Pokemon Masters, a new gacha game from DeNA and The Pokemon Company, is heading to phones later this summer, but it won't give players a glimpse at the future of Pokemon. During a hands-on demo, Derrick Kuan, director of product marketing at DeNA, confirms to USG that there will be no trainers from this fall's upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield in Pokemon Masters.
Like most other free-to-play games, there will be limited time events though. In all likelihood, it's possible that we'll see Sword and Shield trainers make their way to the Pokemon game sometime in November to celebrate the release, much like Fire Emblem Heroes' current event for Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Events will happen at a regular cadence, according to DeNA.
Pokemon Masters will launch with some alternate trainers too, called Sygma Suit trainers. In my demo, I spotted a Sygma Suit Brock where he was partnered with a Pokemon that wasn't Onix. During a group Q&A with other outlets, I ask Pokemon Masters producer Yu Sasaki how many Sygma Suit alternate trainers there will be in total, to which his answer isn't too surprising.
"Can't share anything about that at the moment, unfortunately," he says through a translator, "but that is going to be an exciting feature for the game."
How Getting New Trainers and Their Pokemon Works in Pokemon Masters
As for the other trainers, players will be able to roll for a Sync Pair of a particular trainer and their specific Pokemon in Sync Scouts. They each have star ratings, from three to five, and can be leveled up too. If your favorite is a three-star trainer, for instance, you can eventually level them up to a strong five. It costs 300 Gems to roll for a new Sync Pair, and Gems are both earned in-game or can be bought. (Sync Scouts are the only monetization in the game; all other items, like potions for battle, can only be earned in-game.) With each Sync Pair roll, you earn 3 Scout points. Upon reaching 400 Scout points, you'll be able to buy any Sync Pair you want.
It's definitely a little more forgiving compared to other gacha games, where duplicates run aplenty and the option to select a specific character is pretty much impossible. Though the cost to buy your favorite is steep, at least it exists for those dedicated players.
While we can't anticipate getting a glance at the rad trainers and other characters recently introduced in miscellaneous trailers and screenshots for the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield, we can look forward to spending more time with our favorite trainers from Pokemon's deep history and battling alongside our friends. (Unfortunately not against our pals though.) Pokemon Masters is due to launch this summer, while Pokemon Sword and Shield is on its way to Switch on November 15.