Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee might take you back to one of the series' most familiar stomping grounds, but - as you're probably already aware - they also manage to introduce some major changes to the formula for returning players, mixing both elements of Pokémon Go and the mainline games, as well as some slightly new concepts altogether.
We've gathered together all our in-depth guide pages over at the hub for our Pokémon Let's Go walkthrough and guide, if you're looking for some deeper dives or explainers, but here on this page you can find a rundown of our general, quick and easy Pokémon Let's Go tips and tricks that we've picked up after our own full playthrough of the game, to help you get off to a flying start - and on your way to becoming the very best, like on one ever was.
Don't worry too much about which version you choose
Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee's version differences are pretty similar to all the previous mainline Pokémon games. Some - but not many - Pokémon are 'version exclusive', meaning thay can only be caught in either Let's Go Pikachu or Let's Go Eevee.
There aren't that many of these though, and so you can either trade with a friend, or import them from Pokémon Go, if you need to fill out your Pokédex!
Otherwise, there are some very minor touches - your battles with your Rival for instance, that aren't too frequent, will see him featuring slightly different Pokémon depending on which version you're playing - other than the one big one, of course: whether you want your partner to be Pikachu or Eevee!
Where wild Pokémon appear has changed
Whilst players familiar with Kanto from the original first-gen games, or the FireRed and LeafGreen remakes, might recognise a lot of traditional locations for Pokémon, there's been a shake-up to how quite a few of them appear.
There are some very rare Pokémon that can appear on even some very early routes - which we won't spoil here - under the right circumstances. That's partially down to a new mechanic called a Catch Combo, which we explain in that linked guide in much more detail. In brief, it's a streak you can build up of catching the same species of Pokémon, and one of the benefits is an increased chance of something super-rare appearing around you.
They're not on every route, but keep an eye out for these super-rare creatures as you go, and our Pokémon Let's Go walkthrough will point out any available ones along the way, too!
Get to grips with the controls, plus a handy workaround
Motion controls can't be turned off, but there are some workarounds, and some things to bear in mind, than can make your life easier if you're stuggling.
The way the controls work depends on what mode you're in. When docked, you use a Joy-Con or the PokéBall Plus in a throwing action to throw the ball. When in handheld, you move the Switch around itself to aim your throw, or you can use the left analog stick to aim at the same time.
To make docked mode throwing a little easier, it's worth knowing that the 'Get Ready' button you press on the catch screen has a function: it 'sets' the current position of the Joy-Con or Poké Ball Plus your using as 'centred', so to speak. So if you press Get Ready, and then move the Joy-Con over to the right and start your throwing action from there, then the game will account for this and the ball will appear from the right hand side.
If it seems like balls are appearing from all over the shop when you're trying to catch in docked then, it might be that you're not bearing in mind your position when you 'set' yourself by pressing Get Ready!
As for handheld mode, you can workaround motion controls entirely by simply putting the Switch itself down on a flat surface. If you enter the catch screen and don't move the Switch, then the Pokémon will just move side to side (if at all), and you can just aim at it with the left stick. This is worth bearing in mind for accessibility's sake as much as it is just general convenience!
We go into this in much more detail, and with more in-depth catching tips, in our Pokémon Let's Go catching and catch combo guide, if you're intrigued!
Get friendly and talk to everyone
This is a simple one, and something long-time players will be familiar with, but in any mainline Pokémon game, like any RPG really, it's worth the extra bit of your time to stop and talk to everyone you see. You never know who has something interesting to offer (early-game $500 Magikarp anyone?), and likewise if you're a newcomer, or just get a bit stuck, the nearby people often have some useful tips that can point you in the right direction!
Gifted Pokémon have really great stats
Throughout Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee you'll be gifted with Pokémon from people in the game world - like we said, it pays to talk to people!
These are consistently excellent Pokémon, by which we mean they have excellent stats. In our experience, gifted Pokémon had 'Best' in that Pokémon's highest base stat, and then 'Fantastic' - the tier just down from Best - in two others, with Good in the rest. This means that a gifted Magikarp, say, will often beat a wild Magikarp that you caught yourself. So that $500 for a gifted one outside Mt. Moon is actually a bargain!
Your partner Pikachu or Eevee is amazing
Speaking of great stats, your partner Pokémon - Pikachu in Let's Go Pikachu or Eevee in Let's Go Eevee - is consistently brilliant.
Partners have 'Best' rated stats in all six stat categories (HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed). On top of that though, they also have the ability to learn a number of completely unique moves, from Move Tutors that are found in certain Pokémon Centers around the world. The first one is in Cerulean City, a couple of hours into the game.
Those moves often come with amazing effects, like Eevee's Buzzy Buzz a hefty 90 base damage and always leaves the target with Paralysis, which halves that opponent's Speed. If you want to know how powerful that is, it's the only move to ever do so much damage and garuantee that effect in a mainline Pokémon game! Eevee and Pikachu can learn lots of moves like these - some of which are arguably even better - so always talk to the circus performer-like Move Tutors in Pokémon Centers as you go!
Note, as well, that you don't have to keep your follower in your party. They'll always follow you around, but you can still put them in your storage box and swap in another Pokémon to your party if you don't fancy using them in battle.
Repels are more useful than you think!
Especially as you get later into the game, and its tricker environments.
Later on, you'll find yourself in areas that can have some fairly complex puzzles to solve, like pushing around stone boulders or using teleporter pads! The issue is, these can be awkard to do when there are large amounts of wild Pokémon appearing all over the place and getting in the way. Don't be afraid to stock up on Repels, Super Repels and Max Repels at Poké Marts to use in situations like this, and give yourself some space to move things around and think!
If you're running low on cash, items like Nuggets, Stardust, and Pearls don't serve any function, but can be sold at a very high price each! If you have them, sell them whenever you want, as money is all that they're good for. Be sure to keep your items in mind in general as you play through the game; they can really make a difference.
There are lots of invisible items in the world
You'll spot us pointing our items as 'Hidden' in our Pokémon Let's Go walkthrough, and that means that you can't see them in the world, but can still pick them up if you press 'A' in the right spot.
There are a huge amount of these around the world of Kanto, particularly in unusual areas like caves or the Underground Paths that you encounter along your way. We point any out that we've found so far in our walkthrough!
Berries are much more important now
Especially Razz Berries, we've found, as they can really help make tricky-to-catch Pokémon easier to obtain.
Berries are never visible to be picked up in the world though, unlike other items that you find lying around the place in Poké Ball form. They're always hidden, or given to you. One great place to search - which makes sense when you think about it - is bushes and flowers around the world. Again, we mark any that we find in our walkthrough!
For more like this, head to our main, now-complete Pokémon Let's Go walkthrough and guide hub, which has all our pages in one place, takes you up to the postgame location Cerulean Cave, and includes the Elite Four and tricky dungeons like Silph Co., Seafoam Islands and Victory Road. Otherwise, we explain Let's Go's starter locations and how to get Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle, along with how to get Mew in Let's Go, and how to get Meltan in Let's Go and Go too. Likewise, we detail how connect Pokémon Go to Let's Go on Nintendo Switch and transfer Pokémon, Catching, catch combos, and how to catch Pokémon explained , and finally give you a quick rundown of our selected Pokémon Let's Go tips and tricks to get you off to a great start, too.
Always have a Pokémon following you
Like the good old days of Pokémon Yellow, follower Pokémon are back! Simply head to your 'Party' in the menu, select the Pokémon, and select 'Take out of Poké Ball' to have them walk around behind you.
They're well behaved, so they go back into their ball when you go inside or get into a tight or awkward area, so it's always worth having one with you. Not only is it charming, it's also super useful: follower Pokémon frequently find hidden items that you otherwise couldn't get, including those berries in certain bushes. There are also some really great interactions to be had with your Pokémon, which we won't spoil here, other than to note that they can be ridden like a mount, or in some cases... flown.
There are new, and better ways to earn XP than battling
Where grinding levels used to be about battling both wild Pokémon and trainers, there are of course now no more wild Pokémon battles to be had (barring the odd... special case). Thankfully, experience is now shared across your entire team whenever you earn it, and what's more, you can actually earn loads from catching.
We found, in fact, that it was the fastest way to level up your team if you ever feel you're falling behind, or need to meet the odd tough Gym entry requirement. Build up catch combos, get Excellent throws, catch big and small Pokémon, and more if you want to level up faster - and again, we explain how to do it best in our Let's Go catching guide!
That's all for our selection of good-to-know tips before you start Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu or Let's Go Eevee. There's plenty more to discover though, so you can read all of our more in-depth guides and explainers, as well as all the walkthrough pages we have so far, over in our Pokémon Let's Go walkthrough and guide hub. Now, go enjoy your adventure!