Why Spinda can’t be sent from Pokémon BDSP to Pokémon Home

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-05-24 15:33 JST)

The Pokémon Company has revealed that restrictions have been placed on moving Spinda between games using Pokémon Home. According to users looking into the matter, the issue is a technical hurdle revolving around how the games place Spinda’s spots.

Pokémon Home is touted as “a place where all Pokémon can gather,” connecting mainline Pokémon titles with Pokémon Go and is a cloud service where players can deposit and withdraw their Pokémon across the various titles in the series.

On May 19, the service received an update that added support for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as well as Pokémon Legends: Arceus, making it possible to deposit and withdraw Pokémon from both titles.

Spinda can’t be deposited

But there’s an exception. The spotted panda Pokémon Spinda. Spinda was first introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and is a cute Pokémon with dizzyingly distinct eyes.

After the recent update to Pokémon Home, reports from the community poured in from players saying they couldn’t deposit their Spinda from Pokémon BDSP to Pokémon Home.

Before the update, it was possible to transfer Spinda to Pokémon Home through a separate service, but there are now reports that Spinda deposited this way can’t be brought to Pokémon BDSP. On May 23, this phenomenon was also acknowledged by the official Q&A.

What makes Spinda so special?

According to players looking into the issue, the problem is related to Spinda’s spots, which are different for each one. A system that’s unique within Pokémon games. The placement of Spinda’s spots is decided by a hidden internal value that’s been dubbed the “personality value,” and this value is determined when a Pokémon is generated within the game.

If written as a hexadecimal number, a personality value might look something like “12 34 AB CD,” with each set of two numbers being what’s called a byte. A personality value is made up of a group of 4 bytes and the game interprets this value to place Spinda’s spots.

There are a number of ways these groups of bytes can be ordered. One called “big-endian” orders the columns in the group from biggest to smallest, which in the case of our example would look like “12 34 AB CD.” There’s also “little-endian” which orders the columns from smallest to largest and would look like “CD AB 34 12,” the opposite of big-endian.

According to investigations from players, Pokémon games from generation 5 and earlier stored data in little-endian format. However, there have been reports that Pokémon BDSP reads the personality value in big-endian format. In other words, the “CD AB 34 12” data which should be read in the opposite order is taken as is in Pokémon BDSP.

The impact of this is that it ends up placing an incorrect spot pattern on Spinda. Because of this, a restriction was likely placed on moving Spinda between Pokémon BDSP and Pokémon Home, trapping those caught in Pokémon BDSP in the game and those that were in Pokémon Home from being able to leave.

Because of the restrictions on Pokémon Home, Spinda can now only be acquired in Pokémon BDSP during a swarm on route 227. It’s a disappointing situation for trainers and the Spinda trapped in Pokémon Home waiting to be moved to Pokémon BDSP. Hopefully we’ll see a solution to the matter in the future.

Furthermore, there are reports that Spinda can’t be transferred from Pokémon Go to Pokémon Home. We were able to confirm this as well as we couldn’t move Spinda between the two platforms. Perhaps this is also an issue with how data for the Pokémon is interpreted. Or limits may have been placed on Spinda because of the Pokémon BDSP issue.

Nincada is also restricted

On top of Spinda, there have been reports that Nincada can’t be moved either. According to the official FAQ, Nincada caught in Pokémon BDSP cannot be moved to other titles through Pokémon Home, and can only be transferred to Pokémon BDSP.

Nincada caught in Pokémon Sword and Shield are also restricted to transfers to those titles. However, it is possible to move Nincada that came from Pokémon Go or the Pokémon Bank into Pokémon Sword and Shield via Pokémon Home.

Nincada is a Pokémon that can evolve into two Pokémonat once, another rarity in the series and a bad sign for Pokémon that want to move freely between games.