It’s the debate that’s on a lot of Nintendo Switch owners’ minds at the moment: Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu or Eevee? Let’s take a look at the differences and see if we can help you make a decision.
Is Pokémon Let's Go For You?
First things first, you’ve got to determine whether: Pokémon: Let’s Go is for you in the first place. Even a lot of ardent Poké-fans have opted to sit the game out, eschewing it in favor of the upcoming generation eight release hitting Switch next year. Let’s Go certainly does simplify the formula, after all.
No held items, gyms that outright refuse to let you in if you don’t have a Pokémon type that’s super-effective on the gym leader’s… it’s an even more beginner-friendly take on a franchise that’s hardly Dark Souls to begin with, and there are some who just aren’t down with that. Our rundown of The 15 Worst Things About Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu (And The 15 Best) should give you a good idea of what you’re dealing with on that score.
If you’ve decided that you definitely are along for the Let’s Go ride, it’s back to the two different versions. As is usually the case with Pokémon titles, you’ve got to make a choice between a pair of very similar games.
Exclusive Pokémon In Each Version
Most obviously, your preference for Pikachu over Eevee is going to be a big factor. After all, the little guy or gal is as much a star of the game as you are. They ride along on your head for the whole journey, you high-five them (Super Mario Party style) after a gym victory… they generally hog the limelight at every opportunity they get. If you’re buying the game for a family member or friend this holiday season, their preferences are something to keep in mind too.
If you (or the lucky recipient of the game) aren’t particularly fussed one way or the other there, the next factor to consider is the other exclusive Pokémon for each version.
These are the critters that will only appear in the wild in Let’s Go Pikachu:
While these will only appear in Let’s Go Eevee:
Arcanine and Persian (Growlithe and Meowth’s evolutions) are available from in-game trades.
Special Moves For Your Partner
If you’re still torn, there are a couple of other factors to consider. One of these is the special moves your partner Pokémon can learn. You know, Splishy Splash, Buzzy Buzz… you’ve probably seen the snarky memes about these moves and their unfortunate names already.
These exclusive attacks are learnt from a Move Tutor who visits different Pokemon centers through the course of your adventure, and Pikachu is strictly limited on what it can learn. It has access to only three of these special moves: Zippy Zap, Splishy Splash and Floaty Fall. These are, as you’ve probably guessed, an Electric, Water and Flying move respectively.
In Let’s Go Eevee, meanwhile, your fluffy partner can learn eight different special moves, one for each of the types it can evolve into. If you’re desperate for the Freezy Frost or Sparkly Swirl attacks (Ice and Fairy, of course), Eevee is the only way forward.
You Can Still Catch An Eevee In Let's Go Pikachu, And Vice Versa
That’s really all there is to it. You can catch Pikachu in Let’s Go Eevee (as early as Viridian Forest) and Eevee in Let’s Go Pikachu (a very rare encounter on Route 17, west of Celadon City, as iMore details), so there’s never any worry about exclusivity there. You can evolve the wild ones, too, though your partner itself is having none of those shenanigans.
In the end, as tends to be the case with most Pokémon games, the differences are quite minor and it’s all about personal preference. Any ‘mon you really want that you can’t find in the wild can be traded for or transferred from Pokémon GO, after all. Are you buying the game for a child in your life this holiday season? Scope out their Eevee/Pikachu preferences. If it’s for you, decide your own. Ultimately, you can get the complete experience either way, with a little legwork.