A game’s file size can’t clue you in on how “good” a game is—even if some people claim otherwise—but it can offer a snapshot on a game’s development and history. The digital download for Pokemon Sword and Shield, for example, requires 10.3 GB (each) of space on your Switch. That’s over twice the space necessary to download Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu or Let’s Go Eevee.
Long-lived Pokemon fansite Serebii.net posted about the file size for Sword and Shield following the arrival of download cards at some retailers. 10.3 GB is pretty hefty for a Switch game; The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is 13 gigs, and The Witcher 3’s Switch adaptation (which includes all DLC) is 28 gigs. We already know Sword and Shield offers an expansive “wild area,” and while it might not be as humungous as the overworld in Breath of the Wild, it’s probably not small. The game’s wild area and sizeable PokeDex likely fill part of that 10 GB without much effort. If you’d rather compare Sword and Shield’s file size directly to similar Pokemon games, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee are 4.1 GB each.
Being remakes of Pokemon Yellow for the Game Boy, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee are admittedly not huge, content-wise. While it might be tempting to say “Oh, booo, so that means Sword and Shield are only twice as big as a Pokemon Yellow remake,” developers are doing some crazy magic with Switch game compression these days. Dragon Quest 11 S has more content than last year’s PlayStation 4 release, the quality of its graphics is still very high, and it still comes in at 13 GB—less than half the size of the PlayStation 4 version. Who knows what trickery Game Freak has employed?
Find out for yourself when Pokemon Sword and Shield arrive on November 15. Meanwhile, don’t forget to consult our Pokemon Sword and Shield guides for everything worth knowing about the Galar region.