Whenever I play Pixelmon, a Minecraft mod that basically recreates Pokemon in Minecraft, I almost always do it in a multiplayer server. Pixelmon multiplayer servers can have their problems, but at least you can do things like trade between players and fight each other. Many servers also have options to give new players items like Pokeballs and easy access to Healers and PCs. There’s also always people around ready to help.
Single player Pixelmon has none of that. It is by far the most awkward thing to play, by a long shot. At least in terms of Pokemon games.
This is actually a refreshed opinion, as I have written about Pixelmon in the past. I went and created a new Minecraft world and tried to give Pixelmon a chance. But all I found was frustration.
It’s just bad.
Simply put, single player Pixelmon simply doesn’t work very well. At least not in the same way multiplayer Pixelmon does. There’s no one to help you, there’s nowhere to go and your Pokemon won’t last five minutes. You’re doubly screwed if you don’t have the Starter Chest, which at least provides some Pokeballs. A bog-standard randomly generated Survival mode is awful. You land in the middle of nowhere, with a Pokemon that can die easily, surrounded by randomly generated Pokemon.
There are no cows, no sheep, no Creepers or Zombies. Just Pokemon. As far as the eye can see. And even on Peaceful Mode, they WILL attack.
Seriously, in the time it took me to walk out of the ice taiga I started in, I had been attacked by a good 5 Pokemon, all of them above the level of my starter Mudkip, half of them resistant to Mudkip’s attacks. My Mudkip was dead in about 4 minutes.
Pixelmon completely lacks the Pokemon Flow
Funnily enough, it’s pretty easy to explain WHY single player Pixelmon is bad. It’s because there is no gradual increase, no leveling according to your own level.
Look at the beginning of any Pokemon game. You are given a Pokedex and a starter and perhaps some Pokeballs pretty quickly. But on top of that, you’re also in an area where Pokemon around you are almost always… really easy. You fight Weedles and Pidgeys and Rattatas, up until you can level up your starter for a bit and give it moves outside of Tackle, Growl and maybe Scratch. Even if you can’t run from a fight, you can win at least. And if something happens and your Pokemon faints, you can fix them up somewhat easily in the starting town.
Pixelmon doesn’t have this. It’ll dump you in a world surrounded by all sorts of Pokemon, many of which will be level 10 or above. Many of these Pokemon will also attack you straight away, leaving you with a dead Pokemon in seconds.
You can’t even do much about this!
In my newly created Pixelmon world, I actually ran as quickly as I could to the first random healer I could find. Luckily, I found a Plains biome, which spawned several Pokecenters which I could heal my single Mudkip at. Not that it mattered, because as soon as I exited a Pokecenter, I was attacked by a level 10 Mareep, which didn’t allow my Mudkip to escape and killed it with ease.
The exact same happened with a level 12 Pidove, just as I left another Pokecenter. I ended up basically building my home AT a Pokecenter because my Mudkip spent more time dead than alive.
Multiplayer Pixelmon doesn’t have this issue
Any community-run Pixelmon server will at least have some sort of path to follow. You get introduced to a server, you’ll be given some Pokeballs and, most of the time, the forced encounters are turned off so you’re not bombarded with Pokemon attacking you. At the very least, there’s always a nice spawn area which you can return to. There, you can heal your Pokemon and access a PC with ease.
The fact that other players will be around and willing to help is good as well. Heck, the Pixelmon server I play on gives you a free Pidgeot right off the bat, alongside your starter, so you can get around.
It’s actually hard to play normal Minecraft normally in Pixelmon too!
This is the weird thing. Because you don’t get normal spawns, this in turn makes normal Minecraft tedious. Because there are no cows, you can’t kill them for meat and leather. The lack of sheep means you can’t make a bed. And because you can be interrupted by a Pokemon passing by, it gets in the way of you doing basic chores like mining and cutting down trees. While I was planting some crops, I had two Mareep constantly interrupting me, wanting to fight.
Even if you get past the Minecraft basics, you find the Pixelmon stuff intruding everywhere. Especially since villages are populated with Pokemon NPCs rather than villagers.
The best tip? Let your Pokemon faint.
Seriously, my best recommendation for those who want to play Pixelmon single player is to let their Pokemon faint. With no living Pokemon in your party, you won’t be interrupted by other Pokemon and you’ll have the time to build yourself a Minecraft base. Once you have your base set up, you can start working on building Pokemon items like Healers, PCs and breeders. But you have to go through all the Miniecraft stuff before you can get started with the actual Pixelmon stuff.
Really though, if you want to play Pixelmon, find yourself a multiplayer server. After all, there’s tons of Pokemon you can only get by trading, and you can’t do that on your own. And Pokemon with friends is always SO much more fun!