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

Why you shouldn’t download and install the Palworld Pokémon mod

Can you even play it?

Ever since its announcement, Palworld has been dubbed by many as the Pokémon with guns game. So, it’s hardly surprising that someone went and created a Palworld mod that adds actual Pokémon.

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This Palworld Pokémon mod was announced on Jan. 22 in a teaser video on X (formerly Twitter) by YouTuber ToastedShoes and naturally caught everyone’s attention. The chance to experience Palworld‘s brand of monster-catching and survival gameplay with Nintendo’s own cartoony creatures may be severely tempting, but even the Palworld community advices you to stay away from this mod.

What is the Palworld Pokémon mod?

As you can easily tell from the name, the mod simply swaps out Palworld’s long list of catchable Pals with models of Pokémon. For example, starter Pals Foxparks, Lamball, and Chikipi are replaced with Pikachu, Wooloo, and Torchic. It’s not just the Pals, though; the player character is instead Ash Ketchum from the anime, and other NPCs are turned into recognizable faces from the Pokémon franchise, including gym leaders Brock and Misty. Jessie from Team Rocket, meanwhile, becomes the game’s first boss fight.

Not much else is known besides that, but the mod doesn’t appear to radically change the gameplay. Its main appeal is the surrealism of seeing Ash attacking wild Pokémon with an axe and seeing the likes of Pikachu being treated as slave labor.

Why shouldn’t you download the Palworld Pokémon mod?

The only thing less surprising than someone making a Pokémon mod for Palworld is Nintendo becoming involved. Sometime after ToastedShoes’ teaser video went up, it was stricken down due to a “report by the copyright owner,” which can only mean Nintendo. Palworld may not be Nintendo’s property, but the company doesn’t care for anyone messing around with its IPs; it’s why so many Nintendo fan games and mods tend to be forcefully shut down.

It seems Palworld’s own modding community is advising people to steer clear of the Pokémon mod as it’s suspected the models it uses are ripped straight from Nintendo’s games. Therefore, this could invite legal ramifications that could impact the whole community. In a statement posted to the Palworld Modding Community Discord (via GamesRadar), server admin Archery 100 wrote, “While the memes and such are hilarious, the mod alone hosts a giant risk to the community and we’ll need to take precautions so that Nintendo’s lawyers don’t nuke all of us with litigious actions. The mod is highly likely using ripped assets and is very illegal in Nintendo’s eyes.”

So, the simple act of sharing access to the mod could make you a target for Nintendo’s legal team. Even if all you want to do is privately play it by yourself, that doesn’t seem to actually be possible since there are no download links for it anywhere, at least none we could find.

No doubt ToastedShoes intended on sharing a download link alongside his full video demonstrating the mod, which he previously promised to upload on Jan. 23. At the time of writing, though, it’s unclear if he’ll still go through with it. After all, if Nintendo took his teaser down, it’s certainly not going to allow a full YouTube video and could potentially threaten ToastedShoes with legal action.

A Reddit thread about the mod also contains claims from users about how the individual who created the mod has worked on other such mods in the past and apparently gates them behind a Patreon paywall. As such, some expect the creator to be hit with a lawsuit if they try doing this with the Palworld mod since the Pokémon models are believed to be directly from the games and Nintendo’s property.

Update Jan. 23 5:30am CT: ToastedShoes confirmed his teaser was taken down by The Pokémon Company (via PCGamesN). But he still intends to publish the full video on the Palworld Pokémon mod. He will, however, “comply with any further copyright claims from Nintendo.” He also hopes to make the mod freely available for download, though he suspects that won’t be possible. Given Nintendo and The Pokémon Company apparently don’t even want videos of the mod available online, we can’t imagine they’ll allow the mod itself to be freely distributed either.

In the meantime, you can find other Palworld mods that are legally safer to download. Developer Pocketpair also intends to add official mod support down the line, but that may not be for a while since the game is still in early access.


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Author
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.