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Pokemon Sun and Moon release date, new Starters, Pokedex, leaks and more - everything you need to know

It's the biggest 3DS game of the year - but when can you play it, and what's new? Let us be your Poke-professor.

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While there's an awful lot of very exciting stuff going on around Pokemon Go, the mobile phone based Pokemon adventure, equally as exciting is the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon, the newest full Pokemon game and the next major entry in the series that's coming exclusively to the Nintendo 3DS.

After the huge success of Pokemon Go, Pokemon fever is back in a very big way. Are you a Pokemon Go player looking for the next step to return to the Pokemon games after years away? Are you a potentially new fan? Pokemon Sun & Moon are aiming to please both with a healthy dose of classic Pokemon fan service and all-new mechanics to offer a lot more depth than the mobile game can manage. It might be worth doing some reading on this game, then.

It's one of the biggest games of the year and certainly the biggest handheld release of the year - and we've got all the information you need on it right here. Bookmark this page, as we'll be updating it as new news is announced and confirmed for the upcoming release - everything you need to know will be right here.

We've finally had a chance to play the first few hours of the game, and we were rather impressed. You can read our more full impressions of Pokemon Sun & Moon in our separate hands-on article.

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon Release date - When is the new Pokemon coming out?

Since its announcement in February 2016 the level of fan hype and anticipation around Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon for Nintendo 3DS has been growing rapidly. The newest pair of games in the Pokemon series, Pokemon Sun and Moon brings new Pokemon, a new region, and a variety of new features to the fray.

Pokemon Sun and Moon wil launch in Japan, Australia, the USA, Canada and other American countries on November 18, 2016. Fans in the UK and Europe won't have to wait too much longer - Pokemon Sun and Moon will release in Europe on November 23, 2016, a few days later.

Nintendo announced the date in May 2016. In the run-up to launch Nintendo and the Pokemon Company are doing a variety of things to satisfy fans, including the release of a lot of information about the games.

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon pre-orders - Where to buy Pokemon Sun and Moon

Pokemon is a big deal for Nintendo, and if previous Pokemon releases are anything to go by there'll be a wide range of merchandise, console bundles, and possibly even a special edition. Nothing like this has been announced for the West yet however, but regular versions of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon are available now for pre-order.

Pokemon Sun and Moon Prices:

Also up for pre-order is the official Strategy Guide for the game, which comes in a special Collector's Edition version as well as a regular paperback. The Collector's Edition Guide is being produced in limited quantities and is full hardback.


Pokemon Sun and Moon Limited Edition Steelbook Pack

While as it stands now there's no fully-fledged and traditional special or collector's edition of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon announced, Nintendo has partnered with Amazon to put out one special package - the Pokemon Sun and Moon Limited Edition Steelbook Dual Pack.

This package includes both the Sun and Moon versions of the game and ships in a special steelbook case that's designed to hold both games. As you might expect, one side features the Legendary Sun Pokemon Solgaeo, and the other eatures the Legendary Moon Pokemon Lunala. Inside the steelbook is a map of the Alola region where the game takes place, so even the inside is decorated. It's available for $89.99 exclusively from Amazon. See some lovely vanity shots of the steelbook below.

Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon Limited Edition Solo Steelbook

Fans in the UK and the rest of Europe also get a steelbook option, though not one that is game-agnostic. The Nintendo UK store is to sell Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon steelbook editions individually, each steelbook featuring artwork from the game in question.

In addition to the steelbook, ordering this £44.99 package for one of the games will also get you a figure of that game's legendary. Smartly Nintendo UK has banned the purchase of more than one of each addition per customer in order to prevent scalpers from getting in there and ruining everything. Those are available for pre-order now.

Pokemon Sun and Moon Limited Edition Nintendo 3DS

Originally announced for Japan and feared to not be coming West, Nintendo Europe and Nintendo America has answered the call, confirmning that there will be a limited edition New Nintendo 3DS XL system for Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon.

The 3DS XL console bundles don't actually include the Pokemon Sun and Moon software, but does come with a neat black design that's etched with the game's newest Legendary Pokemon, Solagaleo and Lunala.

The console is available for £179.99, and the Nintendo UK store has it available in a number of bundles including ones that also contain the game - which we imagine you'll want! The console is also coming to America, though we're not sure what retailers will be carrying it yet.


In addition, launching on the same day in Japan is another Nintendo 3DS XL model that celebrates Pokemon's most famous icon - Pikachu. This 3DS is, of course, bright yellow in design and features a subtle etch of the electric mouse across it.

It seems unlikely this Pikachu console will make it West, but if you're a desperate collector the brave can pre-order one on import, though be advised that the Nintendo 3DS is region-locked. They're available for pre-order from Play-Asia and Nippon Yasan.


Pokemon Sun and Moon Starters - Names and Information on the new Starter Pokemon

Pokemon Sun and Moon introduces three new Starter Pokemon in the classic three starter types - one Fire, one Grass, one Water. Take a look at the three starting Pokemon in their first trailer below - then we'll take you a little deeper.

  • Category: Grass Quill Pokémon
  • Type: Grass/Flying
  • Height: 1'00"
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs.
  • Ability: Overgrow

Rowlet can attack without making a sound! It flies silently through the skies, drawing near to its opponent without being noticed, and then lashing out with powerful kicks. It can also attack from a distance using the razor-sharp leaves that form part of its feathers.

Its visual abilities are impressive. The darkness of night is no obstacle to Rowlet! It can twist its neck nearly 180° from front to back so it can see directly behind itself. It has a habit of turning its head in battle to face its Trainer and receive instructions. The move Leafage attacks an opponent by striking it with leaves. Rowlet knows this move from the moment it becomes your partner!

  • Category: Fire Cat Pokémon
  • Type: Fire
  • Height: 1'04"
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs.
  • Ability: Blaze

Litten can attack with flaming hairballs! Its fur is rich in oils and immensely flammable. Litten grooms itself by licking its fur, and then uses the collected fur as fuel for fireball attacks!

When the time comes for Litten to shed its old fur, it all burns up in a glorious blaze. The move Ember attacks an opponent by firing a small flame at it. Litten knows this move from the moment it becomes your partner!

  • Category: Sea Lion Pokémon
  • Type: Water
  • Height: 1'04"
  • Weight: 16.5 lbs.
  • Ability: Torrent

Popplio's swimming speed is known to exceed 25 mph. It's better at moving in the water than on land. Still, when it's on land, it takes advantage of the elasticity of its balloons to perform acrobatic stunts and jumps. Popplio can snort out balloons made of water! Watch it spin water balloons into a playful battle strategy!

Both frivolous and hard-working, Popplio can easily get carried away—unleashing enough power in battle to make quite a spectacle! But Popplio’s determined spirit means it can usually be found practicing hard on its balloon skills. The Water Gun move attacks an opponent by firing a jet of water. Popplio knows this move from the moment it becomes your partner!

Pokemon Sun and Moon Pokedex - Names and details on all the New Pokemon

Right now we're still not entirely sure how many new Pokemon Sun and Moon will add to the world of Pokemon beyond the 721 that exist as of the end of the last game. Nintendo and the Pokemon Company are revealing new additions at a steady rate, however, and luckily for you we're rounding them all up so you don't have to.

When the Pokemon Sun & Moon Demo was released there was a major slip-up on the part of the Pokemon Company, as the demo contains files that reveal basically all of the Pokemon in the game. If you want to read those spoilers, we've got you covered.

We have a separate Pokedex page that we're constantly updating as newcomers are announced, though here's a text list of each addition which also links to a profile for each.

More on each of the newly announced Pokemon can be found on our Pokemon Sun and Moon Pokedex page.

Pokemon Sun and Moon Pokedex - Alola Form Pokemon

As well as all-new Pokemon that reside in the land of Alola, the setting of Pokemon Sun & Moon, these new Pokemon games also offer something new for the series - all new takes on old classics.

Many old Pokemon such as Rattata and Vulpix have been changed and grown in different ways by growing up in the Alolan climate - and as a result vastly different versions of them exist.

We have a separate Pokedex page that we're constantly updating as newcomers and Alola forms are announced, though here's a text list of each new Alola form which also links to a profile for each.

Pokemon Sun and Moon - YouTube Trailers and Videos of the newest Pokemon game

Nintendo and the Pokemon Company are putting out a whole lot of trailers of Pokemon Sun and Moon, and so it only makes sense for us to gather some of the highlights here for you - the ideal way to get an idea of what to expect from the game come November.

First up, here's a tour of the Alola region, the place where this newest entry in the Pokemon series takes place, plus a look at the new trainers and legendary Pokemon.

Next, take a look at the new Battle Royals mechanic and all-new Pokemon like Pikipek, Yungoos and Grubbin in this trailer.

Here's an introduction to the new Pokemon Tapu Koko, Charjabug, Vikavolt, Drampa, Bruxish, Cutiefly, Togedemaru and a look at Zygarde's new formes.

This short trailer introduces Salandit, a new Fire and Poison-type Lizard Pokemon.

Glimpse a tiny look at Bewear and Mimikyu, two all-new Pokemon Sun and Moon additions, in this Japanese trailer. On top of that, check out the return of the Pokemon Amie system and the ability to ride more Pokemon than ever before.


Learn about the new Alola region Pokemon discoveries of Bewear, Mimikyu, Wimpod, Bounsweet, Comfey and Mudsdale in this trailer.

Here's the reveal trailer for the first few Alola Forms, plus new evolutions and information on Z-Moves.

Get to know antagonists Team Skull and meet a set of all-new Pokemon and Alola Forms of classics in this trailer.

Learn about several new Alola region forms and a special Munchlax you can get for purchasing early.

Learn all about Ultra Beasts as they debut in these two trailers.

Here's some of Pokemon Sun's exclusive Pokemon... and Pokemon Moon's exclusive Pokemon, for that matter. You'll need to get your trade on.

This trailer debuts the evolutions of the starter Pokemon. Rowlet continues to make gains...

Pokemon Sun and Moon News Updates

The Pokemon Company and Nintendo are making a strong effort to keep a constant flow of news for fans between Pokemon Sun and Moon's initial announcement and its November release on Nintendo 3DS. Here's a round-up of some of the biggest news on the game, chronologically:

Where to follow Pokemon Sun and Moon - YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and more

Aside from bookmarking this page for the latest Pokemon Sun and Moon updates (which you really should!), Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have a number of different accounts where you can find Poke-stuff posted on a semi regular basis. We've gathered them all here in one place so you can set your subscriptions/follows/bookmarks as required.

Pokemon Sun and Moon's official websites - where to get the official news

In addition to the social media accounts listed above, there's of course a few official web portals for Pokemon Sun and Moon, and thanks to the weird little way that both The Pokemon Company and Nintendo run bits and pieces of of the online presence of the Pokemon games, there's actually more than one place you can go.

Here's the breakdown: For an overview of the games, head on over to the official Pokemon Sun and Moon website. For broader information about the games and beyond, you can check in to Pokemon.com, which has plenty specifically on Sun and Moon also. Nintendo's official website has its own bits of information too.

If the official options don't quite have everything you want, the Pokemon community is pretty strong. Serebii is one of the oldest and largest fan sites, while Bulbapedia is a wiki that's about as in-depth as you can imagine.

About the Author

Alex Donaldson avatar

Alex Donaldson

Assistant Editor

Alex started out his career in the games media as an over-eager kid working on fan sites, and now has decades of experience. He's the resident expert on esoteric matters such as Pokemon Go, gaming hardware, and genres like RPGs, fighters, and strategy games. Outside of VG247 he's the co-founder of genre-dedicated website RPG Site. He also collects original arcade machines, Lego, and considers himself a whisky buff.

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