Pokemon Multiple Save Files, Why Do Pokemon Games Have Only One Save File

Muliple save files is a feature Pokemon fans have wanted for years. But did Game Freak listen with Sword & Shield?

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It”s been one of the most requested features by long time fans of the Pokemon series — the ability to have more than one save file in the game. While it makes sense why Game Freak would continuously ignore this request, as Pokémon is designed to be a social game, it is still a feature that is lagging far behind most other modern video games.

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While the latest games in the series don”t have a distinct option to have multiple save files, there are work arounds players can utilize that will allow them to play through the game multiple times on the same Switch. There are also several other aspects of the game that players aren”t outright told about, but can make their experience better in the long run if they know about them.

Updated April 27th, 2021 by Callum Archer: Since the release of the final Expansion for Pokemon Sword & Shield, The Crown Tundra, new technical issues have arisen for some players due to new mechanics, as well as new game modes that have been made available to the player that has stumped fans on how they should go about utilizing them. Here are a few more of these burning questions answered.

If there”s one thing that Sword & Shield managed to do better than most anything else, it”s the sheer number of ways that fans are able to play the generation eight titles with one another. Aside from battling each other, the Max Raid battles allow for a more cooperative means of utilizing multiplayer in the series that is also great for getting large amounts of XP and rare items.

One aspect of this game mode that some players have struggled with is connecting with their friends online since the friend mechanic in Sword & Shield isn”t as deep as in previous games in the series. Thankfully, the process to connect with friends is fairly simple, as you just have to press the + button in the main Max Raid menu to set a password, then other players can connect with you by setting the same password so long as all party”s internet settings are turned on. If players are trying to connect locally, the process is a little different and simply requires one person to select the Invite Other Players option with their internet settings turned off, then other players can join their Raid through the Y-Comm menu.

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Entrance to Dynamax Adventures and a Dynite Ore Salesman in The Crown Tundra of Pokemon Sword Shield
One of the better new additions to come out of the Expansion Pass DLC for Sword & Shield is the Dynamax Adventures cave, where players can delve into multiple Max Raid battles in a row in an attempt to catch powerful Pokemon, some of which even being legendary. However, joining a friend”s run of this new game mode has proven to be tricky for some, particularly if they are trying to connect online. Thankfully, this process isn”t too difficult if players know what they are meant to do.

In the menu screen where players are given the option to invite other players, pressing the + button will open up the password menu where a password can be set. In order for everyone to join the same instance of the game, each player needs to have their internet settings turned on and set the same password, something which was made easier with one particular update that increases the password length from four to eight numbers, making it much harder to accidentally get in on someone else”s game. This same process is used when players are using a local connection, though their internet connection doesn”t need to be turned on in this instance.

The save data for every game on the Switch is linked to the particular user profile the game is opened under, meaning if players create a new user profile, they can start a new game without losing the progress they have already made. This is a very easy way for players who don”t have many people to trade with to obtain all three starter Pokemon, as well as getting multiples of one-off Pokemon like the cover legendaries and Eternatus. Players can also transfer between different save files by using Pokemon Home, as it is linked to that particular game rather than the user profile.

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One of the new additions in Pokemon Sword and Shield”s options menu is Casual Controls, which acts in very similar way to the A=L option from previous titles. Turning this option on will allow every input to be done with just one JoyCon, though even when this is turned off, players are still able to use either ZL or ZR instead of the A button. For any players who are used to the single JoyCon controls that were present in Let”s Go Pikachu and Eevee, this can be a great way to play the game if they like that kind of control system.

When playing through the game for the second time, it can be tempting to turn the Skip Movies feature on, as at first glance it sounds like it gives players the option to skip any cut scenes.

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However, this option should be chosen carefully, as it doesn”t give players the option to skip cut scenes. Instead, it automatically skips all cut scenes, no matter how important to the story they are. Like the Casual Controls option, this is probably one that should be left alone unless players are looking to speed-run the game.

In a very strange move on Game Freak”s part, the option to change the volume levels of the overworld music, Pokemon cries, and sound effects was locked behind a very easy to miss key item. For players who are grinding for shiny Pokemon, this can be a very useful item to grab, as it shortens the length of time cut scenes take during hatching or wild encounters, though doesn”t have a whole lot of use outside of this. The Hi-Tech Earbuds are found in Motorstoke, given to the player by one of the record store”s NPCs, just before the elevator.

So called “date hacking” is a feature that has been in Pokemon games for a few generations, though Sword and Shield have arguably the best use for this hidden feature. To do this, simply enter the Switch options menu while searching for Raid partners in a den that a Wishing Piece has been used on, then set the date forward one day before returning to the game. If done correctly, this will reset the den entered, potentially changing the Pokemon available as well as advancing the game forward 24 hours. This also makes any Whole Day Pokejobs finish in less than a minute, as long as players are fast enough at doing this.

In yet another strange move, different features of Pokemon are locked behind the two different versions of the Home app: the Switch version and the mobile version. The Switch version allows Pokemon to be moved between games, but on the mobile version allows access to the GTS, Room Trade, and Friend Trades. The mobile version of Pokemon Home is also the way players can obtain the event Mystery Gifts such as the recent shiny Zeraora and Hidden Ability Galar starter Pokemon.

Shiny hunting is a long running past time among Pokemon fans since shiny Pokemon were first introduced in Gold and Silver. Pokemon Sword and Shield brings back the Shiny Charm, an item which increases the odds of finding shiny Pokemon, but it also adds the Number Battled feature, which doesn”t act the way it is supposed to.

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Theoretically, as the Number Battled count goes up, the chance of finding a shiny Pokemon should also go up, but instead, it increases the chance of a secondary “roll” occurring during the encounter. Because of this, the best way to find shiny Pokemon in Sword and Shield is the Masuda Method, which is when players breed a Pokemon by using two Pokemon from different originating countries.

A fan favorite Pokemon from generation four is Rotom, the Ghost/Electric-type that can increase its power and change its typing by possessing different machines. In the past, this was done by visiting a certain NPC in the game, but in Sword and Shield, it is instead a key item, gifted to the player by a man in Wyndon. Like the Hi-Tech Earbuds, this is a very easy item to miss if players aren”t exploring every house and talking to every NPC.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to trade or battle your friends in Pokemon Sword and Shield, as the friend mechanic from previous titles is completely absent. This can be worked around by both players choosing to set a password for their request, but even this isn”t a guarantee as any random player who happens to input the same password could accidentally link instead. As of now, this has somewhat been alleviated as the password character count has increased from four to eight, but it”s still nowhere near as easy as it used to be.

It can be easy to ignore the L and R buttons, but they have many functions that can make menu navigation much easier. For one, pressing the R button in the bag menu will scroll that particular bag pocket down one frame, making reaching the bottom of the list much easier. Doing this on the map menu will also cycle through each town players have visited and can make it easier to find certain locations that can be fast travelled to.

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Callum Archer is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. He is an avid gamer, Nintendo fanboy, and lover of weird sci-fi novels, who also dabbles in manga from time to time, usually dark and twisted work like Uzumaki and Death Note.

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