Palworld: Sakurajima Update – Everything You Need to Know

Pocketpair's monster catching survival game is headed to a new Japan-inspired island with its next update.

Posted By | On 10th, Jun. 2024

Palworld: Sakurajima Update – Everything You Need to Know

Palworld had certainly turned a few heads with its “Pokemon with guns” elevator pitch in the lead up to its release, but no one in the world could have anticipated that it would have gone on to become one of the year’s biggest games. The open world survival game launched in early access for PC and Xbox earlier in the year, and has surpassed 25 million players across all platforms as of February, becoming an overnight phenomenon.

Now, developer Pocketpair is gearing up to push out Palworld’s first major update. At the recent Summer Game Fest showcase, the developer brought a new trailer that showcased the survival game’s upcoming Sakurajima update, which looks set to add a healthy amount of new content and gameplay features to the game. Pocketpair has nonetheless shared plenty of details on what it’ll be bringing to the table, and here, we’re going to be going over the highlights.

NEW ISLAND

The centerpiece of Palworld’s first major update is an entirely new island for players to explore, dubbed Sakurajima. Exactly how large the island will be and what sort of content it is going to have on offer remains to be seen, but according to details revealed by Pocketpair, it does look like it isn’t going to be lacking in environmental diversity. As per the developer, Sakurajima island will encompass a number of distinct areas, including an ominous graveyard, a shrine with Japanese architecture and surrounded by blooming cherry blossoms, a new dungeon, a swamp characterized by giant mushrooms, and more. The entire island, in fact, is very much inspired by Japan, its architecture, and its landscapes, so you can expect to see plenty of that aesthetic when exploring the new island.

NEW PALS

As you would expect from a major game for a game where collecting, raising, and battling Pokemon-like monsters is a huge part of the core gameplay loop, Palworld’s Sakurajima upate will also bring new Pals for players to find, fight, and catch. How many of these exactly the update will add hasn’t yet been confirmed, but we have, of course, seen a handful of them with the trailers that Pocketpair has showcased for the update so far, including a giant frog-like creature, an ostrich and turkey hybrid, a giant dino with a mushroom cap, and more. Meanwhile, on top of that, Pocketpair has confirmed that the update will also add new subspecies for existing Pals, including the likes of Katress and Chillet. Finally, these new Pals and subspecies of Pals will also come with new skills for players to unleash in battles.

NEW FACTION

Palworld Sakurajima

Currently, Palworld has five factions, but Pocketpair has said in the past that it intends to add more of them with post-launch update, and true to the developer’s word, the first of those will be arriving with the Sakurajima update. Beyond confirming that a new faction and faction leader are coming to the game, however, Pocketpair hasn’t given out too many details on what exactly to expect from this front. Either way, a new faction means we can expect new enemies and enemy types to battle, and new weapons to use during fights. Where the latter are concerned, we’ve seen a few of these in the update’s trailers so far, including futuristic looking weapons, a flamethrower, and what have you.

ENHANCED BUILDING OPTIONS

As a survival game, Palworld makes base building a pivotal part of its core gameplay loop, something that your little army of Pals ties into as well. As you would expect then, the game’s upcoming major update is also going to bring new and enhanced building options. For starters, with the release of the Sakurajima update, Palworld will lift a handful of building related restrictions that have been in place until now, such as raising the maximum number of bases that a player is allowed to have. Additionally, players will also be able to build new buildings, including the likes of sulfur and coal mines, pillars for decorations, glass structures for those who want something a bit more flashy, and more.

NEW STRONGHOLD

Palworld Sakurajima

Heading out on raids in a party with other players is a pretty big draw of Palworld (for some players, at any rate), and sure enough, the Sakurajima update will also add a new raid to the game. The new Stronghold is set on an oil rig that will appear offshore and will task players with going up against the powerful poaching group that is in control of it. Pocketpair says players will engage in “large scale battles” as they fight over different valuable rewards, including a new resource to collect and use in the form of crude oil.

PVP

Pocketpair confirmed earlier in the year that the PvP component it had promised for Palworld would be releasing sometime later this year under the name Arena. As it turns out, the developer has now confirmed that it is bundling Arena with the Sakurajima update. That’s right, the update will also add PvP to the game, allowing players to dive into large scale battles against other players, giving you and your Pals the chance to duke it out against others all over the world. Based on what is shown in the trailer (and based on footage that Pocketpair has showcased in the past), it looks like Arena will allow two players to take each other on in combat, with each allowed to send out three Pals- which means things are likely going to get pretty chaotic during battles.

RAISED LEVEL CAP AND HARD MODE

Palworld - Summer Update

Palworld currently does not let you or your Pals level up past level 50, though the survival game’s summer update is going to change that. Pocketpair has confirmed that in addition to bringing all of its new content and gameplay features, the Sakurajima update will also increase the game’s level cap. The developer hasn’t yet mentioned what the new, raised level cap will be, but players and players’ Pals will both be able to grow yet more powerful soon enough. In addition to that, the Sakurajima update will also add a new Hard Mode that will let you take on leaders of the game’s existing factions in harder and optional boss fights, for those looking for a tougher challenge.

XBOX SERVERS

When Palworld launched in January, it received no shortage of praise for a lot of what it did, but there were a fair few players who were disappointed in the lack of dedicated servers for the game’s Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S versions. Palworld is, of course, a game that is heavily reliant on multiplayer, but if, for instance, you want to enjoy 32 player multiplayer servers, you can only do that if you are playing on Steam, with the player count on Xbox being severely restricted at just 2-4. Players have been hoping for months that Pocketpair will address that with an update sooner rather than later, and at long last, the developer has confirmed that the upcoming Sakurajima update will also bring with it dedicated Xbox servers. In addition to that, the developer says it is also working on cross platform multiplayer.


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