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Nintendo’s online service shutdown will strand Pokémon on the 3DS

The poor Pokémon stranded on your 3DS need your help! Make sure you add them to your living Pokédex on Pokémon Home before it’s too late.

Pokemon stranded on the 3DS: The elemental monkeys, Magearna, and Celebi pasted on a black 3DS XL. Everything is outlined in white and pasted on a blurred Unova map.

Has watching Pokémon Concierge made you rethink your hatred of the Unova monkeys? Well, they and a bunch of other Pokémon stranded on the 3DS need your help. Nintendo is closing online service for the 3DS and Wii U in just a few months, causing havoc for Pokéfans looking to complete their living Pokédex.

Last year, Nintendo announced that the 3DS and Wii U online functions are closing in April 2024, not only severing access to the virtual console system and online play in games like Splatoon, but putting a countdown on the lives of certain Pokémon from the 3DS era. This is because we’ll lose access to Pokémon Bank, the 3DS app that allows you to transfer your ‘mons from DS and 3DS titles to Pokémon Home on the Switch.

According to this incredibly detailed tweet from KinglyMajesty, The Pokémon Company International has stated in the past that Pokémon Bank ‘may’ still be active after this period, but there are no guarantees. This has left the Pokémon community scrambling for ways to move their beloved ‘mon across before time runs out. Of course, many creatures in the Pokédex have appeared in other games, either as standard encounters or special event Pokémon, but some creatures haven’t received that treatment.

The elemental monkeys from Unova – Pansage, Panpour, and Pansear – haven’t appeared in a Pokémon title since X and Y. Granted, they appear in our list of the worst Pokémon to ever exist, but they’re still a part of the Pokédex that needs filling. Patrat and Watchog have been left to similar fates, while mythicals like Celebi, Deoxys, and Magearna have been ignored despite the community’s love for them.

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So, this is our official warning. If you’re working towards a living dex on Pokémon Home, grab your 3DS and get transferring while you still can. It’s such a shame to think that if these creatures never reappear in future titles, they could be lost to time entirely. Video game preservation is so important and many other companies are dedicated to helping this wonderful medium’s history stay visible, but sadly, Nintendo has other plans for its older hardware.

That’s everything you need to know about the Pokémon stranded on the 3DS. If your quest to fill the dex awakens some nostalgia for Nintendo’s gimmicky handheld, check out our list of the best 3DS games next. Alternatively, relive your critter-catching journey with our list of all the Pokémon games in order.