Need Pokemon GO Header

The reasons you might need Pokémon Go. Or not.


Before its release, Pokémon Let’s Go sent some mixed signals about its Pokémon Go integration.

As we discussed yesterday, both Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee are way better than we expected. But the reason many of us were skeptical in the first place was right in the title. Are these Pokémon Yellow remakes actually Pokémon GO spinoffs? Do they play like the core Pokémon games? And most importantly, do you need Pokémon GO to enjoy Pokémon Let’s Go?

We answered the first two questions yesterday, and today we’ll clear the air on the last one. Here are the only things you need Pokémon GO for in both Pokémon Let’s Go games.



1: The GO Park


Pokemon Let's Go GO Park

Of all the details lovingly carried over from Pokémon Yellow, the Safari Zone is notably absent from Fuchsia City. In its place is the GO Park.

This is an area where you can transfer Pokémon caught in Pokémon GO into your Pokémon Let’s Go file. While you do need to catch your Pokémon again in Let’s Go, it’s impossible to actually lose Pokémon you transfer. if you import a Charmander who runs away before you catch it, it’ll still be located in the GO Park. The stats of your Pokémon will generally correspond to their CP from Pokémon GO.

Do note that Pokémon transferred into Let’s Go can’t be returned to your Pokémon GO account. Also, as you might expect, Pokémon from Johto and Hoenn are ineligible for transfer.

Pokemon GO Park

There’s also a minigame you can play if you manage to transfer 25 of the same Pokémon. It’s a simple diversion where you round up all the Pokémon in a time limit while avoiding some obstacles along the way. You do get some basic Pokémon candies for completing it, but that’s about it. It’s a harmless diversion, but for my money, the original Surfing Pikachu minigame was better.

That’s honestly all there is to the GO Park. It’s there if you want to use it, but it’s definitely not required to play the game. Even the Pokémon that were once exclusive to the safari zone are now regular encounters in other areas of the game.



2: Meltan and Melmetal


Meltan Data

Though the Let’s Go games are Gen 1 remakes, it does include two Pokémon that were never before seen in the core series: Meltan and its evolution Melmetal.

These Pokémon should be considered bonuses, similar to Mew in the original games. Meltan and Melmetal can only be obtained from Pokémon GO. Fortunately, even a total Pokémon GO newbie can obtain these two steel type monsters with a little effort… and a lot of patience for the evolved form.

Caught Meltan

When you transfer a Pokémon from Pokémon GO into Let’s Go, a mystery gift appears in the corresponding Pokémon GO account. When opened, Meltans will appear at the feet of a trainer for the next 30 minutes. Even a level one Pokémon GO trainer can easily catch a full roster of Meltan. A Meltan can realistically be added to your Let’s Go save file within an hour of downloading Pokémon GO for the first time.

Getting Melmetal is a bit trickier. Meltan can only evolve in Pokémon GO, which requires catching a lot of duplicate Meltans. Unfortunately, while the mystery gift from Let’s Go helps a lot, it can only be opened once a week. Players who don’t otherwise want to engage with Pokémon GO should expect to wait multiple weeks before getting Melmetal.

Pokemon GO Mystery Box

If you didn’t learn about Meltan and Melmetal before playing Let’s Go, you practically wouldn’t notice they were in the game. They never even show up in your Pokedex before you catch them. There are Master Trainers associated with them, but that’s it. They’re bonus Pokémon that reward players for playing Pokémon GO.



That’s honestly everything


Pokemon Let's Go Elite Four

For these two features alone, you absolutely don’t need Pokémon GO to play Let’s Go Pikachu / Eevee. Meltan and Melmetal are cool extras, but that’s about it. And even then, complete Pokémon GO newbies can unlock them through sheer patience.

That’s not to say Pokémon GO isn’t worthwhile to Let’s Go players. In fact, Pokémon GO is a great way to obtain version-exclusive Pokémon. Pikachu players can get Ekans this way, and Eevee players can get Oddish. You can still get these Pokémon by trading with other Let’s Go players, but not everyone has a friend with the right copy of the game. Even normally limited Pokémon like Kabuto and Omanyte can be obtained in abundance with Pokémon GO.

Pokemon GO Roster

While you don’t need Pokémon GO, it can come in handy if you’re a completionist filling out your Pokedex. But if you’re not a fan of Pokémon GO, you can obtain all 150 Pokémon via traditional means. It’s up to you to decide how you want to play, but I got to hand it to them, they managed to make me open Pokémon GO again for the first time in well over a year. Those dastards at Nintendo have done it again.

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Written by TimM
Tim is a video game aficionado who is fascinated by pop culture. He built his first collection in 1999 by catching all 151 monsters in Pokemon Red, and he hasn't stopped collecting since. His work has been featured multiple times on Destructoid.com.