Since developer and publisher Pocket Pair released the first trailer for Palworld over a year ago, Pokémon fans have been bristling at the survival shooter’s apparent similarity to Nintendo’s iconic franchise. Now that Palworld has successfully launched across platforms (to astounding popularity, with the game smashing records), modders are predictably already working hard to bring their own creations and ideas to the game, despite the fact that Pocket Pair hasn’t released official mod support. Naturally, the first unofficial mod to debut embraces the connection by letting you play as Ash and adding Pikachu, as well as other iconic Pokémon, to the game.
Yes, you read that right. If you’re playing Palworld to scratch a Pokémon itch or as a bridge to whenever the new Pokémon game releases, that experience will get a lot easier. Despite Palworld’s initial lack of official mod support, YouTuber Toasted Shoes has created a mod that allows you to play as Ash, battling against Pokémon. The mod, although unapproved and seemingly inserted through a backdoor in the code, highlights the dedication of modders who will have used an early-access version of the game to make their creations.
Toasted Shoes, who’s shared a clip of the Poké-mod via X, plans to release a full video to YouTube demonstrating the mod in all its gory glory. So far we already know that the mod includes Brock, Misty, Jessie from Team Rocket, and Pokémon from across generations. As more details emerge, Palworld players will undoubtedly be desperate to download the mod, while ardent Pokémon fans could see it as further proof that Palword is a shameless copy of the beloved Nintendo franchise.
Mind you, it isn’t certain that this mod will ever make it on the official list, as Pocket Pair could block it from being supported to avoid any potential legal trouble with Nintendo. Nintendo and Game Freak have worked hard over decades to preserve Pokémon’s child-friendly reputation, which is in stark contrast to Palworld’s ethos. To that end, Nintendo (which is very protective of its IP) won’t want the connection between Palworld and Pokémon to grow too blatant and will be keen to avoid Palword ending up being seen as an unofficial Pokémon game. Certainly, if you were playing through the Pokémon games in order and got to Palworld, it’d stand out.
Whether or not Palworld’s links to Pokémon get Pocket Pair in any disputes remains to be seen. But, in our eyes, the new game is only really a positive thing for Pokémon. Firstly, it keeps Pokémon in the conversation at a time when Nintendo is yet to confirm the next Pokémon game. Secondly, it could give Game Freak some new and exciting gameplay ideas. Perhaps the team could test out some survival mechanics as Pokémon’s foray into the open-world format progresses. Certainly, stranger things have happened.
For more Pokémon fun, check out our list of the best Pokémon games, or see our picks for the best Nintendo Switch games. You can also see our guides to all the latest Pokémon Unite codes and Pokémon Go promo codes. If you’re looking for more on Palworld, read PCGamesN’s Palword review.