The upcoming Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes, like Pokémon Sword and Shield, are said to include permanent Exp. Share. The Exp. Share item has been present in mainline Pokémon games since Red and Blue. Still, the eighth generation was the first to make its effect permanent, and the mechanic is returning in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Exp. Share was a held item that divided experience gained between Pokémon used in battle and the Pokémon holding the item prior to Pokémon Gen 6. This changed in Pokémon X and Y when Exp. Share was elevated to the status of a key item.
If enabled, experience would be shared among all members of the party, but it could be toggled on and off at the player’s discretion. The somewhat controversial Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee were the first entries to forego the item entirely, instead having the player’s party gain experience points together all the time with no option to disable the feature.
Serebii Update: Previews for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl have been released revealing details including the addition of auto-save, Pokémon Storage details and Exp Share being active from the start. Details @ https://t.co/gDbXkHSvkT pic.twitter.com/UGMeJcET5q
— Serebii.net (@SerebiiNet) October 13, 2021
Serebii, a Pokémon news site, reports that Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl previews show that they also have permanent Exp. Share. Serebii explains that there is no toggle to turn off the mechanic, just as there was none in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
So far, the reaction to this decision has been mixed, with some claiming that the community backlash to permanent experience sharing is exaggerated. In contrast, others argue that the decision isn’t faithful to the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and will affect the games’ difficulty.
Permanent experience sharing may have begun with Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. Still, it didn’t appear to be firmly established as a franchise staple until it reappeared in Pokémon Sword and Shield, the most recent mainline dual release.
Party experience gain was one of several complaints leveled at the titles, along with the lack of a National Pokédex for Pokémon. Some critics and veteran players criticized Sword and Shield for making it too easy to over-level Pokémon, which explains why there appears to be apprehension about Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl also using permanent Exp. Share.
This is likely to remain a contentious issue in the Pokémon community, with one side bemoaning the increase in difficulty and the other praising how it reduces grinding. Because permanent Exp. Share is clearly a matter of personal preference, many argue that it should be retained as an optional feature.
In this sense, it would function more as a difficulty modifier, with players seeking an extra challenge reverting to the classic style of experience gain rather than the easier difficulty provided by newer Pokémon games. It’s unclear how Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will handle Exp. Share when they release, as developer Game Freak has yet to comment.