Pokémon Sword and Shield won’t feature a National Pokédex

You'll struggle to catch 'em all this time around
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Nintendo Switch

Amongst all the exciting Pokémon news to come out of E3 2019, (Max Raid Battles! Poké Ball Plus connectivity! AN ELECTRIC CORGI!), was a small piece of information that may upset a trainer or two.

Series producer, Junichi Masuda, revealed that although you will be able to connect to Sword and Shield with Pokémon Home to transfer your critters from previous Pokémon titles, you’ll only be able to do so if they appear in the regional Galar Pokédex. Currently, we don’t know how large this regional Pokédex is likely to be, (previous regional dexes have included anywhere from 151 to 403 Pokémon), but it seems likely that a large percentage of the creatures we’ve come to know and love will be absent from Sword and Shield (at least at launch).

The National Dex has actually been absent from the main series games since last generation’s Sun and Moon, but you were still able to transfer any of your Pokémon from previous titles into these games with Pokémon Bank. Last year’s Let’s Go: Pikachu! and Let’s Go: Eevee! were the first games in a while to really limit which creatures you could own, with only the original 151 monsters, (and special guests Meltan and Melmetal), available to catch and be transferred in from Pokémon Go. Sword and Shield will likely have more monsters available than that, but by how much is unclear.

Masuda stressed that it wasn’t an easy decision to exclude any Pokémon from the game and that the team had spent a lot of time going back and fourth with plans for how to implement the full Pokédex in these games. Ultimately, it seems that it just wasn’t feasible to include models and animations for all 809 currently released Pokémon, as well as any new additions from the Galar region. Not without making fans wait a lot longer the game, at any rate. Only time will tell how many monsters have made the cut, but you can guarantee that some trainers are gonna miss out on seeing their favourite old-school Pokémon pop up in Galar this November.