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Palworld Pokemon mod Ash Ketchum laying on beach
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Unofficial Palworld mod adds actual Pokémon and even Ash Ketchum

Will debut tomorrow.

Just three days after Palworld’s early access launch, someone created a mod that replaces the game’s Pals with Pokémon.

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This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, given Palworld‘s less-than-subtle similarities to the Pokémon series. Though it’s more a survival game than an RPG, one of Palworld’s main features is being able to capture the cartoony creatures that roam the world and use them in battle. The similarities are so strong that some people have accused Palworld of outright plagiarism and using AI to copy Pokémon designs for its Pals.

Given Palworld’s premise of Pokémon with guns, it was only a matter of time until someone put together a mod like this. All the Pals have been swapped out for recognizable Pokémon, such as Pikachu, Torchic, and Wooloo, and even the human characters have been replaced with ones from Nintendo’s franchise. The player character is Ash Ketchum from the anime, gym leaders Brock and Misty are NPC allies, and the first boss fight is against Jessie from Team Rocket riding a giant Electabuzz. So, you witness surreal sights like Ash attacking wild Pokémon with an axe and groups of Pikachu mining for ore.

It’s honestly impressive someone has managed to turn this mod around so quickly, considering Palworld only launched in early access on Jan. 19. But the bigger mystery is who actually made it. Its existence was first brought attention to by YouTuber ToastedShoes on X (formerly Twitter), who shared a brief gameplay clip of the mod in action and promised to release a full video about it tomorrow on Jan. 23. He doesn’t mention who the creator is or where he downloaded it from; at the very least, I couldn’t find it on Nexus Mods, which only has a small list of mods that offer minor changes.

It’ll be interesting if Nintendo and/or The Pokémon Company reacts at all to the mod. Nintendo typically doesn’t care for people modding its games. While that obviously doesn’t apply to Palworld, it probably won’t care to see its family-friendly characters running around shooting guns in an unofficial capacity.

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Image of Michael Beckwith
Michael Beckwith
Staff writer at Dot Esports covering all kinds of gaming news. A graduate in Computer Games Design and Creative Writing from Brunel University who's been writing about games since 2014. Nintendo fan and Sonic the Hedgehog apologist. Knows a worrying amount of Kingdom Hearts lore. Has previously written for Metro, TechRadar, and Game Rant.