Bringing Pokémon Let’s Go in to the Main games

It’s been over 18 months since my Last Pokémon focused article, But that’s more down to the lack of Articles on this site over this year. With Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee released back in November, I thought I’d talk about a similar topic to the first Pokémon Article I made for this site, transferring Pokémon to the Next Pokémon game.

Before I start, I’ll be covering many commonly used fan terms along with several in many in depth mechanics that hard core fans use. This is mainly due to the fact there are no official terms for that I can use instead, as the fans would also be using them. As many of these terms and mechanics could fill an article on it’s own, I will summarize them for the Purposes for this article.

As this is an prediction, most of what is written in this article is guesswork, and should not be treated as fact.

Some information, we know that there will be a new “main line” Pokémon game(s) coming to the Switch, most likely to arrive in the next year. Based on the pattern in the past: This game will be paired game like the Red and Blue, and most other games in series. There will new Pokemon in these games, and a small selection of Pokémon will be exclusive one of that pairs games. For purposes of this article, I will be calling this upcoming game, Pokémon 2019.

Currently there is almost no way to get two a Switch game to talk directly to 3DS game, which is a problem when trying to access data directly from the older console.  Previous Nintendo consoles could access their older models data on under certain conditions. The 3DS could play DS game carts and some 3DS download apps can read DS carts. The Launch DS and DS Lite models could also play the GBA game cart, with some DS games that had programmed support to access the data from the GBA game cart. However, there are already methods to transfer data between the 3DS and Switch, NFC via Amiibo and Skylander figures, and also the internet.

The NFC Figures such as Amiibo and Skylanders don’t hold much more data than the what is needed for the games that they support needs. There is only enough room for 1 Pokémon.  One major issue comes down the fact that the hardware required only built in to a just under a quarter of 3DS systems. (Dated to March 2018, Nintendo Investor relation sites shows Sale numbers of their systems, with Over 72 million 3DSes sold, with 17 Million of that has built in Amiibo Support.) Transferring Via Amiibo is just not practical, as it takes about a minute to properly scan the Amiibo and alter data on it.

The Internet is lot easier to transfer alot more than a few scraps of data, and today. Both the 3DS and Switch can access some of the same content that is online. The 3DS can even access user content indirectly from the Switch. 
Pokémon Bank uses cloud storage to keep your Pokémon, and makes it easy to move Pokémon between games. As Cloud storage can be (in theory) be accessed by multiple devices, this doesn’t happen at this time due to the way the NNID system works. For any Pokémon Bank user, NNID is required to Download the game, and is used when when loading up Pokémon Bank.

Back in 2013, when announcing Pokémon Bank service, the representatives from Pokémon Company suggested that this service would be continued in to to the Future games. Alongside it’s partner application, Pokémon Transfer brought Pokémon from older games, that does not have full Pokémon Bank support, which where later placed within any of Pokemon Bank’s Boxes. To date all the “Main Series” games released since that 2013 announcement has gotten support. Pokémon Let’s Go is first Pokémon game pair with no plans to support it announced. It is also the first game since 2013 that is not on the 3DS, or can be played on the 3DS.

While the Nintendo Switch Doesn’t use the NNID system, it uses a separate Nintendo Account. The Switch uses the Nintendo Account system, which can also be tied to a 3DS console’s NNID. This should mean that transferring shouldn’t be large issue for Pokémon 2019, at least getting the systems to talk to each other.

The idea of bringing older Pokémon to the newer consoles was the reason for Cloud storage was picked, and was not really viable outside of a Wii game, before the 3DS. Getting the Pokémon to the Switch doesn’t appear to be the problem. The issue is when you compare Pokémon Lets’s Go and Pokemon Sun and Moon starts when you look at the stats.

The issue arises from the Pokémon stats in Pokémon Let’s Go: They don’t match up to the 3DS games. If you look at this “trained” Joe Merrick’s Pidgey, you can see it’s stats are all over 200 at Level 5. In the 3DS games, a Level 5 Pidgey can only get up to 23HP after training, however this would require planning and significant investment in certain areas. The 20 HP on my Pidgey

EVs and AVs

Well, not that type of Eevee..

And this is where I’m going start get technical and Math, but I need to cover this. The visible stats for every Pokémon, is calculated from 5 different variables. The Level and Natures shown by name in game, and some are actually seen. The Level is quite simple to understand, while the Natures Boost one stat at the expense of another, or do nothing. The Base Stat is common to all Pokémon of that Species, and will change on evolution. All Abra has a Base HP stat of 25, and will change to Kadabra’s base HP stat of 40 on evolution. IVs are random number between 0 and 31 that is when you first see that Pokémon, and is some times called “Genes” due to their Nature in Breeding. Currently, Bottlecap items can be used to boost these to 31 for some cases. These 4 are the same between Let’s Go and every game since Ruby and Sapphire. (The formula for math in all GBA, DS and 3DS Pokémon games is the same.)

In the GBA, DS and 3DS games, the 5th Variable is EVs. This often let Players boost certain stats of a Pokemon after capture. This can add up of 63 extra Stat points to a stat on Level 100 Pokemon, also there are limits to about 126 extra stat points across all 6 stats at Level 100. You obtain Evs based on the Pokémon you battled,  In Pokémon Let’s Go, The 5th Variable is AV, like Evs, boosts certain stats of a Pokémon after Capture. But unlike Evs, this can add up to 200 per stat at any time, including at Level 5. Also, There is a “friendship” Boost that adds slightly to the battles. You obtain most of your Pokémon’s AVs by feeding certain candies which is presened when transferring Pokemon to the Professor.

For a single player game, getting Friendship and AV boosts is useful but has issues within the Competitive areas. In the Let’s Go Games when battling other players, “Normal Rules” will disable the Friendship and AV boost, while “No restrictions” lets them past. Comments on the Popular Battling Site, Smogon, on the Topic of No restriction mode, mention that several Longer battles with full AV Pokémon, to the point where they’re running out of PP and Struggle to loose. However this is early days for the AV system, but the Pokémon Video Game Championship will not be using Pokémon Let’s Go and using Ultra Sun and Moon.

As for what can be done when trying to transfer the Pokémon from the 3DS and Let’s Go in to Pokémon 2019? I see a few options:

  • Remove the AV system. Like Normal Battle mode and the 3DS games before it, the AVs wouldn’t be present. This would make the Let’s Pokémon work in the Pokémon 2019, with Stats that matched their Ultra Sun and Moon counterparts.
  • Keep AVs for “Story” mode, but disable them in areas Multiplayer environments. This would be more confusing for Late game Battle Facility and Multiplayer, which is often ran under Link Battle conditions.
  • Reduce the AV’s effects. Currently 200 Extra stat points in every stat does seem a little excessive, as many Level 100 3DS Pokémon would not ever have stat that high ever at all. Some Pokémon after Mew in the Pokedex presents issues if they could have certain stats, especially with missing item hold and Ability Mechanics.

Final thoughts

I should point out that Pokémon stats in main Pokémon games have changed several in the 21 year history, and things have changed when transferring between games.  I count of three “major” changes to Pokémon Stats, with a few minor tweaks to other features along the way. Also The Pokémon that made the trip from Mobile game Pokémon Go to Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee.

The AV system as it currently stands in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee doesn’t translate well to 3DS games. However the same could be said about the trying to make the EV system work in Let’s Go.

Personally, I’d expect that Pokemon 2019 won’t be using the AV system at all.

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