Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s “locked face expression bug” creates some bizarre moments

Image Credit: @zfg111 on Twitter

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has an issue where player characters’ facial expressions are being locked into place. It seems like the issue mainly occurs during online play and has players’ facial expressions frozen in place in a variety of situations, creating some bizarre scenes.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet provide players with an open world to explore. Set in the Paldea region, towns and fields are seamlessly connected, and players are given a lot of freedom in how they can tackle their journey. It’s also possible to explore this world with friends. Up to four players can get together for exploring, picnics, taking pictures, and battling either cooperatively or against each other.

The game also has an emote feature with a variety of poses and expressions which lets players show how they feel while out in the world. Players also have the ability to take pictures and selfies using the Rotom Phone, so you can choose the right emote for an occasion and take a commemorative photo.

However, while the emote feature provides a wealth of expressions to choose from, players have been reporting a phenomenon where it conversely erases their expressions. More specifically, after using an emote, their face gets locked into that expression.

It might be easier to understand after looking at some examples posted to social media. In the below tweet, we can see that the sad face the player made for a selfie was locked into place, so even when they’re throwing a Poké Ball, there’s no joy in their eyes. For players that like their characters looking worried, maybe this is good news. Multiple members of our editorial team were able to confirm this “fixed expression bug.”

The bug also seems to impact a variety of cutscenes, such as when eating. In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, players can eat at restaurants or while on picnics which provide useful bonuses. It’s also accompanied by a cutscene where the trainer and their Pokémon are shown enjoying the food.

However, if your character’s expression is locked, even sitting down for a peaceful meal can make for an odd-looking scene. Even under normal circumstances, the food cutscenes are already abstract, with the character rotating, shrinking, and growing in size like an early 3D anime.

The expression that can be fixed to your character’s face appears to differ depending on the emote used. But no matter the face, the fact that it doesn’t change makes for some weird scenes. You could be eating or playing with a ball together with your Pokémon only to have a fixed expression that looks more like a mask.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet also give players a chance to take commemorative photos after clearing big milestones. However, there have been reports on social media of the fixed expression bug impacting these as well. These photos generally have the player posing together with a friend or someone they battled with expressions that match the scene. In other words, a player’s face might be frozen in an expression that’s out of place or not fitting for the situation. It can result in funny photos where the player has a blank expression during what should be a special memory.

On the other hand, there are likely many players that want to take proper pictures during these moments. Whether you want to be silly or serious, it’s probably best to check whether your expression is frozen or not before tackling the game’s main challenges. Many reports say the bug is more likely to occur during online play. We also confirmed it occurring during online play within our editorial team. Additionally, it appears to go away when there’s a loading screen.

There are also reports of player models twisting, growing in size, and just behaving strangely when using emotes online. Maybe we’ll see these strange phenomena fixed in a later update.

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-11-21 15:51 JST)