pal holding big gun in palworld
Image via pocketpair

Palworld PvP: When is it coming, how will it work?

Riding your Pals into battle is on the horizon, but there are some big hurdles.

You can play Palworld alone or with others online, but it’s missing a key component of creature-catching games—a way to fight other players. It sounds like that feature is on the horizon, but even the developers aren’t sure when Palworld PvP will drop.

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With Palworld being in early access, shooting up the Steam leaderboards, and hitting the platform’s second-highest peak player count ever, there are a lot of expectations for the future. The developers at Pocketpair have actively been working on fixing bugs and other issues, confirming players have left the team with over 50,000 inquiries on future updates—so the roadmap for new content is a bit murky for now. But that doesn’t mean the team isn’t aware of some highly requested new features like PvP.

Will Palworld get PvP and when will it release? 

Palworld doesn’t have any element of PvP as part of its online content offerings. The developers at Pocketpair are aware players will likely want to battle their Pals and potentially open fire on their friends with their arsenal of guns, but the likelihood of it coming soon—or being added at all—is up in the air. 

In an interview with Japanese publication Automaton on Jan. 23, Pocketpair CEO Takuro Mizobe discussed the potential addition of PvP and why he is not entirely confident that it could be something the team wants to pursue.

While Palworld is inspired by games with PvP elements like Rust and Pokémon, the devs don’t view it in the same light. Mizobe calls it “the biggest fork in the road” for the game’s development. Trying to keep the core of what has made Palworld a success active while blending PvE and PvP elements isn’t easy, and the team made the mistake of thinking it was a simple task to add post-launch. 

“With Palworld, we made the mistake of thinking we can “just casually add PvP later on.” However, in the middle of trying to do this, we realized how problematic it was going to be,” Mizobe said to Automaton. “From that point on, we rushed to make last-minute adjustments so that nothing goes against the game design’s basic premises. Even now, some inconsistencies remain in the game design, and we have to resolve them if we want a PvP mode release.” 

As of the early access launch, Mizobe says the developers are focused on the new Palworld content release roadmap and how to implement PvP. “Yes, I hope that we will be able to implement a PvP model that is unique to Palworld and will not be short-lived,” Mizobe said. “Earlier, you asked me how I would like to develop Palworld, but first and foremost, I want it to be a game in which catching Pals is fun. After that, I want to make a successful PvP mode as the ‘ultimate’ goal.”

With that said, Mizobe says the chances Palworld successfully adds a PvP update that will clear every hurdle they face is “below 10 percent.”

How will Palworld PvP work?

Despite that negative outlook on adding PvP that does everything the developers want it to do, the team is hard at work trying to do just that. 

Instead of just adding it in as an afterthought, the devs want to make sure players have a reason to interact with the PvP content and not just try it once before turning it off or never looking at it again. Pocketpair is looking at the ability to battle Pals you’ve captured and your own weaponry in an arena setting using the game’s existing real-time battle system. A more automatic style using an “asynchronous battle pattern” where players register their Pals to fight on their own is another format being considered, all while looking at what barriers to entry could pop up because of this.

“To begin with, there are many other games that offer a fun PvP experience, so we need to make sure that there is a reason for Palworld players to play PvP,” Mizobe said. “Of course, using Pals you caught in battle is one unique point, but only games that give players a good reason to play can survive in the long term. In this sense, I think it’s a very harsh territory. This is why Pocketpair is not very optimistic about PvP. I said earlier that we have created a great game, but with PvP games, you can’t know if you’ve failed or succeeded until the very end.”

There is no timeline for when a PvP update could be added to Palworld, just these comments from Mizobe regarding Pocketpair’s outlook on the option.


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Cale Michael
Lead Staff Writer for Dota 2, the FGC, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and more who has been writing for Dot Esports since 2018. Graduated with a degree in Journalism from Oklahoma Christian University and also previously covered the NBA. You can usually find him writing, reading, or watching an FGC tournament.