Feature Article

You Can't Transfer All Of Your Old Pokemon To Sword And Shield

You can only transfer Pokemon from Home if they already appear in the Galar Pokedex.

Nintendo revealed a lot of new information about Pokemon Sword and Shield in last week's Pokemon Direct, but we also learned some new tidbits about the games during a Treehouse livestream segment that followed Nintendo's E3 2019 presentation. In particular, we learned more about how the recently announced Pokemon Home service will work with the Switch titles, and it appears there will be some limitations.

During the Treehouse livestream, game producer Junichi Masuda revealed that not every previous Pokemon will be transferable to Sword and Shield. "Players will be able to transfer their Pokemon from Pokemon Home only if they appear in the Galar region Pokedex," Masuda said through an interpreter. What that means is that if a Pokemon isn't already obtainable within Sword and Shield, you won't be able to transfer it over from Pokemon Home.

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Now Playing: Pokemon Sword And Shield Full Presentation | Nintendo Treehouse E3 2019

Masuda acknowledged this is a change from how the previous Pokemon cloud service, Pokemon Bank, worked and explained the rationale behind this controversial decision:

"In previous games that worked with the Pokemon Bank service, you were able to--for example, in Sun and Moon--bring over any Pokemon, even if they weren't in the Alola Pokedex," Masuda said. "But with the transition to the Nintendo Switch hardware, being much more powerful [and] allowing us to be much more expressive with each of the individual Pokemon ... at Game Freak we really spent a lot of time thinking about what the best way to move forward was, really preserving the quality of all the different Pokemon while also taking into account the battle balance, having so many different Pokemon available, all within a limited development time so we don't keep fans waiting too long for every new entry in the series. And after a lot of discussion, we decided to come to a new direction."

One of the new features in Sword and Shield that undoubtedly proved to be a hurdle in this regard was Dynamaxing, which can supersize a Pokemon for a limited time during battle. Given that there are more than 800 Pokemon in the series, Game Freak would have had to make new assets for hundreds of different monsters to account for this feature. We also don't yet know how many Pokemon will be available in Sword and Shield; we've only gotten a glimpse at a handful of them thus far, but we've already seen a number of fan-favorites among them.

Pokemon Sword and Shield launch for Nintendo Switch on November 15. The games will be compatible with the Poke Ball Plus accessory. We also learned some new details about Raid Battles during the Treehouse segment, which you can watch in its entirety above. For more on the titles, be sure to check out our Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order guide.

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Kevin Knezevic

Kevin Knezevic is an associate news editor who has been writing for GameSpot since 2017. Star Fox Adventures is good and he will die on that hill.

Pokemon Sword / Shield

Pokemon Sword / Shield

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