Nintendo Confirms Pokemon Legends: Arceus is Not an Open-World Game

Pokemon Legends Arceus Not Open World

The Pokémon Company have confirmed Pokemon Legends Arceus is not a truly open-world game, but seemingly more akin to Monster Hunter.

Kotaku reported that based on existing trailers and information, the game seems more likely to be segmented. Back in August, the gameplay trailer during the Nintendo Direct described how players use Jubilife Village as a base for their adventures. There players accept missions (such as catching Pokemon, or Survey Outings), venture out into the world, and return for their reward.

The most recent trailer also led to the official website being updated, giving us a clear look at the map players will have- notably divided into areas. Players will also find camps out in the wilds to rest up and craft items.


Kotaku compares this to Monster Hunter (specifically Monster Hunter Stories; that series’ monster-catching RPG spin-off). Joe Merrik- the webmaster of Pokemon fan news website Serebii- also drew comparisons to Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on Twitter. Many at large had compared early trailers to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The former’s reporting prompted a response from The Pokemon Company.

“In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Jubilife Village will serve as the base for surveying missions. After receiving an assignment or a request and preparing for their next excursion, players will set out from the village to study one of the various open areas of the Hisui region. After they finish the survey work, players will need to return once more to prepare for their next task. We look forward to sharing more information about exploring the Hisui region soon.”


The real question now is how much of the world will be open if it is not entirely open. In Sword and Shieldthe Wild Area was one giant map, though with different named areas with different Pokemon spawning. Cities, towns, and routes were all their own areas separated by loading screens.

The use of “one of the various open areas” suggests that players cannot travel between different “wild areas” on the map. This in turn may suggest there will be more data to load than Sword and Shield; possibly due to more animations from wild Pokemon, or more detailed environments.

The question remains how big will each area be? Will it be divided by biomes of grassy plains, forests, and snowy mountains? Or will there be multiple smaller locations within the same biome with different layouts and Pokemon?

The player will have the ability to ride Pokemon- including flying on the Hisuian Braviary. It is not impossible to imagine invisible walls will be justified via strong air-currents or similar.


The open-world Pokemon game has been an oft proposed idea by fans. Letting players dare to venture into areas they are far-too low a level for to find rare Pokemon, or challenge Gym Leaders in any order they wish.

While the mainline games have had linear progression, the straight line has arguably become more blatant in recent titles; with little need to re-visit old areas other than unlocking secrets and side-content.

No matter how the final game turns out, we shall keep you informed.

Pokemon Legends Arceus launches January 28th, 2022 for Nintendo Switch.

Additional Images: Pokemon Legends Arceus official website

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Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.