Pokemon National Dex Cut Reaffirmed by Series Director

Published: November 10, 2019 3:55 PM /


Pikachu crying, most likely because it can't have every single friend in Sword and Shield

Back when the first Pokemon games came out for the Game Boy, players could collect, trade, and battle 151 unique creatures. With every main entry in the series, that number has only increased. Heck, sometimes we got new Pokemon in between major games. With 809 Pokemon as of Generation 7 (not counting alternate forms like the Alolan forms and other variants,) Game Freak has had to make decisions about how many they can put in their games.

We've known for a few months that Pokemon Sword and Shield won't have the National Dex. This means that the game will only have a selection of older Pokemon appearing in the game alongside the new ones. While it's possible to transfer Pokemon between games, players won't be able to bring Pokemon to Sword and Shield unless they normally appear in that game. While highly divisive, this feature looks like it's going to stay with the series. In a recent interview with Dutch publication Inside GamerPokemon developer Junichi Masuda has confirmed that Pokemon's National Dex will be no more.

Setting limits

In the translated interview, Masuda states that they have no plans to introduce the Pokemon missing from Sword and Shield into the game. "That is an approach that we want to continue with Pokemon games in the future," he adds. One of the main reasons for this is that it's a question of manpower along with the other new features. However, he encourages people to use the Pokemon Home app, slated for an early 2020 release, to hang onto their Pokemon, even if they can't be used in Sword and Shield "We encourage people to use Pokemon Home to collect their Pokemon 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 Pokemon, because perhaps you can travel with them again in the future."

It's understandable that Game Freak has to make some cuts. If every single Pokemon was in Sword and Shield, we'd likely have around a thousand individual Pokemon. Each one would have to be modeled, animated (along with variants and alternate forms,) and balanced against all the other Pokemon. When the first Pokemon game released, I doubt the team expected to one day have a thousand different creatures to handle. It's also important to consider that the decision to cut Pokemon would come up with every generation. If not this one, who's to say the next generation would give the National Dex the ax?

Pokemon Sword and Shield release on the Nintendo Switch this Friday, November 15.

What is your thought on the cut of the National Dex? Any Pokemon you are really hoping makes the Pokemon Sword and Shield line up? Let us know in the comments below!

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A picture of me, Brian Renadette
| Former Staff Writer

I am a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a major in writing and a minor in gaming. I have a passion for video games and writing. I also… More about Brian

More Info About This Game
Learn more about Pokémon Sword and Shield
Game Freak
Nintendo Switch
Release Date
November 15, 2019 (Calendar)
Open World, RPG
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)