Pokémon has not been a difficult series since Generation I and Let’s Go is no exception. With every game, the series only gets easier and easier. For whatever reason, Game Freak seems intent on dumbing down the gameplay until anyone and everyone can power through the games without so much as sweating. This isn’t to say there isn’t hard content, however. Despite its rather easy main game, Let’s Go does get quite difficult near the end. The post game arguably offers a bigger challenge than any other game in the series. Surprising, we know, but true. Thriving in the post game requires the skills of a master however.
So what defines a Pokémon Master? It’s not simply filling your Pokédex. Rather, it’s understanding the core mechanics not just of the series, but Let’s Go itself. Game Freak has really outdone themselves in switching up the gameplay loop. Let’s Go have a very distinct gameplay identity compared to the main Generations which gives it a learning curve it wouldn’t have otherwise. A Pokémon Master is someone who can keep up with the change of pace. Someone who knows where to go. Someone who knows what to do. If you’re not already a master, we’re here to help you become one.
25 Catch Combos
Where battling once defined Pokémon’s gameplay, catching takes that role for the Let’s Go sub-series. Never before has there been such an emphasis on catching Pokémon. Want EXP? Catch Pokémon. Want to progress? Catch Pokémon. What sounds like a stripped down loop is actually enhanced by one detail: combos.
This is the only way you're getting a shiny starter.
Rather than simply allowing players to catch one by one, combos are in store to help net certain goodies. Specifically, the more Pokémon you catch, the lower the encounter rate for a Shiny becomes. That’s right, if you want a shiny bad enough you can manipulate the RNG in your favor by chaining combos.
24 Candy Streak
Along with helping you catch shiny Pokémon, one of the best benefits from chaining up a catch combo is just how much candy you’ll up getting. As far as Let’s Go is concerned, candy is going to be your main way of beefing up your Pokémon’s stats. The more candy you get, the stronger your Pokémon will be.
Making this a result of a catch combo is one of the smartest things Game Freak could have done. Not only does the catch combo reward you with an aesthetic reward, the amount of candy you get immediately plays into how strong your Pokémon get. It’s basically Let’s Go’s version of EV training.
23 How To Get The Shiny Charm
If you’re really desperate for shiny Pokémon and catch combos simply aren’t doing enough for you, there is a way you can manipulate the shiny encounter RNG even more in your favor: the Shiny Charm. Upon completing the Kanto Pokédex, you’ll be gifted a shiny charm instead of a diploma.
It comes late, but it's worth it.
Forgivingly, you do not need Mew or Meltan in your Pokédex to get the Shiny Charm. Considering both are incredibly difficult (read: impossible) to get for people who just own Let’s Go, it wouldn’t be fair to block the Shiny Charm away from them. Catching the rest of the Kanto Pokédex, though? That’s fair game.
22 Skipping Lt. Surge
Contrary to popular belief, you do not actually need to beat Lt. Surge third. Realistically, there’s no reason not to and holding him off for later in the game will only make an already easy Gym even easier, but you can theoretically skip him for a tougher mid-game. All you need to do is brute force your way to the fourth Gym.
This does mean traversing a cave in complete darkness, but who hasn’t suffered a similar fate in Gen I? In many ways, it’s a rite of passage for trainers. Should you be brave enough to force your way through a cave you shouldn't be in, you’ll be allowed to tackle all the next Gym Leaders (sans Koga and Blue) in any order.
21 Sequence Breaking
Speaking of sequence breaking, let’s get a bit more into it. Let’s Go is the most sequence break friendly game in the series since Gen I. Upon skipping Lt. Surge, you can actually go all the way to Cinnabar Island and challenge Blaine. That’s right, the penultimate Badge can actually be your third.
From there, you can challenge Erika and Koga in any order. The only real prerequisite for the eight Badges is that you need to defeat Koga before you challenge Sabrina and you need to defeat the other seven Kanto Gym Leaders before you can challenge Blue. Other than that? Go wild.
20 Cerulean Cave’s Many Treasures
Despite Gen II more or less introducing the concept of the modern post-game (for the series at least,) Gen I did have a bit of post-Elite Four content to satiate fans. Specifically, trainers could go into Cerulean Cave to catch themselves a rather powerful Legendary and find some goodies. Let’s Go makes the cave even better.
Who doesn't want a free Master Ball?
This time around, items in Cerulean Cave actually respawn. Not just that, they’re random. That actually doesn’t sound too good on paper, but you know what you can get from the cave? A Master Ball. That’s right, the randomized items are actually INCREDIBLE. Feel free to visit the cave on the regular and “grind” for items.
19 Catching Mewtwo
As was the case with Gen I, you can yet again catch Mewtwo in Cerulean Cave. Upon traversing the dungeon like cave, you’ll find Mewtwo at the very bottom. Unlike in the first game, where Mewtwo was more or less a pushover, he actually puts up a surprisingly tough fight this time around.
If you don’t have a Master Ball at the ready (either from playing the main story or simply finding one in the cave,) get ready to spend quite a bit of time trying to catch the Legendary. Make sure you have Pokémon with high HP, too, because Mewtwo will absolutely brutalize anything in his path if you let him.
18 Getting The Good Versions Of The Kanto Starters
For the first time in the series, you can actually catch the Kanto starters in the wild, a feat previously exclusive to only fan games. While you can catch Kanto starters in the wild, though, should you? Obviously, the answer is “yes.” Why wouldn’t you want a Bulbasaur or Charmander? Well, because they won’t be very good.
Most of the starters you catch in the wild will have weak base stats. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just how this works. Thankfully, there is a workaround. No, it’s not breeding- that’s actually not in this game. It’s gifting! If you fill out your Pokédex, you’ll be gifted each starter. 40 nets you Bulbasaur, 50 nets you Charmander, and 60 nets you Squirtle.
17 Chansey Grinding
Cerulean Cave is such a magical place, isn’t it? Not only can it get you randomly generated Master Balls, it’s also home to everyone’s favorite Legendary Pokémon: Chansey. Well, Chansey isn’t actually a Legendary, but she serves a truly legendary purpose: experience grinding.
Get ready to rake in the experience.
Across all Generations, Chansey has been a wonderful source of experience. That hasn’t changed in Let’s Go. By catch comboing enough Chanseys in Cerulean Cave, you can grind out massive amounts of levels on a scale like never before.This stands as one of the only times in the series where it’s totally viable to just grind via wild Pokémon.
16 The Early Game Catching Grind
On the subject of grinding, if for whatever reason you’re struggling early on (either intentionally or because you’re doing a challenge run,) you can actually catch combo Rattatas or Pidgeys to earn some quick experience. Naturally, this method will only work fairly early in the game and will lose his usefulness fast, but it does work. Simply catch either Pokémon repeatedly in order to build up your combo. Along with getting more candy, you’ll gradually get more experience. It won’t award you with too many levels, but it will give you the edge you need early on.
15 The Daily Big Pearl
Low on money but don’t have access to the Elite Four yet/don’t want to battle the same five trainers over and over again? There’s a quick, simply fix catered specifically for you! Everyday in Pewter City, you’ll find a woman playing with a Slowpoke.
When you talk to her, you’ll be given the opportunity to interact with her Slowpoke. Doing so will award you with a Big Pearl which you can then sell for 10,000 Poke bucks. The best part? You can actually do this everyday. It’s an easy 10,000 in no time flat.
14 Rematches Against The Elite Four
There is not a single game in the series that does not allow to rematch the Elite Four upon beating the game. This is a feature even Generation I had. What makes rematching against the Elite Four valuable, though, is the possibility of novelty. Novelty in the form of higher levels or new Pokémon.
Grind them to your heart's content.
In Let’s Go, rematching the Elite Four is more than just forcing yourself through the same routine all over again. This time around, Kanto’s Elite Four members change up their Pokémon. Unlike with Gen III, however, they’re quite different. You’ll actually see the Elite Four members use Alolan Pokémon, shaking up the foundation of their battles.
13 Rematches Against The Gym Leaders
Although trainers are always allowed to rematch the Elite Four, very rarely are they allowed to challenge the Gym Leaders to rematches. You can count the number of games in the series that allow you to rematch Gym Leaders on one hand. Thankfully, Let’s Go adds another finger to that hand, bringing the feature back.
Like with Generation IV, you can actually only rematch Gym Leaders on a daily basis. This isn’t really all that bad, though. They’re much stronger when you challenge them the second time around with Pokémon in their 50s. Blue himself has a team that rivals the first round Champion battle, offering a good post-game challenge.
12 Rematch Cycling Green
Long before Kris, there was another female protagonist: Green. Green was meant to be introduced alongside Red in Generation I, but was ultimately cut due to hardware limitations. When Gen III came around, Green was replaced with Leaf and that seemed it. Surprisingly, Green actually does appear in Let’s Go for the very first time!
Eat your heart out, Leaf.
She serves as one of two endgame super bosses. Upon defeating the Elite Four, she can be found in Cerulean Cave (this is one busy cave, isn’t it?) Although beating her once makes her disappear, beating the Elite Four will allow you to rematch her. This is especially useful since she’s an incredible source of experience and money.
11 Setting Natures
Without Abilities, Natures play a larger role than ever this time around. How your Pokémon develops via leveling up comes down almost exclusively from their Nature. It’s essentially the only thing giving different Pokémon an identity in Let’s Go. If you want a good Nature, however, be prepared to catch often.
Unless you know about the Fortune Teller. In the Pokémon Center in Celadon City, a Fortune Teller will divine a set Nature for your next caught Pokémon. You do need to pay 10,000 and then fiddle around with some options to pick the right Nature, but it’s absolutely worth the hassle and the price of admission.
10 The Meltan Quest
So, you want Meltan, but you don’t know how to go about it? Have no fear, we’re here to help. The easiest way to get Meltan is to play Pokémon Go itself. That’s right, the original Go, not Let’s Go. Upon starting the game, start powering through the specific Meltan based quest line. It’ll take a lot of time, but sooner or later you should be able to get it done.
Time consuming, but worth it.
More importantly, you need to send a Pokémon from Go to Let’s Go which allows you to get a Mystery Box. Triggering the Mystery Box will trigger Meltan themself. Once Meltan appears, you can catch them as you would any other Pokémon and even transfer the new Pokémon between games.
9 One Last Battle With Mina
Mina is one of the more interesting characters in the series if only because she’s one of the few non-rival characters in the series who leaves a lasting enough narrative impression to warrant a rematch after you defeat the Elite Four. Upon becoming Champion, you can find Mina at the Daycare and fight her all over again. This time around, she has three Pokémon all in their fifties including an Alolan Ninetails. It’s not a particularly challenging battle, but it is an interesting one if only for the curveball that is Alolan Ninetails.
8 How To Avoid Fainting With Pikachu And Eevee
Introduced in Generation II, Happiness was a means of getting certain Pokémon to evolve into unique monsters. Increasing Happiness amounted to simply keeping said Pokémon in your party while ensuring they didn’t faint in battle. To go back even further, a primitive version of Happiness was used in Yellow as a means of boosting Pikachu’s stats.
Naturally, Let’s Go extends the Happiness trend into the modern era. Where Generation I used it for stats and Generation II used it for evolutions, Let’s Go uses Happiness as a means of keeping Pikachu and Eevee alive. Should your starter have a high enough Happiness rating, they’ll actually endure fainting. Better use them often!
7 The Mew In The Pokeball
Who doesn’t want their very own Mew when it comes down to it? Although the Pokémon may not be as popular as he once was- in large part due to the ever growing Pokédex- Mew will forever live on in the hearts of trainers who started the series with Gen I. The source of many rumors, everyone wanted Mew.
The controller pays for itself in a warped way.
Thankfully, not you can get Mew without glitches, cheats, or giveaways! Unfortunately, you need to have purchased the Pokéball controller. A brand new on at that. Don’t bother going for a used one if you want Mew. Every Pokéball includes a redeemable Mew, making this the most convenient way of getting the Legendary.
6 How To Improve Your Catch Rate
Catch combos are incredible, aren’t they? In many ways, they might actually be too good. Not only do they give you candies, shinies, and added experience, they actually improve your catch rate. By chaining enough catches, the RNG can be manipulated in your favor even further Not only can this benefit you on your quest for shinies, it can also be used as a means of catching difficult to stabilize Pokémon with ease. When it comes to balancing game design, catch combos might actually be too good...
5 Ignore EV Training
If you’re a big enough fan of the series to EV train, but for whatever reason did not pay attention to the new cycle for Let’s Go, we got bad news for you: there’s no EV training. If you plan on wasting any time grinding out individual EVs, you’ll be doing just that- wasting time. With the omission of EVs, it seems as though Game Freak is yet again dumbing down the series, but do keep in mind that candy grinding effectively takes the role of EV training. So you can fulfill your individual stat grinding desires, but not in the way you once did.
4 Secret Techniques
HMs have been a part of the franchise since Generation I and they’ve never not been incredibly contentious in design. HMs are always necessary when it comes to progression, but learning an HM means getting rid of a Pokémon’s move slot you might very well need later. Since HMs can’t be deleted, you’re effectively stuck with the movie even if it’s bad.
Thankfully, Let’s Go gets rid of HMs entirely. This time around, Pikachu and Eevee can learn Secret Techniques hidden around Kanto. Learning these moves allows players to basically use HMs without needing to waste a move slot. Secret Techniques are not a part of your starter’s natural moveset whatsoever. Keep an eye out for them!
3 How To Get Alolan Pokémon
Despite more or less acting like a pseudo remake of Generation I, Let’s Go does distinguish itself from its source games with some late Gen additions. While Mega Evolutions are by far the most gameplay relevant holdovers from the recent games, Alolan Pokémon do make a surprising return.
We all need some Alolan variants in our life.
Getting your own Alolan Pokémon is not so easy as just catching them in the wild, however. Rather, across Kanto, you’ll find trainers willing to trade away their Alolan Kanto Pokémon for whatever they’re requesting. They effectively serve the same purpose as their Gen I counterparts, but actually offer you incredibly unique mons.
2 The Master Trainer Battles
Upon beating the Elite Four, Kanto gains quite a few new trainers to fight: Master Trainers. These Master Trainers are masters of a single type of Pokémon. Naturally, this means there are 151 for you to take down. Not only are they in abundance, the Master Trainers are some of the hardest challenges in the entire series.
What makes them difficult is mainly the fact that you need to challenge them with the Pokémon they’re a Master of. If you want to battle the Tentacruel Master Trainer for instance, you’d better have a high level and trained Tentacruel on reserve, otherwise you won’t even be allowed to battle them.
1 The Grand Finale With Red
Game Freak loves Red, and why wouldn’t they? The perpetually silent protagonist of Gen I, Red returns with more frequency than any other character in the series. Naturally, he’s back yet again fulfilling the role he once did in Generation II: the role of the true final boss. He’s stronger than ever, too.
You can't beat the OG.
By defeating enough Master Trainers, you’ll eventually be given access to Red. Despite having his worst team yet in terms of Type variety and advantage, he makes up for it with sheer power. With every Pokémon at Level 85, Red will pose a serious challenge. You can even rematch him like with Green after defeating the Elite Four.