So in a mere matter of hours, we will get Palworld – the game that has (perhaps a tad unfairly) been categorized as Pokemon with guns.

It’s not that, there is so much more to it than that, or at least there will be as it progresses its way through Early Access. So we have been out and about collating everything we think you might need to know before actually playing the game and have put it all together in this handy guide.

Is Palworld on Xbox Game Pass?

Yes, it is and that is great news. The fact that it will be on Microsoft’s huge subscription platform means a couple of things – a) lots more people will get to play it than might have done otherwise, as the option to just download and play it is there and b) well, it is legitimized by being there. Any fears about it being taken down for being too much like Pokemon, or even that the game is a scam – something the devs have had to unfortunately had to defend themselves against according to PCGamesN should now be eased somewhat.

Is Palworld any good?

The million-dollar question. There is no doubt that when it launches on January 19th that Palworld will look and behave in many respects like an Early Access game. A lot of the animations and even some of the graphics appear to have not been added in yet. Harnesses are missing from pets, trees just fall down, and so on, and picking things up off the floor just means they move from the floor to your hand, but we are sure all that will be added in.

The graphics, ignoring the animation glitches, are stylish and colorful, and even after a few hours of playing and watching, it doesn’t grate on you.

The last thing I can think of that launched that was janky,  in Early Access AND on Game Pass was Grounded, and that turned out to be an amazing game. It just took a while.

How big is Palworld?

Well in terms of download size, the Xbox app is reporting it as 16.35 GB, so it is no Call of Duty, but neither is it small.

What kind of game is Palworld?

Forget the Pokemon with guns line, that is just a distraction. At its heart, Palworld is a survival game. In the words of the devs, Pocket Pair, “You can peacefully live alongside mysterious creatures known as Pals or risk your life to drive off a ruthless poaching syndicate. Pals can be used to fight and breed, or they can be made to work on farms or factories.

You can even sell them or eat them.”

Is Palworld on Steam?

If you don’t have an Xbox Game Pass subscription you can pick Palworld up on Steam instead for $29.99 during Early Access which of course also gives you access to Steam’s refund policy as long as you play it for less than two hours you can claim your money back if it turns out it is not for you.

And that’s all you need to know at this stage. And now the world waits to play Palworld and see if it lives up to initial expectations, or whether we all got overly excited by a few streamers getting carried away.

How do Palworld’s levels work?

If you want to know more about level caps and how Palworld’s level sync works, we have a full guide that you can check out.

Paul McNally

Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine, PlayStation Pro, Amiga Action, Mega Action, ST Action, GQ, Loaded, and the The Mirror. He has also hosted panels at retro-gaming conventions and can regularly be found guesting on gaming podcasts and Twitch shows. He is obsessed with 3D printing and has worked with several major brands in the past to create content Believing that the reader deserves actually to enjoy what they are reading is a big part of Paul’s ethos when it comes to gaming journalism, elevating the sites he works on above the norm. Reach out on X.