Even before it entered Early Access on January 19, Pocketpair’s monster-collecting survival game Palworld was widely being referred to as “Pokémon With Guns.” But mere days after launch, modders have already taken steps to really drive the comparison home by adding actual Pokémon characters to the mix.
Palworld’s gameplay has earned it comparisons to games like Fortnite and Breath of the Wild, but perhaps the most inescapable comparison is the one to Pokémon, owing to the prominence of a variety of cute creatures called Pals. The mod that brings real Pokémon into the game isn’t live yet, but YouTuber Toasted Shoes has posted a teaser video showing the mod in motion, with plans to release a full video detailing it tomorrow, January 23. It changes the player character to Ash, the former protagonist from the Pokémon anime, and transforms all the Palworld critters into Pokémon equivalents. In the trailer alone you can see Ash hunting wild Torterra, forcing Pikachu to help build strongholds, and working alongside his friends Brock and Misty to survive in this untamed world. Long-time anime antagonist Jessie from Team Rocket even takes the place of an early boss.
A mod like this was inevitable, but I am surprised it happened this quickly. Pokémon fans are no strangers to seeing these characters added to other games, and there have been far more jarring examples than Palworld. Last year, an Elden Ring mod put Koraidon in The Lands Between, and it ruled, actually.
Even without Pikachu and most of Pokémon’s signature competitive mechanics in the mix, the “Pokémon With Guns” pitch has worked out in Palworld’s favor, as the game sold over five million copies in just its first three days between PC and Xbox. Those playing on platforms other than Steam, however, will have a much more limited multiplayer experience.