Palworld vs Pokemon: Which game is right for you?

Palword has dominated attention this week in the gaming world, as it set records as having one of the highest counts of concurrent players in Steam’s history. 

But Palworld has already seen its fair share of controversy too, with comparisons made to the iconic Pokemon series. While there are many similarities between the two games, there are also significant differences too.  

We’ve created this guide to highlight the key differences between Palworld and Pokemon, so you can decide which game is right for you. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Pokemon has far more monsters 

The biggest similarity between Palworld and Pokemon is that they both feature catchable monsters that can aid you in battle. Reports suggest that Palworld has around 111 monsters in the game, although this isn’t confirmed. 

In the very first Pokemon games (Red and Blue back in 1996) 151 monsters were introduced. That count has now risen to a whopping 1025 for the entire series. It’s of course worth pointing out that you can’t catch every single one of the monsters in one game, but Scarlet and Violet still allows you to catch up to 400 critters. 

Palworld has also been criticised for having monster designs too similar to those in the Pokemon series. The Pokemon Company has even confirmed that it will be investigating whether Palworld has infringed upon Pokemon’s intellectual property or assets – we can only wait and see whether there’s any credence to these concerns. 


Palworld has guns

The thought of seeing Pikachu running around with an assault rifle is absurd, which is likely why so many people were shocked to see Palworld featuring an arsenal of weaponry that both the main player and his companion monsters can wield. 

In fact, guns are a huge component of the combat in Palword, as you’ll need them to take down powerful monsters, as well as hostile humans. Combat takes place in real time too, so you’ll need to move your character around to dodge incoming attacks. 

This differs greatly to Pokemon, where there’s an absence of weapons and combat is entirely locked to turn-based battles. You’re also restricted to attacks learned by Pokemon, so the trainer can’t join in the fight alongside Pikachu and co. 

Palworld is a survival game

Perhaps the biggest difference between Palworld and Pokemon is the genre. Palworld is a survival game, which tasks you with collecting resources and building a base. You’ll need to craft your own tools and weapons, while also managing your hunger levels. 

Parlword even features a wanted system, making characters more hostile to you when committing crimes. Besides survival and building your case, there isn’t really a main objective in Palworld. 

Pokemon differs greatly in this respect, tasking you with catching all of the monsters available, beating all the gym leaders and then defeating the Elite Four. There are no survival elements in Pokemon, so don’t need to worry about your hunger levels. As a result, Palworld is actually more similar to games such as Ark: Survival Evolved when it comes to gameplay. 

Pokemon edition of Nintendo Switch
Switch with Pokemon design

Pokemon is only available on Nintendo consoles

Ever since the series first launched, Pokemon games have only ever been available on Nintendo platforms, starting on the Game Boy, all the way up to the Nintendo Switch. This includes the main franchise, as well as the various spin-offs. 

Unless you’re using an emulator, this means it’s impossible for PC, PlayStation and Xbox owners to play Pokemon games. This is because Pokemon is jointly owned by Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures. 

Palworld, meanwhile, is owned by an independent company called Pocket Pair. This means there’s no reason why Palworld can’t one day be available on every available platform. Right now, Palworld is in early access and available to play on PC, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One. It’s currently unavailable on PS5 and Nintendo Switch, but that will potentially change in the future once the game fully launches. 

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