Pokémon Stadium releases on Nintendo Switch without its best feature

Slowbro battling Dugster
(Image credit: Ninendo)

Nintendo 64 classic Pokémon Stadium is now available on Nintendo Switch. 

Subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack can finally get their hands on Pokémon Stadium, which is now included in the service. Joining other classics like GoldenEye 007 and Super Mario 64, Pokémon Stadium is part of the Nintendo Switch’s growing roster of Nintendo 64 titles. 

Rather than being available as a one-time purchase, Pokémon Stadium is part of Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, a premium subscription service from Nintendo that includes a range of exciting perks. Though its library of games pales in comparison to the likes of Xbox Game Pass, the addition of Pokémon Stadium will likely turn more than a few heads. 

That said, Pokémon Stadium’s latest incarnation has several changes; some welcome and others not so much. Like GoldenEye 007 before it, Pokémon Stadium will include online functionality in a way that was simply unfeasible back when it was first released in 2000. Players can battle one another online and even enjoy the title’s daft mini-games together if they choose. 

Unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. The modern gaming landscape means players will miss out on one of Pokémon Stadium’s most beloved features. Back in the day, players could use a special piece of hardware called the Transfer Pak to bring Pokémon from their handheld games into Pokémon Stadium. Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch version of the game offers no equivalent system for importing your favorite ‘mons. Given the technology that initially facilitated this feature is over 20 years old, the omission is understandable, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t leave a pang of disappointment.  

Like no one ever was 

Back in 2000, Pokémon Stadium was an unprecedented experience. It was beyond mind-blowing to see your teams of 2D sprites realized on your TV in all their 3D glory. The Transfer Pak was a big part of that. To this day, I fondly remember seeing my Typhlosion on the big screen thanks to Pokémon Stadium 2 – a title which Nintendo has also promised to give the Nintendo Switch treatment. 

My brother and I would while away summer hours, battling our chosen monsters in the cinematic arena offered by Pokémon Stadium. As enjoyable as it is to see the explorable 3D words and visually appealing battles in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Pokémon Stadium's ambition first introduced the possibility of a 3D, cinematic Pokémon experience. 

The chance to revisit this title is a real treat for fans and may serve as a much-needed boost to the enjoyable yet fragmented Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack library. Though the days of Transfer Paks may be long gone, the capacity for online gameplay ensures that Pokémon Stadium still has a lot to offer, even two decades after its initial launch.  

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.