For all news related to Pokémon Essentials.

Pokémon Essentials, version 20.1 - 20th June 2022

This is NOT a help thread! If you want help with something, ask elsewhere.

Pokémon Essentials, version 20.1
20th June 2022

Change log
Download v20.1
v20.1 Hotfixes plugin

Essentials v20.1 has now been released. This version mainly adds bug fixes, including ones tackling memory leaks and maps appearing in the wrong places. Download it today!

There is a v20.1 Hotfixes plugin which adds some bug fixes.

Pokémon Essentials, version 20
19th May 2022

Change log
It's been almost a year since v19.1 came out, so it's about time for a new release of Essentials. Look below for a summary of the bigger features, and read through the change log linked above for a more exhaustive list of what's new.

Gen 8 Content

A lot of Generation 8 content has now been added to Essentials. This includes the usual collection of PBS files defining the new species/items/moves/abilities/etc. and code to make it all work, but it also includes a variety of new features that were in the Gen 8 games. The content is from the BDSP games, because Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a spinoff game with notably different mechanics, and its new content isn't easy to incorporate into the main series game mechanics... so I didn't. For comparison, content from the Let's Go games isn't in Essentials either.

Affection mechanics (Pokémon shrugging off status problems if they really like you, and so on) are in. The Town Map now appears in the pause menu if you have it but don't have a Pokégear (and if you can use Fly, you can do so directly from the Town Map). The Day Care can be turned into the Nursery, complete with sharing of egg moves. There are brand new types of evolutions, one that triggers after every battle regardless and one you can trigger on demand. The Pokédex entry for a new species can now show after evolution, hatching, trading and...

Pokémon Essentials, version 19.1 - 22nd May 2021

Pokémon Essentials, version 19.1
22nd May 2021

Change log
Download v19.1

Essentials v19.1 has now been released. It's full of bug fixes, text characters in the naming screen, gif support and a working Battle Factory. Download it today to get all this good stuff.

You do not need the v19 Hotfixes plugin. v19.1 contains all the fixes it provided and much more.

Pokémon Essentials, version 19
27th April 2021

Change log

You may not have been expecting a new version of Essentials, only seven months after the previous one, but surprise! Not only is it being released so soon (compared to the gaps between previous releases), but it's a very important step forward.

Before we get into it, I should say that Essentials is now open source on GitHub, and this has directly helped others to contribute to the development of Essentials. I wouldn't have been able to do all this by myself. Everyone who has worked on Essentials with me is fantastic, and I want to give them a lot of thanks for it.

But anyway, what's so great about v19?

mkxp-z ftw omg

mkxp-z is a bundle of letters, but it's also a very big deal. It's an alternative to RGSS, and if you don't know what that means, it's a set of code that RPG Maker games can use to make themselves work. And not just work, but work better than they would if they were using RGSS. RGSS is, to use the technical term, way old now, and mkxp-z is much newer and faster and has more features. And it's now in Essentials.

The upshot of it is that Essentials should now work a lot better. For one, it's faster, but that's not the only benefit. Fonts can be used without having to be installed, there's a built-in way to remap the controls to whichever keys you want, you can access information on https websites (so Mystery Gift works again), there are better screen resizing options, custom loop points in...
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Pokémon Essentials v18.1 - 28th September 2020

Pokémon Essentials, version 18.1
28th September 2020
Change log
Download v18.1

Pokémon Essentials, version 18
2nd September 2020
Change log

You may remember that Essentials exists. It hasn't had a new release in nearly three years now, so you'd be forgiven for forgetting that it exists. But exist it does, and now there's a whole new version!

So what's in it?

Battle system overhaul

This whole thing started when I decided to rearrange how using a move in battle works, from "each target is attacked separately" to "the move hits all targets at once". I grossly underestimated the workload involved in this, and then things spiraled out of control and v18 became a whole battle system overhaul. Lots and lots of things have been rewritten and improved, and I can't possibly describe them all in this post.

The most notable feature is that triple battles are now supported. In fact, all battle sizes are supported, including 1v2, 3v1 and so on. (Anything above 3v3 will require you to add some extra things yourself, but the underlying code will work for those as well.)

The other most notable feature is that the effects of Gen 7 moves/items/abilities have been added. Gen 8 effects have been omitted for now, because I didn't want to add two Gens' worth of content at once. Essentials now comes with two sets of PBS files: one for Gen 5 and one for Gen 7, now with fewer mistakes and better formatting.

Battle visuals

There are move animations and common animations, and then there are "system" animations. The latter are things like "throw a Poké Ball" or "Pokémon faints" or "make the whole battle screen fade in from black at the start with everything sliding around and looking dynamic". These system animations have been greatly improved and standardised, now all using the same animation system which will eventually also be used...
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Pokémon Essentials v18 progress report

Hi everyone!

This is a progress report for the next version of Pokémon Essentials, which will be version 18. Before I begin, no, I'm not announcing my retirement or anything like that. This really is just a progress report.

The next version of Pokémon Essentials, v18, is intended to be focussed on the battle system. More specifically, the battle system code is being tidied up and rearranged to make it better and easier to work with, and with some new features which this post will talk about.

So what's happening?

1. Tidying up and rearranging

The battle system is currently crammed into just a few long script sections, which makes them tough to navigate. Chunks of code are often in unreasonable places, or at least could be relocated to somewhere better (e.g. duplicated code that can be consolidated). Some battle mechanics don't work quite right, such as the timing for throwing a Poké Ball. Some mechanics I just want to make work differently, such as making a move hit all targets at once rather than one after the other (this is the original reason I wanted to focus on the battle system this time, actually, and making this change took much longer than I expected).

To this end, I've been moving and improving a whole lot of code. I've been renaming and repurposing methods and variables, with the result being that virtually every third party script that affects battles will be incompatible with v18 without rewrites. I know, I know, but that's how it goes.

2. Triple battles and so on

Although I think triple battles won't look good (the screen's too small to reasonably show six Pokémon in battle with their data boxes at once), I decided to improve the code to support triple battles. Actually, I generalised the code completely, meaning not only are single/double/triple battles possible now, but so are 1v2, 3v1, 2v3 and any other permutation of "number of Pokémon on each side of battle". It's entirely possible to have a battle where you use one Pokémon...

Pokémon Essentials v17.2 - 15th October 2017

Pokémon Essentials, version 17
27th August 2017


There was a longer gap between v16.2 and v17 than there was between v1 and v10.

A Quality Update
  • Essentials v17 was focussed (vaguely, more or less) on making quality of life improvements. Things that make the game easier to play, or look nicer, or easier to develop. This includes the new Ready Menu, which is a much improved version of registering an item that can register multiple items at once and show moves you can use in the field; the option to choose whether you want to input text via cursor or direct typing; various improvements to Debug options; the addition of the "pokemonforms.txt" PBS file; and support for AZERTY and QWERTZ keyboards, not to mention moving the F5 key all the way down to the more easily accessible F. There are plenty of other changes I've made that would fit under this heading, but I'll let you read through the change log and find them for yourself!
Yes, But What Does It LOOK Like?
  • Some long-standing visual quirks have finally been resolved. You can no longer jiggle in and out of a running pose when you're not supposed to (I know, it's a shame), grass rustling no longer happens above your head, and water reflections no longer appear over land. Fishing is much improved too, with several audio and visual cues that tell you when you've hooked a Pokémon. The shading of the world throughout the day is more pleasant to look at. Oh, and the Pokédex looks a whole lot nicer now, as do various other bits of GUI. Some Pokémon storage box wallpapers are unlockable (and locked by default), so maybe you won't see those.
Tell Me More
  • Fine. Input::A (the Z key to you and me, or W for AZERTY keyboards or Y for QWERTZ keyboards) has extra functionality all over the place. It'll play a Pokémon's cry on demand in the summary screen, it'll let you...