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Should you choose Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu or Eevee?

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The differences seem subjective, but there are reasons to choose one over the other

Game Freak/The Pokémon Company

Pokémon: Let’s Go! deviates from Pokémon in some novel ways, sure. But it’s still a Pokémon RPG, which means there are two versions to choose from.

The question a Pokémon lover must ask themselves is less, “Should I play these games?” and more, “Which game should I play?” You may think this is subjective, and it mostly is. But there are solid reasons to pick one instead of the other.

Version-exclusive Pokémon

Victreebell The Pokémon Company

This is generally the biggest division between the two editions of every Pokémon RPG. In Pikachu, you can get a wild Growlithe; in Eevee, you run into Vulpix. The list goes on.

The exclusive Pokémon in Let’s Go, Pikachu! include:

  • Sandshrew
  • Sandslash
  • Oddish
  • Gloom
  • Vileplume
  • Mankey
  • Primeape
  • Growlithe
  • Grimer
  • Muk
  • Scyther

The exclusive Pokémon in Let’s Go, Eevee! include:

  • Ekans
  • Arbok
  • Vulpix
  • Ninetales
  • Meowth
  • Bellsprout
  • Weepinbell
  • Victreebell
  • Koffing
  • Weezing
  • Pinsir

Note that Persian and Arcanine, which evolve from Meowth and Growlithe respectively, are excluded from this list, thanks to in-game trades. Otherwise, peruse the list to see which of these Pokémon mean the most to you.

Special moves

Pikachu and Eevee’s special moves Game Freak/The Pokémon Company

A (fancily dressed) move tutor that can be found in Pokémon Centers scattered across the region will teach your partner exclusive attacks. Eevee and Pikachu generally can’t learn moves from these different types, and their high attack power and secondary effects make them worthwhile investments.

Your partner Pikachu has just a handful of exclusive moves available:

  • Zippy Zap (electric-type)
  • Splishy Splash (water-type)
  • Floaty Fall (flying-type)

Meanwhile, an Eevee partner is able to learn a move based on the types of each of its potential evolutions.

  • Bouncy Bubble (water-type)
  • Buzzy Buzz (electric-type)
  • Sizzly Slide (fire-type)
  • Glitzy Glow (psychic-type)
  • Baddy Bad (dark-type)
  • Sappy Seed (grass-type)
  • Freezy Frost (ice-type)
  • Sparkly Swirl (fairy-type)

That’s a much more impressive lineup for Eevee, which helps, since the normal-type Pokémon has a lacking moveset on its own.

Collecting both Pikachu and Eevee

Pikachu and Eevee partner Pokémon Game Freak/The Pokémon Company

Just because you choose Eevee version doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get a Pikachu, and vice versa. Pikachu is easy to find in the wild as early as Viridian City; they’re not the most common finds, but you can grab multiple Pikachu without putting in too much effort.

Eevee, meanwhile, was never available to catch in the wild in the original Game Boy games. Let’s Go! draws heavily on these, so we imagine it works the same way: There’s a single Eevee a player can grab, and it requires sneaking into the backdoor of the Celadon City mansion.

Pikachu lovers who want an Eevee will most likely have to rely on trading with someone else — someone who already traded themselves an Eevee from Pokémon Go.

The choice is yours

I’m a bit biased, because I went for Eevee immediately. But consider how many times we’ve had the chance to partner up with Pikachu — heck, this game is based on Pokémon Yellow, where we didn’t even have another option of a starting monster. Nothing against Pikachu, but it’s nice to give someone else the spotlight. And Eevee is a very deserving Pokémon to star in a game.