If You Love Pokémon Go, Try These Other Free-to-Play Pokémon Games
If you want to broaden your horizons beyond Pokémon Go, you're in luck.
There are a lot of great free-to-play Pokémon titles out there, and they each offer something completely different to players. Better yet, the apps are both for mobile devices and Nintendo Switch and 3DS systems. Keep reading to find out which one is the perfect match for you.
Available on iOS and Android
Camp Pokémon is more a collection of mini-games than one cohesive game, but we've had tons of fun with it anyway.
It takes place on an island populated with different events to participate in, including microgames that test your knowledge of Pokémon. Certain games help you collect Pins based on Pokémon and Energy cards, and your goal is to fill up your book of Pins.
But you won't have to collect 800+ pins for every Pokémon ever designed. This game focuses on creatures from the original batch of Pokémon, plus ones from the Pokémon Sun and Moon games, including Alolan forms. These games involve using a view scope to find hidden Pokémon, a matching game with Pokémon trading cards, a Poké Ball rolling game utilizing your phone's motion controls and one where you toss Poké Balls to capture Pokémon, just like in Pokémon Go.
There are additional mini-games that test your Pokémon knowledge, but they won't earn you pins, plus a theater where you can watch Pokémon video clips. The whole experience is geared towards younger kids, but we think fans of all ages will manage to get something out of it.
(Camp Pokémon via The Pokémon Company)
Available on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire
Magikarp Jump is a ton of silly fun. In the game, your character becomes a native of Hoppy Town, where otherwise useless Magikarps are treasured and specially raised to jumping competitions.
Your goal is to catch and raise Magikarp to become a jumping champion. To do so, you take care of Magikarp in its own little lake. Tapping on berries causes Magikarp to eat them, raising its ability to jump in tiny increments. You can also do special training exercises to make it a more powerful jumper.
Your Magikarp can then compete head-to-head against a league of other Magikarps, earning handy prizes for winning. When your Magikarp reaches its maximum level, it goes into retirement and you fish up yet another Magikarp.
But the magic of this game is that there are so many kinds of Magikarp. We're not just talking about a golden shiny fish. They also come in calico, orca, tiger stripe and raindrop patterns—and that's just a tip of the iceberg. Our favorite part of the game, beyond getting further and further with each fish, is collecting every variety and adding them to our guides.
You can also lose Magikarps to hungry Pidgeottos and accidental evolution. This game always keeps you guessing.
(Magikarp Jump via The Pokémon Company)
Available on iOS and Android
Pokémon Duel is the toughest game on this list to master, but it's absolutely worth the trouble. Though the game involves battling Pokémon, you won't find many similarities between these fights and those in a typical Pokémon RPG. Instead of a standard arena, battles unfold on a game board, and the Pokémon on your team are collectible Amiibo-like figurines.
Both you and your opponent begin with six Pokémon. To win the match, you must reach your opponent's flag with one of your Pokémon. If your monster runs into one of your rivals on the way there, a battle begins.
The winner is randomly determined by a spinner, and the loser goes to the Pokémon Center. There are two spaces at the Pokémon Center, so it's knocked out when two more Pokémon take its place. Once your Pokémon is healed, you have to wait a turn before it moves again. You can also use special items called Plates to increase your chances of winning or swap out the locations of your Pokémon.
Beyond that, the most important element of the game is collecting Pokémon that will help you win. You get new figures every time you win a round or you open Booster Cases, which are gained by winning a specific number of rounds or waiting for a timer to refill. Balancing your team with fast, strong and hardy Pokémon is the key to coming out on top—and it helps if you can acquire some awesome legendary Pokémon along the way.
(Pokémon Duel via The Pokémon Company)
Available on Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Picross is purely a puzzle game, but we don't mind too much seeing as Picross is one of our favorite puzzlers ever. The Picross grid consists of a board with numbers in its columns and rows that specify how many boxes in the grid need to be filled in. When completed correctly, the result is a pixel art image, and in Pokémon Picross, those images are all of Pokémon.
But because this is also a Pokémon game, a few special twists are added to the gameplay. As you complete levels, you recruit the Pokémon you've just created. As you go into each new puzzles, you can then bring these Pokémon along to help you solve them. For example, water and ice-type Pokémon have a move that highlights the columns and rows that are the next step of the puzzle, and psychic and ghost-types can stop the level's timer in its tracks.
As you progress, you also collect a currency called Picrites, which are needed to unlock subsequent worlds. You'll want to play levels again and again to meet special conditions that unlock the Picrites you need to keep playing. There are also extra-challenging Mega Evolution puzzles and mythical Pokémon that only appear for brief periods of time. If you love stimulating puzzles, we highly recommend this game.
(Pokémon Picross via The Pokémon Company)
Available on iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch
Pokémon Quest's blocky aesthetic may make it seem like it's not a serious Pokémon title, but the gameplay is surprisingly deep. During each round, your team of up to three Pokémon explores an area and does their best to fight through waves of enemies to eventually take down that area's boss. Along the way, they gather up special ingredients, which can be cooked at your base camp to attract more Pokémon to your team.
Pokémon can gain experience and level-up by either going on expeditions or through training. To train, they need a help of another Pokémon, but you lose that Pokémon when the training is done. This process can also be used to teach your Pokémon more useful skills for the battlefield. As Pokémon go on their journeys, they also pick up special items called Power Charms, which can be used to greatly boost Pokémon's attack and defense, or to improve their moves.
Making it far requires a good balance of close and long-range attackers, having the best Power Charms and attracting the right Pokémon—not only to add to your team, but also to power-up your key players. It gets extremely tough in the end game, and finishing the Pokédex takes real time and effort, so this game can keep you busy for a while.
(Pokémon Quest via The Pokémon Company)
Pokémon Rumble World
Available on Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Rumble World's ultra cute aesthetic comes from the fact that all of its Pokémon are actually windup toys. You play as a Mii who's recruited by the king to travel across various landscapes, battling Pokémon along the way and becoming stronger so that you can conquer even more lands and find additional Pokémon.
During each level, you take control of one primary Pokémon. Sometimes after a Pokémon is defeated, you can pick them up, adding them to your team so that you can adventure along with them instead during your next round.
The gameplay is super simple beat-em-up, with a single button for your attacks. This can get a little repetitive, but if you love seeing tons of different kinds of Pokémon, it's worth it. The game features more than 700 Pokémon (every one that existed at the time of its release) and makes it totally possible to catch 'em all.
(Pokémon Rumble World via The Pokémon Company)
Available on iOS, Android and Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Shuffle is the Candy Crush of the Pokémon world, but the fact you can capture Pokémon makes the game much deeper than the standard puzzler. In each level, you head off against a certain Pokémon using three Pokémon from your own team. Any time you make a match of three or more within the puzzle, damage is dealt to your opponent, and if you can defeat it within a specified number of turns, you pass the level.
Once an enemy is defeated, you also get a chance to catch it and add it to your team. The better you perform with the puzzle, the higher your likelihood of success. If you're successful, it'll be added to your team. It's a good idea to recruit multiple Pokémon types to your team to give you advantages against every opponent possible, and to make your team as strong as possible. Every time you bring a Pokémon into a puzzle, it also gains experience, increasing its power.
Pokémon also have unique skills that can tip the odds in your favor when they're used wisely, and by matching enough of certain Pokémon you can trigger their Mega Evolutions, which can be very powerful in a pinch. Be warned—these puzzles are tough to put down.
(Pokémon Shuffle via The Pokémon Company)
Not sure which game to start playing first? Click HERE for our top 12 tips for mastering Pokémon Quest.