Will Pokémon Legends: Arceus Have Turn-Based Battles?

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A Pokémon Trainer and their Munchlax in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus might be the biggest step we’ve seen this franchise take, giving us an open-world game with a lot of Pokémon from various generations to catch, so it’s hard not to be excited.

So far, we know that the title will not have gym battles, and there are new types of special Pokémon, who are protected by Wardens, all around Hisui. These Wardens make up the Diamond Clan and Pearl Clans in Hisui, too, which is another element we haven't exactly seen before in a Pokémon title.

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With that being said and all these changes being introduced, is Pokémon Legends: Arceus going to have turn-based battles still?

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Will Pokémon Legends: Arceus Have Turn-Based Battles?

With the move to open-world, many wondered if Pokémon Legends: Arceus would keep the series’ long-running turn-based battle system and the simple answer is yes. These battles, however, are a lot more seamless, making things feel more real-time.

During the game’s reveal, we saw bits of the battle system and we still had a menu with attacks for the Pokémon to execute, so we’re not getting a battle system similar to Pokken Tournament or Yokai Watch.

The old-school turn-based battles in Pokémon have rarely been an issue with fans so seeing it stay prominent in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is totally fine, though we’re sure there are a number of fans who wanted something different. Fortunately, things will likely feel a little different due to the small changes that have been made as well as the open-world nature of some areas of the game, but not drastically so.

A screenshot of the seamless battle animations employed during battles in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
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Players Will Be Able to Catch Wild Pokemon Without Battling Them

While some will be on the attack and others will flee, players can strategise and tactically catch them using sneaking and aim with their Poké Ball. With some luck, players will actually be able to catch Pokémon without the need to battle them. Additionally, entering into battles with Pokémon will be a seamless transition, making things feel much smoother and realistic.

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Agile Style And Strong Style

Furthermore, there are now two approaches to battling with Pokémon. Players can choose between Agile Style or Strong Style as they attack, with each having different effects on their moves. Agile Style will raise the user's speed, but lower's the moves power. On the other hand, Strong Style will raise the power of the user's move, but lower their speed.

The fact that Pokémon Legends: Arceus is going through so many major changes in itself should excuse keeping the turn-based battles since, let’s be honest, who wants to make all those move-sets for hundreds and hundreds of Pokemon? The minor changes that have been made certainly seem sufficient!

For more on Pokémon Legends: Arceus, check out our release guide, as well as our guides to catching Alpha Pokémon, Noble Pokémon, and the new Hisuian forms.

Updated on January 26, 2022 by Kelsey Raynor. Contributions from Nico Parungo.