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Pokémon Legends: Arceus makes trading unnecessary

In a series first, Pokémon Legends: Arceus players won’t need to trade with friends in order to complete the game’s Pokédex. Instead, Game Freak has simplified some classic evolution methods, allowing a solo player to get every monster in the game without help.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus – Extended gameplay video (Nintendo Switch)

In previous Pokémon games, certain Pokémon could only evolve by trading them to another player. There was no way to get a creature like Gengar without linking up with a friend. Since Arceus isn’t a dual release like Sword and Shield, it’s much friendlier toward solo players this time around.

All trade evolution methods have been replaced with items. The Linking Cord is a new item that looks a bit like a classic Game Boy link cable. It can be used on a Pokemon like Machoke that typically only evolves through trade to evolve it.

For Pokemon who evolve via trade while holding a specific item, the process is even more streamlined. Now, players simply have to use that item on the Pokemon and it’ll evolve. For example, simply use a Reaper Cloth on Dusclops and it’ll evolve with no trade necessary.

For those who still want to trade with friends anyways, the game does still include that option. An nonplayable character in Jubilife Village gives players the ability to trade monsters locally and online. She also sells different evolution items, which can be purchased with merit points. The currency is obtained by finding a player’s dropped satchel throughout the open world.

The change is significant for the series, which has long relied on trading as a core tenet of collecting. It’s unclear will Nintendo similarly streamline the core RPGs, but for now, it seems like it’s more a feature specific to Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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