During their Nintendo Treehouse presentation, Nintendo has revealed that the National Pokédex won’t be present in the upcoming Pokémon Sword & Shield.
Not only that, but certain Pokémon simply won’t be available in the games, even through trading. This is an unprecedented change for a main-series Pokémon game; even when hundreds of Pokémon weren’t available to catch in a specific game, they could still be traded in from other titles — even from classics like Pokémon Gold & Silver using a 3DS app called Poké Transporter.
Ironically, despite how happy Junichi Masuda was about players bringing their favorite Pokémon to newer titles, it turns out that the upcoming Pokémon Home app won’t let you transfer certain Pokémon to Sword & Shield. If they aren’t part of the Galar regional Pokédex, there’s simply no way to get them in the upcoming games.
Which creatures are to be excluded is currently unknown, but the news has left fans understandably frustrated. The changes mean that certain mainstays of the Pokémon experience — collecting every creature, or building competitive teams — won’t be quite the same going forward. Many have taken to using the Twitter hashtag #BringBackNationalDex, with some fans even insisting they’ll boycott the games.
A similar outcry led Nintendo to change their stance on the upcoming Super Mario Maker 2, which originally had no means of playing online with people on your friend list. After backlash from fans, Nintendo recently confirmed that a future update would allow for online play between friends.
There’s no telling just yet how this will play out, or if future Pokémon games on the Switch will also omit certain Pokémon. There’s still plenty of time between now and November for Nintendo to clarify or change their stance on this.