Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee is a Nintendo Switch remake of Ash's earliest adventures in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. Nevertheless, some features from later Pokémon generations—such as Mega Evolutions—appear in Let's Go. One significant absence was recently confirmed, though: Your Pokémon in Let's Go can't hold items, and they don't have Abilities.
Pokémon fansite Serebii played two hours of Pokémon Let's Go and confirmed held items are seemingly not on the menu. "As many people have speculated through various demos and videos, there are no held items in the game and no option to make a Pokémon hold an item," the preview states. "This means that many of the items you come to expect such as Choice Band cannot be found. In addition to this, Abilities also aren't in the game."
"Held items" became an important part of Pokémon battle strategies in Generation Two. In all the mainline games outside of Red and Blue, Pokémon can hold onto an item that accents their abilities, automatically heals status afflictions, or restores health in a moment of crisis. Even the Game Boy Advance remakes of Red and Blue, FireRed and LeafGreen, allow Pokémon to hold items.
Hardcore Pokémon fans are already wagging their finger at Pokémon Let's Go for simplifying the already-simple Kanto region (for instance, you can't challenge the first Gym leader, Brock, without catching a Grass- or- Water-type Pokémon, though Serebii's preview confirms the Pokémon doesn't actually need to be in your team), and the news about Pokémon Let's Go lacking any held items is indeed the cause of some grumbling on social media and message boards like Resetera.
As our guides for Pokémon Let's Go establish, the game's meant to bridge the gap between Pokémon Go players and traditional Pokémon fans. It seems very cute and fluffy; no doubt very small kids will be drawn in, too. I'm just looking forward to goofing around with my favorite Kanto Pokémon, held items or no held items. It'll be a nice vacation before things get serious with Gen 8 for the Switch.