Generation 8 has begun! Whether you're an old hand when it comes to Pocket Monsters and Poké Balls or you're venturing into the wonderful world of Pokémon for the very first time, you probably have some questions about the new pair of games Pokémon Sword and Shield.

We've put together this guide with answers to basic questions about Pokémon Sword and Shield to help you on your new Pokémon adventure. We'll update this guide with new information as and when it is available.

If you're eager for a full list of the 400 Pokémon available in the Galar Pokédex, check out our snazzy Galar Pokédex database tool. You can also find out more about the three Pokémon Sword and Shield starters and their evolutions, check out our Pokémon type chart for info on strengths and weaknesses, hunt out Easter Eggs in Pokémon Sword and Shield, and find out how to find and evolve Galar region Pokémon from Sirfetch'd to Frosmoth, Alcremie and many more.

Is Pokémon Sword and Shield a good game?

We think so! It's certainly not perfect, but what game is? There's much to enjoy for Pokémon fans and newbies alike, despite its flaws. Check out our review for the full lowdown.

How many Pokémon are there in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

In total, the Galar Pokédex features 400 new and returning Pokémon each with their own unique Galar Pokédex number (different from their National Pokédex number).

Which Pokémon from past games are in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

In total there are 305 Pokémon returning in their original forms to the Galar region. You can find a full list of the new and returning monsters in our Pokémon Sword and Shield Gen 8 Pokémon list to check to see if your favourite made the cut or not.

What is #Dexit?

Inspired by the ongoing exit of Great Britain and Northern Island from the European Union and the Pokédex - the name of the catalogue of Pokémon contained in every game in the series - 'Dexit' has been coined to represent the 'missing' Pokémon from previous generations that are not transferable or available to catch in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Their exclusion has caused much debate among fans leading to the inevitable hashtag.

Why aren't all the Pokémon from previous games included in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Series producer Junichi Masuda has explained the reasoning behind the move, saying it was done to help create 'a richer experience' - balancing well over 800 monsters, with all their different abilities, strengths and weaknesses would be incredibly difficult and the development team felt that the best solution was to cull some of the Pokémon from past games.

Will more Pokémon from past games get added to Pokémon Sword and Shield in the future?

While developer Game Freak has stated that it has no plans to add more Pokémon from previous generations to the Galar region Pokédex, it's not beyond the realms of possibility. We certainly wouldn't get our hopes up, though.

Pokémon Camp

How many new Pokémon are there in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

The game features 81 brand new Pocket Monsters, plus 14 Galarian forms of Pokémon from previous generations. See our guide for a full list if you're not worried about spoilers.

How long is Pokémon Sword and Shield?

We’ve clocked just over 40 hours with the game on our first save. Obviously this will depend on your play style - if you stop to smell the roses and level up your team or make a beeline to the end. It’s substantial, although you may be expecting more if you love long, languorous RPGs.

Which starter Pokémon should I choose in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Grookey. Grookey is obviously and objectively the best. We joke! If you're not bothered about spoilers, you might want to sneak a peek at their evolutions to see which one you prefer. While your choice will have minor repercussions when it comes to early or late-game difficulty, we'd advise going with your gut and choosing the one that appeals the most to you. Which should be Grookey.

Which should I buy, Pokémon Sword or Shield?

That really depends! Check out our look at the differences between Pokémon Sword and Shield, including all the version-exclusive Pokémon and Gym leaders, to help you decide which game is for you. If you're entirely new to the series, the best advice would be to do what we did in the old days when we chose between Pokémon Red and Blue and pick the one with the cover you like best.

Why is everybody on the internet so angry about Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Pokémon is a long-running, beloved series which many people remember from their childhood, and as with any huge franchise that people have grown up with, it inspires passionate feelings in its fans, both positive and (sometimes) negative. Our advice? Be excellent to each other.

We hope that covers your basic questions. Let us know if you have any more with a comment below and perhaps we'll add it to the list. In the meantime, good luck in the Galar region!