Pokemon Legends Arceus BraviarySource: The Pokemon Company (screenshot)

During a February 2021 Pokémon Presents presentation, the Pokémon Company unveiled a new game called Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It marks a new direction for the Pokémon series. Many people are even comparing this more open-world style to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It's early, but it already looks like it'll be one of the best RPGs on the Nintendo Switch. Here's everything you need to know about the brand new Pokémon game.

Pokemon Legends Box Art

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a new Pokémon game centered around exploration and discovery in ancient Sinnoh.

Update August 15, 2021: Pokémon Presents bring new Legends: Arceus info.

During the Pokémon Presents, we learned about regional variants, battle mechanics, and modes of transportation.

Update May 26, 2021: Pokémon Legends: Arceus receives a release date

In a surprise update from Nintendo's Twitter, both Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl received release dates. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is dropping on January 28, 2022.

What is Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a new Pokémon game set in the ancient Sinnoh region. In this era, people from all over the world have settled in Sinnoh to explore this new land. Receiving a partner Pokémon from a professor, you set off to capture every Pokémon and help create Sinnoh's first Pokédex.

What's new in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Pokemon Legends GirlSource: The Pokemon Company

Almost everything, really. Pokémon Legends: Arceus seems like a Breath of the Wild-inspired take on the traditional Pokémon formula. Sinnoh has been transformed into an open world, and you're free to explore the region's untouched mountains, beaches, and forests.

You can hunt for Pokémon much like you did in the Wild area of Pokémon Sword and Shield, but now you can toss a Poké Ball right at the Pokémon and capture them. The movement has been improved, and battles also seem to be tweaked. Now you can engage wild Pokémon alongside your own Pokémon.

Who are the starter Pokémon?

Pokemon Legends StarterSource: The Pokemon Company

Every new region comes with new starter Pokémon. In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, however, you'll come across some familiar faces. The starters include Rowlet from Generation VII, Cyndaquil from Generation II, and Oshawott from Generation V. The mix of starters were captured and brought to Sinnoh by a traveling professor, who remains a mystery at this time.

Are there regional variants?

There sure are. During the August 2021 Pokémon Presents, we learned of four Pokémon with Hisuian region looks. Likely, there are even more within the game.

Name Details
Wyrdeer Pokemon Legends Arceus Wyrdeer Normal/Psychic. This is a Hisuian region-specific evolution of Stantler.
Basculegion Pokemon Legends Arceus Basculegion Water/Ghost type. It's an evolution of Basculin only found in the Hisuian region.
Hisuian Braviary Pokemon Legends Arceus Hisuian Braviary Psychic/Flying. A regional variant of Braviary.
Hisuian Growlithe Pokemon Legends Arceus Hisuian Growlithe Fire/Rock. This is a regional variant of our favorite fire dog. It's head is made of rock.

Can you ride Pokémon?

Pokemon Legends Arceus Riding WyrdeerSource: The Pokemon Company (screenshot)

Yes! We've already seen that players can fly with the help of Hisuian Braviary, cross water with the help of Basculegion, and simply ride around the overworld on the back of Wyrdeer. There are undoubtedly more Pokémon to ride in the game, but we don't know the full extent yet. We'll update when we learn more.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus battle system

Pokemon Legends Arcues BattleSource: The Pokemon Company

Not every Pokémon in Legends: Arceus needs to be battled to catch it. When you approach, some Pokémon will be friendly, others will hide, and others will need to be weakened before you can catch them. Players throw a Poké Ball with one of their Pokémon at a wild creature to start a battle. The battle then begins right there in the overworld without going into a separate battle mode.

The combat order is determined by either Pokémon's stats, including Speed and status conditions. A box displays in the upper right corner, letting you know the order in which Pokémon will be able to attack.

Agile Style and Strong Style

Pokemon Legends Arceus Strong Style LucarioSource: The Pokemon Company (screenshot)

As with the core Pokémon games, each Pokémon can remember up to four moves at a time. However, in Legends: Arceus, each of these moves can be performed in one of two styles: Agile Style or Strong style.

  • Strong Style: Increases power but reduces action speed.
  • Agile Style: Increases speed but reduces power.

You'll need to use these styles accordingly to get the upper hand on your opponents. For example, Strong Style is the way to go if you think you can knock out the other Pokémon in one hit. Meanwhile, if you need to sneak in a few more attacks before your opponent can strike, you'll want to use Agile Style.

What is gameplay like?

Pokemon Legends Arceus Galaxy Expedition ObjectivesSource: The Pokemon Company

Players are out to complete the first-ever Pokédex by working with the Galaxy Expedition Team. You'll be given research tasks, and fulfilling them earns you points. As you earn more points, you'll move up in the rankings and be able to explore new locations.

Whenever you're away from Jubilife Village, you'll be able to stop by Base Camps to rest up, buy supplies, or craft items. Just like Pokémon centers in core Pokémon games, if you faint in battle, you'll wake up at Base camp.

Pokémon: Legends Arceus crafting

Pokemon Legends Arceus CraftingSource: The Pokemon Company

Yep, you read that right. Crafting is brought into the mix in Pokémon: Legends Arceus. So far, it looks like you can craft different Poké Balls, Smoke Bombs, and other items with the help of materials found in the wild. There's definitely more to learn here, but we'll keep our ears to the ground and will update when we learn more.

How many Pokémon will be in the game?

Pokemon Legends BattleSource: The Pokemon Company

We don't have a count of how many Pokémon will appear in the game, but we've caught already caught a glimpse of some familiar Pokémon throughout screenshots and trailers. You can see the full list of confirmed Pokémon for Legends: Arceus.

Will there be two versions of the game?

Pokemon ArceusSource: The Pokemon Company

Breaking away from Pokémon tradition, there's will only be one version of the game. Hopefully, that means we can capture every Pokémon ourselves.

Will there be multiplayer?

Pokemon Legends VillageSource: The Pokemon Company

Breaking away from Pokémon tradition, there is currently no multiplayer planned. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a single-player experience. There may still be other forms of connectivity set to be announced.

What's the story in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Pokemon Legends BidoofSource: The Pokemon Company

We don't know much about the story of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. So far, we know that it takes place years in the past, even before the idea of a Pokémon Trainer or Pokémon League even existed. You're tasked with building the region's first Pokédex, though we still don't know how the titular mythical Pokémon fits in.

When does Pokémon Legends: Arceus release?

Pokemon Legends Open WorldSource: The Pokemon Company

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is set to release on January 28, 2022, for the Nintendo Switch.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus preorder bonus

Pokemon Legends Arcues Growlith Outfit BoyPokemon Legends Arcues Growlith Outfit GirlSource: The Pokemon Company

Anyone who preorders Pokémon Legends: Arceus will get a free Hisuian Growlithe Kimono Set for their character to wear. Players can redeem these clothes once the game releases by going to the Mystery Gifts menu within the game and selecting Get via the Internet.

Can I preorder Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Pokemon Legends Arceus BattleSource: The Pokemon Company

Yes, you can preorder Pokémon Legends: Arceus now for $60. As of right now, there are no special editions available.

Pokemon Legends Box Art

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Pokémon Legends: Arceus promises to take the Pokémon series in a new, open-world direction.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.