From the very beginning of each game, completing the Pokedex is one of the first long-term goals given to players in any Pokemon game. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are no exception, with both games offering a Regional Pokedex along with a much broader National Dex that includes far more Pokemon from previous generations. So, how do you actually go about completing the National Dex?
Completing the Sinnoh Dex
The first step to completing the National Dex is simply to complete Sinnoh’s Regional Pokedex. In fact, before you complete this step, you can’t even access the National Dex! Pokemon in this Pokedex are found by completing the game’s story and searching just about every route in the game for the more elusive critters that you may have missed.
It’s worth noting that this step also requires you to trade for certain Pokemon, as some Pokemon only evolve via trades and others are version-exclusive. That said, the vast majority of Pokemon in this step can be found just by playing through the game. It’s also important to note that certain Pokemon (particularly babies, which otherwise require breeding) are considerably easier to find in the Grand Underground than in their original locations.
Another important consideration is that certain Sinnoh Pokemon like Darkrai or Shaymin, which are only available from events or exploits, aren’t required to complete this Pokedex.
The Grand Underground
While the Grand Underground was a fairly useful tool for the previous step, it’s absolutely necessary to utilize it for many of the actual National Dex Pokemon. Once you get your Pokedex upgraded by Professor Rowan, the Pokemon featured in the Grand Underground change considerably.
A lot of Pokemon that weren’t even available in the original fourth generation games can even be found here, such as starters from generations 1-3. If you’re struggling to find a particular Pokemon, you may want to use statues in your base to increase its odds of appearing.
The Grand Underground also features Pokemon at very high levels at this point in the game, which can make it much easier to evolve for a new Dex entry.
The Pokeradar presents another way to obtain certain Pokemon after you’ve gotten the National Dex upgrade. This tool allows you to find a single new Pokemon on each route by using it in a patch of grass. That said, in the remakes, many of the Pokemon found this way can also be found in the Grand Underground.
The Pokeradar can also be used to increase IVs and shiny odds, though these perks aren’t necessary for completing the National Dex.
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl solve the problem of giving players a way to catch other generations’ legendary Pokemon through Ramanas Park, a new location dedicated entirely to legendary encounters. Unless you trade for them, there is no other way to acquire these Pokemon in the remakes, so Ramanas Park is a pretty key locale for completing the National Dex.
Bear in mind that each legendary you encounter in Ramanas Park will require a specific slate item which can be obtained by trading in Mysterious Shards found in the Grand Underground. There are quite a few total legendary Pokemon here, so be prepared to dig up a lot of Mysterious Shards.
Certain Legendary Pokemon are also version-exclusive, so you may have to find friends to trade with.
So How Do I Complete the National Dex?
Completing the National Dex is an arduous process that will likely take weeks or even months for you to finish. That said, it can be broken down into these steps:
- Complete the Sinnoh Regional Pokedex
- Trade for any version-exclusive Pokemon
- Find rare Pokemon from previous generations in the Grand Underground
- Use the Pokeradar to catch other Pokemon not normally seen in the Sinnoh region
- Catch Legendary Pokemon in Ramanas Park
Once you’ve finished all of those steps, you should have a complete National Dex in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl!