'Pokémon with guns' Palworld comes to Game Pass this month as Xbox starts 2024 strong

Image of Palworld announcement for Gamepass
Palworld looks like a good time to play alone or with friends. (Image credit: PocketPair)

What you need to know

  • The upcoming not-Pokémon game with guns, Palworld, is coming to Xbox Game Pass in early access.
  • The game features familiar yet distinctly different loveable creatures and — you guessed it — a lot of guns. 
  • With the announcement of the Xbox Developer Direct on January 18th and Palworld hitting Game Pass, Xbox is starting 2024 out on the right foot.
  • You'll be able to play Palworld on Jan. 19, with the title likely hitting Xbox and PC Game Pass.

While the last week has been full of somewhat negative rumors regarding potential Xbox games going to other platforms, we can finally start to focus on the immensely positive future ahead for Xbox and Microsoft. Xbox announced today the next Xbox Developer Direct is airing later this month, and shortly after that announcement news broke that Palworld will be coming to Xbox Game Pass on Jan. 19, 2024.

It's not clear exactly which Game Pass platforms Palworld is coming to, but the game is an Xbox console exclusive and is coming to Windows PC, and the Xbox Game Pass announcement trailer was recorded on PC. Because of this, it's a reasonable assumption that Palworld will hit Xbox Game Pass on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, PC Game Pass on Windows, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for everything else.

What is Palworld?

Palworld has been shown off a few times over the years and appears very similar Pokémon or Digimon (but with legally important distinctions)... Except in this world, you have guns. Roam an open world with your critters of choice, arm them with a diverse arsenal of firearms, and more-or-less shoot everything that moves. A few people have had the chance to play the closed beta and the word on the street is that the game is a lot of fun. We won't have to wait much longer to try it out for ourselves as it releases into early access into Xbox Game Pass in less than two weeks. 

Multiplayer is supported, so invite a friend and go on an adventure together! And of course you can battle your friends and trade Pals, too. In online co-op play mode, up to 4 players can play together. Additionally, a dedicated server can allow up to 32 players to play together.


The reaction online to this announcement was somewhat surprising. While many of us thought the concept was interesting, I was worried the game might suffer a similar fate to a Pokémon clone that was released a few years back on Xbox called TemTem, which didn't seem to take off too well. TemTem didn't release into Game Pass, which likely seriously hurt its chances to be noticed on the platform. Based on the response I saw today on X (Twitter) it looks like a lot of people are excited to give Palworld a try next Friday.

Will Palworld become one of the best Xbox games of the year? Maybe not, but it does stand a fair chance at become a fun, chaotic surprise hit to kick off a brand new year of gaming.

What do you think about Palworld coming to Xbox Game Pass? Do you plan on trying it out? Let us know in the comments. 

Colton Stradling

Colton is a seasoned cybersecurity professional that wants to share his love of technology with the Windows Central audience. When he isn’t assisting in defending companies from the newest zero-days or sharing his thoughts through his articles, he loves to spend time with his family and play video games on PC and Xbox. Colton focuses on buying guides, PCs, and devices and is always happy to have a conversation about emerging tech and gaming news. 

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