After recent leaks and rumors, The Pokemon Company has announced Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee for Nintendo Switch. Inspired by Pokemon Yellow, the new Pokemon RPGs are set in the Kanto region and also connect to Pokemon Go. Here’s everything we know about the new Pokemon games so far, including what rumors were correct and how Pokemon Go fits into the picture.
What Are They?
Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee are not the core Pokemon RPG announced for Switch during Nintendo’s E3 2017 press conference; that game, often called “Pokemon Switch,” is set to release in late 2019. The Let’s Go games are mainline Pokemon RPGs, however, and are developed by Game Freak. Director and producer Junichi Masuda said that the Let’s Go games are specifically designed for newcomers to the Pokemon series, especially those who are familiar with Pokemon Go, and that they have been in development for around two years.
So Is This Pokemon Go On Switch?
No. Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee do share a lot with Pokemon Go, as was rumored; they utilize Go’s Pokemon capture mechanics, meaning you throw Poke Balls at wild Pokemon to catch them rather than battling them. You can also connect the Let’s Go games to Go via a Bluetooth connection, and you can transfer Pokemon from Go into Let’s Go (though not the other way around). Pokemon appear in the overworld before you can initiate capturing them, and you can send gifts to Pokemon Go from Let’s Go as well.
However, the Let’s Go games are Pokemon RPGs, and you explore the Kanto region just as you would in Red and Blue. While you can’t battle wild Pokemon, you can battle NPCs and other players, and those battles use the turn-based system of the main Pokemon games. You get experience points both from catching Pokemon as well as battling other trainers, though Masuda said the leveling system hasn’t been finalized yet.
Is Pokemon Go Required? What About Motion Controls?
Pokemon Go is not required to play the Let’s Go games. When catching Pokemon in docked mode, you do have to use motion controls to throw Poke Balls. In handheld mode, motion-control aiming (using the gyroscope) is required, but you use the Joy-Con’s buttons to actually throw the ball.
Are They Pokemon Yellow Remakes?
This was a prominent rumor, but it’s not accurate. The Let’s Go games are entirely new games in the main series. They are heavily inspired by Yellow, though, and Pikachu or Eevee (depending on your version) stays by your side the whole game rather than going in a Poke Ball while you explore. These games are set in Kanto, but we don’t know what the story will be like.
How Does Transferring Pokemon From Go Work?
The Let’s Go games connect to Pokemon Go via Bluetooth, and the ability to transfer Pokemon from Go is unlocked as you progress through Let’s Go. Once you transfer a Pokemon, it is sent to a specific area called Go Park where you then have to catch it. We don’t yet know how stats will transfer (or if they’ll be randomly generated, as they are in Pokemon Bank when you’re storing Pokemon from the first or second generation games on Virtual Console).
Masuda did confirm that Pokemon that are shiny in Go will remain shiny in Let’s Go. That’s a big deal, since certain Pokemon Go events make shiny Pokemon far more common than they ever would be in the main Pokemon games. However, any Pichu, Pikachu, or Raichu with special hats in Go cannot be transferred to Let’s Go.
Is There Trading, And Do They Connect To Pokemon Bank?
Masuda confirmed that you will be able to trade Pokemon between the Let’s Go games. Transferring Pokemon from Go only works in the one direction. When asked about Pokemon Bank, he said he could not comment; he also did not comment on whether the Let’s Go games would be compatible with present or future Pokemon games.
What Pokemon Are In Let’s Go?
Masuda confirmed that the first 150 Pokemon as well as their Alolan forms from Sun and Moon would appear in Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. We don’t know yet if you’ll unlock an expanded Pokedex when beating the game, like in the remakes of previous generations. Additionally, each version has slightly different Pokemon available (like always).
Eevee’s prominence in these games doesn’t come as a surprise; Eevee has been heavily featured with Pikachu in several recent Pokemon Center merchandise series, the most recent of which, Saiko Soda, is currently only available in Japan. Eevee was also your rival’s starter Pokemon in Pokemon Yellow, which makes it the natural “opposite” of Pikachu for the two Let’s Go versions.
During Nintendo’s E3 2018 presentation, it was confirmed that Mew would be available in the Let’s Go games via the Poke Ball Plus controller. Every Poke Ball Plus will come with a Mew already stored on the device, and this is the only way to get Mew in the Let’s Go games– you won’t be able to transfer Mew from Pokemon Go to Let’s Go.
You Can Catch The Kanto Starters In The Wild
Though it makes sense when you think about it, this is worth a special mention–you’ll be able to catch the Kanto starters in the wild in the Let’s Go games. During a hands-on demo, we caught both a Pikachu and a Bulbasaur in the new Viridian Forest. While Pikachu was found there in the original Red and Blue, Bulbasaur (and Charmander and Squirtle) were not found in the wild previously.
Can Pikachu And Eevee Evolve?
Your starter Pikachu or Eevee cannot evolve in the Let’s Go games. However, other Pikachu or Eevee you catch or transfer can be evolved. Only Jolteon, Flareon, and Vaporeon are available out of Eevee’s eight current evolutions.
Though the starter Pokemon are “special,” according to Masuda, you can put them in the Box as you would other Pokemon–but in these games, the Box is in your bag. We aren’t sure exactly what this means yet.
You Can Ride Pokemon?!
As shown in the trailer, you can ride certain Pokemon in Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. The Pokemon has to be large enough to ride, though how that’s defined isn’t clear. Riding a Pokemon doesn’t require HMs, because there are no HMs in these games.
How Does Training Pokemon Work?
We’re still not exactly sure what training Pokemon will look like in Let’s Go. We do know that Pokemon gain experience when you catch another Pokemon (even though you don’t battle wild Pokemon in these games) and that you can use Experience Share to grant experience points to your entire team. It was revealed during E3 that you can also use Candies to strengthen your Pokemon; later in the game, you will be able to send Pokemon to Professor Oak in exchange for these Candies. This sounds similar to Pokemon Go.
Can You Breed Pokemon? What About Competitive Battles?
There is no Pokemon breeding (and therefore no eggs) in Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. Though battles against NPCs and other players follow the same turn-based format as the core Pokemon games, it’s not yet clear how stats work. That means that competitive Pokemon players, who rely on breeding Pokemon for good IVs (individual values, or starting stats) and training for the correct EVs (effort values, or stats earned through battles), may not have as much to work with in the Let’s Go games. That said, Masuda did mention during our Q&A session that the Let’s Go games are like any other main Pokemon RPGs in that they’re both “accessible” but with “depth” for those who want it.
The official competitive Pokemon series, the VGC, is currently played using Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. When asked what game players will be competing in next year, representatives of The Pokemon Company did not comment.
Can You Trade And Battle Online?
Yes! PR confirmed with GameSpot that the Let’s Go games will have both local wireless and Wi-Fi online features. “However, the feature set will be somewhat simplified in comparison to previous games in that there is no GTS, Wonder Trade, or Battle Spot (Rating Battle, Free Battle, and Online Competition, etc.) for example. Further details will be revealed at a later date.” A Nintendo Switch Online membership is required for Internet-enabled features, but not local wireless.
Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee feature two-player co-op. While playing using one Joy-Con, another player can shake the second Joy-Con and join as a support character when in open areas or battle. This player can help you catch Pokemon and can battle alongside you (though it doesn’t appear to initiate a double battle).
Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee release on Nintendo Switch on November 16. Releasing alongside them (but sold separately) is the Poke Ball Plus controller, which is a Joy-Con-like peripheral you can use when catching Pokemon.