Following yesterday’s announcement, The Pokémon Company revealed new details about the upcoming mobile game, Pokémon Masters, in a livestream earlier today. The video ran for eight minutes, the first half of which was an animated trailer showing many familiar faces—gym leaders, champions, trainer avatars, past rivals—from the games.
The second half of the stream featured clips of Tsunekazu Ishihara, President and CEO of The Pokémon Company, and Yu Sasaki, a producer for the game from DeNA, the company developing the game in collaboration with The Pokémon Company, discussing more details about the game separately. Their portion of the stream starts at 4:26.
The game will take players to Pasio, a new island region “located somewhere in the world of Pokémon” that hosts the Pokémon Masters League tournament. Instead of having a team of six Pokémon, trainers in Pasio only have one partner Pokémon each, with whom they become a Sync Pair.
In battle, trainers team up with other Sync Pairs to battle three-on-three against other Sync Pair teams. This is one of the main features of the game, according to Ishihara, who said the company wanted “to create a gameplay experience where you can befriend not only Pokémon, but also trainers to battle alongside you.” There will be 65 Sync Pairs available at launch, including Cynthia and Garchomp, Iris and Haxorus, Brendan and Treecko, and many others. As players battle their way to the top, they’ll receive Gym badges.
In addition the three-on-three structure, another drastic change to the traditional Pokémon battling system is coming: battling in real-time. Each Pokémon has a move gauge that fills up over time. As it fills up, your Pokémon’s moves will be available to use. Once it’s full, you tap the move to use it, then you have to wait for it to refill. Additionally, the Z-move-like-move Brock performed in the footage from the press conference last night has been revealed to be a Sync Move, which deals more damage than regular moves. The trainers themselves will also be able to use moves during battle to support their Pokémon, such as healing them or raising their stats.
The release window for the game has shrunk once more, as the game is slated to release sometime this summer, according to Sasaki, a sharp contrast to the past release dates announced (first by March 2020, then by the end of this calendar year). The thing we know the least about at this point is the game’s microtransactions, as the game itself will be free to download.