- “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield,” the new Pokémon games for the Nintendo Switch, won’t have every Pokémon in the series so far.
- Pokémon producer Junichi Masuda said the decision was not easy, but the resources needed to bring roughly 1,000 Pokémon to the Switch were too demanding. Instead, the games will have about 400 new and old Pokémon.
- Game Freak hasn’t confirmed the full list, but dedicated players made a helpful grid to make it easy to see if your favorite Pokémon can be found in “Pokémon Sword and Shield.”
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Pokémon fans, beware: the newest games in the series won’t have every Pokémon from the previous Pokémon games.
While “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” will introduce dozens of brand-new Pokémon when the games are released November 15, about half of the classic Pokémon won’t be included in the game at all. Up until now, Pokémon games allowed players to trade their old Pokémon into the latest titles, from the original “Pokémon Red and Blue” released on the Game Boy in 1998, to “Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon” released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2017.
Earlier this summer Pokémon developer Game Freak announced that “Pokemon Sword and Shield” would break this trend, with the creative team choosing to bring about half of the Pokémon roster into the new game. Producer Junichi Masuda said the decision was not easy, but the resources needed to bring roughly 1,000 Pokémon to the Switch were too demanding.
Instead, Game Freak chose about 400 new and old Pokémon to include in “Sword and Shield,” and spent the rest of the development time building a fresh experience for Pokémon players.
Hardcore Pokémon fans are freaking out over classic Pokémon getting left behind.
- “Pokemon Sword and Shield”/Nintendo
Many hardcore Pokémon fans are upset that more than half of the Pokémon in the franchise will be omitted from the games, and that Game Freak has abandoned its tradition of including every Pokémon.
Some fans compared Masuda to Thanos, the Avengers villain who killed half of all living creatures with the snap of his fingers. Others labeled the decision to leave old Pokémon behind “Dexit,” a pun on Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
Players dug into the code of “Pokémon Sword and Shield” to figure out which Pokémon are included.
- “Pokémon Sword and Shield”/Nintendo
Game Freak hasn’t confirmed all of the Pokémon that will appear in “Sword and Shield,” but players with early access to the game have explored the game’s code to see exactly which Pokémon made the cut.
While the list of Pokémon is literally hundreds of names long, dedicated players made a helpful grid to make it easy to see if your favorite Pokémon can be found in “Pokémon Sword and Shield.” To avoid spoiling the surprise for fans looking forward to the games, and because the grid is huge, I won’t share it here, but you can check it out on your own.
If you do take a peek at the grid, here’s how to read it: Pokémon in red boxes won’t appear in “Sword and Shield,” while Pokémon in green boxes will. Pokémon in pink or purple have a new form or evolution, while Pokémon in yellow are in the game’s code but won’t appear normally. So it’s possible that favorites like Bulbasaur and Squirtle could return during special events in the future.
Every Pokémon is somebody’s favorite.
- The Pokemon Company
While 400 Pokémon is still plenty, nearly every Pokémon is someone’s favorite. In a poll asking nearly 50,000 Pokémon fans to pick their favorite earlier this year, all but four Pokémon received votes out of 809 choices.
It’s unclear when, how, or if players will be able to transfer Pokémon from other past Pokémon games into “Sword and Shield.” Game Freak has said that players will be able to use an upcoming app called Pokémon Home to transfer and trade Pokémon from multiple games in the series, but it isn’t due out until early 2020.
“Pokémon Sword and Shield” will be available on November 15 for the Nintendo Switch.