Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! have the potential to sell a boatload of Nintendo Switch systems this holiday season, but if you’re planning to make it your first game for the system, you’ll want to set aside a little extra cash for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
Nintendo Switch Online is the system’s subscription service currently planned for a September launch, and it will be required in order to play online with most games. In the case of Pokémon: Let’s Go, you’ll need a subscription in order to battle or trade online.
“An active membership for the Nintendo Switch Online service, which is scheduled to begin September of this year, will be required to access these features,” The Pokémon Company told Eurogamer in a statement.
The language of the statement also suggests the subscription might be needed in order to trade with another player locally. This would be an odd choice, especially when considering that monsters captured in Pokémon Go will already be transferable to Let’s Go.
The Pokémon Company added that online functionality will be more limited than it is in a typical “core” Pokémon game, with no “Battle Spot” or “Global Trading System.” With catching the monsters taking priority over leveling them up and fighting with them in the game, this makes sense.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! offer a new take on the gameplay introduced with Pokémon Yellow nearly two decades ago. Depending on the version of the game you purchased, you’ll have either Pikachu or Eevee by your site as you explore the famous Kanto region and attempt to capture every Pokémon.
The game uses a motion-control-based capturing system in place of the tougher battle-based system used in the role-playing games, and a special Poké Ball Plus accessory can replace your traditional Joy-Con controller completely. Carrying it with you when you’re out and about will give you other benefits, and it will be compatible with Pokémon Go on mobile, as well. If you have a friend by your side, they can pick up their own controller and help you on your journey.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! are out exclusively for Nintendo Switch on November 16.