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Pokémon Legends: Arceus — Can I breed Pokémon?

Pokemon Legends Arceus Lopunny Shaking Tree
Pokemon Legends Arceus Lopunny Shaking Tree (Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus — Can I breed Pokémon?

Best answer: No. Unlike mainline, core Pokémon games, you can't breed new Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. If you want a particular Pokémon, you'll have to catch them or trade for them.

Can I breed Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a departure from previous mainline games in quite a few ways. While the game still revolves around finding Pokémon to fill out your Pokédex, exactly how you go about it and the way the gameplay works has been radically altered. Part of this alteration is found in breeding Pokémon, or more accurately, the lack of breeding.

Unfortunately, if you enjoyed breeding Pokémon, you won't get to do that here, as there's no Pokémon breeding in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. If you want to expand your roster with a particular Pokémon, you'll need to get busy catching Pokémon out in the open-world. It's possible that future DLC or expansions could see breeding added as a feature, but for now, there's nothing to indicate that'll be happening.

Another option for getting the Pokémon you want is through multiplayer in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. While there isn't any head-to-head battles like in prior Pokémon games, you can still trade Pokémon. Outside of going out and catching them in the wild, this is the main way you'll be able to get the Pokémon you want. Trading can be done between two players, so stay looped in with your friends and work together to get all the Pokémon you want!

Pokemon Legends Arceus Trading (Image credit: iMore)

When trading Pokémon, it's worth remembering that another big difference with Pokémon Legends: Arceus is in how there's only one version of the game. This means there are no version exclusives, so you can catch every Pokémon in the game without any outside help. Trading will of course make things go faster though, so keep that in mind.

In past titles, after collecting the correct Pokémon, you could breed them to get more Pokémon of that type, with the chances of getting certain combinations of moves or getting another Pokémon of a particular type to trade to a friend without giving up one you've personally caught. Otherwise, you'd have to go with the random chance of maybe getting a particular move as the Pokémon levels up.

Here in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, that's not possible. These are just some of the differences between Pokémon Legends: Arceus and more mainline Pokémon games. With all these changes, there's a general consensus so far that these could be influential design decisions moving forward, possibly helping to elevate Pokémon Legends: Arceus as one of the best Nintendo Switch games available. We'll be watching to see if the success of this game affects future Pokémon titles but for now, enjoy!

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Nintendo on iMore. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.