Pokemon Game Timeline Breakdown

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are now some of the most anticipated games for the main series. With the latest Pokémon Direct on everyone’s mind, everyone is getting ready to ride Koraidon or Miraidon. Honestly, getting the double pack here is worth it. That said, the Pokémon games not only have a long and rich history in the lives of fans, but also a long history in their own world. To most kids, it might seem like the Pokémon games unfold sequentially. But in reality, the generational publication order is not the chronological order of the series. This Pokémon game timeline breakdown will give an overview of the timeline of the main series.

This article will put each pair of games in chronological order and break down how many years there are between them. If there is no specific time confirmed by Gamefreak or the Pokémon company, the location will remain vague.

Pokémon Legends Arceus

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

First up in this breakdown of the Pokemon game timeline is Legends Arceus. 298 years after Generation 1, this story is technically the first main series game in the main Pokémon Universe. Players explore the ancient Hisui region as members of the Galaxy Expedition Team. Tasked with meeting every Pokemon known to Arceus, players will rise through the ranks, help the Diamond and Pearl clans, and stop Volo from upsetting the balance of the world with Giratina to meet Arceus. Characters such as Commander Kamado, Adaman, and Irida called this era home. A stellar game, players take control of either Rei or Akari, the ancestors of Lucas and Dawn, to play this part of the story.

Important: Note that while the chronological locations of the events of Legends Arceus take place 300 years ago, the game’s prologue reveals that either Lucas or Dawn, the protagonist of Diamond and Pearl, is sent back in time by the gods themselves. So technically, the player works alongside either Akari or Rei while playing as their descendants. Therefore, Legends Arceus is a story that takes place before and after generation 4. Imagine that. 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

Now, this is the real start of this Pokemon game timeline breakdown. According to a since-deleted tweet by a Gamefreak employee, Generation 1 and Generation 3 are contemporary. In simple terms, they occur at the same time. While Red and Blue are earning their gym badges, completing the Pokédex for Professor Oak, and dealing with Team Rocket, Brendan or May are on their journey dealing with Team Magma or Team Aqua while completing their Pokédex for Professor Birch. Red and Blue set off on their journey at age 11, while Brendan and May start at age 12.

Remake games like 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 his Meowth, the reinclusion of Green/Leaf, the gen 1 female playable character, and Brendan and May of this world taking over. 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 as he is back to being the champion and Zinnia is introduced through the Delta Episode. In fact, he confirmed that the main series is a multiverse.

Lastly, the Let’s GO games further complicate things by being entire alternate universes of both gen 1 and Firered and Leafgreen. Red, Blue and Green went on their journeys before Team Rocket was activated and are assumed to be either former champions or never became champions. The player characters are Chase and Elaine and their rival is Trace. They can also choose Pikachu or Eevee as starters instead of Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Chase and Elaine appear to be 11 years old, which makes the red, blue, and green of this universe 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

Approximately three years after the escapades of Red, Blue, Green, Brendan, May, Chase and Elaine, Gold, Silver, Diamond and Pearl, also contemporaries, take place. Ethan, Lucas, or Dawn embark on their journeys through Johto and Sinnoh (present-day Hisui), respectively. Ethan is 11 years old here, which makes the characters above 14.

In Johto, Ethan confronts all eight gyms, completes his Pokédexes for Professor Elm, and thwarts the return of Team Rocket led by Archer. He also faces his rival, Silver, Giovanni, the former leader of Team Rocket’s son. From there, he heads to Kanto and defeats all eight gyms as well, including Blue, the new leader of the eighth gym. Ethan’s journey ends when he defeats Red at the top of Mount Silver.

Similarly, in Sinnoh, Lucas or Dawn set out on their journey to Professor Rowan alongside their rival, Barry. His journey involves beating all eight of his gyms and taking on Team Galactic. Once they defeat their gyms and the champion, Cynthia, they face the Battle Tower. Lucas and Dawn are also supposed to be 11 years old.

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


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

Heartgold and Soulsilver:

Lyra, Kris’s replacement in the Johto remakes

Crystal changes are implemented and Kris is replaced by another female character, Lyra. In this world, Ethan and Lyra go 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 be more divine?).


Lucas, Dawn, and Barry get new outfits and a new Galactic Team Commander, Charon, is added. The climax with Dialga and Palkia gets a complete makeover and Giratina becomes the center of attention. The Distortion World is added as an essential plot location. Finally, Looker is included as a must-have character.

Shiny diamond and shiny pearl:

Unfortunately, these remakes jump backwards instead of forwards. They are one-for-one recreations of the original Diamond and Pearl rides with an expanded subway 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 newly confirmed 12 years later, the events of Black and White 1 take place. Hilbert/Hilda, Cheren, and 14-year-old Bianca set out to become Unova champions. Along the way, they face off against the mysterious N and the evil Team Plasma led by his father, Ghetsis. While Team Plasma looks like the Pokémon equivalent of PETA, this is a ruse to hide Ghetsis’ fight for world domination. After Team Plasma is defeated, the player helps them gather Team Plasma’s remaining sages and become champions, leaving before Black and White 2 to pursue 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 happen at the same time. In New Unova, Nate or Rosa leaves Aspertia City with his rival, Hugh, to become the next Unova Champion 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 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 around Kalos and beat all eight of its gyms. They also have to deal with Lysandre and Team Flare, who basically want to create a beautiful new world without Pokémon (the worst plan in the series). There are no remakes taking place at this time that are contemporary 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. The 10-year-old trainer, Elio or Selene, traverses the four islands of Alola to complete the trials and defeat the kahunas chosen by the Tapus. During their journey, they have to deal with the antics of Team Skull, as well as stop the misguided actions of Lusamine and her seemingly altruistic Aether Foundation. Elio and Selene become the first champions of Alola.

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

  • The Legendary Pokémon, Necrozma, takes a larger role in the story, becoming the new antagonist and the focus of Lusamine’s goals.
  • The Ultra Recon Squad is incorporated as a support faction.
  • The trials are revamped and changed from the original base game.
  • Lusamine goes from being the main antagonist of the game to a misguided supporting anti-heroine.
  • Ultra Space expands and Ultra Wormholes make the world more explorable.
  • Rainbow Rocket happens in the post-game of the game.

Generation 8: Sword and Shield

Finally, the last part of this Pokémon game timeline breakdown. After an unspecified amount of time, the events of Sword and Shield take place. Pokémon Trainer Victor or Gloria left with his best friend, Hop, to become the champion of Galar. Along the way, they come up against the antics of Team Yell and end up having to stop President Rose from recreating the Darkest Day. Sword and Shield doesn’t have any other games happening at the same time.

Where in the timeline are Scarlet and Violet?

Easy answer, nobody knows even. At this point, anything goes and players are encouraged to analyze character dialogue or revealing story documents to piece it together for themselves. However, this Pokemon timeline breakdown has given all the hardcore fans and fanfiction writers the confirmed timeline of the games. This article will be updated when Gamefreak confirms where Scarlet and Violet are in the timeline. Until then, keep training.

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