Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, developed by GAME FREAK, are the next generation of Pokémon RPGs for the Nintendo Switch system. The adventure is set in Galar, an expansive region with many environments—idyllic countryside, contemporary cities, thick forests, and craggy, snow-covered mountains.
The people and Pokémon live together in this region, and they’ve worked side-by-side to develop the industries here. In the Galar region, Pokémon battles are big entertainment, and the region’s Pokémon League holds a tournament to decide the next Champion. You’ll have to compete with your rivals and challenge Galar’s Gym Leaders for your chance to take part in this tournament, too!
Discover New Pokémon
There are all sorts of wonderful new Pokémon to be found in the Galar region, including the first partner Pokémon Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble. You’ll also encounter Pokémon such as the adorable Sheep Pokémon Wooloo, the fierce-looking Corviknight, and the Ghost-type Pokémon Polteageist, which has a body made out of black tea.
Certain Pokémon have adapted to the unique environment of one specific region and look different than the same species might look when found in another region. The Galar region has its own regional forms of Pokémon, known as Galarian forms! Look for Galarian forms of familiar Pokémon such as Weezing and Zigzagoon.
There are several differences between Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, and one such difference is the species of Pokémon that appear. For example, Sirfetch’d only appears in Pokémon Sword, while Galarian Ponyta only appears in Pokémon Shield.
New Legendary Pokémon call the Galar region home. Zacian and Zamazenta are featured on the packages of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, but they are still shrouded in mystery. Perhaps you can discover their secrets.
Explore the Wild Area
There is a vast expanse of land in the Galar region known as the Wild Area. The Wild Area is full of nature as far as the eye can see, and it is home to a wide variety of Pokémon.
While exploring this expanse, you can freely control the game’s camera as you explore. You’ll need to be on your guard as you’ll likely run into powerful wild Pokémon here! Be prepared to run from battle if your Pokémon are not strong enough to defeat these mighty foes.
The weather in the Wild Area can change depending on where you are or what time of day it is. You’ll see sunshine and rain, and you might even run into more uncommon weather patterns such as thunderstorms. You’ll find different Pokémon depending on the weather!
The Wild Area is full of what are known as Pokémon Dens. Sometimes, you’ll come across a Pokémon Den that is releasing a red pillar of light. Dynamax Pokémon of different species and varying strength are hiding in them, and you’ll be able to attempt a Max Raid Battle by investigating these dens.
Face Powerful Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokémon
The Dynamax phenomenon, which allows Pokémon to become tremendously powerful, is an integral part of Pokémon battles in the Galar region. Dynamax Pokémon don’t just become bigger—they get a boost in power as well. But they will return to normal after three turns, so make sure to think carefully about when to trigger the Dynamax phenomenon!
While Dynamaxing seems to be a phenomenon common to the Pokémon from Galar, there’s a special type of Dynamaxing known as Gigantamaxing! This rare trait causes the Gigantamax Pokémon to become bigger and change appearance. Gigantamax Pokémon can also use a unique and powerful move known as a G-Max Move!
You’ll find Dynamax Pokémon and (very rarely) Gigantamax Pokémon in Max Raid Battles. These challenging Max Raid Battles allow you to join forces with up to three other Trainers in order to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon. You’ll each get a chance to catch the wild Dynamax Pokémon that you face if you manage to defeat it.
Other Galar Region Activities
As you continue your journey through the Galar region, you’ll find other enjoyable activities that are not only entertaining, but beneficial to you and your Pokémon. For example, you can check available Poké Jobs at the Rotomi terminal in most Pokémon Centers. You can send Pokémon from your Pokémon Boxes directly to any job you accept. The Pokémon you send will gain experience from the job that will help them grow. Being out on a job for a long time or sending as many Pokémon as you can on a job can also net some good results. You might even receive some rare items.
If you want to chill out and relax with your Pokémon, you can set up camp using Pokémon Camp almost anywhere and anytime you’re exploring in the Galar region! While camping, you can play with your Pokémon and make wondrous curries for both you and your Pokémon. You can even visit the camp of another player or have other players visit your own camp until a total of four players are gathered to interact with Pokémon or make some curry.
Connect Pokémon GO and Pokémon HOME
Pokémon GO will be able to connect to Pokémon HOME by the end of 2020. If you transfer Pokémon to Pokémon HOME from Pokémon GO, you’ll be able to send some of those Pokémon to Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield. It’ll be a great way to let your Pokémon GO buddies join you on your Galarian adventure.
As a bonus, when you send a Pokémon from Pokémon GO into Pokémon HOME, you’ll receive the Mythical Pokémon Melmetal as a Mystery Gift in Pokémon HOME. This Melmetal is a special one that hasn’t been available before—this Melmetal can Gigantamax in any battle in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield that allows it, such as a Max Raid Battle!
Keep checking Pokemon.com for more details on the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games!