Pokémon Let's Go! Pikachu and Eevee may be packed with nostalgia, but they're also the easiest starting point for new players wanting to visit the world of Pokémon for the very first time. With plenty of tie-ins to Pokémon GO, simpler mechanics, and a smart, smooth way to orientate new players without pages and pages of tutorials, Pokémon Let's Go is probably the most accessible (in terms of understanding, if not control scheme) Pokémon game yet.
Don't be concerned if you've opened the game and still aren't sure what to do. Here is a quick guide for how to make sense of Pokémon Let's Go! Pikachu or Eevee if it's your first time.
- Catch lots of Pokémon!
- Catch the same Pokémon multiple times
- How to catch Pokémon
- Adventuring with your Pokémon
- Bond with your partner
- Talking to others
Catch lots of Pokémon!
Pokémon Let's Go! is more like Pokémon GO than other, previous Pokémon games in that it wants you to catch lots and lots and lots of Pokémon, including lots of duplicates! The game offers rewards (more on that in a moment) for catching lots of the same Pokémon in an area, practically showers you in Poké Balls to do it with, and gives you easy access to a view of each Pokémon's relative strength, as well as a quick tool to swap out your battling party with the rest of your team at any time. Essentially, there's nothing stopping you from parking your butt on a route and catching Bulbasaurs until you find the perfect one.
Catch the same Pokémon multiple times in a row
To elaborate on that a bit further: while you certainly want to catch one of everything for your Pokédex, it's also beneficial to focus on catching lots of one type of Pokémon in order to set up a Catch Combo. Catch Combos are added to the Experience your team gets after catching a Pokémon, so they can be beneficial in leveling up your team. However, they also allow you to find rare Pokémon in places you don't normally see them!
As your Catch Combos get higher, you increase the chances of seeing a rare Pokémon running around. What does rare Pokémon mean? It could be anything from Pokémon that will have higher stats as they level up, or rarer, powerful Pokémon types (such as a Chansey!) or even shiny, differently-colored Pokémon. You'll need to get to a Catch Combo of 10 or higher to start seeing the difference, and you can get that even higher by reaching combos of 20, 30, or more.
How to catch Pokémon
Of course, the actual act of catching Pokémon can be a bit tricky, admittedly! If you're brand new to the kind of Poké Ball throwing you do in Pokémon GO, it's good to get some practice with the 50 Poké Balls you start out with on Route 1. The Pokémon there don't move very fast and are easy to capture, so you can get a good feel for your throws.
You'll use the motion controls to throw Poké Balls at Pokémon, and yes, you do need to aim a bit. Throwing harder or softer will cause the Poké Ball to fly further or closer, respectively, and aiming to one side or another as you throw will cause it to go in either direction. That'll come in handy later, but to start with, just focus on throwing at the center where the early game Pokémon are.
You'll also want to watch the "rings" around the Pokémon. One is colored, either green, yellow, orange, or red. That indicates how easy the Pokémon is to catch. Green is the easiest, and it goes up from there. If you see a Pokémon with orange or red rings, you'll want to consider using a Razz Berry to make it easier to capture, or upgrading to a Great or Ultra Ball if you have one. But even if you don't, Poké Balls can still work. You just may have to be persistent.
The further you get in the game, the more often you'll see difficult Pokémon to capture, or the more Pokémon will move around and make it hard to aim at them. There are berries to alleviate that, too! Keep your bags full of Poké Balls and Berries, and practice a lot in the early game.
Adventuring with your Pokémon
You should always have one Pokémon following you around the map in addition to Pikachu and Eevee riding on your shoulder. You can bring one out by opening your menu, selecting a Pokémon in your party, and choosing to remove it from its Poké Ball in the options that appear.
It will then follow you around! You can talk to it to find out how it's feeling, and sometimes it will notice items in bushes or on the ground. If your Pokémon runs off on its own with a "!" over its head, go talk to it and see what it's doing. It may have an item for you.
Some Pokémon that are larger will let you ride on them. This will happen automatically when you have a Pokémon capable of this selected outside its Poké Ball. These Pokémon can help you move through the world faster, and some will even fly you around very late in the game. Experiment with different Pokémon following you to help make your adventures even bigger.
Bond with your partner
In addition to having a Pokémon follow you at all times, you can also bond with your Pikachu or Eevee partner through the very top option in your menu. In this menu, you can pet your partner or offer it berries for snacks. This will make your friend happier, which in turn will allow it to perform certain special actions spontaneously in battle. For instance, it may hold onto a sliver of health after an otherwise fatal blow because it doesn't want to worry you, or it may shake off status effects earlier than expected. You can also strengthen your bond by taking your partner for a walk in a Poké Ball Plus controller if you have it.
Talk to everyone you see
Finally, remember: Pokémon Let's Go! is an RPG at its core, and one of the first rules of any RPG is to talk to absolutely everyone you see. Most people early in the game will offer advice, direction, or assistance that can help you understand the world of Pokémon better and navigate your journey. Many will give you free items, from Potions to TMs. Some may even give you free Pokémon (though avoid paying a lot of money for an easy-to-find Pokémon like Magikarp, if asked). Finally, some will offer extra challenging battles, or will provide helpful knowledge about the world around you and how Pokémon interact with it that you can use later in your journey. Everyone has something helpful to tell you if you give them the time to say it.
Still a struggling new trainer?
If you have a specific question about Pokémon Let's Go! Pikachu or Eevee, let me know in the comments!
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