Everything you Need to Know Before Playing ‘Pokémon Let’s Go’

Tom Regan
Games Nintendo
Games Nintendo Pokémon

After more than a decade of eager anticipation, the first ever HD Pokémon RPG has finally arrived. Yet, if we’re honest, it’s not quite the game that fans imagined. Despite initially looking like an HD remake of 1998 classic Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Let’s Go is actually something new entirely. Combining the core mechanics of the original with a few elements of the insanely popular Pokémon Go, this surprisingly refreshing remake may take die-hard poké fans off guard.

We’ve already talked at length about why this remake is very much worth gamers’ time – so now it’s time to explain the biggest changes that await players in this reimagining of Kanto. So, grab your finest baseball cap, turn it backwards and get ready to blast the Pokémon theme tune out of your Discman like it’s 1999.

Catching Pokemon – A lot’s changed

For fans who grew-up on the Gameboy games, catching Pokémon in Let’s Go is a totally different ball game. Why? Because this time, well…. it’s literally a ball-throwing mini game.

In Let’s Go, catching those adorable little critters functions a lot like it does in its similarly named cousin, Pokémon Go.

Pokemon Let's Go catching

With trainers no longer required to battle and weaken Pokémon, you’ll instead use the Joycon, Pokéball Plus controller or the Switch’s gyro scope to grow your Pokédex by chucking balls at your quarry. Trickier ‘mon will require a few berries to coax them into submission and like in the old games, tougher targets will need you to switch from base Pokéballs to balls of the Great and Ultra variety. You can, again like in Go, use a lure to help attract a variety of different Pokemon to you.

While that sounds a bit bland, where this mechanic gets really interesting (and addictive) is in the catch combos.

Catch Combos

Pokemon Let's Go wild Pokemon

When out in the wild, you’ll see Pokémon running around tall grass, caves and swimming through the tide of various bodies of water. Yet, the quality of the Pokémon you’ll encounter will depend on how much effort you’re putting into your catching. If you continue to catch a slew of the same Pokémon, your catch combo will grow – and trust us, it’s worth doing.

Once you’ve caught yourself multiple versions of the same ‘mon, you’ll not only build yourself up an XP multiplier but more crucially — rare Pokémon will then begin to appear in your area.

Whether it’s that same Growlithe but with better stats, or a new Pokémon coaxed out of hiding that rarely appears in your current area, farming the same ‘mon is a great way to attract some of Kanto’s rarest specimens.

Sending Pokémon to Professor Oak

Pokemon Let's Go professor oak

Back in the good old days, you could only take six Pokémon with you on your Kanto adventure. Every time you caught another, it would be sent flying off to your ‘box’ – the weird, Pokémon version of Cloud storage. It was all very cool, except, in order to swap Pokémon between your party and (this weird cryogenic computer storage system) you’d have to schlep it over to a Pokécentre and access an ancient-looking PC.

No longer. Now, you can shift Pokémon between your party and your box on the fly. Yet, with you regularly catching a ton of the same creatures, there’s now a juicy reward for sending your duplicates back to Professor Oak – candies.

Candies Are Crucial to Improving Your ‘Mon

Pokemon Let's Go Candies

In Let’s Go, candies are the key to raising strong Pokémon. As old-school fans will know, EVs used to be the most crucial part of any Pokémon game. With each Pokémon given a different nature, in previous games, fighting the same ‘mon over and over would allow you to increase certain stats – known as Effort Values, or EVs. While there was a satisfaction to be found in this pain-staking process, it was pretty long-winded.

The only other option to help boost your Pokémon in the original games was to feed them pricey items like Zinc, Iron and Calcium, which would boost one specific stat. Still with us? Good – because in Let’s Go, improving your ‘mon just got a whole lot easier. Candies now fill this void. These stat-boosting sweets come in two main varieties:  partner Pokémon specific candies (Eevee Candies and Pikachu Candies) and then candies that can be fed to any Pokémon.

Partner candies raise every stat of your partner Pokémon at once, and can be found as items in the wild, or given to you by trainers. The other candies each boost an individual stat, e.g quick candies raise speed, mighty candies defence, etc.

Using a blend of these candies encourages players to keep catching and transferring Pokémon to Professor Oak, and allows you to really invest in the pocket monsters that you want to train up for the long haul. If you want an edge in online battles or to stand toe to toe with the Elite 4 – don’t neglect these tasty Poké treats.

How to Transfer Pokémon From Pokémon GO

If you’ve caught yourself a badass trope of ‘mon in Go and are eager to get them over to Let’s Go, we’ve got some bad news… you’re going to have to wait a while. While Let’s Go lets you bring over all your Go ‘mon, you won’t be able to do so until you reach Fuschia City — the city that’s home to Kanto’s fifth gym.

In the meantime though, players can sync their Go account with Let’s Go. Hop into the main Let’s Go menu, hit “Open Pokémon Go setting” and then leave it to do its thing. Open Pokémon Go’s setting menu, scroll all the way down to the bottom and you’ll see a device list and Nintendo Switch sitting at the top. Tap “connect to Nintendo Switch” and hey presto, you’ve got Pokémail.

Pokemon- Let's Go female trainer with Eevee on arm

While transferring Pokémon over from Go could be potentially game-breaking, cleverly, Nintendo allows Go creatures to keep their stats, but come back into Kanto as a level 1 Pokémon. Once you’re in Fuschia, head to the Pokémon Go Safari park (situated at the top of the city) and everything is pretty self-explanatory.

It’s worth noting, however, that once you’ve transferred Pokémon over to Let’s Go, they’re there for good.

Save your game!

While plenty of quality of life improvements have been made here, autosave certainly isn’t one of them. Don’t forget to head to your menu and save manually before ending your adventure for the day.

Tom Regan
Having written for everyone from Trusted Reviews to The Guardian, Tom is a London based writer who can't stop talking about games. Now he's joined the team at FANDOM as gaming editor, we have to constantly remind ourselves that he's not actually Ed Sheeran.
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