Pokemon game timeline breakdown

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are now some of the highly anticipated games for the core series. With the latest Pokemon Direct on everyone’s mind, everyone is getting ready to climb Koraidon or Miraidon. Honestly, it’s definitely worth getting the double pack here. That said, the Pokemon games not only have a long, rich history in the lives of fans, but also a long history in their own world. For most kids, it seems like the Pokemon games take place sequentially. But in reality, the release order of generations is not the chronological order of the series. This Pokemon game timeline breakdown provides an overview of the core series timeline.

This article will put each game pair in chronological order and break down how many years apart they are. If no specific time has been confirmed by Gamefreak or the Pokemon company, the placement will remain vague.

Pokemon Legends Arceus

Akari and Rei, the ancestors of Lucas and Dawn that the player travels with.

The first timeline breakdown of this Pokemon game is Legends Arceus. 298 years after Generation 1, this story is technically the first core series game in the main Pokemon universe. Players will explore the ancient region of Hisui as a member of the Galaxy Expedition Team. Players must meet all known Arceus Pokemon, will rise through the ranks, help both the Diamond and Pearl clans, and prevent Volo from disturbing the balance of the world with Giratina to meet Arceus. Characters such as Commander Kamado, Adaman and Irida called this era their home. A great game, players take control of Rei or Akari, the ancestors of Lucas and Dawn, to complete this part of the story.

Important: Keep in mind that while the chronological placements of the events of Legends Arceus are 300 years in the past, the game’s prologue reveals that Lucas of Dawn, the protagonists of Diamond and Pearl, are sent back to the past by god himself. So technically, the player is teaming up with Akari or Rei while playing as their offspring. That’s why Legends Arceus is a story that takes place before and after generation 4. Fancy. By the way, sorry for the headache.

Generation 1 and Generation 3: Red and Blue, Ruby and Sapphire, and Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee

Red (center), blue (right), and green/leaf (left)
Brendan and May

This is the real beginning of the timeline breakdown of this Pokemon game. According to a deleted tweet from a Gamefreak employee, Generation 1 and Generation 3 are concurrent. In layman’s terms they occur simultaneously. While Red and Blue earn their gym badges, complete the Pokedex for Professor Oak, and deal with Team Rocket, Brendan or May embark on their journey with Team Magma or Team Aqua as they complete their Pokedex for Professor Birch. Red and Blue set off on a journey at age 11, while Brendan and May begin at age 12.

Remake games such as Yellow, Emerald, Firered and Leafgreen, and Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire also take place at this time and are considered alternate universes. Differences include the existence of Jessie, James, and their Meowth, the re-incorporation of Green/Leaf, the first-generation female playable character, and the Brendan and May of this world competing against both Team Magma and Aqua. Rayquaza is also more present in this story and Wallace is the champion instead of Steven. In the Omega games, Steven is more present while being the champion again and Zinnia is introduced through the Delta episode. In fact, she confirmed that the core series is a multiverse.

Finally, the Let’s GO games further complicate things by being full alternate universes of both gen 1 and Firered and Leafgreen. Red, Blue and Green went on a journey before Team Rocket became active and are believed to be former champions or never became champions. The player characters are Chase and Elaine and their rival is Trace. They may also choose Pikachu or Eevee as their starters instead of Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Chase and Elaine appear to be 11 years old, making the Universe Red, Blue, and Green 12 years old.

Generations 2 and 4: Gold and Silver and Diamond and Pearl

Ethan and Kris
Lucas and Dawn with different designs and skin tones from BDSP

About three years after the escapades of Red, Blue, Green, Brendan, May, Chase and Elaine, Gold, Silver, Diamond and Pearl take place, also simultaneously. Ethan, Lucas or Dawn embark on a journey through Johto and Sinnoh (present-day Hisui), respectively. Ethan is 11 years old here, making the previous characters 14.

In Johto, Ethan takes over all eight gyms, completes their Pokedexes for Professor Elm, and foils the return of Team Rocket led by Archer. They also face off against their rival, Silver, Giovanni, the former leader of Team Rocket’s son. From there, he goes to Kanto and also beats all eight of their gyms, including Blue, the new eighth gym leader. Ethan’s journey ends when he defeats Red at the top of Mount Silver.

Similarly, in Sinnoh, Lucas of Dawn embark on a journey for Professor Rowan along with their rival Barry. Their journey includes beating their eight gyms and taking on Team Galactic. Once they defeat their gyms and champion Cynthia, they face the Battle Tower. Lucas and Dawn are also believed to be 11.

Similarly, Pokemon Crystal, Heartgold, Soulsilver, Platinum, Brilliant Diamond, and Shining Pearl take place in alternate universes during this time. The differences are broken down here:


Kris, a female protagonist, is present in this world alongside Ethan. Suicune has a bigger role and the character Eusine is introduced.

Heart Gold and Soul Silver:

Lyra, Kris’ replacement in the Johto remakes

Changes to Crystal are made and Kris is replaced by another female character, Lyra. In this world, Ethan and Lyra are taken back in time to see where Giovanni was during the takeover of the Goldenrod City Radio Tower (time travel really is everywhere in this world. Does this make the protagonists of Johto and Sinnoh divine?).


Lucas, Dawn and Barry have new outfits and a new Team Galactic Commander, Charon, has been added. The climax with Dialga and Palkia has been completely revamped with Giratina as the centerpiece. The Distortion World has been added as an essential location for a plot. Finally, Looker is included as an essential character.

Brilliant Diamond and Shiny Pearl:

Unfortunately, these remakes take leaps backwards instead of forwards. They are one-on-one recreations of the original Diamond and Pearl games with an expanded Underground and the addition of Ramanas Park to replace Pal Park.

A few years later, Legends Arceus takes place between Gen 4 and Gen 5.

Generation 5, part 1: black and white

A recently confirmed 12 years later, the events of Black and White 1 are taking place. The 14-year-olds Hilbert/Hilda, Cheren and Bianca wanted to become the champions of Unova. Along the way, they encounter the mysterious N and the evil Team Plasma led by his father, Ghetsis. While Team Plasma may seem like PETA’s Pokemon equivalent, this is a ruse to cover up Ghetsis’ struggle for world domination. After Team Plasma is defeated, the player helps them collect the remaining sages of Team Plasma and become the champions, before Black and White 2 leaves to chase N.

Generation 5, Part 2 and Generation 6: Black and White 2 and X and Y

Two years after Black and White 1, Black and White 2 and X and Y occur simultaneously. In the new Unova, Nate of Rosa leave Aspertia City with their rival, Hugh, to become the next champion of Unova and deal with a new Team Plasma, who also wronged Hugh by stealing his sister’s Purrloin . In this Unova era, Cheren and Roxie are two new gym leaders and Bianca is now Professor Juniper’s assistant. Iris has also replaced Alder as the current champion.

Similarly in X and Y, trainers Calem or Serena, along with their friends Tierno, Shauna and Trevor, leave their hometown of Vaniville to travel through Kalos and beat their eight gyms. They also deal with Lysandre and Team Flare, who actually want to create a beautiful new world without Pokemon (the worst plan in the series). There are currently no remakes taking place simultaneously with Black and White 2.

Generation 7: Sun and Moon

Two years after Black and White 2 and X and Y, the events of Sun and Moon take place. 10-year-old trainer Elio of Selene sets out across the four islands of Alola to complete the trials and defeat the kahunas chosen by the Tapus. During their journey, they face the pranks of Team Skull and must stop the misguided actions of Lusamine and her seemingly altruistic Aether Foundation. Elio and Selene become Alola’s first champions.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon also take place here in an alternate universe. Here are the differences between Sun and Moon and their remakes.

  • The legendary Pokemon, Necrozma, plays a bigger role in the story, becoming the new antagonist and focus of Lusamine’s goals.
  • The Ultra Recon Squad is deployed as a support faction.
  • Trials have been updated and changed from the original base game.
  • Lusamine goes from the game’s main antagonist to a misguided supporting anti-heroine.
  • Ultra Space is expanding and Ultra Wormholes make the world more explored.
  • Rainbow Rocket takes place in the game’s post-game.

Generation 8: Sword and Shield

Finally, the last part of the timeline breakdown of this Pokemon game. After an indefinite time, the events of Sword and Shield take place. Pokemon Trainer Victor or Gloria team up with their best friend Hop to become the champion of Galar. Along the way, they encounter Team Yell’s shenanigans and ultimately must stop Chairman Rose from mimicking the Darkest Day. Sword and Shield has no other games taking place simultaneously.

Where in the timeline are Scarlet and Violet?

Simple answer, nobody knows yet. At this point, anything goes and players are encouraged to analyze the character dialogue or lore documents to put it together for themselves. Nevertheless, this Pokemon Timeline Breakdown has given all the hardcore fans and fanfiction writers the confirmed timeline of the games. This article will be updated as Gamefreak confirms where Scarlet and Violet fall on the timeline. Until then, keep training.

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