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Pokémon Legends: Arceus release date, starters, and more

Here's everything you need to know about Pokémon Legends: Arceus, including all the cute and deadly starter Pokémon options.

A female character looks out to the mountains

Pokémon Legends: Arceus was an exciting extension of the Pokémon concept that landed on Nintendo Switch in 2022. Promising players a completely open world in which they could roam freely around with their Pokémon, Legends: Arceus took the concept of the Wild Area from Pokémon Sword and Shield and doubled down.

Set in the Sinnoh region, the same region where Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are set, there was a lot for old-school fans to dig into. However, Pokémon Legends: Arceus unfolded in “a long-gone era,” which took inspiration from a feudal Japan and medieval setting. With Pokémon roaming as they pleased and the player throwing ‘olde timey’ wooden PokéBalls in the overworld, the game was at the forefront of an experimental new generation of Pokémon games.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus release date

Pokémon Legends: Arceus was released on Friday, January 28, 2022, on Nintendo Switch.

Oddly, 2022 actually saw two mainline Pokémon games, with Sword and Shield releasing later in the year as well. This meant fans of the series were eating well in 2022, with enough creature-catching action to last the year.

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Pokémon Legends: Arceus gameplay

Everything from the landscape to the musical score drew immediate comparisons to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and to be honest we were very happy to see Pokémon Legends: Arceus take notes from modern Zelda.

However, with an old-world feel and a mystery surrounding Arceus at the centre of the story, this was very much a Pokémon adventure. It blew open the lore of the Pokémon world as we knew it, and millions of players were eager to dive into the tall grass of feudal Sinnoh to find out more.

Pokémon Legends Arceus: Cyndaquil, Rowlet, and Oshawott standing next to each other inside an administrative-looking building with red carpet.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus starters

The starter Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus were Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott.

While these may seem like an odd selection, especially as none of these starter Pokémon were native to Sinnoh, the story did explain the decision. In fact, Professor Laventon revealed that he brought these Pokémon to Sinnoh himself, explaining why you can typically only encounter these ‘mon in Space-Time Distortions.

Pokémon Legends Arceus: Arceus floats in mid-air, a rainbow of colour glares from behind it.

Who is Arceus anyway?

Arceus was the creator of all Pokémon, and “shaped all there is in this world.” We don’t want to spoil too much, but from the trailers alone, it was clear that Arceus was born from an egg into nothingness, and that it existed before anything else in the universe.

In-game, Arceus is a legendary Normal-type Pokémon, whose typing changes depending on which ‘Plate’ item it holds. The genderless god can transform into any of the 18 types, making it a powerful attacker for any trainer who can tame it.

With its shakeup of the traditional Pokémon format, Legends Arceus was a bit like Marmite. Although it was generally received very favorable, there were only two camps – loved it or hated it.