Pokémon Sword & Shield: How To Unlock Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle | Gen 1 Starter Guide

The original trio of Pokémon — the Generation 1 Starters — are finally available in Pokemon Sword & Shield. Charmander and their evolutions were already included in the base game, but now it’s possible to get Bulbasaur, Charmander, and even a bonus Pichu thanks to Pokémon Home. The new service normally just allows you to transfer Pokémon from one game to another — but in this case, you’ll be able to unlock these Pokémon, even if you don’t have them in any other game.

It’s all about where you sign-in, and how you complete ‘challenges’. I’ll explain everything you need to know in the quick guide below. Now, if you’re curious about Pokémon Home, there’s a load of new changes the service brings to Pokémon Sword & Shield — here’s a list of all 35 brand new transfer-only species you can play with in Pokémon Sword & Shield. There are also hidden Legendary Items you can now collect to customize some of the best Pokémon further.


More Pokémon Sword & Shield guides:

How To Evolve All The New Galar Region Pokémon | Evolution Guide | What’s Exclusive To Each Version? | How To Catch Shiny Pokémon | Pick This Starter Pokémon For An Early Advantage | How To Easily Evolve Farfetch’d Into Sirfetch’d | Brilliant Aura System | How To Catch Improved Pokemon | Combo & Ultimate Moves | Move Tutor Locations | How To Catch Pokemon Easier | False Swipe & Hypnosis Guide | Easter Eggs, Secrets & References Guide


To claim new Mystery Gift Pokémon, you’ll need to download and setup an account for Pokémon Home on Mobile devices. These Pokémon are totally playable in Pokémon Sword & Shield, despite not being available in the main-game — only Charmander can be captured normally in the Galar Region for now.

  • You can download Pokémon Home here: iOS | Android

When you login to Pokémon Home for the first time on Mobile Devices — not on the Nintendo Switch — Professor Grand Oak will give you one of three Pokémon. You can pick one of the three Generation 1 Starters to Transfer to your collection, and they’re all playable in Sword & Shield.

  • How To Get A Free Gen 1 Starter Pokémon: Login to the Pokémon Home app on Mobile Devices for the first time, and Professor Grand Oak will give you a choice of three Pokémon:

You can only pick one, but all three can fully evolve into their 2nd and 3rd forms. If you have Pokémon Sun & Moon, all three starters from that game (Rowlet, Litten, Popplio) can also be transferred to Pokémon Sword & Shield and played there, but you won’t earn them as rewards.

You can also earn a bonus Pichu through Pokémon Home. Pichu can be captured in Pokémon Sword & Shield, so getting a free one isn’t exactly high-priority for collectors, but if you’re a Pokemaniac, you’re likely to unlock one just while using Pokémon Home.

  • How To Get Mystery Gift Pichu: Complete any ‘Challenge’ in Pokémon Home to earn a Pichu. Just one challenge is all you need to complete.

The Gen 1 Starters are just another nostalgic reason why you’ll want to download Pokémon Home — along with all the other Pokémon (and forms) that are only available on Pokémon Sword & Shield through transfers. If you’re missing some of your favorites, Pokémon Home might be what you need.