Pokemon Sword and Shield's new Expansion Pass is bringing with it dozens of returning Pokemon from older generations to catch, train, trade and battle with friends. We'll go through all the Pokemon we've seen confirmed here, as well as how you can get them.
- How Many Old Pokemon are Being Added to Sword and Shield's Pokedex?
- What Pokemon are Being Added in the Sword and Shield Expansions?
- Returning Gen 1 Pokemon
- Returning Gen 2 Pokemon
- Returning Gen 3 Pokemon
- Returning Gen 4 Pokemon
- Returning Gen 5 Pokemon
- Returning Gen 6 Pokemon
- Returning Gen 7 Pokemon
- What Old Legendaries Are Being Added to Sword and Shield?
- Are All Previous Legendary Pokemon Returning to Sword and Shield?
- How to Get All the Returning Pokemon in Sword and Shield
How Many Old Pokemon are Being Added to Sword and Shield's Pokedex?
Exact numbers are still a bit uncertain, though it's reportedly around 200. If true, this would mean that players won't be getting the full national Pokedex, a point of contention before and during the game's release, though that's not to say that such updates couldn't make further additions in the future.
What Pokemon are Being Added in the Sword and Shield Expansions?
Of the 200 being added to the Pokedex when the two expansions arrive, more than eighty have been confirmed through screenshots and promotional information from Nintendo. We've got the full list of confirmed Pokemon below.
Returning Gen 1 Pokemon
Perhaps due to its legacy as one of the most enduring and most nostalgic generations, Blue, Red and Yellow are bringing back more Pokemon than any other generation, though a couple (namely the Slowpoke family) have turned out a little different along the way.
- Venusaur (Gigantimax)
- Blastoise (Gigantimax)
- Nidoran (Male)
- Nidoran (Female)
- Slowpoke (Galar Form)
- Slowbro (Galar Form)
Returning Gen 2 Pokemon
Most of Gold, Silver and Crystal's contributions to Galarian pokedex are higher or lower evolutions of Gen 1, the exception being Marill and Azumarill, who we presume will be somewhere in the beaches and rivers of the Armor Islands.
- Slowking (Galar Form)
Returning Gen 3 Pokemon
Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald bring some surprisingly powerful pokemon to the table, with many fans excited by the idea of returning hard-hitters like Garchomp and Metagross.
Returning Gen 4 Pokemon
Diamond, Pearl and Platinum aren't offering much here, with just evolutions or pre-evolutions of pokemon from the first generation.
Returning Gen 5 Pokemon
Some potent pokemon enter the battlefield from the era of Black and White, particularly Zoroark, who has gained something of a small fanbase from his appearance as a trophy in Smash Bros and even headlining his own animated Pokemon film.
Returning Gen 6 Pokemon
Pokemon X and Y sent a small but broad variety of Pokemon, perhaps the most notable of which is Aurorus, an interesting ice/rock type that mirrors the Loch Ness Monster - appropriate for a British-themed game.
Returning Gen 7 Pokemon
Finally, Sun and Moon have the least to offer in terms of new Pokemon, with only the wolf cub Rockruff and its evolution Lycanroc.
What Old Legendaries Are Being Added to Sword and Shield?
The pokemon above don't constitute the full confirmed list, as Nintendo has also alluded to new content in which players can battle and catch legendary pokemon from older games, such of which (like generations one's legendary birds) are returning in altered Galarian forms. Whether we'll also be able to get the original forms of them isn't yet specified, but we've listed here all the revealed legendaries.
Nintendo have also said that we'll be able to see some of these legendaries dynamaxing, though it remains unclear whether all of them will be able to do this, speaking cryptically of "underground Pokemon Dens in the Crown Tundra" where you can find and presumably catch them. The full list of confirmed legendaries is as follows:
- Articuno (Galar Form)
- Zapdos (Galar Form)
- Moltres (Galar Form)
- Tapu Koko
- Tapu Lele
- Tapu Bulu
- Tapu Fini
Are All Previous Legendary Pokemon Returning to Sword and Shield?
It's worth mentioning that despite there being a LOT of new legendaries, the ones we saw revealed aren't the full legendary quota. For example, we've yet to see any indication of Mew, Celebi, Regigigas or the godly Arceus. That doesn't mean they couldn't be in there, only that we've yet to see them confirmed, or that they might be scheduled for further updates and DLC along the line.
How to Get All the Returning Pokemon in Sword and Shield
Nintendo have explained that those players who bought the Expansion Pass will be able to encounter and catch all the above Pokemon in new areas introduced to the game when the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra expansions are launched, though we can only speculate so far as to which pokemon will be in which DLC.
However, those who don't get the expansions will still be able to get the new Pokemon, assuming they have a friend who does have. While you may not be able to catch the new Pokemon, you can have them traded to you by any friend who caught them on their game.
If you want to get the edge on owning Gen 1 in Gen 8, why not check out our guide to getting Charmander in Pokemon Sword and Shield, something you can do right now? Or if you want to get the new Galarian Slowpoke, go to our guide right here. Finally, for info on the new legendaries and Gigantamax Pokemon being added as part of the upcoming DLC, head here.