How to transfer older Pokémon to Sword and Shield

If you're hoping to transfer your old favorite to Pokémon Sword and Shield, you might need to wait until 2020.

Image via Pokémon

Pokémon Sword and Shield may have only 400 Pokémon, but players still want to transfer their old favorites to the game.

Letting players bring their old favorites to the new Pokémon games is a common feature in the franchise. The series prides itself on the ability to transfer and trade Pokémon even from older generations. With the arrival of Pokémon Sword and Shield, players understandably are eager to transfer their beloved partners to the newest game. But they’ll need to wait.

Pokémon Home is set to release in early 2020, marking the newest transfer method between generations. The cloud feature will link the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Bank, and players’ smartphones all to one account, according to the official announcement. Pokémon Home will allow trading, transferring, and more directly from a smartphone. 

While it’s an exciting development for Pokémon trainers, it means players must wait until its release to transfer their favorites to the newest games. Until Pokémon Home is released, there’s no way to bring older Pokémon into Sword and Shield

Once Pokémon Home is available, players can bring some older Pokémon or variations to Sword and Shield. These transfers will still be limited by the reduced Pokédex in Sword and Shield, however. That means Pokémon not found in the game, such as Bulbasaur, can’t be transferred even if you have Pokémon Home. As disappointing as that is, it’s possible they may return in a later game.

If you’re looking to transfer your shiny Vaporeon from your Let’s Go, Eevee! file, for example, you’ll have a few months of waiting before it can finally join you. For now, enjoy your adventure in the Galar Region. Train some of the new Pokémon or Galarian forms. You’ll have plenty of time to get your favorite into the game in early 2020.