The world of Pokémon 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 to swim.
How to Unlock the Swim Upgrade in Pokémon 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 Pokémon 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.
There are plenty of other things to discover in this Pokemon iteration, check out our other Pokemon Scarlet and Violet guides.