There’s a new Pokémon game out this Friday and like most of you, I can’t wait to collect most of them. With hundreds upon hundreds of critters now officially existing within the pocket monster library, developer Game Freak were tasked with a Herculean labour: Should they add every Pokémon under the sun to Sword and Shield, possibly risking a case of quantity over quality, or trim the fat from the national Pokedex and focus on those Pokémon whose presence could add something truly unique to the Galar region adventure?
Game Freak chose the latter, eventually winding up with a national Pokedex that while still chunky, was massively reduced in size compared to what some hardcore fans were expecting. If you’re upset about that, you might want to hold onto your poke-butts because this is an approach that Game Freak will be choosing for all future Pokémon games. “We currently have no plans to make the Pokémon that are missing from the Galar Pokedex available in-game,” Game Freak producer Junichi Masuda said to Inside Gamer.
This is an approach that we want to continue with in future Pokémon games.
In case you’re wondering what all the hubbub is about, it all boils down to the endgame goal of filling the Pokedex to 100% completion in every core Pokémon game. Players are usually given two such Pokedex challenges: A Regional version which encompasses all the new and unique Pokémon of the land that they’re in, and the larger National pokedex which requires hours of grinding, training and trading to fill up. It’s no small task, something I’ve personally experienced with the X and Y versions of Pokémon taking me close to a hundred hours to complete that National pokedex.
There’ll be no National Pokedex in Pokémon Sword and Shield, and whatever Pokémon you happen to have saved in the Pokémon Home service will also have a few strings attached to them. Basically, if said Pokémon does not exist in the Galar region, it cannot be transferred over from your account. End of story. “Up until now it hasn’t been possible to encounter every Pokémon in every game, so people had to transfer them from old games to the new game, by using Pokémon Bank for example,” Masuda explained.
The Pokémon Home app is currently in development, in which players can collect their various Pokémon, and only Pokémon in the Galar Pokedex can be transferred from there to Sword and Shield. But the way of playing is actually not very different from before with Pokémon Bank: up until now you have always only been able to meet Pokémon from a certain region.
We encourage people to use Pokémon Home to collect their Pokémon from old games. From there they might be able to take them to other games in the future. So take good care of your old Pokémon, because perhaps you can travel with them again in the future.
If you’ve managed to avoid some massive spoilers, you’ll see just how many Pokémon made the eventual cut for Sword and Shield. Although chances are, once you have a Sirfetch’d or Galar Form Weezing, you’ll wonder why you were ever so hung-up on having older generation Pokemon in the first place.
Last Updated: November 11, 2019