You might be forgiven in thinking Pokmon Go was the only Pokmon game out in 2016 based on the colossal success it’s had this summer, but there’s a whole new generation of games on the way in the form of Pokmon Sun and Moon on the 3DS, arriving for the franchise’s 20th anniversary.
The seventh generation of Pokmon games introduces a new wave of creatures to find, catch and train – including some adorable new starters – a new map based on a real world location, and some neat new features for long-time fans to get very excited about.
Starter Pokmon in Pokmon Sun and Moon
Arguably the most exciting new additions to any new generation of Pokmon are the starters, and Pokmon Sun and Moon delivers on the traditional fire / grass / water line-up with a few cute newcomers:
- Flying Grass type Rowlet
- Fire type Litten
- Water type Popplio
Right now their evolutions have yet to be revealed, but expect the usual two evolutions each, and a possible Mega Evolution if X and Y’s starters are anything to go by.
Pokmon Sun and Moon Legendary Pokmon Solgaleo and Lunala
One of the core differences between each generation’s new pair of Pokmon games are their Legendaries, which are themed around their respective titles.
Solgaleo is a Psychic / Steel type, with a powerful Sunsteel Strike move and Full Metal Body ability. It can transform into the Radiant Sun phase.
Lunala is a Psychic / Ghost type, with a powerful Moongiest Beam and Shadow Shield ability. It can transform into the Full Moon phase.
Based on previous games, both these Legendaries expect them to be available as part of a story-related event in the late game, and that the only way to add the opposing Legendary to your Pokdex will be via trading – so have a friend who will own the other edition at hand.
As well as this pair, we already know about the game’s mythical Pokmon – think along the lines of Mew and Celebi – which is Magearna, a man-made Steel / Fairy type created over 500 years ago.
Expect to get your hands on this via a special event outside of the game at some point post-release through the game’s new QR code system (see the ‘Other new features’ section for more details).
Other new Pokmon in Pokmon Sun and Moon
Outside of the one-of-a-kind creatures you receive through special events, there’s set to be plenty of others you’ll find out in the wild as part of this generation’s update. The total number has yet to be confirmed, but based on previous instalments, could range between 70 and 150.
Highlights include some rather bizarre designs, from a big-lipped fish (Bruxish), a tiny gnat (Cutiefly) to a Pikachu-looking mouse (Togedemaru). There’s also been a few more regular-looking types you’ll find out and about:
There have also been a few more oddities, including a bear named Kiteruguma and a Ghost / Fairy type named Mimikkyu that hides inside a ropey-looking Pikachu disguise.
— Serebii.net (@SerebiiNet) July 12, 2016
Pokmon Sun and Moon new setting, professor and characters
Pokmon Sun and Moon are set in the region of Alola, which is loosely based on the islands of Hawaii – so expect plenty of beaches, palm trees and sunny climes as you run around catching creatures.
Professor Kukui is your new guide for this generation, a bare-chested, shades-wearing character who will likely be the one to offer up your starter Pokmon and provide a helping hand throughout your journey.
Other new characters include Professor Kukui’s “mysterious” assistant Lillie and Hau, a new friend that you’ll likely regularly encounter on your journey.
Other new features: Battle Royale, QR codes and Virtual Console trading
- One of the biggest reveals during E3 was the Battle Royale mode, where four players compete at once in a free-for-all scrap where the winner is whoever has the most Pokmon surviving by the end. While it sounds chaotic, strategy will lie in predicting who will attack who next in order to pick off the right players to claim the top spot.
- Pokmon Sun and Moon will introduce the ability to scan QR codes, allowing you to register Pokmon data to your Pokedex, adding its habitat data so you can search them out. As well as being released through special events, you can also create codes based on what you’ve caught to share with friends.
There will be more customisation options than ever before for Trainers, including the ability to choose skin tone and hair style and colour.
Pokmon Sun and Moon’s Pokdex features a Rotom, a type of Pokmon found in man-made electrical goods, meaning your ‘dex will have more of a chatty personality and a map on the 3DS’s bottom screen.
Meanwhile, owners of the 3DS Virtual Console editions of Pokmon Red, Blue and Yellow will be able to transfer the original 151 Pokmon to Sun and Moon via the Pokmon Bank app – perfect if you want to craft a team of Kanto-only Elite Four creatures. Note that the ability to transfer Pokmon via the Bank will be available in a future update. Pokmon can also be received from the sixth generation of games.
Pokmon Sun and Moon release date, UK pre-order
Pokmon Sun and Moon will be available exclusively on Nintendo 3DS from November 18 worldwide, and in more languages than ever; English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese (both Traditional and Simplified).
Playing Pokmon Go? Check out our Pokmon Go guide, tips hub to get the most out of finding, catching and leveling up.