New Pokemon Masters Story, Gameplay Details Revealed

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The Pokemon Company shared some more details about its brand-new Pokemon smartphone game, Pokemon Masters, during its June 27 livestream. The game, which is being developed in collaboration with DeNA (the studio behind Mario Kart Tour and other Nintendo mobile titles), is slated to launch this summer, and now we've learned a bit more about its story and how its gameplay will work.

Pokemon Masters is set on a new island region called Pasio, where famous trainers from all around the Poke-world are gathering to take part in the Pokemon Masters League tournament. This time around, however, each trainer travels with only one partner Pokemon (known collectively as a Sync Pair). As you make your way around the Pasio region, you'll be able to team up with other Sync Pairs, then control the entire team in three-on-three battles against AI opponents and collect Gym badges.

In contrast to the mainline Pokemon games, battles in Masters unfold in real time. Your move gauge features two attacks and will gradually fill up over time; once full, you'll tap on an attack to unleash it. You can also unleash powerful and flashy Sync Moves for more damage. Pokemon aren't the only ones able to use moves during battle, either. Trainers can also use support moves to heal Pokemon or raise their stats.

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Nearly every major character, Gym Leader, and rival from throughout the series appears to be in the game. The Pokemon Company says there will be 65 Sync Pairs at launch--including Cynthia and Garchomp, Iris and Haxorus, and Brendan and Treecko, among many others--with more to come post-release.

Pokemon Masters is launching for iOS and Android devices Summer 2019. The game will be free to download and have optional microtransactions, although The Pokemon Company hasn't yet elaborated on what those will be. You can rewatch the Pokemon Masters livestream here.

Of course, Pokemon Masters isn't the only new Pokemon game coming this year. Pokemon Sword and Shield are also launching for Nintendo Switch on November 15. The upcoming Gen 8 titles take players to the brand-new Galar region, where they'll battle and raise a variety of new and returning Pokemon. Also new in Sword and Shield is Dynamax, a new battle mechanic that can supersize Pokemon for a limited time during battles. The games will be compatible with the upcoming Pokemon Home service, allowing you to bring over your old Pokemon from previous titles; however, you won't be able to transfer every old Pokemon.

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