How to unlock National Pokedex in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl

. 7 months ago
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl National Pokedex image featuring Pikachu
ILCA / The Pokemon Company

In Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, players can catch over 300 extra Pokemon after becoming the Sinnoh Champion. Here is how to get the National Pokedex in BDSP.

Staying faithful to the 2006 classic titles, Studio ILCA went with the original 150 Sinnoh Dex instead of the extended Platinum version for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl.

However, players can unlock over 300 extra Pokemon to catch after obtaining the National Pokedex. Here is how to to get Gen I through III ‘mon to spawn across the map in the Gen IV reimaginings.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl seeing 150 Pokemon Professor Rowan screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Players have to complete their Sinnoh Dex.

How to get the National Pokedex in Diamond & Pearl

Trainers will only be able to unlock the National Pokedex in BDSP after completing the main story campaign. That means defeating the Elite Four and becoming the new Sinnoh Champion.

Even after beating the game, however, Trainers will have to do a little bit of extra legwork to acquire it. Follow the steps below to get the National Pokedex:

  1. After becoming the Champion, you need to complete your Sinnoh Pokedex by seeing all 150 Pokemon in the region. You do not need to catch every character, you just have to have seen them in the wild or in battles.
  2. Once you’ve seen all 150 Pokemon, travel back to Sandgem Town and enter Professor Rowan’s Lab and speak to him.
  3. After Rowan verifies you have seen every Pokemon in Sinnoh, a cutscene will trigger featuring Professor Oak from Gen I.
  4. The Kanto professor will congratulate you and upgrade your Sinnoh Dex to the National Pokedex.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Professor Oak National Pokedex cutscene.
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
A familiar face returns to give you the National Pokedex.

How to see 150 Pokemon to complete Sinnoh Pokedex

The bulk of the 150 Pokemon in the Sinnoh Dex will be seen naturally through battles and wild encounters. There are a few unique characters that can only be “seen” through special methods, though.

How to see both Dialga & Palkia

Depending on which version of BDSP you have, you will be missing the other game’s Legendary by the end of the story. For instance, if you have Brilliant Diamond, you will have Dialga in your Pokedex but will not have seen Palkia.

You actually don’t have to trade with another player to complete this as the game has a post-game storyline that lets you register the missing Legendary.

  1. Defeat Cynthia to become the Sinnoh Champion.
  2. Travel to Celestic Town and find Cynthia’s Grandmother in her house.
  3. The character will then show you a picture of the other game’s Legendary Pokemon, which will count as being “seen.”
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl seeing Legendary Pokemon
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Cynthia’s Grandmother will help you finish your Sinnoh Dex by showing you a missing Legendary.


Many Trainers may find themselves stuck on 149 out of 150 on their Sinnoh Dex as Drifloon can be hard to find. The balloon ‘mon only spawns on Fridays in real-time, and your Nintendo Switch clock date cannot be changed as it locks you out of all time-based spawns for a day.

  1. Early in the game, you will need to defeat Team Galactic at the Valley Windworks. After rescuing the station, Drifloon will spawn in front of the building on Friday.
  2. The ‘mon will ONLY spawn for 24 hours and will disappear for the rest of the week. Do NOT speed up your system clock as the game will stop it from showing up.
  3. If you don’t want to wait for a Friday, you can see the Pokemon in the Hearthome City Gym.
  4. While getting ready to battle Gym Leader Fantina, purposely answer all the questions WRONG so that you are forced to fight every Trainer in. One of the NPCs will have Drifloon in their party.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Drifloon at the Valley Windworks screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The cryptic Pokemon only spawns once a week.

What is the National Pokedex?

Although technically a concept in Gold and Silver, the term “National Pokedex” was first introduced in 2002’s Ruby & Sapphire. In every new title, players are tasked with finding every character in the region.

However, after beating the story and completing the task, Trainers are then allowed to catch Pokemon from previous generations. Essentially, it’s an expanded Pokedex that includes every Pokemon from prior titles.

Although there are now eight Generations in 2021, Studio ILCA capped the National Pokedex to Gen I through IV in the Sinnoh remakes to keep it faithful to how it was in the 2006 titles.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl National Pokedex screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Players will get the extended Pokedex in the post-game of BDSP.

And that’s all there is to it. Players who stop along every route and try to catch every Pokemon in the path will find completing the Sinnoh Dex a breeze. Battles alone fill up most of your missing characters.

Trainers who don’t spend as much time in the wild will need to make a list of every ‘mon they are missing and look up where to find them. Thankfully, you only have to see the Pokemon and not catch them to get the National Pokedex.

Now that you’ve unlocked the National Pokedex, check out more of our Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl walkthroughs & guides:

How to get Jirachi | How to get Mew | Version exclusives | All Legendary Pokemon | How to get the Poketch | Best starter to pick | All Styles | How to beat all Gym Leaders | How to walk with your Pokemon

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