PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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I'm basically scoping out how soon a surfer is required in every game. no glitches or exploits to skip badges or get surf early. (I know it's actually possible to skip a few gyms in kanto)

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The Hoenn and Sinnoh games all require 5 badges and won't let you skip to the fifth gym. I don't know about the other ones.
I think it is 5-6 Badges.

I know this from playing Let’s Go and Sw/Sh
Assuming that you think skipping badges is a glitch in kanto, it isn't. It's always been an intended feathre to leave most cities without a certain objective cofeature in kanto.

1 Answer

2 votes

Kanto: 3 (Because, after being misty and getting cut, you can go straight to Fushia. If you want to fight Koga later on, you have to fight him before the 7th badge)
Johto: 4
Hoenn: 5
Sinnoh: 5
Unova: 6 (5 in black and white 2) (note that, In black and white, surf isn't nessacery, but you're forced to get it)
Kalos: 3

Now for the things that allow you to surf:

Lapras Pokèride in Alola: Second Trial Completed
Sea skim in LGPE: 3 badges (you need the cut technique too)
The Rotom Bike with the surfing upgrade in SwSh: 6 badges

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edited by
ah, the nostalgia. i love being Misty. so sad they took it out in HG/SS. Also, for me it was 2:56pm when beating Pearl.
In Kanto, it's possible to get Surf on your third badge, but it's not *an obstacle to further progress* until you have 6 and need to get to Cinnabar Island.

In Johto, you can't fight Jasmine until you've been to Cianwood which of course requires crossing water, and you can't fight Pryce until you've surfed out to the red Gyarados and cleared out the Rocket Hideout quest.
Thanks SadisticMisty.