Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! are simultaneously some of the most nostalgic Pokémon games in recent memory, and a breath of fresh air for the decades-old series. By reimagining the events of Pokémon Yellow and incorporating mechanics from the incredibly popular Pokémon GO mobile game, these new titles are incredibly approachable for newcomers and a treat for veteran players. Sure, they’re a bit more watered down than most other JRPGs, and they don’t push the hardware nearly as far as the originals did, but seeing the joyous and intriguing world of Pokémon rendered in the best graphics ever seen in the series totally makes up for these shortcomings.
At their core, these games are pretty similar to the originals. You venture out into a world that’s slightly stranger and more magical than our own, catch a bunch of cool and cute monsters, and then become the very best Pokémon trainer by defeating all the Gym Leaders and the Elite Four. This time, though, there are even more optional side quests that a player can choose to tackle between collecting badges and foiling Team Rocket’s wicked schemes. However, some of these side quests are easier said than done. A good number of these side quests will seem familiar to those who played the original games, but there’s plenty of new, optional content for veteran players as well. These 30 side quests are totally optional, but it will help every player get even more content out of these terrific games.
30 Play With Your Partner
Shortly after either of the games begin, a player will unlock the ability to play with their partner Pikachu or Eevee. With this feature, a player can pet their partner Pokémon, feed them berries, or watch them react to events going on in the overworld.
If their friendship is raised high enough using this feature, Pikachu or Eevee will even give the player heart scales on occasion. This is the only reliable method of getting this kind of item in these games and they are necessary to customizing a Pokémon’s moveset, so collecting them is super useful.
29 Capture Articuno
The legendary bird, Articuno, is likely going to be the first legendary Pokémon players have a chance at catching. Found at the bottom of the Seafoam Islands, a player can get to the ice bird by solving boulder puzzles that stop rapidly flowing water.
Solving this puzzle lets a player advance to Cinnabar Island and challenge Articuno to a battle if they so choose. After defeating the Ice and Flying-type monster in a timed battle, players will have the chance to catch this hidden monster.
28 Collect Bottle Caps
Bottle caps and gold bottle caps are necessary to fully maximize a Pokémon's stats. Doing this isn’t totally necessary to complete the game, but it does give any given monster a competitive edge in multiplayer battles.
A player can find bottle caps by searching through the Celadon Game Corner every day, and pressing “A” whenever your partner wags their tail. Taking these bottle caps to a man at the Pokémon Day Care will let you make a monster of your choosing even more powerful.
27 Capture Moltres
Moltres is the easiest of the legendary birds to miss. This phoenix is found in a hidden stretch of Victory Road that many players might miss in their rush to challenge the Elite Four at the end of the path.
Similar to Articuno, a player will need to beat Moltres in a battle before a timer runs out if they want a chance at catching the monster. While this may seem like a daunting task in such a high-level area, thankfully, a kindly Officer named Jenny will heal your Pokémon shortly before the encounter.
26 Go Shiny Hunting
In the Pokémon Let’s Go games, hunting down shiny Pokémon is easier than ever. By catching Pokémon of the same species over and over again, the likelihood of a shiny monster appearing dramatically increases.
Granted, it’s still possible for a player to spend hours catching the same monster without a shiny appearing, but that’s part of the fun and what makes them so coveted. Shiny hunting isn’t for everybody, but it can be enjoyable if you just want to veg out with a game after a long and demanding day.
25 Capture Zapdos
Zapdos is the easiest of the legendary birds to reach... once you know where to look. Shortly before Rock Tunnel, a player can surf down the side of the route to reach an abandoned Power Plant. At the end of this facility waits Zapdos, who players will need to defeat in battle before getting the chance to capture the electric bird.
Even if it seems simple on paper, finding out a super powerful monster was hiding just off the edge of the map helped make the Pokémon franchise a hit back when the originals premiered.
24 Soar Through The Air On A Dragon
After defeating the Elite Four and becoming the Pokémon League Champion, a player will unlock the ability to soar higher in the air than ever before. By riding a Charizard, Aerodactyl, or Dragonite, a player can avoid obstacles on routes and traverse the world much faster than they could have previously.
This feature is exceptionally useful in tracking down specific Master Trainers in the overworld and can even be used to find some rare/high-level Pokémon. Also, it’s wicked cool to fly over anyone or anything while riding a dragon.
23 Battle Master Trainers
There is one Master Trainer for every species of Pokémon scattered across the world of the Pokémon Let’s Go games. They only appear after defeating the Elite Four and have a single kind of Pokémon raised to level 80.
Also, items aren’t allowed during these battles, so the fights entirely boil down to who raised the better Pokémon. These trainers are tough to find and even tougher to defeat, which makes them the perfect post-games side quest for hardcore trainers to tackle.
22 Catch The Perfect Legendary Birds
The Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres found in their hidden locations aren’t the only versions of the legendary monsters a player can encounter in these games. While flying high in the air, there’s a chance for these legendary birds to spawn.
As with any other Pokémon that appears in the overworld, you can start a catching chain with one of the legendary birds and increase the likelihood of them having better stats or a shiny variant appearing. Yes, this will take an incredibly long time, but to the most dedicated trainers, it’s well worth the investment.
21 Get The Anime Starter Trio
You can find a Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle in the Pokémon Let’s Go games with almost perfect stats by visiting locations that correspond to these monsters’ anime counterparts.
A player receives a protective Bulbasaur, an abandoned Charmander, and a mischievous Squirtle just like Ash did in the first season of the anime. You don’t have to use or even receive these monsters during the course of a playthrough, but ignoring this side quest will have a player missing one of the most fun references in these games.
20 Catch Some Cats Or Dogs, And Get One Of The Other
In Vermilion City, there’s a guy who will ask the player if they prefer Growlithe or Meowth, and then ask them to go capture five Growlithe in Let’s Go, Pikachu! or five Meowth in Let’s Go, Eevee!.
If a player takes on this side quest, they will be rewarded with the opposite evolved form of the opposite Pokémon. This side quest is exceptionally worthwhile, as both Arcanine and Persian are version-exclusive monsters that a player usually has to obtain through trading.
19 Capture Mewtwo
Now one of the most well known side quests in gaming, a player can capture the incredibly powerful Mewtwo at the bottom of Cerulean Cave after they defeat the Elite Four.
Mewtwo’s presence at the bottom of the cave is way more telegraphed than in the original games, but getting to him will be no less difficult. Cerulean Cave features some of the most complex puzzles in the game and players will first have to defeat Mewtwo in a timed battle before having the chance to capture him.
18 Complete The Pokédex
Catching one of every kind of Pokémon is the ultimate challenge in every Pokémon game. Between version exclusives and creatures a player has to choose between, completing the Pokédex requires lots of catching, evolving, and trading monsters.
While completing the Pokédex is entirely optional, working together with friends and other players to complete the Dex is a huge part of what made Pokémon a hit franchise. This creates a sense of community that no other series of games is quite able to replicate.
17 Battle Green
In a surprise appearance that cuts to the deepest parts of Pokémon lore, the scrapped female protagonist from the original games, Green, appears in the Pokémon Let’s Go games. She appears shortly after a player battles Mewtwo and, if a player manages to defeat her, awards a player with the stones that will allow Mewtwo to mega evolve.
Previously, Green only appeared in some Pokémon concept art and the Pokémon Adventures manga, so it’s both a treat and a challenge that she would appear for the first time in these latest installments in the franchise.
16 Get All The Outfits
The Let’s Go games allow a player to dress the avatar and your partner Pokémon with a variety of different outfits. Some of these are found over the course of a normal playthrough, but a dedicated player will need to go out of their way to obtain all of them.
For instance, the classic Team Rocket garb worn by Jessie and James is only available after the player battles them once they become the Champion. This side quest is only for those who want to be both the best and best-looking trainer around.
15 Battle Blue
The Let’s Go games depict slightly more of the Pokémon timeline than the original games did. Instead of becoming the Viridian City Gym Leader in the interim between the first and second generation of Pokémon games, his rise to the position happens in the Pokémon Let’s Go games.
After defeating the Elite Four, a player can challenge Blue and his full team of pocket monsters if they so choose. This little bit of side content is a nice touch and hopefully means that players can fight him again in a Let’s Go interpretation of the second generation of games.
14 Get All The Alolan Variants
Another surprising feature of the Let’s Go games is the presence of Alolan forms of several Kanto Pokémon. To get the alternative versions of these pocket monsters, a player will first need to capture their original forms and then trade with specific NPCs in Pokémon Centers.
If players want to take this challenge even further, they can make these trades multiple times for a chance at an Alolan monster with perfect stats or a shiny variation. Some Alolan monsters are version exclusives, though, so some trading will be required to catch them all.
13 Get An Aerodactyl
In a side quest straight out of the original Pokémon games, a trainer can earn an Aerodactyl once they reach Cinnabar Island. The facility here revives fossils and, if a player thinks to travel back to Pewter City and go through the museum’s back entrance, they can get the Old Amber and revive an Aerodactyl.
Not only does Aerodactyl let a player fly higher after beating the Elite Four, it’s also a powerful monster that can improve just about any team.
12 Battle Red
Once a player becomes the Champion and defeats at least four Master Trainers, Red will start hanging out around the Indigo League Plateau. As the original protagonist from Pokémon Red and Blue, he appeared as an opponent for the first time in Pokémon Gold and Silver.
Much like in those games, Red is the strongest trainer the player can face since he has a very well balanced team and each of his pocket monsters are above level 80. This side quest will test every battle tactic a player learned over the course of their journey.
11 Get A Meltan
The latest mythical Pokémon Meltan is an interesting monster that requires a lot of effort to capture. Meltan only appears in the Pokémon GO mobile games once a player successfully transfers a monster to a Pokémon Let’s Go game and activates the special item they receive for the transfer.
Once the monster is captured in the mobile game, it’s pretty easy to transfer it to the console title. Although, you’ll probably want to catch more than one to make the next side quest a little easier.
10 Evolve Meltan Into Melmetal
Melmetal is the evolved form of Meltan and is tougher to capture than its pre-evolution. Uniquely, Meltan only evolves into Melmetal by feeding it the candies found in Pokémon GO and the Let’s Go games.
400 candies are needed to trigger the evolution, which means that a player will need to catch a lot of Meltan and turn them into Prof. Willow if they want the legendary evolution. It's definitely worth the effort, though, as Melmetal is easily one of the strongest creatures in these games.
9 Trade, A Lot
There’s no direct reward for trading Pokémon with friends or fellow trainers, but the activity does help tremendously with other side quests and enhances the Pokémon Let’s Go experience. Trading is necessary to complete the Pokédex and is useful in finding shiny monsters.
Moreover, though, trading lets players feel like a part of a community of people working towards a similar goal. It lets people bond over a mutual love of Pokémon and lets a player share their experiences directly with another person.
8 Mess Around In The GO Park
The GO Park is a new addition to the Pokémon Let’s Go games and allows a player to send monsters from Pokémon GO to the console titles.
While you’ll have to catch the monsters again in a Let’s Go game to use them in the console titles, it does allow a player to build a team totally to their liking and make the games quite a bit easier. You can even arrange which monsters appear in which parts of the GO Park and create parks with different themes.
7 Watch A Slowpoke
Whenever you visit Pewter City, a lady will ask you to watch her Slowpoke. Agreeing to do so will trigger a cutscene where your player just stares at the Slowpoke while it remains motionless and contemplates something that’s likely far beyond human comprehension.
You don’t have to watch this cutscene, and you don’t have to take a minute to go on your own contemplative journey, but maybe, the game and your life would be better if you did. Seriously, though, take a moment to check out this easily missable segment; it’s hilarious.
6 Collect All The TMs
TMs are items in Pokémon games that a player teaches a monster attacks they might not learn otherwise. There are 60 TMs in total in the Pokémon Let’s Go games and some are easier to get than others.
Some are found in the overworld, some are given for defeating powerful trainers, and others can just be purchased. Teaching new moves to Pokémon can drastically improve a team, or at the very least, change up a strategy that’s growing stale.
5 Drop Your Pokémon Off At The Daycare
It’s easy to play through the entirety of the Let’s Go games without taking advantage of the Pokémon Daycare. At this facility, a player can leave a Pokémon and have it train and level up on its own.
There are obvious benefits to using the Daycare, and the levels gained here are more valuable than usual since it’s tough to grind for experience in these games. Even if the Daycare is entirely optional, most players will find it a useful means to changing up their roster of pocket monsters.
4 Go Visit The Truck Of Legend
In the Pokémon Let’s Go games, you can visit the fabled truck in the Vermilion City harbor by surfing off of the dock. This truck was inexplicably in the original Pokémon games and inspired rumors that it was somehow tied to the mythical Mew.
While the truck does appear in the Let’s Go games, Mew’s presence there is still just a rumor. It’s a fun reference and worth searching out for any diehard Pokémon fan, but sadly, Mew remains an extremely elusive monster.
3 Buy A Mew
The good news is that it’s easier than ever to catch the mythical Pokémon Mew. The bad news is that the genetic predecessor to all Pokémon is locked behind a paywall. The Pokéball Plus accessory item allows a player to transfer a Mew into the game and unlocks other features, but it’ll set a player back about 50 bucks.
While the Pokéball Plus and corresponding Mew might make for a solid gift to a young Pokémon fanatic, such a steep price might make it hard for a person to justify buying the accessory for themselves.
2 Challenge The Elite Four Again
Much like in the original games, a player can challenge the Elite Four again after becoming the Champion. However, unlike in the original games, the Elite Four will have much stronger and fleshed-out teams than in the initial confrontation.
Not only is taking on this gauntlet again a terrific way to make more money, it’s also an even greater challenge for those looking for something tougher than Let’s Go’s lax difficulty. Anyone can become the Champ, but it requires a lot of practice and skill to hold onto that title.
1 Challenge The Gym Leaders Again
Unlike the original games, in the Let’s Go titles, a player can challenge the Gym Leaders once more after becoming the Champion. Their teams will be much stronger than they were before and will consist of five Pokémon leveled to the mid to high 50s.
The Kanto Gym Leaders are some of the most iconic in the series, and any additional time a player can spend with them, the better. Taking on these extra powerful trainers is a great, post-game challenge and a solid way to level up monsters for the other steep, post-game challenges.