Detective Pikachu Returns release date, gameplay and news

Detective Pikachu holding a coffee cup
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Detective Pikachu Returns has finally launched on Nintendo Switch, so you can revisit the coffee-drinking detective and finally explore what the game has to offer. In advance of its launch though, we compiled all the information we had on the game so you could access everything in one place. 

Now the game is out, and we've published our review of Detective Pikachu Returns, you can use this page to compare what we knew and speculated about the game and how it compares to the experience. So, here's everything that we knew about Detective Pikachu Returns prior to its release, including a look at all the news, trailers, gameplay, and story details we picked up along the way. 

Detective Pikachu Returns - cut to the chase

  •  What is it? A sequel to 2016's Detective Pikachu
  •  When did it release? October 6, 2023 
  •  What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch
  •  Who makes it? Nintendo

Detective Pikachu Returns release date

Detective Pikachu stands in a thinking pose

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Detective Pikachu Returns released on October 6, 2023, on Nintendo Switch exclusively. 

Detective Pikachu Returns trailer

There were only two official trailers released for Detective Pikachu Returns. The first aired during a Nintendo Direct event, and gave an overview of Ryme City, and Detective Pikachu's continued efforts to track down his old partner. You can view it below:

We've included some more Detective Pikachu Returns trailers throughout this article. For more on the game, be sure to check out the official Nintendo of America YouTube channel.

Detective Pikachu Returns gameplay

Detective Pikachu and Tim Goodman eat dinner together

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Detective Pikachu Returns looks to continue the adventure game style of in-game play first showcased in its predecessor. You'll explore the city, taking on cases involving both humans and Pokémon. Tim's job is to speak to humans at the scene of the crime, and around town, while Detective Pikachu speaks to Pokémon. The two then compare findings and clues using their notebooks. 

There are puzzles and crime scene investigations to take on all over Ryme City, as the dynamic duo of Detective Pikachu and Tim aim to solve cases. While this is all going on, Tim and Detective Pikachu are assisted by a handful of Pokémon helpers. There's a Growlithe that can be used to sniff out tracks, for example. Then there's the overarching main quest of discovering what happened to Harry, Tim's dad and Detective Pikachu's old partner.

Detective Pikachu Returns story and setting

Detective Pikachu Returns is once again set in Ryme City, which you will recognize if you saw the movie based on the game. It's a special city in which humans and Pokémon have managed to carve out a particularly strong bond, assisting each other in everything from day-to-day life to jobs and construction. Tim Goodman and Detective Pikachu are now a full-on investigative team, exploring the city and answering the call of justice whenever incidents take place.

This is technically a spin-off Pokémon game, so things are a little different from the mainline ones you've played. For starters, it's much more story-driven, with Detective Pikachu able to speak to Pokémon to gather clues and stories. It's also an adventure game format, with the story told via cutscenes and dialogue. 

Detective Pikachu Returns picks up where the last game left off, as the duo continues to investigate the disappearance of Harry, Pikachu's partner who also happens to be Tim's father. From what we've seen so far in the trailer, Tim's family and friends will play bigger roles this time around, as will the Mayor of Ryme City. Mewtwo also returns and clearly has some pretty interesting leads regarding Harry's fate.

Detective Pikachu Returns latest news

Detective Pikachu launches on October 6, 2023!
There's not long to wait until the launch of Detective Pikachu Returns. It'll launch on October 6, 2023, exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

That's everything we know about Detective Pikachu Returns so far. For more on upcoming Nintendo Switch games, be sure to visit our upcoming Switch games page for a look at what's on the horizon. We've also got a list of the best Pokemon games in case you want to see whether or not Detective Pikachu Returns makes the cut when it launches. 

Jake Green

Jake is a freelance writer who currently works regularly with TRG. Hailing from the overcast shores of Brighton in the United Kingdom, Jake can be found covering everything from features to guides content around the latest game releases. As seen on,, and, Jake specializes in breaking games down into approachable pieces for guides, and providing SEO advice to websites looking to expand their audiences.