Pokemon: Let’s Go – Everything You Need To Know About Pokemon’s Switch Debut

The first major new Pokémon title made specifically for the Nintendo Switch has been announced — Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! are set to introduce beginners to the complicated world of Pokémon.

We’ve been waiting a long time for a new Pokémon main series game on the Nintendo Switch (Pokémon Star, anyone?) and this isn’t quite that — Pokémon: Let’s Go is a spin-off / remake that takes players back to the original Kanto Region, with enhanced graphics and presentation, simpler mechanics, and a huge, fully-realized world to explore.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! are scheduled to release in North America on Nov. 16th on the Nintendo Switch. Both variations cost $59.99.

#1: Pokémon: Let’s Go Is A Remake Of Pokémon Yellow

Described as a total remake of Pokémon Yellow, you’ll play as a trainer in the Kanto Region and have access to all 151 original Generation 1 Pokémon. While we don’t have any details, apparently there will be new Pokémon included in the game — and Alolan Pokémon forms will be making an appearance.

The remake follows the adventures of your custom Pokémon trainer. You’ll talk to Professor Oak, leave Pallet Town, and encounter Team Rocket. Elements of the anime series will also appear — Team Rocket is confirmed, but Brock and Misty will likely have a little bit of their anime personalities when you take them on at their respective gyms.

#2: Play With One Joy-Con & Share For Cooperative Play

For the first time in the series, you can play the entire game cooperatively on the Nintendo Switch. You only need one Joy-Con to play, so you can give your second Joy-Con to friends or family and they can join you locally for some couch co-op. Picking up a second controller, the trailer shows a second trainer jumping into the game — presumably, you’ll be able to join at any time.

Both players will work together to capture Pokémon or fight during a trainer battle. You can also play through local wireless or over a Wi-Fi connection with friends that own another copy of the game. You can fight friends, trade Pokémon, or work together. It appears you can only play co-op locally — if you want to fight or trade, you’ll need your own copy of Pokémon: Let’s Go on your own Nintendo Switch.


#3: Pokémon: Let’s Go Is Bringing Lots of Changes

Let’s get this out of the way, Pokémon: Let’s Go is tailored for kids — it is a simplified version of the core games, and it is not meant to replace the cores games. A new core title is still scheduled for release in 2019 on the Nintendo Switch. Pokémon: Let’s Go simplifies the series in plenty of ways, so let’s run them down.

  • To catch Pokémon, you’ll have to use “Throw” mechanics similar to Pokémon: Go instead of a turn-based battle. You’ll use the Joy-Con to throw pokeballs using motion controls.
  • Battles with other players and NPC trainers are still included. Battles are still turn-based, and you’ll be able to send out Pokémon and select attacks.
    • You can battle other players via Wi-Fi or local wireless connection with another Nintendo Switch.
    • You can even play cooperatively with another player by linking a second Nintendo Switch.
  • Pokémon don’t jump out of the grass. You’ll see them on the map while you explore.
  • Breeding and eggs have been removed from the game.
    • Trading Pokémon is included.
  • You will not be able to evolve your starter Pokémon.
    • Wild Pokémon that you catch can be evolved.

#4: You Can Link Pokémon: Let’s Go With Pokémon: GO

You can transfer Pokémon you’ve captured in Pokémon: GO to your Nintendo Switch copy of Let’s Go with a Bluetooth connection to your mobile device. You can even use the new Pokémon device, called the Poké Ball Plus, with both games —  it’s a full-sized Poké Ball you can throw. It replaces the Joy-Con, and can be used in both games. It is not required for either game.

Moving Pokémon: GO to Let’s Go is possible, but you won’t be able to transfer your Let’s Go roster to Pokémon: GO. It’s a one-way mechanic, that only allows you to copy from your mobile device to your Nintendo Switch.

#5: Pokémon: Let’s Go Has Two Versions 

Like all the mainline series of games, there are two versions of Pokémon: Let’s GoLet’s Go, Eevee! and Let’s Go, Pikachu! For now, we know that the different versions will give you the Pokémon in the title as your starter. Presumably, there will also be other small changes, but your starter Pokémon is pretty important in this game. You’ll be able to interact with them more — and dress them up!

And don’t worry, you only need one of these games. You don’t need both. You’ll still get the full Kanto region and story — the only major difference in other games are which Pokémon you’ll encounter in your adventures. And even then, it’s only a small fraction of the Pokémon that are exclusive to a particular version.

Pokémon: Let’s Go takes aim at new fans, pulling them in with only the most familiar aspects of the Pokémon series — Pokémon: GO and the anime. It cuts features, simplifies others, and expands playability so you can enjoy the entire game cooperatively. Right now, it sounds like a perfect introduction to Pokémon for very young players looking for something that isn’t too challenging.