Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee: Tips & tricks!

Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee have finally hit store shelves and the eShop, so rejoice, Pokémon fans! It's time to set out on a journey to become the next Pokémon master with your own adorable Pikachu or Eevee that follows you around everywhere.

Pokémon Let's Go is essentially a remake of Pokémon Yellow, but with a modern twist thanks to the gameplay style of Pokémon GO. So instead of going out and battling wild Pokémon, you'll be catching them Pokémon GO style, which is by throwing a Poké Ball at them. It's a bit different from the traditional Pokémon games that we know and love, but it's a refreshing new take on a classic franchise.

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Whether you're a newcomer from Pokémon GO or a long time veteran of Pokémon, there's a lot to discover in the Let's Go games (and quite a few differences from the original games), regardless of which version you pick. Here are some tips and tricks to help you out on your journey to become the very best!

Bond with your Pokémon

Whether you pick Pikachu or Eevee, you'll want to bond with your chosen Pokémon. This may sound silly at first, but there are a lot of benefits to doing so.

The main perk of bonding with them are the sure-hit moves that they can use in battle. Pikachu gets two exclusives: Pika Popow (power increases depending on your friendship level) and Splishy Splash (Water-type move with chance of paralysis). Eevee gets four unique moves: Veevee Volley (power dependent on friendship level), Bouncy Bubble (Water-type move that heals Eevee for half of damage done to opponent), Buzzy Buzz (Electric-type move that paralyzes foes when hit), and Sizzly Slide (Fire-type move that burns foes when hit).

Plus, how can anyone resist the adorable charm of petting and playing dress up with Pikachu or Eevee in mini-games?

Understand candies

In Pokémon GO, you get candy specific to each Pokémon, which you can use to power them up or evolve them. There was also Rare Candy, which increased the number of Pokémon-specific candy by one. Candies in Let's Go work differently.

With Let's Go, candies are used to increase your Pokémon's stats instead of leveling. There are different categories of candy: Quick, Smart, Mighty, Tough, Health, and Courage, which raise Speed, Sp. Attack, Physical Attack, Physical Defense, Health Points, and Sp. Defense, respectively by one point. Rare Candy makes a comeback, which increases Pokémon level by one.

Pokémon-specific candy will boost all of their stats by one. These candies are obtained by transferring Pokémon to the professor, or earning Catch Combos.

You can earn more XP from catching than battling

In older Pokémon games, all of your experience was earned from battling. But in Let's Go, the focus is entirely on catching (there are some battles to do), and you end up earning more XP this way.

When you catch Pokémon, you have the possibility of earning massive multipliers from the catching process, since every little thing counts. Getting a Nice, Great, or Excellent throw bonus, first attempt, new Pokémon to register, successful catch, good technique, etc. All of these factors count towards the multiplier, which increases your earned XP.

If you're a pro at Pokémon GO, then racking up that XP in Let's Go should be easy peasy. It's way faster than going through battles, let's be honest here.

Prioritize catching Huge or Tiny Pokémon if you can

Speaking of XP multipliers, you should look for Huge or Tiny Pokémon too. These Pokémon have red or blue swirling rings around them to indicate whether they're Huge (Red) or Tiny (Blue). Their size affects their stats, while also providing you with another bonus in the catching phase for more XP.

Speed is of the essence

In Pokémon GO, Pokémon could flee after an unsuccessful catch attempt. While this is frustrating, you would at least be able to try to catch it before it ran away.

With Let's Go, Pokémon can actually flee at any point during the catching process, including after you feed them a berry or mid-throw. So if you really want a Pokémon, such as a higher evolution or a rare one, quickly use a berry and the best balls you have, and don't waste any time.

Wait around in the tall grass and other environments

A big change in Let's Go is the fact that you can see what Pokémon spawn, so there are no random encounters like past games. This means you can be selective about the type of Pokémon you are going after, though that also means you'll get XP at a slower rate than if you catch everything.

You'll also notice certain Pokémon spawn in certain areas. Waiting around allows you to see everything that spawns in a route or dungeon, including rare Pokémon, since they're all on a spawn rotation.

Strive for Catch Combos

There's a benefit to going after one type of Pokémon for a while: Catch Combos. If you catch one species of Pokémon consecutively, a Catch Combo starts, giving you more of an XP bonus when catching, and improving the chance of catching a rare Pokémon or shiny. If you end up running into a different Pokémon, you can "Run Away" and not break the streak, but catching a different Pokémon resets it.

Just keep in mind that if you want a shiny, you're definitely going to have to be patient, as they are incredibly rare, even with the catching streaks. Rare Pokémon include rarer spawns, or even a Pokémon with perfect or above average stats.

Talk to every NPC

As with most RPGs, talking to every NPC in Let's Go is very beneficial for you. While a lot of the NPCs may have humorous quips or beginner tips, some will ask you to do favors in exchange for a reward, or they'll give you a gift just because. Gifts can be money, useful items or Poké Balls, or even unique Pokémon.

There are also certain trainers in green outfits that you'll encounter on routes. These trainers allow you to do training battles. It's recommended to always battle them, because you'll end up with a nice cash reward after defeating them (more than other regular trainers), along with an item or even a Technical Machine (TM), and a good chunk of XP.

Oh, and find that man who sells you a Magikarp for 500 Pokémon Dollars. That's a bargain price for a future Gyarados! Other gifted Pokémon will have higher than normal stats too, so keep that in mind.

Always have a Pokémon follow you

While your chosen Pokémon won't ever stay in a Poké Ball, Pikachu and Eevee aren't the only Pokémon that you can have following you. In fact, Pikachu and Eevee get carried around on your shoulder or head, so you can pick another Pokémon from your party to follow you.

It's always useful to have a Pokémon follow you, because they'll notice and find hidden items for you. It's easy to tell when this happens, since the Pokémon has an exclamation mark over them.

A lot of times, the item your Pokémon will find are berries, which are hidden. But they can find other items too.

Trade for Alolan Pokémon

Sometimes you'll find some NPCs in Pokémon Centers who will make some strange trades. For example, they may ask for a Rattata in exchange for a Rattata. When you see this kind of trade, it's an opportunity for an Alolan Pokémon.

Even though Let's Go takes place in Kanto with the original Generation One (original 151 Pokémon), they added the Alolan forms (introduced in Gen VII) of the original 151 Pokémon in Let's Go. So you'll find moustache-Rattata, icy Sandshrews and Vulpix, rainbow Grimer, surfer Raichu, super-tall Exeggutor, and the other Alolan Pokémon in Let's Go, as long as you can make the trade for it.

Look for Professor Oak's aide

As you make progress in the game by catching Pokémon and filling out your Pokédex, you'll want to look for a man in a white lab coat. No, not Professor Oak himself, but rather his aide.

As you discover a certain number of Pokémon species, he will give you gifts like Poké Balls, or even help you rate your Pokémon stats. With enough Pokémon, he even gives you a unique lab coat outfit for your Pikachu or Eevee.

Get the original three Kanto starters

Though you start out with only Pikachu or Eevee, depending on the version you pick, it is possible to get the original three Kanto starter Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle.

All three of these can be found in the wild. In fact, I found Bulbasaur pretty early on in my version (Eevee), as it was in Veridian Forest (right before Pewter City).

However, you can also get a free Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle by talking to three specific NPCs in the game. For Bulbasaur, a lady in a house north of the main Cerulean City entrance will give you a free one. Charmander is given to you by a struggling trainer just after Nugget Bridge on Route 24 north of Cerulean City. And Officer Jenny in Vermillion City hands you a Squirtle.

It's time to be the very best, like no one ever was!

Now that we've bestowed these awesome tips and tricks onto you, it's time to go out there and catch some Pokémon! After all, they aren't going to catch themselves, and you want to be the next Pokémon master!

Are you playing Pokémon Let's Go? Have any other tips on how to play? Make sure to share them in the comments below!

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Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.