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Pokémon Legends Arceus: Release date, gameplay, how to preorder, and more

Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Pokémon open-world game.
Pokémon fans have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming months between the release of Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl and Pokémon Unite coming to mobile devices, however, one of the most interesting games that's right around the corner is Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

The action RPG, which was unveiled back in February of this year, will aim for a more open-world approach, with The Pokémon Company giving fans a more in-depth look at the game's mechanics during the 18th August Pokémon Presents stream.

Ditching some of the core elements of mainline Pokémon games like Gym battles or random encounters, Pokémon Legends: Arceus seems to be the breath of fresh air the franchise desperately needs to get back on the good side of fans.

Let's take a look at everything we know so far about Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - Release date

pokémon legends arceus
Fans will have to wait until 2022 to get their hands on Legends. (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus will release on 28th January for the Nintendo Switch. Unlike other entries, Legends won't feature different versions as it will sorely focus on a more self-contained story featuring the mythical Gen IV Pokémon. 

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - Cost and preorder

Pokémon Legends: Arceus will retail for $59.99 or the equivalent depending on your region.

Preorders are now up both digitally via the Nintendo eShop, which you can access directly from your Switch and in select retailers such as Amazon.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - Preorder bonus

Growlithe outfit
You can get the Hisuian Growlithe Kimono for free. (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

For players that decide to preorder the game, they'll be able to get the exclusive Hisuian Growlithe Kimono set which can be redeemed up until 9th May via the Mystery Gifts online feature.

growlithe male
Both playable characters can wear the outfit. (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - Gameplay features

We finally have a better look at the game's region, mechanics, new types of Pokémon, and more, let's take a look.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - Hisui region

Hisui region pokémon
The land that will eventually be known as Sinnoh. (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

Players will take control of a trainer living in Hisui, a region that will eventually be known as the iconic land of Sinnoh. As the game takes places hundreds of years in the past, the relationship between humans and Pokémon has yet to develop.

Similar to more recent Pokémon titles like Sword and Shield, random encounters are nowhere to be found, with creatures roaming wild and free across the vastly different landscapes Pokémon Legends: Arceus will feature.

The goal of the game will be a rather familiar one, with some twists added into the mix, as players are tasked with completing the first-ever Pokédex of the Hisui region as part of Jubilife Village's Survey Corps, which are embarking on a journey to discover how Pokémon live and develop on Hisui.

pokemon legends arceus pokedex
Completing different tasks will reward you with more Pokédex info. (Picture. The Pokémon Company)

A new feature found in Arceus' Dex is that players will have to complete different tasks to unlock more information regarding a specific Pokémon, meaning that catching it once won't be enough. 

Some of the examples shown include seeing Pokémon evolve, using the same move a set amount of times, and in the case it has different forms, how many of them you've caught.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - Starter Pokémon

pokémon arceus
Cyndaquil, Rowlet, and Oshawott will be the three starters. (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

Fans noticed that the initial starters for Pokémon Legends: Arceus are not typically associated with the Hisui/Sinnoh region, and we have an answer for that now as Professor Laventon, this game's mentor, has brought them to this land after traveling to various other regions.

The starters are:

  • Cyndaquil (Fire)
  • Rowlet (Grass/Flying)
  • Oshawott (Water)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - New Pokémon

While The Pokémon Company didn't reveal every single new Pokémon the game will feature, we got a glimpse into different regional versions of old familiar faces as well as new ones.

 Wyrdeer

wyrdeer
Wyrdeer appears to be an Ice type Pokémon. (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

Basculegion

basculegion
Oh, this is definitely a flying type Pokémon right? (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

Hisuian Braviary

hisuian braviary
Now don't go ruffling its feathers or... (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

The Hisuian Braviary will be a Psychic/Flying-type.

Hisuian Growlithe

growlithe
Someone needs a haircut. (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

The Hisuian Gorwlithe will be a Fire/Rock-type.

Worth mentioning that you'll will be able to traverse the world of Hisui by flying alongside Braviary's and riding both Basculegion and Wyrdeer.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - How to catch Pokémon

Pokémon arceus
(Picture: The Pokémon Company)

Here's where things get exciting, as The Pokémon Company showcased a revitalised version of the classic Pokémon catching system.

First off, you need to know this: you don't have to battle every Pokémon you're looking to capture. Depending on their behaviour, some will be more receptive to you, while for others you need to hide near grass to have a shot at throwing a Poké Ball. 

In case you run into an aggressive creature, these will indeed attack you, possibly making you faint if they do enough damage.

pokémon
Yes, Pokémon will finally attack trainers. (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - Battle system

The battle system has received some overhauls while keeping the traditional turn-based elements of it. To start a battle, throw a Poké Ball with one of your companions near a wild creature and you'll automatically enter the battle interphase. 

pokémon battle system
Pokémon Legends: Arceus will feature a unique battle system. (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

Once in this interphase, you'll notice that the game features an action timeline, which is directly impacted by Speed, however, it also serves to introduce the biggest change yet -- Strong and Agile styles.

Strong, as the name suggests, will make your move beefier at the cost of speed, meanwhile going for Agile style will let you use the move consecutively at the cost of strength. 

If you want to catch Pokémon, you'll obviously need Poké Balls, which leads us to...

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - Crafting

pokémon legends crafting
You'll be able to craft all sorts of gadgets. (Picture: The Pokémon Legends)

On top of being able to just outright buy Poké Balls, you'll also be able to craft them with materials you find while roaming the Hisui region. 

Some of the crafting items revealed are:

  • Poké Balls.
  • Smoke Bombs: Helpful while trying to avoid being detected.
  • Heavy Balls: More effective against creatures that haven't noticed you, however, the throwing distance is shorter.

 

And that's it! That's everything we know about Pokémon Legends: Arceus so far. If you're in the mood for more Pokémon, head out to our dedicated section.