You can no longer catch 'em all in Pokémon Sword and Shield

And you might never be able to again.

Sword and Shield will be the first new, mainline Pokémon games not to support every single Pokémon species.

Not only will you not be able to catch 'em all in Sword and Shield, you also will not be able to transfer Pokémon outside of the games' regional Pokédex.

Sword and Shield will push the series' overall Pokémon count over 1000, developer GameFreak has said, and this marks a tipping point where catching them all may simply never be possible again.

"The total number of Pokémon has exceeded 1000, including new Pokemon and the various forms of existing Pokémon. As a result, it has become extremely difficult to make Pokemon with a new personality play an active part and to balance their compatibility," Game Freak produer Junichi Masuda told Famitsu.

Not only would it be tough to include more than 1000 in-game models with the graphical quality demanded by a Nintendo Switch game, Masuda added, it would also be too much work to ensure every Pokémon was balanced in battle.

"That is the reason for this decision," Masuda concluded, "and we have decided that it is difficult to make all Pokémon appear in future works.

"This decision is personally sad. Of course, I wanted to be able to bring all Pokémon if I could do it, but it was also a decision that I had to make some day. In the end, I had no choice but to choose the quality."

Famitsu asked about the possibility of adding more of Pokémon's species back catalogue into Sword and Shield post-launch - perhaps as another game launched, and more Pokémon models became available for use. Masuda said this was "undecided".

But it's not all bad news for fans hoping to have all their collection in one place.

While you might not be able to catch 'em all in a single game again, you can store 'em all in the upcoming Pokémon Home app, a place to transfer creatures from the previous Pokémon Bank service, Pokémon Go, and last year's Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee games.

And, I'm sure, Pokémon Go will let you collect every creature eventually - although at the current rate, Sword and Shield's new menagerie likely won't appear there until at least 2023.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.


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