Bizarre 'Pokémon with guns' game Palworld is coming to early access on PC and Xbox next week

A Pal holding a gun in Palworld.
(Image credit: Pocketpair)

Creature-collecting open-world survival game Palworld finally has an early access release date, and prospective players on PC (Steam) and Xbox Series X|S can look forward to diving in from next week.

Specifically, Palworld will be available to play from Friday, January 19. It’ll be added to Xbox Game Pass for Series X|S and PC on day one, and while crossplay won’t be immediately accessible, a new Q&A post on the game’s Steam page reveals that “we are working to make this a possibility as soon as possible!”

Palworld, which is being developed and published by Pocketpair, was first revealed in 2021, and was immediately (unofficially) dubbed by many as “Pokémon with guns.” It’s not hard to see why the comparison to Pokémon was made given the creature capturing and collection mechanics, but the guns are certainly a large factor setting Palworld apart from the beloved role-playing franchise. In the trailers we’ve seen up to this point, it’s been shown that not only can player characters fight wild creatures (Pals) with guns, but the Pals themselves can also be equipped with them. 

Not only that, but players will be able to put their captured Pals to work to help them build bases - something which they don’t seem thrilled about in the footage we’ve seen so far. It’s been shown that if they’re worked too hard, they can actually die, which is genuinely rather harrowing. Oh, and you can eat them too. There’s a lot to unpack here. 

For anyone on PlayStation 5, Pocketpair confirmed that although there aren’t any plans as of yet to release Palworld on Sony’s current-gen console, the team “will consider it during development.” 

If you love Pokémon, be sure to check out our ranking of the best Pokémon games to see which games are the very best. You can also find more excellent game recommendations on our roundup of the best RPGs.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.