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A save file or save (Japanese: レポート report) is an important feature in the Pokémon games, which allows the player to resume their game from where they left off the last time it was played.

Saving in Pokémon Sword

In the core series games, players create or overwrite the save file by accessing the Save option in the menu.

Starting in Generation VIII, an auto-save function is introduced. If enabled from the options menu, the game is automatically saved whenever the player enters a different area.

Pokémon Report

In the Japanese core series games, saving from the menu is presented as writing down the player's recent actions in a Pokémon Report (Japanese: ポケモンレポート), although it is referred to as saving when saving due to changing Boxes in the Generation I and II games. As a result, the save function is represented by a book icon in the core series Pokémon games.

In the video game Pokémon Trading Card Game and Pokémon Trading Card Game 2: The Invasion of Team GR!, saving is presented as writing in the player's Diary. Unlike the core series games, this is carried over to the localized versions as well.

In the core series games


The save file is stored in battery-powered SRAM in Generations I and II, and in flash memory from Generation III onward. Beginning with Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! save files are stored in the console's internal memory and not in the cartridge. Saving the game is required when using certain in-game features (see List of activities for more information).

Prior to Generation VI, a new game can be started even if there is already a save file stored on the game's cartridge. However, the new game cannot be saved without overwriting the existing file, which results in all prior progress to be lost. From Generation IV up to Generation VI, as a precaution against unwanted loss of data, any existing save file must be manually deleted by pressing the ↑ + SELECT + B button combination on the title screen before a new game's save data can be written. The game will show a warning message notifying the player of this, and an error message will appear if the player attempts to save anyways. The combination was changed to ↑ + X + B in Generation VI, and the option to start a new game is not available in the main menu starting in Generation VI.

In Generation VIII and Generation IX by pressing the button ↑ + X + B combination in the title screen players can choose to load a backup save file. There's also no way to delete the saves in-game (but can be deleted in the console's settings).

In the event that the saving process is interrupted, the save file risks corruption, effectively causing its data to be lost, thus forcing the player to start a new game. The game will show an error message reporting the corrupted save data the next time they access the main menu. Starting in Generation III, save file backups are stored, meaning that if the saving process is interrupted and the save file becomes corrupted, then the previous file will be loaded from the backup. Interrupting the saving process in the Generation I and II games may result in permanent loss or corruption of data.

Save files of paired versions are compatible with either version. In Generations I and II, save files of English and European versions are also compatible with each other. Starting in Generation III, save files are compatible with all languages.


Generation I

The saving process in the Generation I games is performed in a single step.

During the saving process, the message "Now saving..."RB or "Saving..."Y is shown. In the Japanese versions, the message of progress only appears in Pokémon Yellow, and it reads ポケモンレポートに かきこんでいます (translation: The Pokémon Report is being written...). In the Japanese Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue, the process is instantaneous.

If the player attempts to save after starting a new game with a save file already present, a prompt with the text "The older file will be erased to save. Okay?" (Japanese: まえに かかれた レポートが きえて しまいますが うえから かいても いいですか? The previous report will be erased. Is it OK to overwrite it?) will be displayed. Awkwardly, this message also appears in the Japanese Red and Green even if no save file is available.

The sound effect played after saving is successful differs between Japanese versions of the Generation I games.[1]

Save data is stored on a RAM chip powered by a battery when the game is turned off. If the battery runs dry, the save data is deleted constantly due to the RAM not being powered on.

Generation II

In the Generation II games, the saving process is always executed in two steps, with the exception of the player's very first save.

The first step is to confirm the save and the second step is to confirm the overwriting of the current save file, if one is already present. Additionally, during the process, the game warns the player to not turn off the power.

Save data is stored on a RAM chip powered by a battery when the game is turned off. If the battery runs dry, the save data is deleted constantly due to the RAM not being powered on.

Generation III

In the Generation III games, the saving process is similar to that of Generation II but attempts to better secure the process with the addition of backups, which are loaded if the primary save file becomes corrupted.

Whenever backup memory is damaged or worn out, the game tries to correct the issue a few times by itself; if all attempts fail, it warns the player that it can still be played but that any progress will not be saved. The English versions mistakenly suggest that the internal battery may have run dry, but saved data does not actually rely on the battery at all.

Japanese Ruby/Sapphire text

「バックアップきのうの こしょう または じゅみょうが きました。セーブすることは できませんが このまま ゲームを あそぶことはできます」
(The backup function has failed or reached the end of its lifespan. Saving is not possible but the game can be played.)

English Ruby/Sapphire text

The backup memory is damaged or the internal battery has run dry. The game can be played. However, progress cannot be saved.

In the 1.0 release of the English versions of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, a bug causes the text box for the messages of the backup function to be displayed with a corrupted background and appear too low on the screen, causing the last row of text to be cut off. It was partially fixed in release 1.1 and fixed by release 1.2.[2]

Generation IV

In the Generation IV games, the saving process is similar to that of Generation III.

In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, the usual "Saving..." message is replaced with "Saving a lot of data..." if the player has used the Pokémon Storage System at all during their session. This includes capturing a Pokémon and sending it automatically to a Box and using the Pokémon Storage System directly. It also occurs when saving and there is no save file already present. When this happens, the process will take significantly longer. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the message only appears after a Global Trade System trade, if the player is saving with no save file already present, if the save file is corrupted and the player is saving with a backup save file, or major changes are made to the Pokémon Storage System.

Starting in this generation, players are prevented from saving the game if there is already a save file present and they are attempting to save a game started from the New Game option, but they can delete the save file by holding up, select, and B while viewing the title screen. If the player starts a new game when an old file is saved, they will be notified to delete the old save file first before a new game and while attempting to save one.

In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Pokéwalker data associated to the game is also stored in the save file, therefore deleting the save file will also delete the Pokéwalker data.

Generation V

In the Generation V games, the saving process is similar to that of Generation IV, but with two differences. First, there is now only one step again, like in Generation I. Second, while saving, there is a progress bar at the bottom of the screen.

The long saving periods of Generation IV have been rectified by giving the player only eight Boxes in the Pokémon Storage System until each one of the eight has at least one Pokémon in it, avoiding the need to encrypt empty Box data. If major changes are made to the Pokémon Storage System after all the Boxes are available, the "Saving a lot of data..." message appears, and saving will take longer than normal like in Generation IV when this message is shown.

Generation VI

In the Generation VI games, the saving process is similar to that of Generation V but the progress bar is removed. Saving takes a significantly shorter amount of time (especially when saving via the save option, and/or when using a digital version of the game) compared to earlier generations. If the player is online and has Auto Sync enabled with a Pokémon Trainer Club account, saving will take significantly longer while the data syncs.

The main menu no longer provides the player with the option of starting a new game when a save file is present. If the player wishes to start a new game, they must first delete their save file.

In version 1.0 of Pokémon X and Y, there is a glitch in areas of Lumiose City that will cause the game to not respond to user input when the save is loaded. Nintendo acknowledged the existence of this glitch and subsequently released a patch to fix it.

Battle Videos and the player's uncollected StreetPass tags are saved to the SD Card (separately from the save file of downloaded copies of the core series games), even when playing using a game card, and are not deleted when the save file is. This data is shared between X and Y and between Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, but is separate for each pair of games.

Unlike the three generations before, this generation of games appears to have no backup memory.

Generation VII

Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon

In the 3DS Generation VII games, the saving process is similar to that of Generation VI, though saving takes somewhat longer than in Generation VI. In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the save option in the main menu is separated from the other options on the main menu and can be activated by pressing the Y button.

Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!

The saving process remains similar to the other Generation VII games.

Due to the Nintendo Switch handling save data differently from previous systems, the following changes are in place:

  • Save files are now stored on consoles, rather than cartridges.
  • There is no longer a limit of one save game per cartridge/game, though each user profile is still limited to only one save game per console.
  • Using the Switch's features, save files can be transferred, but not copied, from one console to another. The Save Data Cloud is disabled for Pokémon games.
  • Save files can be deleted from the console's System Settings menu. The games no longer have in-game screens allowing to do so.

Generation VIII

In the Generation VIII games, the saving process is similar to that of Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. An optional autosave feature has been introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Mandated saving

  This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Scarlet & Violet.

This is a list of activities which require saving in order to use them in the core series games. In some games, it is possible to disable to requirement to save in the options menu, such as Player Search System battles. Activities that trigger saving automatically will not prompt the player to overwrite the old save file.

Generation I

Generation II

Generation III

Generation IV

Generation V

Generation VI

Generation VII

Generation VIII

Cloning glitches

Main article: Cloning glitches

In the Generation I and II games, as well as in Pokémon Emerald, there are cloning glitches that exploit saving.

In spin-off games

Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness

  This section is in need of spading. See its section on the spading page for more information, and how you can help.
Verify if the invalidation check known to occur in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness occurs in Pokémon Colosseum.

Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness store save data on a Nintendo GameCube Memory Card. Players are prevented from saving the game if a save file on the Memory Card was not loaded or created when starting the game. To prevent cloning Pokémon, the player can only save to the Memory Card which was inserted when entering the mode selection screen. Attempting to save to a different Memory Card than was first inserted will result in an error message appearing and the game refusing to save the game. Additionally, the functionality to copy or move the game save data is disabled for both games.

Pokémon Colosseum requires the player to use the PC for saving. In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, the player can save anywhere from the menu (there is no save option in PCs).

Pokémon Colosseum requires 48 blocks to save the game, while Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness requires only 43 blocks to save.

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness will register a save as corrupted if the previous saved game has greater play time than the one it is being overwritten with.

Pokémon Ranger series

In Pokémon Ranger, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, and Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, the save file may be written using terminals known as save machines. Save machines are typically located in Ranger Bases and Ranger Depots, although there are many located in areas all over the Fiore, Almia and Oblivia regions, both indoors and outdoors.

When no save machine is available, players may use a "quick save" feature, which temporarily saves their progress if they are unable to reach a save machine. Quick save data is deleted when loaded, whereas progress saved via save machines is stored permanently.

In many Ranger Net missions, attempts to using a save machine will yield the notice that it is out of service.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series

In Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team and Explorers of Time, Darkness and Sky, the player can only save in their bed, at Kangaskhan Rocks, and at the well at the crossroadsS, and will be asked if they want to save each time they come back from an adventure after waking up.

Starting in Gates to Infinity, the player can save anywhere outside a dungeon from the menu. Quicksaving within dungeons is not possible in Companion Mode.

Prior to Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, it is not possible to save inside dungeons, but it is possible to quicksave. Quicksaving creates a temporary save file and immediately returns the player to the main menu. Resuming the adventure deletes the temporary save file. If the player turns off the game in a dungeon without creating a quicksave, when reloading the save they will be ejected from the dungeon as if they had given up on the adventure, and will lose all items in their Bag and all Poké that they had on-hand.

In Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, quicksaving no longer exists; instead, the Progress Device can be used to create a Progress Point, which allows the player to save in a dungeon.

In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, the game autosaves.

Pokémon Conquest

Saving the game in Pokémon Conquest can be done at any point in gameplay in which the player can open the menu. This allows the player to permanently save their game in the middle of battle, unlike most other games in the series.

To delete the save file in Pokémon Conquest, the A, B, X, and Y buttons have to be pressed and held simultaneously on the company logo screen (before the title screen).

Pokémon Trading Card Game series

In Pokémon Trading Card Game and Pokémon Trading Card Game 2: The Invasion of Team GR!, the player saves using the Diary (Japanese: にっき Diary) command from the menu. Saving takes a significantly short amount of time, compared to the core series games of the first few generations.

When the player chooses "Diary", both games ask for confirmation before saving:

"Would you like to keep a Diary?"
Yes: "<Player name> wrote in the Diary."
No: "Nothing was recorded in the Diary."

Both games automatically save the progress of the current card duel, without warning. If the player turns off either game during a duel, the player will be able to either resume the duel later or return from the last save point as usual. If the player chooses the latter, the duel progress data will be deleted.

In both games, if the player wishes to start a new game but there is already a saved game, the player will be required to erase the old data before playing the new game.

Player settings are automatically saved. (such as text speed, duel animation settings, and choice of language in European versions)

Pokémon Pinball series

In Pokémon Pinball and Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, the Pokédex information (captured and seen Pokémon), records and options are saved automatically. The player may stop playing at any point by creating a temporary save file, which is deleted when the player resumes playing or starts a new game.


A save file can become corrupted due to various factors:

  • interruption of the saving process by shutting down the system or removing the Game Card
  • cheating
  • abusing certain glitches

Physical damage to the game cartridge, such as from dropping it, may result in corruption of the save file. Improperly inserted cartridges (or memory cards, in the case of Nintendo GameCube games) may cause data to be read as corrupt; in such instances, simply turning the system off and reinserting the cartridge properly may allow the data to be read correctly.

When a save file is corrupted, the game will normally show an error message and prevent the player from continuing from the saved data. For Generation III to V core series games, when the save file is corrupted but the backup save file is valid, the game will state that the game will resume from the backup version of the save.

In the Generation I and II core series games, save data is stored on a RAM chip powered by a battery when the game is turned off. If the battery runs dry, the save data is lost due to the RAM not being powered on.


Core series

Game Boy and Game Boy Color


Game Boy Advance


Nintendo DS


Nintendo 3DS


Nintendo Switch


Spin-off games

  This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Missing images

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 記錄 Geiluhk
Mandarin 記錄 / 记录 Jìlù
  Dutch Opslaan
  French Sauvegarder
  German Speichern*
  Italian Salva
  Korean 리포트 Report
  Portuguese Guardar
  Spanish Guardar


  This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.