The upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield looks to include auto-save for the first time in the history of the series. Pokemon fans have concerns that it will dramatically change the way they play the game.
Nintendo showed off some new information about Pokemon Sword and Shield during a Nintendo Direct recently. While the Direct focused on announcing some new Pokemon, fans have begun to pick apart the small amount of gameplay shown for details that Nintendo didn't call out directly. First, some eagle-eyed fans spotted some strange new Pokemon in the background. Now, fans have noticed another big feature that might change the way they play the game.
In a thread on Resetera, user Atheerios posted a gif that shows a scene in Pokemon Sword and Shield where the main character walks into a shop. When the scene changes, some text appears in the top right corner that shows the game auto-saving. Nintendo has not yet announced the feature officially, but this brief screen grab makes it look likely, especially with the accuracy of Pokemon Sword and Shield leaks so far. No main series Pokemon title has included auto-save in the past.
Fans have had a mixed reaction to the reveal. Pokemon games have had a long history of adapting slowly to modern gaming trends. With most games these days featuring some kind of auto-save, many modern game players have gotten used to not needing to worry about saving their games themselves. Players who expect these games to include auto-save by default might lose progress if they forget to save manually. Because of this, the idea of auto-save has some fans excited.
Others, however, use Pokemon's save function in a specific way that might become impossible with the inclusion of auto-save. Fans who like to build a specific and strong roster of Pokemon use auto-save in order to re-roll the stats of the ones they pick up. An auto-save function might stop them from doing this. Others worry that the game might save after a failed attempt to capture a legendary Pokemon. Players only get one shot at legendaries, and therefore could miss out.
Even though the clip only shows auto-save when passing through a doorway, fans have started to wonder where else they could integrate it (like after battles) and what effect that would have on the game. Most of the comments on the Resetera thread communicate hope that Pokemon Sword and Shield players can turn the feature off if they want. That would make the most sense, but Game Freak has a history of making strange decisions that baffle players.
Fans won't have long to wait to find out, as the came comes out this fall. Game Freak hasn't yet commented on the inclusion of auto-save.
Pokemon Sword and Shield releases on November 15, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.