Pokemon Let’s Go Works Without Motion Controls, But There’s a Catch | Gaming News
Pokemon can be caught in handheld mode with the press of a button, but you may have to keep your Switch on a flat surface.
Contrary to previous reports, motion controls are not required to catch Pokemon while playing Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! in handheld mode, according to a statement from Nintendo. However, there are still many lingering questions about how that process will actually work.
Here’s the full statement provided to Tech by a Nintendo representative:
“Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! do not require players to use motion controls or physical gestures when in Handheld Mode. Instead, players can use the joystick on the left Joy-Con controller to aim and press the A button to throw a Poké Ball. The simulated throwing motion associated with the Joy-Con controllers or Poké Ball Plus are intended to enhance the gameplay experience, but are not required to play these games.”
A representative for The Pokemon Company confirmed to Tech that “there is no function to turn off motion controls,” but that “this does not impact that player’s ability to use the buttons and joysticks to play the game in handheld mode.”
The simulated throwing motion associated with the Joy-Con controllers or Poké Ball Plus are intended to enhance the gameplay experience, but are not required to play these games.
Tech was able to view a video demo provided by The Pokemon Company that showed Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! played in handheld mode. In this video, the player successfully caught multiple Pokemon without the use of any motion controls. However, this was accomplished by placing the Nintendo Switch flat on a table with Joy-Cons attached (ie., handheld mode), and using only the buttons and joystick without moving the system.
Since motion controls cannot be turned off, it’s still unclear if motion controls will kick in automatically when the system is moved while Pokemon Let’s Go is played in handheld mode.
Previously, it was reported that to catch a Pokemon in handheld mode you would have to “find” the Pokemon by physically moving the Nintendo Switch console to center the Pokemon in the screen, but this does not seem to actually be the case (at least in stationary handheld mode as shown in our demo).
While playing with the Switch stationary in this video, the Pokemon was automatically centered on the screen when an encounter began, requiring only a press of the button to accurately throw a Poke Ball to catch it. Correct timing was needed to hit the center of the Pokemon and accomplish a “Good” or “Great” throw, but not necessary to complete a catch. However, the Pokemon caught in our demo was mostly stationary and good timing could technically be harder on a Pokemon with more erratic movements and dodges. Representatives at the demo did not confirm if Pokemon will aggressively dodge attacks, or if pressing the A button will throw a Poke Ball in docked mode.
After seeing this video, Tech asked representatives for The Pokemon Company if moving the camera will ever be necessary since Pokemon are automatically centered in your Poke Ball’s crosshairs, so to speak, at the start of each encounter. This also brings into question why motion controls cannot be turned off if it seems they will interfere with joystick inputs if the system is moved. We are awaiting further details from Nintendo and The Pokemon Company, as the video did not include the Switch being played in handheld mode while the system is being moved.
In summary, here’s what we learned about motion controls in Pokemon: Let’s Go while in handheld mode:
- At the start of a Pokemon catching encounter, the only input needed is choosing an item and pressing the A button to throw a Poke Ball. No motion controls required.
- This is easily accomplished if the Switch is completely stationary, such as when flat on a table.
- If you want, you can move the camera while in a catching encounter with the left joystick, though there is no obvious reason to do so.
- However, motion controls cannot be turned off.
- So, if the Switch in handheld mode is physically moved, the movement would trigger the motion controls, causing the camera to move with it.
In conclusion, motion controls are not necessary to catch a Pokemon in Pokemon: Let’s Go when in handheld mode, however, moving the console would trigger motion controls. Think of playing Splatoon 2 with motion controls turned on in handheld mode. You can aim using the right joystick, but tilting the Switch will trigger the aiming motion as well.
We’ve reached out to Nintendo and The Pokemon Company to clarify further and will update this story if we receive any additional comment.
Casey DeFreitas is an Editor at Tech who wishes to be a Pokemon Master. Catch her on Twitter @ShinyCaseyD.