Pokmon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, which have been – and will probably continue to be – known to you and me as just Pokmon Switch, have finally been officially revealed, along with another unnamed 2019 Pokmon Switch RPG.
We’ve gathered up every bit of info that we have on Pokmon on Switch in all its forms, including the Pokmon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee release date, a summary of all we know about gameplay in our new features list, and how it differs from next year’s mystery title.
Pokmon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee release date and new features
The Let’s Go games are described as “core RPGs” by the Pokmon Company – in the same way any mainline games, like Gold and Silver or Sun and Moon, are core Pokmon RPGs – and has a release date of November 16th 2018, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.
Though it is a core game like the “mainline, the Let’s Go pair isn’t, by most people’s definition, a new “generation”. That is, it only features one confirmed new Pokmon that we know of at the time of writing, rather than an entire batch of fifty or a hundred odd that comes with new generations.
With information still gradually trickling out about which features are coming and which do – and don’t – return from other core Pokmon games, we’ve decided to collate everything we know about them in one big list. As more information’s released, we’ll begin to break this list up for a bit more clarity.
Pokmon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee new features list:
- You catch Pokmon like you do in Pokmon Go – Motion controls are required for catching Pokmon, either in the form of the gyroscope in handheld mode, the Joy-Con when docked, or via the Pok Ball Plus. You see Pokmon physically appear in the wild, tap on them to interact, and then enter a throwing screen much the same as the one in Go, with mechanics appearing largely the same too.
- No random encounters – Though you’ll still be searching through long grass for Pokmon, they won’t instantly spring upon you, instead appearing physically on the map screen. From there, you can either interact and catch, or leave them be.
- Pikachu and Eevee are set starters – You don’t get to choose from three Pokmon this time: in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, those two Pokmon are your respective starters, although they can at least be put into your box if you end up not being a fan. Pikachu rides outside of its ball on your shoulder, and Eevee on your head.
- Other Pokmon can follow you outside their balls, and you can ride some too – You can’t ride every Pokmon, but big ones (we’re not sure how big they’ll be but Onix and Lapras are some examples) can be ridden, whilst others can all follow you, like the hilarious Electrode in the reveal trailer.
- HMs are still gone – Riding Pokmon seems to be the main way you get past obstacles like water, as it was in Sun and Moon, although it’s not clear how similar the systems will be.
- Trainer battles are still the same – Battles themselves are still turn-based, with Pokmon having four moves, and so on. If and how stats (including IVs and EVs) have changed isn’t currently known, with Game Freak keen not to reveal everything just yet.
- You can import Gen 1 creatures from Pokmon Go to Let’s Go – Any Pokmon of the first 151 that you’ve caught in Pokmon Go can be transferred to Pokmon Let’s Go, via Bluetooth. How frequently and on what scale you’ll be able to do this is still up in the air, but Shinies will reportedly carry over, too!
- There’s local co-op – A friend can jump in at any point by using a second controller to help you, be that in a battle where they act as a ‘support’ trainer, or when catching a Pokmon. You can battle locally against people too.
- You can have multiple saves, but only one per Switch account – So, with one copy of the game both you and a sibling, say, could both play it on that console with your own saves.
- There are version exclusive Pokmon – This is now the main reason to think about getting both versions of the game, or making sure you and a friend have both versions covered.
- There’s no breeding in the game – Big implications for competitive players here, although it’s unclear if there will be any similar system available or not.
- You can’t get to Johto – Being set in Kanto (which famously was accessible from Johto in the Gold, Silver and Crystal games), some players were wondering if this was possible. It seems that it’s not.
- Impact on canon – Another question is its position in the timeline and effect on the ‘canon’ of the mainline games is still unknown. Eurogamer was present at the announcement conference and, when asked about this, developer Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda was… evasive, to say the least, refusing to talk about whether characters or references from the other core RPGs would appear in the Let’s Go pair at all.
Whatever label you want to put on it, the Let’s Go games can be boiled down to this: they’re core RPG Pokmon games made in a new way, designed at catching a wider audience and bringing in a new generation of players (like the millions who’s first introduction to Pokmon was with Pokmon Go), while still being chock-full of fan-service for the long-time players.
Other Pokmon Switch games explained – what’s the difference between Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, and the 2019 Pokmon RPG?
At the May 2018 press conference in Tokyo, the Pokmon Company International revealed information on three new, different Pokmon games, a new peripheral, and a surprise release of the first Alolan Form to Pokmon Go, too.
In short, it was a bit of a whirlwind conference. There are three Pokmon games that we’re now aware of as either launched on the spot, or coming to the Switch in the future: Pokmon Quest, Pokmon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee (we’ll count them as one), and the currently untitled “core RPG” Pokmon game due to come out on the Nintendo Switch in 2019.
We’ve already discussed Pokmon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. What about the other two?
Quest is a “free to start” Pokmon game that’s available on the Switch right now, and will be coming to Android and iOS smartphones in late June.
A cute-looking, simplified Pokmon experience it features some lovely cuboid visuals, cooking recipes and some less-than-lovely, but typically mobile-game monetisation.
The untitled 2019 Pokmon RPG
Information on this game is very thin on the ground, but we know it’s coming in the second half of 2019 (expect that to be the last quarter of 2019 really, given Pokmon’s record for late-in-the-year releases), and that it’s “in the style of Pokmon X and Y and Sun and Moon”.
You can interpret that in all kinds of ways, but given the knowledge that’s available we take that to mean that it will be a more recognisable Pokmon RPG – the more “hardcore” aspects like EVs and IVs (that we still don’t know about for Let’s Go), wild Pokmon battling, and so on are more likely to feature in that game.
Given that wild Pokmon battles and new generations of Pokmon are the most notable core RPG-style features missing from Let’s Go, you can reasonably deduce that they’re being considered for the 2019 game.
The thing to remember, though, is that this game is over a year away, and as such its features are going to still be very much in flux. If the new Go-style catching of Let’s Go (more on that below) is a massive hit, then there’s nothing to say it won’t continue in the 2019 game. As we’re well aware at this point, the Pokmon Company does love a good surprise, so keep your expectations in check!