Dratini is an elegantly adorable Dragon-type in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet with a slender snake-like appearance more akin to the dragons in Asian fables than Western mythology. Dratini is the base form of its evolution family and can transform into Dragonair and Dragonite once specific conditions have been met. Catching Dratini or causing it to faint will also yield Dratini Scales, a pocket monster-dropped material used for crafting TMs like Dragon Tail or Outrage. It should be noted that Dratini typically spawns at a notably higher level than most base evolution forms in Scarlet and Violet. As a result, Trainers will likely only be able to catch this Dragon-type creature during the late game.
To catch Dratini in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Trainers can search in two particular locations on the Paldea region map. The first is the sizeable unnamed lake north of the North Province (Area Two) Pokécenter. This lake is the home to a variety of pocket monsters, including the rare nocturnal Mismagius. Dratini typically appears on the water’s surface; therefore, the ability to swim atop one’s Mount will be required. The Aquatic Mode for Koraidon and Miraidon is unlocked by defeating the Open Sky Titan: Bombirdier.
The second location where Dratini might spawn is the massive Casseroya Lake of northwestern Paldea in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. This place poses a bigger challenge for finding Dratini due to its sheer size. Moreover, some fans, like YouTuber Kibbles, have complained about the framerate drops that occur when swimming across the lake, making it quite tricky to approach a Wild Dratini cautiously. Dratini are quite timid and will submerge if they feel too threatened in Scarlet and Violet. Therefore, it is essential that Trainers do not rush too quickly to their target after finding this Dragon-type serpent.
Additionally, there is a third potential spot where Dratini might appear, according to the Paldean Dex in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. This location is the river and mountain spring of South Province (Area Six). Nevertheless, unless Trainers have unlocked the ability to climb with their Mount by defeating the False Dragon Titan: Tatsugiri, reaching the areas where the Dragon-type pocket monster might spawn can be a challenge. Once players finally confront a Wild Dratini, they can weaken it for a catch by using Ice-, Dragon-, or Fairy-type Moves. Dratini evolves based on its current level in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. After attaining Level 30, it will transform into Dragonair, and at Level 55, it will evolve into the Dragon- and Flying-type Dragonite.
More: Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: Where to Find a Ice Stone (& What It’s For)