5 things you should know before getting Pokemon Legends: Arceus

By Steven Rondina


Jan 10, 2022

Reading time: 5 min

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is set to be a major departure from the established Pokemon series.

While fans have been criticizing the mainline Pokemon franchise for its monotony for some time now, players have the chance to take in what will likely be a radically different experience. But for longtime trainers who have been playing what is effectively the same game for 25 years, there’s a lot to go over.

Though there is still some mystery regarding the nitty gritty of Pokemon Legends: Arceus and what fans can look forward to, a lot of the differences have already been highlighted. Here are five important things Pokemon players need to know before picking up the game.


Pokemon Legends: Arceus isn’t like other Pokemon games when battling

From a battling perspective, Pokemon Legends: Arceus is set to be a very different game than what fans have seen before. Since Pokemon Red and Blue, battles in mainline Pokemon games have been largely the same and stats from Pokemon have functioned in a largely similar fashion. That’s changing here.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is still a turn-based game, but battles don’t see both Pokemon get one action within each turn. Instead, it uses a system more similar to the original Final Fantasy Tactics.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus battle system
A turn order for battles can be seen on the right side of the screen.

Depending on the difference in speed, Pokemon might be able to attack an opponent twice or more before they have the chance to return fire. Pokemon can also modify their moves to be “agile style” or “strong style.” Agile style attacks deal less damage but speeds up the next turn while strong style attacks deal more damage but have a recovery time.

To adjust for this new battle system, Pokemon stats are being handled in a different way. While it’s uncertain how these numbers will ultimately shake out, there have been multiple examples of Pokemon having significantly higher stats than what would’ve been possible in past games. 

Wild Pokemon are out to kill you

The Wild Area in Pokemon Sword and Shield was one of the biggest additions to the game. It also became the source of many memes, with players making videos where trainers run in terror as wild Pokemon chase them.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus takes that to the next level and beyond. Not only are wild Pokemon going to be chasing after the trainer, they’re going to be using actual attacks on them. Trainers will have their own health meter that needs to be handled, and if the player character takes too much damage they’ll be knocked out in the same way as a Pokemon. 

This is a radical departure from the norms of Pokemon. Pokemon actively looking to attack people has never happened in the games and hasn’t been portrayed as a normal, natural occurrence in the cartoons.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be much harder than other recent Pokemon titles

By all accounts, Pokemon Legends: Arceus is set to be much more difficult than any recent Pokemon game and may be the toughest ever.

This is partly because of the fact that other recent Pokemon titles have been dubiously easy. Since Pokemon X and Y introduced the full-team EXP Share, players have been able to breeze to the hall of fame with little difficulty. That’s set to change.

The battle system adds a lot of strategy into the game and will force players to put a lot more thought into what they’re doing. On top of that, there are new boss-like Pokemon called frenzied nobles that can’t just be blown up by an over-leveled starter. Players will need to juggle both battles and action sequences using the trainer in order to progress.

Every turn-based RPG has the potential to be exploitable, but with how easy recent Pokemon games have become it’s guaranteed to be tougher than Sun and Moon or Sword and Shield.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is not an open world game

One of the common misconceptions about Pokemon Legends: Arceus is that it’s an open-world game. It is not.

The game looks to be more similar to Dragon Age: Inquisition than it is to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Players have large areas that they can roam around in with a variety of objectives to complete and Pokemon they can encounter. However, they’re not just able to traverse the entire Hisui region seamlessly.

While players might find it disappointing, this direction for Pokemon Legends: Arceus isn’t a bad thing. The game will still offer sprawling environments unlike anything seen in the series to this point.

Lots of new Pokemon will be found in the Hisui region

Pokemon Legends: Arceus will include a number of Pokemon found in the Sinnoh region alongside several new Hisuian Pokemon.

The list is very long and is largely made up of familiar names. Players will start off with either Cyndaquil, Rowlet, or Oshawott and then head out to catch slews of other Pokemon in order to form the original Pokedex. 

Alongside the many familiar faces that have already been shown, a number of new Pokemon will appear in Legends: Arceus’ Hisui region. The game has a mixed offering of both regional variants and new evolutions for old Pokemon. A running list of the new Pokemon that will be introduced in the Hisui region can be found here.


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