Yo-kai Watch Wiki
Yo-kai Watch Wiki

"Yo-kai is why."
—Game's slogan.

Yo-kai Watch (Japanese: 妖怪ウォッチ Yōkai Wotchi) is a role-playing video game that was developed by Level-5, and the first to be released in the Yo-kai Watch video game series.

It was released for the Nintendo 3DS on July 11, 2013 in Japan, November 6, 2015 in North America, April 29, 2016 in Europe, December 5, 2015 in Australia and November 26, 2015 in South Korea.

The game involves looking for Yo-kai, spiritual creatures responsible for unexpected everyday occurrences, and befriending them via battles. Yo-kai can only be found with the Yo-kai Watch.

There is a enhanced port of the game for Nintendo Switch called Yo-kai Watch 1 for Nintendo Switch released in October 10 2019 and a port of iOS and Android systems called Yo-kai Watch for Smartphone was released in July 10 2021.


Weird and wonderful Yo-kai are everywhere!

Befriend over 200 different Yo-kai, all with their own unique personalities!

Use your Yo-kai Watch to find Yo-kai troublemakers around town.

Strategize your attacks wisely...
to unleash powerful Soultimate Moves!

Download items via the Internet and challenge friends to local wireless battles!

Snap pics of Yo-kai hiding out in the real world with your in-game Yo-kai Cam!


Warning: plot & spoiler details are listed below.

The player can choose whether they want to play as Nate Adams or Katie Forester. The differences are only based on aesthetic. Throughout the plot description, the player will be referred to as Nate.

During a bug-collecting assignment assigned to students by a school in suburban Springdale, Nate Adams is jealous of classmate Barnaby "Bear" Berenstein's large stag beetle that he caught, and decides to find another bug to rival him. Upon being prompted by the school's janitor to visit Mount Wildwood, Nate discovers an unusual capsule machine. He decides to take a capsule from it, and upon opening the capsule, frees a strange ghostly being. The being introduces himself as Whisper, and states that he is what is known as a Yo-kai. He gives Nate the Yo-kai Watch, a device used to find Yo-kai, and prompts Nate to use it. After Nate befriends two additional Yo-kai, Whisper further explains that Yo-kai are as abundant as humans; the only reason Nate could not comprehend them before being that they blend into their surroundings.

Nate returns home with Whisper in tow, only to find that Nate's parents, Lily and Aaron Adams, are bickering over whether Aaron should fix dinner, and find that Dismeralda is the cause. She refuses to leave, but Nate and Whisper head to an intersection and find Jibanyan, who immediately joins them to fight Dismeralda. She is defeated, but her husband, Happiere, calls off the battle and makes up with Dismeralda. He also inspirits Lily and Aaron to allow them to make up, thus ending the conflict.

The following day, Nate visits Katie to find her upset over the fact that she said things she never intended to say to her friend, causing the latter to shut down. Realizing that a Yo-kai is responsible, Nate finds Tattletell, and after befriending her, asks her to inspirit Katie once more to allow her to reconcile with her friend. With the issue resolved, Tattletell reveals why she inspirited Katie in the first place: a group of evil Yo-kai led by Slimamander had broken many seals, thus disrupting the link between the human and Yo-kai realms. With the help of the other Yo-kai thus far, Nate and Whisper defeat all of the evil Yo-kai and roll back the damage caused to the seals.

Realizing how tough Slimamander was, Nate and Whisper decide to head to Timers and More, where the shopkeeper, a human-mimicking Yo-kai named Mr. Goodsight, agrees to upgrade Nate's Yo-kai Watch rank, but assigns him two specific tasks to complete beforehand. Nate befriends Baku while completing the first task, who proves the key in commencing out the second task: retrieving Mr. Goodsight's undergarment from the local spa at night. After narrowly evading an Oni attack along the way, they discover that Sproink has stolen the undergarment as a clothing item for himself. A battle ensues, and Nate emerges victorious, thus allowing him to return the undergarments to Mr. Goodsight to complete the watch upgrade.

The next day, after Bear uses his mother's ring to catch the "king of Catfish Pond" and inadvertently loses it, Mr. Bernstein berates his son and instructs him to retrieve it. Nate finds out about the ordeal, and he and Whisper decide to head to a riverside to find a kappa Yo-kai named Walkappa. They head to the lake and find the ring, only to disrupt another Yo-kai named SV Snaggerjag. After the ensuing battle, SV Snaggerjag reveals that he is the king of Catfish Pond, and he warned that the group was scaring off the catfish in the area. The ring is returned to Bear's mother, who reveals that it was not as valuable as was initially believed, relieving Nate, Whisper, Bear, and Walkappa.

The following morning, Aaron Adams, on his way to work, accidentally leaves behind important documents at Sunshine Station thanks to a Yo-kai named Wazzat. Lily Adams is contacted and asks her son to head to the office so that he can return the documents. Nate and Whisper retrieve the documents and board the train with little trouble; however, they are soon ambushed by Wazzat. The two evade Wazzat long enough to return the documents; on the way back, Wazzat reveals that he was lonely and offers to join Nate, of whom the latter accepts.

As thanks for saving his father's job, Nate is given a bike. He rides around Flower Road, only to hear rumors about development in the area. He comes across a Yo-kai named Kyubi, who blackmails him into entering the construction zone at night. Nate and Whisper do so, meeting Komasan along the way. However, they find that Kyubi had been leading them to the real culprit all along: a Yo-kai known as Massiface. Nate and his Yo-kai team manage to defeat Massiface after a long battle, and the rumors stop.

Nate then visits Eddie, and the two visit an art museum with Eddie's parents. Though they enjoy the museum, Eddie is distraught that he did not find the exhibit he was looking for. He asks Nate to accompany him in sneaking to the museum at night, which Nate agrees to. After being warped into the museum by a Yo-kai named Mirapo and evading the museum's security protocols, Nate is forced to battle Phantasmurai, a suit of armor that Eddie was trying to observe. Eddie is ridiculed that the suit is controlled by a mouse, but gets over it as he and Nate exit the museum.

All of Nate's friends meet up with him at the school to attempt to find a mysterious Yo-kai that had been causing mischief within the school. The Yo-kai abducts all of Nate's friends, and Nate and Whisper are forced to find them, but not before facing the mischievous Yo-kai, revealed to be Tarantutor. After a long battle, Nate is victorious, and joins his friends for a brief fireworks celebration.

Whisper, however, becomes suspicious and asks Nate to return to the school to search for more clues. After being directed by Mr. Barton to the abandoned Nocturne Hospital, they find that the building has unusual Yo-kai activity. The source is eventually confirmed to be the evil Dr. Maddiman, of whom Nate is forced to battle. Maddiman is defeated, but not before revealing that he works for Chairman McKraken, a dissident Yo-kai planning to take over the Yo-kai realm and destroy the human realm.

Nate and Whisper are uneasy, but are given hope when a classmate of Nate's, Lucas, reveals that he is a Yo-kai himself, having been born from Enma, the true ruler of the Yo-kai realm. Nate and Whisper venture to the Yo-kai realm to seek answers. They encounter McKraken and seemingly defeat him. However, when they return to the human realm, they find that all of the seals are broken once more, McKraken has deployed his minions in the area, and Slimamander is once again awakened.

Nate and the others manage to defeat all of McKraken's lackeys and restore the seals, but McKraken, refusing to give up, transforms into a giant beast. After a hard battle, Nate and his Yo-kai team defeat McKraken and banish him from the human realm for good. Whisper, knowing that more evil Yo-kai will attack the human realm, decides to close the elevator linking the two realms together; Nate, finally accepting their fate, reluctantly accepts, and all of the Yo-kai forcibly return to their realm, leaving Nate behind. Nate returns to his house as the credits roll, drawing a picture of his Yo-kai friends to remember them.

In a post-credits scene, Nate notices Jibanyan on the edge of his house the following day. To his amazement, all of his Yo-kai friends have restored the elevator, thus able to return to the human realm once more.

Spoilers end here.


The game combines the elements of a role-playing game with a more modernized setting focused on everyday life with Yo-kai hidden from the regular human view, being responsible for many of the everyday occurrences that happen. The player is given the ability to see Yo-kai with the usage of a Yo-kai Watch, where scanning them with the watch lenses will allow them to be seen.

Its battle system is turn-based, where three Yo-kai will be up against another three, which can be in a party of six. Though the attacks are automated, they require usage of the Touch Screen to activate their Soultimate Moves, purification or using items. Every Yo-kai has their own tribe, where they have advantages and disadvantages during battle and can have items equipped onto them to change their stats.

Areas are explored in a top-down view, where the player is encouraged to find hidden items or Yo-kai inside objects such as next to trash cans or under cars. Finding them will be able to give the player some extra supplies to use like befriending Yo-kai or selling them for some Money. Some people around town will offer the player Requests or Favors, which can give them a reward after completing them.


Main article: Springdale (Town)

The map of Springdale.

The setting of the video game takes place in a fictitious town called Springdale, where it is divided into six different districts that are unlocked as the game progresses. They are Uptown Springdale, Mount Wildwood, Blossom Heights, Downtown Springdale, Breezy Hills and Shopper's Row.

Each of them have their own places of interest, unique Yo-kai that are found, Treasure Boxes and hidden items. Almost all of them have shops that either sell Food, Items, and Fusible Materials or be traded in for various objects. Some areas are locked behind Rank Doors, where unlocking them grants the player access to rarer items or unexplored locations.

When the player runs, they have a stamina meter which is displayed via a circle-shaped gauge where it depletes. Running out of stamina will cause the player to become tired and walk slower then the average speed until the gauge is repleted. Although, using Staminum can help give the player a temporary infinite running speed for a short amount of time. Other methods of faster transport are unlocked later in the game's story, such as the Mirapo Warp or Bicycle.

Catching Critters

Bugs and Fish can be caught in the game, when the Bug Net and Fishing Rod Key Items are obtained. Catching them is done by trying to make the wheel stop on the bars, which landing on them catches the bug or fish. Using Fish Bait or Black Syrup increases the chance of it being caught by adding more bars to the wheel. Occasionally, red bars will appear where landing on it will cause a Rare variant of the bug or fish to be caught.

They can be traded in Jungle Hunter, where catching specific types of Fish or Bugs allow the player to obtain specific items from them by trading for the required amount.


They are spiritual creatures that serve the main purpose of the video game, which can be found via the Yo-kai Watch.

Yo-kai can be befriended by feeding them food during battle, where the chance heavily depends on the description of the item along with the price that was sold for to an extent.

Battle System

A screenshot showing the battle system of the game.

Yo-kai Watch has an unique battle system were the Yo-kai fight on their own by using four strategies in battle, which those strategies are Attack, Technique, Guard, and Inspirit. Sometimes the Yo-kai may Loaf around, which if that happens, the player must be patient.

If the player wants to help out their respective Yo-kai, they can unleash the Yo-kai Soultimate move; the player has to follow the instructions to fill up their Yo-kai's Soul Meter and unleash their Soultimate Move on the enemy Yo-kai. The player can also pin an Yo-kai, which makes the players Yo-kai focus everyone's attack on one enemy. If the pin hits the enemy, the player Yo-kai friends will target the pinned enemy. Some Yo-kai will Inspirit the player's Yo-kai, which will give them a hard time.

Once the Yo-kai is inspirited, they are not able to fight as usual. If the player's Yo-kai is inspirited, they have to turn the Yo-kai Wheel to take out of battle, then the payer has to press Purify, to Purify the inspirited Yo-kai at the right times. If the player succeeds to purify the Yo-kai, they will return to normal and will receive Experience points. If the player's Yo-kai HP is low, they can look their inventory and feed them to recover HP. If the player will give the enemy Yo-kai food, they may end up becoming their friends. However, all Yo-kai have specific likes and dislikes. The player can only give one item to each enemy Yo-kai.

The player can also make use of the Yo-kai Wheel, which they have to turn the wheel to change which Yo-kai will fight. The player has to check their enemy and their allies to choose the three best Yo-kai. If the player places Yo-kai of the same tribe, they will form an unity to take advantages in battle. Through Inspiriting, the player can affect other Yo-kai as well, which the Yo-kai can get good effects or bad effects. Know that every Yo-kai has a special skill, which some can reflect attacks and others can heal, they can also make usage of elemental techniques which the Yo-kai can be strong against some elements and weak against others.


When the player receives Crank-a-kai coins or using Nintendo 3DS Play Coins, they can free a Yo-kai from the Crank-a-kai machine located at Mt. Wildwood. However, the player can make use of it for only three times each day. The player can receive those coins from Yo-kai Cam rewards or from treasure chests. The player can use the QR code at Piggleston Bank to get coins. If lucky, the player might receive a super-rare Yo-kai that can only be freed from the Crank-a-kai machine.

Other Features

Yo-kai Battles

Main article: Yo-kai Battles


Main article: Yo-Criminals

Yo-criminals are Yo-kai who have committed a crime. The player has to catch suspicious Yo-kai when they see them. If the player manages to catch them three times, they will receive one letter of a secret password. However, the player has to pay attention to see is the letter is capitalised or not. The player can also share notes with their friends to complete the passwords. Once receiving the passwords, the player can go to the second post office window in Uptown Springdale. The player has to ask Detective Holdit about the deadline for catching specific criminals.

StreetPass Functionality

Main article: Wayfarer Manor

When the player reaches Mt. Wildwood, they can talk to the manager of some apartments which are called Wayfarer Manor. They are filled with Yo-kai that can be encountered by the Nintendo 3DS's StreetPass functionality.

Piggleston Bank

Main article: Piggleston Bank

Lambert Post Office

Main article: Lambert Post Office

Yo-kai Cam

Main article: Yo-kai Cam

With the Yo-kai Cam, the player can use the camera to detect Yo-kai. The player has to select Yo-kai Cam from the title menu in order to use it. They should take a photo of their friends or family to see which Yo-kai Inspirits them. The player will receive rewards for snapping Yo-kai pictures and completing daily challenges.


An image of an earlier version of the game from the Level-5 World 2011 trailer, showing the first-person view.

The game was first announced in the September 2011 issue of Japanese magazine CoroCoro, revealing by Level-5 that the game was under development.

On October 14, 2011, Level-5 announced the game at their Level-5 Vision conference in Tokyo. They didn't say on which platform the game shall be released, but they explained that it would be a multimedia project like other franchises developed by the company. An animated trailer with some gameplay was released, showing a character with the ability to see and interact with ghosts.

Eventually, more information for the game was shown around a year later in the October 2012 magazine of Corocoro revealing the game's 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan. The battle system was also shown in the issue for the first time and revealed more of the game's setting and characters.

A demo of the game was playable at the World Hobby Fair Winter '13 event, from January 20 to February 10, 2013. The game would eventually be announced for a summer release in that year.

Western Localisation

After the franchise was a success during 2014 in Japan, Level-5 said that they would be bringing it to other territories.

In April 2015, Level-5 announced that Nintendo would handle the localization of the game in the west. At E3 2015, Nintendo revealed the game by showing a segment of the dubbed anime with a release for the Fall season of that year.


GameStop Preorder

By pre-ordering the game at GameStop in the United States, they would get a Jibanyan Paws Of Fury Medal which would allow connectivity with the game, as well as the toy.

A Nintendo 2DS bundle containing the game came out a few months within it's release.


The game has been released in a Nintendo 3DS bundle. In Japan, the game was packaged with a unique white Yo-kai-patterned Nintendo 3DS XL containing the game pre-installed and an exclusive Ukiukipedia card of Goldenyan.

In other regions, the game was packaged digitally with a Nintendo 2DS. The available colours vary depending on the region, but like the original Japanese release, the game is installed digitally.

Technical details



Media Nintendo 3DS Game Card
Digital download
Download size 6,345 (794MB) blocks
Supported features Nintendo Network (download items)
Local Play (2 players)
Input / compatible controllers Nintendo 3DS

North America

Media Nintendo 3DS Game Card
Digital download
Download size 6,641 blocks
Supported features Nintendo Network (download items)
Local Play (2 players)
Input / compatible controllers Nintendo 3DS

Version history


Version Release date Official changelog More information

North America

Version Release date Official changelog More information
1.1 November 6, 2015 Gameplay adjustments. Gameplay adjustments.
1.2 February 25, 2016 Adding French and Spanish language. French and Spanish were added to Yo-kai Watch as language options.


Version Release date Official changelog More information
1.1 April 29, 2016 Gameplay adjustments. Gameplay adjustments.


Yo-kai Watch sold a total of 1.33 million copies in Japan. In North America, it sold about 400,000 copies.

Since its release in North America and Europe, the game sold a total of 1.58 million copies.


Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu 36 of 40 (9, 9, 9, 9)[2]
IGN 7.2/10[3]
Always Nintendo 8/10
Game Informer 8.5/10
GameSpot 7/10

Famitsu gave Yo-kai Watch a score of 36 of 40. Japanese reviewer Reona Ebihara wrote "The game gradually expands its feature set as you go, opening up this very unique world that's easy to melt into." as well "The 3D visuals work great, serving especially well to put you right there as you're searching for spirits in the grass. The battles proceed automatically but let you change formations and offer support in real-time, keeping things both simple and deeply strategic."

Japanese writer Urara Honma added "The game balances collection, battle, and monster-raising in a really expert manner." as well "The battles use the touchscreen deftly to boost their strategic aspects; it feels really great to control. You won't run into much frustration playing this game, and while it does feel like one big fetch quest at times, the charms of the story more than make up for that.

IGN gave Yo-kai Watch a 7.2 out of 10, praising the characteristics of the Yo-kai and the storyline of the game, but criticized for the tedious amount of Requests and Favors.


When the game was released in North America, there was a launch party at the at the Nintendo World Store in the Rockefeller Center from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. People that attended the event met Akihiro Hino, the president of Level-5, as well getting an autograph from him from 1:00pm to 2:00pm.

Yo-kai Watch Original Soundtrack

Main article: Yo-kai Watch Original Soundtrack

A soundtrack containing the songs from this game and the sequel, along with some additional tracks from the anime series was released in Japan on December 17, 2014. It contains a total of 132 songs, along with 3 music videos spanning across 4 discs.


A enhanced port for the Nintendo Switch called Yo-kai Watch 1 for Nintendo Switch was released on October 10, 2019 in Japan, which has improved graphics, reworked controls and scanning support for Yo-kai Arks.

There is also an upcoming iOS and Android port of the video game called Yo-kai Watch for Smartphone, which has a to-be-determined release date as of December 2019.


Main article: Yo-kai Watch Demo






Yo-kai Watch starting symbol.PNG
Yo-kai Watch Nintendo 3DS Home Menu icon.
Yokai Watch Logo.PNG
Japanese logo of Yo-kai Watch.
Yo-Kai Watch logo.PNG
Western logo of Yo-kai Watch.

Video Gallery

Japanese videos

North America videos

European videos


The Puzzle Swap panel of Yo-kai Watch.

  • In StreetPass Mii Plaza, there's a Yo-kai Watch-themed Puzzle Swap that was distributed in North America, Europe and Korea since 2015. It's based around the main artwork for the video game.
  • The video game has some differences and inconsistencies when compared to the later entries or the Yo-kai Watch anime series, such as Nate's earlier design of the Yo-kai Watch, Jibanyan's liking of Tuna rather than Chocobars and some areas having minor layout changes.
  • This is the only main series game to lack a theme song in the Japanese and Korean versions, only having an opening video of Nate using the Crank-a-kai. The western releases keep this video but adds in Yo-kai Watch feat. Swampy Marsh (and other dubs of the song) after it, with a montage of gameplay clips.
  • This is the only main series game to not have any tie-ins with any of the Yo-kai Watch movies, due to them not existing at the time of it's Japanese release.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
Flag of Japan.svg Japanese 妖怪ウォッチ
Yōkai Wotchi
Flag of France.svg French Yo-kai Watch
Flag of Spain.svg Spanish Yo-kai Watch
Flag of Germany.svg German Yo-kai Watch
Flag of Italy.svg Italian Yo-kai Watch
Flag of South Korea.svg Korean 요괴워치
Yogoe wochi

External links


  1. [1] Yo-kai Watch Official Japanese website (update)
  2. Japan Review Check: Yokai Watch, New Super Luigi U

Yo-kai Watch Video Game Series
Main series games Yo-kai Watch (3DSSwitchSmartphone)Yo-kai Watch 2Yo-kai Watch 3Yo-kai Watch 4
Spin-off games Yo-kai Watch BlastersYo-kai Watch Busters 2
Yo-kai SangokushiYo-kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special VersionY School Heroes: Bustlin' School Life
Applications Yo-kai Watch: Wibble WobbleYo-kai Watch Land
Yo-kai Taiso Dai-ichi Puzzle da nyanYo-kai Watch: Gerapo RhythmYo-kai Watch WorldYo-kai Sangokushi: Kunitori WarsYo-kai Watch: Medal WarsYo-kai Daijiten
Arcade Games Yo-kai Watch: Tomodachi UkiukipediaYo-kai Watch Busters: Iron Oni Force