Pokémon Stadium is coming to Nintendo Switch, complete with all of its daft mini-games

Charizard and Blastoise face off
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Great news, trainers: Nintendo 64 classic Pokémon Stadium is coming to Nintendo Switch Online on April 12. 

The first title to ever give Pokémon the 3D treatment, Pokémon Stadium will be available to anyone with a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription. Players can enjoy all of the classic modes, including the Gym Leader Castle and Pokémon Cup battles. However, Nintendo has also added online functionality to the game, allowing trainers to duke it out in online multiplayer battles in the same vein as the Nintendo Switch version of Goldeneye 64, available on the same service.

The title also comes with a range of nine delightful mini-games, that put the likes of WarioWare and Mario Party to shame with their zany weirdness and online multiplayer functionality. Surreal favorites like Magikarp’s Splash and Snore War will return, along with tamer entries like Celfairy Says and Dig! Dig! Dig!. You’ll be able to watch helpless pocket monsters cavort for your amusement to your heart’s content. 

However, the latest incarnation of Pokémon Stadium won’t completely follow in the footsteps of its predecessor. The original was famous for allowing players to transfer Pokémon from their Game Boy games to Pokémon Stadium directly. Thanks to the required peripherals being years out of date and incompatible with the Nintendo Switch, this is not a feature that this new version of Pokémon Stadium will be able to reproduce.

Pokémon Stadium’s arrival on the Nintendo Switch was first revealed during a Nintendo Direct in September 2022, along with the welcome information that Pokémon Stadium 2 would receive the same treatment in the future. 

 Are you not entertained? 

Released in 2000, Pokémon Stadium holds a special place in the hearts of many Pokémon enjoyers. Back when the Nintendo Game Boy confined Pokémon to ambitious yet limited 2d backdrops, fully realized 3D Pokémon were very much something of a fantasy. 

Pokémon Stadium made this fantasy a reality by lovingly rendering our beloved pocket critters into 3D models. At the time, Pokémon Stadium brought fans' dreams to life, giving their favorite beasts a treatment that was previously restricted to the realm of the Pokémon anime. 

Pokémon Stadium felt like a celebration of the franchise, reveling in its distinctive art style and intricate battles

Though Pokémon Stadium lacked the sense of exploration and adventure that came with the series’ main entries, the title felt like a celebration of the franchise, reveling in the distinctive art style and deliciously intricate battles that made Pokémon a success, to begin with.

Without Pokémon Stadium’s aspirational goal of realizing the Pokémon fantasy, modern titles may have gone in a different direction. The similarities between Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s immersive, 3D combat and the bold steps made by Pokémon Stadium are not lost on me. 

Pokémon Stadium is a critical part of Pokémon’s past. If you’re a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscriber, you could certainly do a lot worse than installing the classic title once it drops on April 12.  

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.