Players around the world have been traversing the Kantō region once again (with an adorable Pokémon at their side) in the new Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! since their release last week. As is the norm in the main series Pokémon games, you must choose which version you wish to play… Unless you plan to get both, in which case go for it – I won’t stop you!
Still, whether you want to carry around the series mascot, Pikachu, or the universally-loved Eevee, there are several variations between the games that might sway you one way or another. Allow us to walk you through those differences, helping you to make the right decision.
8. Pikachu: A Partner Pikachu
This is the most obvious difference between the two versions, but arguably the most important. With this version of the game, as you might have gathered, everyone’s favorite electric mouse is your partner throughout your adventures. You can catch wild Eevee and Pikachu in both games, so don’t stress too much, but they won’t be able to learn the exclusive moves that your partner Pokémon can (which we’ll talk about more below).
The cutest yellow fellow around will perch on your character’s shoulder as you explore. Your decision also affects your rival, Trace, as his partner Pokémon will be the opposite of yours. In Let’s Go, Pikachu! his partner will be Eevee and vice versa.
7. Eevee: A Partner Eevee
If you pick up Let’s Go, Eevee!, the fluffy Eevee will, of course, be your partner. It’s a fan favorite; with all the Eevee merch and fanart floating about, it’s no wonder this little cutie finally got a moment in the spotlight. Eevee may be a normal type, but with the special moves it can learn from Move Tutors, it sure can pack a punch!
It’s worth noting that your partner Pokémon in either game cannot evolve, so that might factor into your decision of which one to buy. If you remember The Battling Eevee Brothers episode of the anime, you’ll know that Eevee is more than wonderful without the need to evolve. We love you, Eevee!
6. Pikachu: Exclusive Moves
Your partner Pikachu can learn exclusive moves, which not even other wild Pikachu can learn: Zippy Zap, Splishy Splash, and Floaty Fall. These signature Pikachu moves are new to the series, making their debut in this game. With these catchy names, it’s not hard to figure out what they do: Splishy Splash is a powerful water move, and Floaty Fall is a flying-type move with the potential to make your target flinch.
Splishy Splash has a 30% chance of paralyzing the target, zapping them with electrically-charged water. Ouch! Pika Papow—another move that only your partner Pikachu can learn—is especially cute; the more Pikachu loves its trainer, the stronger the move is! That really is the power of love.
5. Eevee: Exclusive Moves
Move Tutors in Let’s Go, Eevee! can teach your furry friend eight different exclusive moves: Bouncy Bubble, Buzzy Buzz, Sizzly Slide, Glitzy Glow, Baddy Bad, Sappy Seed, Freezy Frost, and Sparkly Swirl.
All these moves deal damage to help take down your enemies, but some have extra effects such as Sparkly Swirl: a fairy-type move which cures your party of all status conditions, like paralysis and burns. Sappy Seed, a grass-type move, drains half of the target’s health and restores that amount to your Pokémon at the end of every turn.
Who wouldn’t want an Eevee that can leech health?
4. Pikachu: Exclusive Pokémon
Both versions have exclusive wild Pokémon; another tradition carried through the main games. Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! features 14 exclusive Pokémon, including Sandshrew, Sandslash, Oddish, Gloom, Vileplume, Mankey, Primeape, Growlithe, Grimer, Muk, and Scyther — as well as specific Alola Forms (detailed below).
Pokémon: Let’s Go is a new take on the first-generation games, so the exclusive Pokémon lists reflect those of Pokémon Red and Blue. This list is almost identical to the exclusives in Pokémon Red, the only differences being that Sandshrew was available in Blue, Grimer wasn’t exclusive, and of course, the Alolan Forms didn’t exist at that time. Plus, Electabuzz was a Pokemon Red exclusive back in the day, but here it’s available in both versions.
3. Eevee: Exclusive Pokémon
With Let’s Go Eevee you’ll have exclusive access to Ekans, Arbok, Vulpix, Ninetales, Meowth, Bellsprout, Weepinbell, Victreebel, Koffing, Weezing, and Pinsir, as well as limited Alolan Forms.
This roster matches that of the original Pokémon Blue game, apart from Ekans, which was actually available in Red. Similar to Electabuzz, Magmar used to be exclusive, but that isn’t the case in these games. You can seek out unsettlingly humanoid, elemental creatures in whatever version you choose! Hurrah!
It’s also important to note that you can trade Pokémon from the Pokémon Go app on your phone if you have it, so perhaps exclusive Pokémon might not be an absolute deal breaker for you?
2. Pikachu: In-Game Trades
Another difference hidden within small details is the Alola Form Pokémon available through in-game trades. In both games, you can find a trainer in the Celadon City Pokémon Center who will trade you an Alola Form Pokémon for your regular one, but this Pokémon varies depending on your version of the game.
With the Pikachu version, this trainer can provide you with an Alolan Sandshrew: a level 27 ice/steel-type. Alolan Sandshrew can use some icy cool moves, such as Ice Shard and Ice Punch, to freeze your opponent in their tracks.
Also, if you head to the Cinnabar Island Pokémon Center, a punk will be waiting for another exclusive Alola Form trade. Here you can exchange a regular Grimer for an Alolan one, which will be poison/dark-type.
1. Eevee: In-Game Trades
In Let’s Go, Eevee! you can give the trainer in the Celadon City Pokémon Center a Vulpix in exchange for an Alolan Vulpix, which will be a level 27 ice-type. This Vulpix will have learned hard-hitting moves like Ice Beam and Dazzling Gleam. It can also evolve into an Alolan Ninetales, which is an awesome combo of ice/fairy types.
When you reach the Cinnabar Island Pokémon Center, the punk waiting there will make you a trade, as in the Pikachu version, but this time he’ll give you an Alolan Meowth in exchange for a regular one. Alolan Meowth is dark type, and frankly, dark cats are just cool. It will be level 44 and will have learned tricky moves, such as Nasty Plot and Screech. A dark plotter that screeches? Sure, sounds like a cat.