Shiny Pokémon and Gigantamax Pokémon Lurk in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield’s Wild Area

Shiny Pokémon and Gigantamax Pokémon Lurk in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield’s Wild Area

The sprawling Wild Area has a greater variety of Pokémon than anywhere else in the Galar region, and it also hides secrets on how to find some of the rarest Pokémon around. If you’re looking to add an ace to your battle team or a Shiny Pokémon to impress your friends, some special training in the Wild Area is the best place to start.

While searching for Pokémon with Hidden Abilities, high individual strengths, or the Gigantamax Factor—or even for a Shiny Pokémon—you’ll also rack up lots of Watts as you defeat Brilliant Pokémon and win Max Raid Battles. Don’t forget that you can spend this special currency to purchase useful items (like Technical Records and Wishing Pieces) as you traverse the Wild Area, so keep an eye out for opportunities as you roam around.

Finding Brilliant Pokémon Can Lead to Finding Shiny Pokémon

Sometimes you may see Pokémon that give off a special aura. These wonderful Pokémon are known as Brilliant Pokémon, and you’ll find they’re typically higher level than the average Pokémon in the area. They’ll also know an unusual move, such as an Egg Move, and they’ll have the highest possible individual strength for at least two or three of their stats. You’ll earn some Watts each time you defeat a Brilliant Pokémon, with higher-level Pokémon rewarding more Watts.

You can quickly find some excellent Pokémon by encountering as many Brilliant Pokémon as you can. As you catch or defeat more and more Pokémon of the same species, you’ll gradually become more likely to find Brilliant Pokémon and Shiny Pokémon of that species in the future. You don’t need to find these Pokémon consecutively, and you can see how many times you’ve encountered a species by checking your Pokédex.

Number of battlesEffects on future encounters
At least oneBrilliant Pokémon may appear
At least 20Brilliant Pokémon have 1.3× the likelihood of appearing
At least 50Brilliant Pokémon have 1.6× the likelihood of appearing, and Shiny Pokémon have 2× the likelihood of appearing
At least 100Brilliant Pokémon have 2× the likelihood of appearing, and Shiny Pokémon have 3× the likelihood of appearing
At least 200Shiny Pokémon have 4× the likelihood of appearing
At least 300Shiny Pokémon have 5× the likelihood of appearing
At least 500Shiny Pokémon have 6× the likelihood of appearing

Once you’ve encountered a species of Pokémon 100 times, you’ll max out your chance of finding a Brilliant Pokémon of that same species at double the original odds. The odds of finding a Shiny Pokémon of that species won’t max out until a whopping 500 encounters, where you’ll have six times the normal odds. Those odds are still pretty long, so if you’re crazy about Shiny Pokémon, it’s a good idea to work toward completing your Pokédex and earning a Shiny Charm.

Every time you defeat a Pokémon in the wild, you’ll also be much more likely than usual to see more Pokémon of that same species appear for a short time. If you’re a big fan of a certain species of Pokémon, it might be a good idea to encounter several each time you walk through the Wild Area to gradually build up your odds. Plus, since you’ll be battling the same species of Pokémon repeatedly, it can also be a great way to earn specific base points for your team.

Fishing for Brilliant Pokémon

You can also find Brilliant Pokémon by fishing in the Wild Area. The number of times you’ve battled any one species won’t matter at all for fishing. Instead, you’ll need to defeat many Pokémon consecutively, no matter which species appears.

Successful hooksEffects on future encounters
0–2Brilliant Pokémon may appear
3–6Brilliant Pokémon have 1.3× the likelihood of appearing
7–14Brilliant Pokémon have 3.3× the likelihood of appearing
15–24Brilliant Pokémon have 6.6× the likelihood of appearing
25+Brilliant Pokémon have 16.6× the likelihood of appearing

If you keep getting bites and defeating your catches, you’ll start to find more and more Brilliant Pokémon. But beware—if you fail to reel a Pokémon in, or if you catch a Pokémon, run away from a Pokémon, leave the area, or turn off your game, then the chain will break. After 25 successful hooks, you’ll cap out at over 16 times the initial odds of finding a Brilliant Pokémon, so it can be quite rewarding to build a big streak.

Max Raid Battles

The Wild Area is full of what are known as Pokémon Dens. Sometimes you’ll come across a Pokémon Den that is releasing a pillar of light. You can walk up to such dens to start a Max Raid Battle with a Dynamax Pokémon. More difficult Max Raid Battles are denoted by more vibrant light and more stars in the battle description. You’ll fight in a team of four Trainers in these encounters, and in-game Trainers will step in when a full team of players can’t be formed.

When you win in a Max Raid Battle, you’ll have the chance to catch the Pokémon you defeated. These Pokémon will sometimes have Hidden Abilities or high individual strengths. The chances of this will increase with the difficulty of the Max Raid Battle. You’ll also gain rewards for winning, like Exp. Candies, Berries, and TRs.

Once you acquire more Gym Badges, you’ll start to see dens emitting strong purple pillars of light. Dens emitting this kind of light are more likely to house rare Pokémon. If you’re really lucky, you might even encounter a Pokémon with the Gigantamax Factor in a five-star Max Raid Battle after you’ve earned the Dragon Badge late in your adventure.

In addition to Pokémon with the Gigantamax Factor, some other Pokémon will also appear in the Wild Area only in Max Raid Battles. These include some of the more-powerful evolved Pokémon, so Max Raid Battles can be a great way to quickly add a powerful ally to your team.

If you find a den that isn’t active, you can activate it by throwing a valuable Wishing Piece in, which you can purchase or find in the Wild Area. This will allow you to trigger a Max Raid Battle, and if you’re really lucky, you may even attract a wild Gigantamax Pokémon when using a Wishing Piece. You can also activate a bunch of dens at once by completing Max Raid Battles at all active Pokémon Dens in the Wild Area. When you do, a new set of dens will light up, and at least one should have a strong pillar of light. This way, you’ll never get stuck waiting until the next day for more battles!

Wild Weather in the Wild Area

You’ll find that each section of the Wild Area has some sort of persistent weather, and that weather will have a big impact on what you find there. Not only will the weather affect conditions in battle, but it’ll also help determine which Pokémon appear.

Many Pokémon will appear only during a specific weather condition. For instance, you’ll generally see more Water, Electric, and Dragon types during thunderstorms, and some rare Pokémon appear only during rare types of weather.

As usual, the weather can have a direct impact in battle, too. This can be in the form of more traditional weather effects (like harsh sunlight), effects normally unrelated to weather (like Misty Terrain), or both. For instance, battles during thunderstorms will feature both heavy rain and Electric Terrain.

You can use the weather forecast on your Town Map to keep an eye on changing conditions. When there is particularly rare weather in the Wild Area (sandstorms, thunderstorms, blizzards, or heavy fog), you’ll see it announced when you open the X menu. The weather changes each day, so don’t forget to check back!

The Impact of Gym Badges

You’ll gradually gain access to more and more of the Wild Area as you progress in your adventure, so it’s best to revisit it as you complete major objectives. Plus, if you wander too far in your first trip to the Wild Area, you’ll definitely find some Pokémon so powerful that you don’t have good odds of defeating them!

Until you have all eight Gym Badges, there’ll be a cap on how many Exp. Points very high-level wild Pokémon can give. For instance, if you have only two Gym Badges, any opposing Pokémon over Lv. 35 will give Exp. Points as though it were a Lv. 35 Pokémon. You’ll also need to collect Gym Badges to trigger higher-level Max Raid Battles, with the five-star level only becoming available after you’ve obtained the Dragon Badge.

The weather you experience in the Wild Area will also be restricted early in your journey. You won’t see blizzards or sandstorms until you’ve reached Hammerlocke, and you won’t see fog until you’ve become Champion.

Having more Gym Badges may also impact which items you receive from other features in the Wild Area. For example, there are hikers who will give you items in return for 100 Watts. The quality of these items will increase a little once you have two Gym Badges—and again once you become Champion.

You’ll also need to become Champion before certain larger Pokémon appear wandering around outside of the tall grass in the Wild Area. Finally, you’ll receive far more Watts from Pokémon Dens after you’ve become Champion.

Keep Exploring the Wild Area

While winning Max Raid Battles and seeking Brilliant Pokémon are the best ways to catch rare and powerful Pokémon in the Wild Area, there’s plenty more to do there. Take some time to have even more fun by racing in the Rotom Rally, employing the Digging Duo to find rare items, and camping with your friends.

You can also find hidden items around the Wild Area on repeat visits, so keep an eye out for them as you continue your adventures. While the items you can see on the ground in Poké Balls appear only once, you can find hidden items in the Wild Area again and again.

Enjoy your adventures in the Wild Area, and make sure to check back to for more tips about Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield and other Pokémon games.

Remember that you can find valuable tips like these and much more in Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield: The Official Galar Region Strategy Guide, available now in book stores.

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