If you’re physically stuck in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet because… oh I don’t know, you randomly fell through the floor, I’ve got good news for you. The game has an autosave function turned on by default, and it’s not related to manual saves. So you’ve got a non-intrusive backup for when the game decides to trap you in a hell of its own making. One player even reports that Scarlet and Violet has a third, secret autosave that keeps a record even if you’ve manually disabled the function. So you’ve got three different types of save at any given time.
Autosave has been around since Pokémon Sword and Shield, but that title was also significantly more stable at launch. Scarlet and Violet is a buggy mess. So you do need to keep the function on, no matter how tempting it is to reject modernity and embrace tradition.
Assuming that you haven’t manually disabled it from the “Options” screen, the game will automatically create a save whenever you’re at a Pokémon center, or after plot-critical sections of the game. I’ve also found that the game saves randomly during exploration, but this is less reliable. So I would still recommend saving immediately after you capture a wild Pokémon, just in case.
But even if you’ve disabled the function, you can still automatically load a secret autosave by hitting the up arrow, X, and B in the main menu. This third save method exists independently of both manual save and the regular autosave. So if you ever lose dozens of hours of progress, just remember: Up, X, and B. Kotaku has independently confirmed that this method works as described even while autosave is off.
Of course, it sucks that we have to resort to these workarounds to begin with. Some critics blame the Nintendo Switch for being dated hardware, but that doesn’t really explain why the camera is so wonky or why Pokémon can fall through the ground during battle. One has to wonder if Scarlet and Violet have so many save methods because the developers anticipated not having the time to fix all of the issues. Kotaku reached out to Nintendo to ask if this was the case, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
So go forth and glitch through random NPCs to your heart’s content.