Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: The Great Crater Of Paldea - What Is Area Zero? 1
Image: Nintendo Life

Once you've beaten all three paths — Victory Road, Path of Legends, and Starfall Street — in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, you might think it's all over. But it's not!

Once you've finished all three story paths, you'll get a phone call from Arven, who wants you to come with him to a cordoned-off area in Paldea. This is the very last place you'll visit before the credits roll.

Be aware, this section has major spoilers for the end of the game. If you haven't beaten all three paths yet, we recommend doing that first before reading this guide.

Here's how to start The Way Home story, how to find the Great Crater of Pladea, and discover what Area Zero is.

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Guide: The Way Home - How To Reach Area Zero and The Great Crater of Paldea

Where to find The Great Crater of Paldea

The Great Crater of Paldea is the huge greyed-out area at the centre of Paldea — you've likely heard the name mentioned multiple times, but its purpose, and the reason why the public is prohibited from going, has only just been revealed to you.

Arven will mark the entrance to the Crater on your map — it's southeast of Medali in West Province (Area Three). Fly to Medali (East) and head out of the southeast exit. Follow the path up and around a small uphill section to reach a gate that was previously locked. Head through the gate, and you'll come across a strange metallic structure. Arven will greet you outside, and you'll walk into the building together.

Inside, you're greeted by Penny and Nemona, who will accompany you into the Crater.

You'll find out from the Professor (Sada for Scarlet, Turo for Violet) will tell you you need to head into Area Zero, which you do by going right into the main room, then out onto the deck to be whisked down to the surface.

What is Area Zero?

Area Zero is a brand-new location that's extremely bright, pristine, and closed off to the rest of the world. On your first visit here, you won't be able to ride Koraidon or Miraidon.

This new area has no minimap, but luckily, the path is essentially straight down in a spiral. There are lots of high-level wild Pokémon roaming around, many of which are final evolutions of strong lines — make sure your team is all above level 60 as you'll be challenged to multiple scripted encounters as you descend.

While you're in Area Zero, your goal is to find four research stations and break the locks on them so you can enter the Zero Lab, where you'll find the professor. You'll find plenty of items and TMs as you explore — we've got a list of all Area Zero TMs and locations for you.

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: The Great Crater Of Paldea - What Is Area Zero? 18
Image: Nintendo Life

All Research Station Locations

As you'll essentially be walking down a straight path, you should find each of these with ease, but if you're wowed by Area Zero that you can't keep things straight, we've got you sorted.

Research Station 1

From the entrance, head left and follow the path all the way down. You'll walk across a small river and some dirt terrain — where you'll see the Station from — along the way.

Once you reach there, you'll be attacked by a level 62 Glimmora. Nemona will help you take it down, but use Water-types or Fighting-types if you have them.

Afterwards, enter the base, watch the cutscene, and then examine the monitor (and rest if needed).

Research Station 2

Once again, head left and down the path past Girafarig, Jumpluff, and Venomoth — among other Pokémon. Keep heading straight down to a dirt slope and slide down there to reach the next research base.

You'll be ambushed by a strange new Pokémon here — Scream Tail in Pokémon Scarlet, or Iron Bundle in Pokémon Violet, at level 62. Ghost, Steel, or Poison are good against Scream Tail, while Electric, Grass, and Fighting are best against Iron Bundle. Penny will help you take them down.

Once again, head inside, watch the cutscene (where you'll find out about Paradox Pokémon) and examine the monitor to break the next lock. You'll also get the Scarlet Book or Violet Book.

Research Station 3

This time, go right to continue going down. You'll be walking towards a waterfall. Walk over the water and past the waterfall, plus the huge pile of rocks. Keep walking straight ahead and follow the path to the next Station.

At this station, you'll be attacked by a familiar Pokémon — a level 62 Great Tusk in Scarlet, or Iron Treads in Violet, a much smaller version of The Quaking Earth Titan. Use the same strategy you used back then to take this alternate Donphan down alongside Arven.

Inside, you'll find out more about Koraidon/Miraidon, then you can unlock the gate and head down to the last Research Station.

Research Station 4

Opposite Station 3 there's a huge cave mouth. Walk through it to enter a large crystallised area. A cutscene will play, after which you'll be able to continue walking further down into the cavern. This is simple again — just follow the path around to reach the last Research Station.

This time, you can enter the Station uninterrupted, although it looks in a bit of a state. Things seem like they're going to get bad soon, so unseal the last lock, save it, and rest.

Where to find Zero Lab

Now you've opened all four locks, Zero Lab is waiting. You'll have to head to the bottom of the cavern to reach it, but not without some distractions beforehand.

Follow the path all the way down to the base. It's pretty linear again, but feel free to catch or fight Pokémon on the way down. Once you reach the water, you're there.

The professor will talk to you and advise you to prepare before pressing the monitor right by the lab's door. Listen to them, heal, save, and then interact

After a troubling encounter for Koraidon/Miraidon, you're surrounded by multiple Paradox Pokémon. Again, depending on your version, you'll fight a different Pokémon each time.

  • You and Nemona - Great Tusk (Scarlet), Iron Treads (Violet) Level 64
  • You and Penny - Brute Bonnet (Scarlet), Iron Hands (Violet) Level 64
  • You and Arven - Flutter Mane (Scarlet), Iron Jugulis (Violet) Level 64

Ground-type moves are really good for most of these Pokémon, but Fire, Fighting, Dark, Steel, and Electric also do well against some of these. Your partner will make these encounters much easier, however.

After the three fights, you're free to enter Zero Lab and take on the final boss of the game.

You've finally reached the end of the game — so make sure you're prepared! Let us know if you found this walkthrough helpful, and find out where you can find more Pokémon, battles, items, and more, by checking out the rest of our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet walkthrough guides.