'Pokémon Sword and Shield:' Autosave Confirmed, Pokémon Not in Galar Will Return in the Future & More

With Pokémon Sword and Shield nearing their final release, a lot more information about the Gen 8 games was revealed by producer Junichi Masuda including an auto-save feature, the fate of non-Galar Pokémon and much more.

In a series of stories from Game Informer, Masuda was asked a variety of questions on many different topics. Here's everything that was confirmed and discussed in Game Informer's coverage of Sword and Shield.

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The biggest "controversy" surrounding Sword and Shield was the reveal that not every Pokémon from past generations will be included in the new games.

During Game Informer's trip to Game Freak, the topic came up in conversation and Masuda explained the decision further.

"Up until now, we've been proud we've been able to include so many Pokémon in the games, but as a result of that, there's actually been quite a few features or gameplay ideas that we've had to abandon in the past," Masuda said. "Going forward, thinking about the future of Pokémon, we want to prioritize all those new gameplay ideas, new ways to enjoy the game, and want to challenge ourselves at Game Freak to create new ways to enjoy the game. That's really what drove the decision for this new direction."

The decision was not made lightly, as it was something Game Freak, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo agreed on together. The Pokémon that do make the Galar Dex had to make sense for the region, as Masuda and the team felt players had to envision these Pokémon living in Galar.

However, Masuda did confirm that the Pokémon that are not included in Sword and Shield will be used in future games.

"You can look forward to seeing Pokémon that don't appear in these games appearing in different regions in future games," Masuda said. "I think Pokémon Home, for a lot of players, will serve as a launching pad to gather them all there and then embark on future adventures."

Pokémon Home, the mobile app that acts like Pokémon Bank, will house your Pokémon from other games. Details on the app are scarce, but we'll learn more about it before its release in 2020.


Many eagle-eyed fans noticed that there was a possible autosave feature in one of the Sword and Shield trailers. While it wasn't confirmed at the time, Game Informer received confirmation from the games director, Shigeru Ohmori, that it will be included in the Wild Area and throughout the Gen 8 games.

"When you connect with them to actually trade or do some kind of interaction, it then seamlessly switches to a synchronous connection," Ohmori said. "It's also saving in the background, which is something we previously didn't do, so there's quite a bit going on in there that is represented in the Wild Area."

Players who don't like the autosave feature can turn it off.


One detail may get lost in the Game Informer Sword and Shield series is a confirmation that Hidden Machines (HMs) and the EXP Share will be gone in the Gen 8 games.

On the topic of HMs, planning director Kazumasa Iwao said, "I think they played a role in the series traditionally to be like the relationship between a door and a key; the HM will unlock something, and you're able to progress and feel the ability to go to a new place. We didn't have them in Sun and Moon, and this time around, we didn't feel it really matched the concept, especially with the Wild Area and wanting to have this higher degree of freedom. The player can kind of choose how they want to engage with the gameplay. Having the more HM-based elements, we didn't feel it really matched the game, so this time around they're not in it."

As for the EXP Share, director Shigeru Ohmori, Pokémon Sword and Shield confirmed that the item will not be included. When Game Informer followed up, he said that every Pokémon in your party gets equal experience automatically as you progress through the game.

It wasn't confirmed if this feature can be turned off to give players the option to train Pokémon individually. The EXP Share being on in the background has been part of the Pokémon games for some time now, but it did give players the option to turn it off as it was its own item.


The Nature of a Pokémon is important to its battle prowess. It can determine which stats are strengthened and which are lowered. Normally this is not a big deal during your playthrough of the game, but, for those who breed for competitive Pokémon, it looks like Sword and Shield will give an option to change it on the fly.

On the topic of battling, planning director Kazumasa Iwao teased some changes to those mechanics especially when it comes to Natures.

"I've got to be very vague about it, but one example – it will be visible to the player and they'll know when they see it, I think – say you have a Pokémon where it's got all the right stats and everything, but there's a personality parameter as well that comes into play in battles, and it might not be the right personality, so you'll breed until you get the right one, is what people do currently. But you'll see that there's a system in the game that will fix that for people."

Iwao also assured players who want to put the time to breed for Natures and other competitive parameters will still be rewarded in Sword and Shield.


We already know that gyms in Sword and Shield can be version exclusives, but it's been confirmed that there will be a Major and Minor League. The Pokémon Company International released this statement regarding the number of Gyms in the Galar region to clarify earlier reports that there will be 18.

"In the Galar region, Pokémon Gym Battles are popular sporting events, and the 18 different types of Gyms that exist in Galar contribute to the background setting of the story in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. In each game, Trainers must collect eight Gym Badges to complete the Gym Challenge and earn the opportunity to participate in the Champion Cup.

Over the course of the main story, Trainers will challenge eight Gyms, which are all in the Major League. Which Gyms appear in the Major League and Minor League will differ between Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. For example, depending on the version of the game, Trainers will be able to challenge different Gym Leaders, such as Bea or Allister.

Each version will have eight Gyms and eight Gym Leaders that Trainers can battle for a traditional Gym Challenge experience that fans have enjoyed throughout the Pokémon video game series."

Pokémon Sword and Shield releases November 15 on Nintendo Switch.

What do you think of Masuda's comments? What features are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section.

'Pokémon Sword and Shield:' Autosave Confirmed, Pokémon Not in Galar Will Return in the Future & More | Newsgeek