    • Step 1: After going to the Player Dashboard, select the event you registered for.
    • Step 2: Review your Tournament Milestones for important event information. 



  • Before submitting your team list, ensure that the team you plan to use during the event is utilizing the correct tournament regulation format.
    • For more information about tournament regulation formats, review section 1.2 Regulation Changes found in the Play! Pokémon Video Game Rules, Formats, & Penalty Guidelines. Due to this document being updated frequently due to regulation changes, it is highly recommended to review the document by going to the Rules & Resources page on You may also view this information on either Pokémon HOME under “News” or on Poké Portal News in your Pokémon Scarlet or Violet game.


  • Make sure to submit your team list to before the submission deadline (which can be found in your Tournament Milestones for the event).
    • For more information about submitting your team list, please make sure to read the article “Submitting your VGC Team List”.
    • You can submit any number of new lists prior to the submission deadline, but you must play the most recent list you have submitted when the submission window closes.


  • When saving your team in Scarlet & Violet, please make sure that you save the team you are competing with in “Team 1” under the Battle Team menu in your Boxes.
    • You must ensure that there are no teams with the same 6 species of Pokémon you are using for the event in your party, boxes, other battle teams, or rental teams. This is due to a lack of Battle Box locking and makes it easier for tournament staff to conduct team checks.
    • To get to Battle Teams in game, follow the steps below:
      • Press X to open the main menu and select boxes.
      • In the top left corner of the screen, you will see Party and boxes | Held Items | Battle Teams
      • Press X twice to see the Battle Team menu; this is where you should store your team for the tournament. You will save it under Team 1.


  • You may NOT use Rental Teams during a VGC premier event like Regionals.
  • Ensure that you set your Nintendo Switch internet settings to Automatic.


  • You will need to have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership for the entirety of the event. You will be unable to compete otherwise.


  • Make sure to have the latest version of the Nintendo Switch software installed on your device.
    • To check if your console needs to be updated, first go to the Home Screen and select System Settings.
    • You will then scroll down to the bottom of the left hand menu options until you see System. Select System then select System Update to check to see if your console is up to date.

  • You will also need to ensure that you have the latest version of the Pokémon Scarlet & Violet installed on your device. Failure to do so before the start of the tournament may result in delays and/or penalties.
    • To check if your Pokémon Scarlet & VIolet game needs to be updated, make sure you save and close the software if you are using it currently.
    • Then on the Home Screen, highlight the Pokémon Scarlet & Violet software you will be using at the tournament.
    • Then press “+” on your controller to open up the software menu.
    • You will then select Software Update. Here you will be given two options, Via the Internet and Match Version with Local Users.
      • Via the Internet: you will be able to download the newest version of the software (if needed) via the Internet. This option is best if you have access to the Internet.
        Match Version with
      • Local Users: you will be able to download the newest version of software (if needed) by connecting to another Nintendo Switch console that has the most recent version of the software downloaded. This option is best if you do not have access to the Internet. CAUTION: make sure that when using this option, the other individual also has the latest version of the software downloaded.


  • You may also bring and use your own licensed wired controller to the event. More information about using your own controller may be found in section 2.3 Controllers in the Play! Pokémon Video Game Rules, Formats, & Penalty Guidelines.


  • Before the start of the event, please change the nickname setting in-game to “Don’t Show,” and all system friend notifications must be Off. Make sure your date/time settings are set to “Synchronize Clock via Internet”.

    • To change the nickname settings in-game, follow the instructions below:

      • While in the Pokémon Scarlet & Violet software, press “X” to open the in-game menu.

      • Select “Options

      • While in the “Options” menu, scroll down to “Show Nickname” and select “Don’t show”.

      • Confirm these changes, press “A” on your controller, select “Yes”, then press “A” again on your controller to confirm the selection.

    • To change the friend notifications on your console, follow the instructions below:

      • While on the Home Screen, select System Settings.

      • While in the System Settings, scroll down to “Notifications”, then select “Friend Notifications”.

      • From this menu you will turn “Friend-Request Notifications” and “Online Users” Off.

    • To change the date/time settings on your console, follow the instructions below:

      • While on the Home Screen, select System Settings.

      • You will then scroll down to the bottom of the left hand menu options until you see “System”. Select “System” then select “Date and Time”.

      • From the “Date and Time” menu, make sure the “Synchronize Clock via Internet” is turned On.


  • It goes without saying that it is to a player’s benefit to make sure they read the Play! Pokémon Tournament Rules Handbook and the Play! Pokémon VG Rules & Formats in its entirety to ensure that rules and/or rulings are followed throughout the event. Both of these documents can be found on the Rules & Resources page on



While at the Event:
Below are tips and resources to better help you prepare for your tournament before it even starts.


  • Before the start of the event, make sure to have your Player Dashboard up on your mobile device. This is where you will be updated as the tournament progresses.
    • Step 1: After you login to, click the dropdown menu button found on the top right corner of your screen.
    • ​​​​​​​Step 2: Select Player Dashboard after the dropdown menu appears.
    • ​​​​​​​Step 3: Select the event you are participating in.


  • During Swiss rounds, you will be assigned a table and opponent for each round. You will be able to find your opponent and table by going to your event page on your Player Dashboard as described above. An announcement will be made at the tournament when the next round pairings have been posted online. If you lose cell service in the hall, don’t worry, organizers will also post paper pairings so you will be able to still find your opponent and table for that round.
    • Here is what pairings will look like on your mobile device when you go to your event page on your Player Dashboard. Note: Make sure to refresh your web browser when a new round has been announced.
    • ​​​​​​​You may also find your pairings on your Tournament Milestones bar within your event page by clicking on the View pairings link.


  • After being seated, you will be provided with your official "opponent view" team sheet. 
    • You should check that the information on your team sheet is correct. If there are any errors, contact a professor to assist you.


  • Be careful to look after your sheet as it is required to be shown to your opponent at the start of each tournament round.
    • If you notice that during your game, your opponent is playing with a Pokémon or an in-game aspect that was not provided on their “opponent view” team sheet that you viewed, call for a judge immediately.
    • DO NOT LOSE THIS SHEET! Failure to provide this sheet to your opponent may result in a penalty. If you notice that your sheet is missing, please notify a judge immediately. 


  • You will connect your Switch to a dock at the table number you are assigned each round. Your switch should be set to Airplane Mode when playing tournament matches. Do not turn this mode off for any reason during a tournament match. If you notice you are having difficulty with any of your equipment, please notify a judge immediately. This is to avoid any connection issues with your opponent during the event.
    • To set to Airplane Mode, select System Settings from the Home Screen.
    • You will then select Airplane Mode from the left hand menu in System Settings and turn Airplane Mode On.


  • Matches will be held via Poké Portal - Union Circle. Follow the steps below in order to set up your matches each round.
    • First press “X” on your controller to open up the in-game menu and select Poké Portal.
    • You will then select Union Circle, which is located at the top left of the Poké Portal menu.
    • Next you will be asked if you would like to “Form a group” or “Join a group”. Player 1 will select “Form a group”, while Player 2 will select “Join a group”.
    • If you are Player 1, you will provide Player 2 with the code that is provided on your screen. If you are Player 2, you will enter the code Player 1 provides when prompted.
    • You should then see both yourself and your opponent on the screen, within Union Circle. Confirm it is in fact your opponent, then select “Set out together”.
    • Both you and your opponent will then press “X” on your individual controllers to open the in-game menu. You will then select Poké Portal again. While in the Poké Portal menu, select “Link Battle”.
    • You will then select “Double Battle”, and confirm your selection to start the connection process.
    • You will then see what should be your’s and your opponent’s in-game names. Confirm that these names match the ones provided to you on their team list. This screen will also determine who will set up the battle rules.
    • If you are the one asked by the game to select the battle rules, you will scroll down the left-hand menu until you highlight “Official Rules 1”.
    • Then, select this option and confirm your selection.
    • After confirming your selection, you will then select the team you have chosen to participate in this battle by highlighting and selecting “Participating Battle Team”.
    • Next, you will be prompted to select a “Team”. Remember that the Pokémon you selected for your team list should have been placed in “Team 1”. This will be the “Team” you select for your battle.
    • When you have confirmed your “Team”, you will be returned to the previous screen. Here you will confirm that you are ready to start by selecting “Preparations complete!
    • After both players have selected their teams, you will then be prompted to select the 4 Pokémon you will choose to battle with. Please note that during this time, you should also confirm that the Pokémon on your opponent’s team match the ones they selected for their team list.
    • After both you and your opponent have selected the Pokémon you wish to battle with, your battle will begin!


  • At the end of each round, you and your opponent will fill out the match slip that was placed at your table. The match slip is where you will mark and confirm your match results that will be handed to “paper team/scorekeepers” in order to report your match results. DO NOT FORGET TO COMPLETELY FILL THIS OUT AS NEGLECTING TO DO SO MAY RESULT IN TOURNAMENT DELAYS.
    • This box is where any penalties or time extensions will be marked by the judge, but is also where you and your opponent may keep track of your game wins. This is not necessary for the scorekeepers, but may help keep track of your games in a “Best of 3” match. You may use the checkboxes, but leave the lines next to them blank for the judges.
    • At the conclusion of the match both players will need to agree on the winner by the winner of the match circling WINNER under their name. If the match ends in a tie, then the “TIE” in the center box will need to be circled instead of “WINNER”.
    • In order to confirm the results and be able to hand in the match slip, both players will need to initial above their name, below the area that says “Initial below:”. Failure to do so will result in tournament delays and possible penalties.
    • Once everything has been filled out accurately at the end of your match, it is the match winner’s responsibility to return the slip to the paper team/score keepers at the designated area.


  • When the rounds are announced, but before the start of the announced round, it is the player’s responsibility to ensure that the score entered the previous round was correct. If it is not, it is the player’s responsibility to go to the designated scorekeeping area to let the staff know the score for the previous round was entered incorrectly. It is recommended that you stay in that area until it is resolved in case staff have questions you may need to answer. You will be able to review your tournament score on your tournament page under pairings.


  • If at any point before the end of the tournament you would like to no longer participate in the event, you are allowed to “drop” from the tournament without penalty, but you will need to notify the tournament staff at the scorekeeping area and answer any questions they may have before confirming your “drop” from the tournament.


  • If you do well during day one of the regional tournament, you may be asked to come back and participate in day two based on your overall performance at the end of day one. Day 2 of the tournament eliminates any players that had less than 19 points by the end of day one or placed lower than than the top 32 players (if there were less than 32 players that met the 19 point threshold). The results from day one will be posted at the conclusion of day one and should be reviewed for any possible discrepancies since once it is finalized, the results will be considered final.


  • If for any reason you question a play during your match, have questions about an interaction, or feel uncomfortable for any reason (including the need to use the restroom during a match), please call for a Judge immediately, as they will be able to best assist you. If you are an experienced player and you may know how the judge may rule or fix the situation, DO NOT take it upon yourself to fix it, call a judge immediately.
    • If you do not like how the Judge ruled a penalty when you called them over, you are allowed to appeal to the Head Judge. Every judge is supposed to ask you if you would like to request this at the end of every ruling. If they forget, please know that this is available to you.
    • If you do not like how the Head Judge ruled when called over for an appeal or if they were the one that handled your call, DO NOT argue with them. If you disagree with them, their ruling is FINAL, but you can submit a support ticket to and notify them of your situation in detail. Arguing with a judge may result in a penalty.
    • If you noticed that during the event you received a ruling by accident, please notify the judge staff immediately so that they may be able to rectify the situation promptly.
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