Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are the next generation of Pokémon RPGs coming to the Nintendo Switch system.
The adventures will be 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 together to develop the industries here. You’ll visit the various Gyms in the Galar region, aiming for the enviable and admirable title of Champion!
Your new adventure in the Galar region will begin by choosing one of three Pokémon. The Grass-type Grookey is a mischievous Chimp Pokémon that is full of boundless curiosity. The Fire-type Scorbunny is a Rabbit Pokémon that is always running about, bursting with energy. And the Water-type Sobble is a somewhat timid Water Lizard Pokémon that shoots out attacks as it hides itself in the water.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are currently in development by GAME FREAK, and they’ll launch on November 15, 2019. The games will be playable in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.
The Legendary Pokémon ... Zacian and Zamazenta!
These are the Legendary Pokémon that will be featured on the packages of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. They are shrouded in mystery and are even unknown to those who live in the Galar region.
People of the Galar Region
As a resident of the Galar region, you’ll embark on an adventure to become the Champion. Along the way, you’ll be sure to meet many different people and Pokémon!
Strive to Become the Next Champion of the Galar Region!
In the Galar region, where Pokémon battles are big entertainment, the region’s Pokémon League holds tournaments 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!
The Gym Challenge
The Gym Challenge is a true celebration of Pokémon battling! Participating Trainers strive to collect all eight Gym Badges, and only Pokémon Trainers who have been endorsed by specific people, such as Gym Leaders, can join in. You and your rival Hop will receive your letters of endorsement from Champion Leon himself, kicking off your journey to challenge the Gyms of the region.
The Champion Cup
Once a year in the Galar region, a series of Pokémon battles are held with the League Championship on the line. This is the Champion Cup! The Champion Cup is the tournament to decide who will be able to challenge the reigning Champion for their seat. Exemplary Trainers throughout the region, such as those who successfully complete the Gym Challenge, are allowed to participate in the Champion Cup tournament.
The Champion Cup battles are broadcast on TV, and all the people of the Galar region will be watching!
About the Pokédex and Rotom Phone
Any Pokémon that you find or catch during your adventure will have its information registered in the Pokédex. The Pokédex in these titles will actually be part of your Rotom Phone! Your Rotom Phone is also home to Rotom, a Pokémon that can enter into various electric appliances. And your Rotom Phone can do a lot more than serve as a Pokédex!
For example, you can attach it to your bike to make it move faster on land, or it can even help you travel over water!
You’ll Meet Different Pokémon in Each Game
There are several differences between Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, and one such difference is the species of Pokémon that appear. For example, Deino and Jangmo-o only appear in Pokémon Sword, while Larvitar and Goomy only appear in Pokémon Shield.
See the Many Faces of 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.
In the Wild Area, there is a chance that you’ll run into powerful wild Pokémon! These Pokémon are constantly on their guard—in fact, you won’t even be able to throw a Poké Ball at them when first starting your adventure.
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 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.
Pokémon Battles Specialized for Dynamax
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!
Take on Powerful Dynamax Pokémon
Wild Dynamax Pokémon are extremely powerful. Some might use multiple moves in one turn, neutralize your Pokémon’s Ability, or even remove all stat changes you’ve worked to put in place!
Some wild Dynamax Pokémon will create a mysterious barrier that prevents almost all damage. In order to properly inflict damage on Pokémon protected this way, you’ll need to break down the barrier by attacking it a certain number of times.
Gigantamaxing Changes a Pokémon’s Size and Appearance!
While Dynamaxing seems to be a phenomenon common to the Pokémon from Galar, it’s been discovered that there’s a special type of Dynamaxing known as Gigantamaxing! Only certain species of Pokémon can Gigantamax—and even among such species, only rare specimens will be able to Gigantamax. The majority will keep their usual appearance when they Dynamax.
Gigantamax Pokémon become bigger, just like any Dynamax Pokémon, but they also change appearance, showing off their characteristics in new ways!
Like normal Dynamaxing, Gigantamaxing boosts the power of the Pokémon. It also allows each Gigantamax Pokémon to use a unique move known as a G-Max Move! Each G-Max Move is particular to a specific species of Gigantamax Pokémon, and regular Dynamax Pokémon can’t use G-Max Moves at all!
You can catch Gigantamax Pokémon for your team by participating in Max Raid Battles, but it seems they’re very rare—finding one won’t be easy!
What Are Max Raid Battles?
Max Raid Battles are a completely new battle format where you will team up with three other Trainers in order to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon. You’ll get a chance to catch the wild Dynamax Pokémon that you face if you manage to defeat it.
But don’t get too confident. The wild Dynamax Pokémon will remain in their giant form for the entire battle and have other unique powers to boot. They won’t go down easily!
Only one member of the group, consisting of you and your allies, can Dynamax a Pokémon during Max Raid Battles, so close teamwork is key. Additionally, some things you can do in the Wild Area, like Max Raid Battles, can become even more fun by connecting with other players.
How to Participate in a Max Raid Battle
In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, there is a feature called Y-Comm. With it, you can do things like trade Pokémon and have Link Battles via the internet or local communication.
If you see a stamp pop up while you’re on your adventure, it might be a sign that another player is looking for somebody to connect with! You’ll see a stamp pop up when someone is looking for participants for a Max Raid Battle, too, so check the stamp on the Y-Comm screen to join in!
Galarian Form Pokémon
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. These different appearances are known as the regional forms of those Pokémon, and it seems their behavior also differs from that of their previously discovered forms. The Galar region has its own regional forms of Pokémon, known as Galarian forms!
Look for new Pokémon such as Galarian Weezing and Galarian Zigzagoon—as well as its evolved form, Galarian Linoone. Living in the unique environment of the Galar region, some regional forms have developed unique Evolutions unseen in any other region. Obstagoon, which evolves from Galarian Linoone, is one example.
Morpeko, a Form-changing Pokémon
Some Pokémon can change their form, often because of the effects of certain items or their own Ability. Some of these form changes don’t simply change the Pokémon’s appearance, though. They can also affect the types of its moves or even change its Ability!
Morpeko is an Electric- and Dark-type Pokémon. Its Ability, Hunger Switch, is a new Ability introduced in these titles. This Ability causes Morpeko to change its appearance each turn. Morpeko’s signature move, Aura Wheel, changes type depending on Morpeko’s form. In Full Belly Mode, the move is Electric type, while in Hangry Mode, the move becomes Dark type!
Fierce Rivals and a Troublesome Team
You’ve got some determined rivals to deal with, and they all want a shot at battling the Champion! Bede is one of your rivals who is skilled at Pokémon battles and has the pride to match! He has joined the Gym Challenge, having received his endorsement from Rose, the chairman of the Galar Pokémon League.
Marnie is one of your rivals who has a competitive side. Together with her partner Morpeko, she aims to become the Champion of the Galar region in order to accomplish a certain goal. She has many passionate fans, thanks to her sense of style and calm, calculated battle strategies.
Marnie’s fans are so dedicated, in fact, that they’ve formed their own team. Team Yell is a group of troublemakers who seem to appear wherever the Gym Challenge takes you and who attempt to get in your way at every opportunity. They want nothing more than for Marnie to become Champion, and they all try to obstruct other challengers in all sorts of ways.
Pokémon Can Complete Jobs and Grow Stronger through Poké Jobs
In the Galar region, it is very common for people and Pokémon to work together. Many corporations and universities request the help of Pokémon through what are known as Poké Jobs.
You can check available Poké Jobs at the Rotomi in Pokémon Centers, and you’ll also be able to send Pokémon from your Boxes directly to any job you accept!
The Pokémon you send will help out with the job, and the experience will even help them grow. There are many different Poké Jobs available. You’ll find that certain Pokémon types are suited for specific jobs, too. Helping out 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!
Challenge Other Trainers in the Battle Stadium
In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, you can connect to the internet and battle against Trainers from all over the world in the Battle Stadium.
In Ranked Battles, you can take on Pokémon Trainers from across the globe with a Battle Team you trained up, in an attempt to become the most powerful Trainer in the world! As the name implies, you will have a rank in Ranked Battles that indicates how strong you are as a Trainer. Your rank will change depending on the results of your battles! You’ll face Trainers of a similar rank, so your battles are sure to be challenging!
In Casual Battles, you can enjoy Pokémon battles without worrying about who wins and who loses. Another noteworthy aspect of Casual Battles is that you can use certain Legendary Pokémon and Mythical Pokémon that are not eligible for Ranked Battles!
New Features Make Pokémon Battles More Exciting
The Dynamax phenomenon not only makes Pokémon huge—it can also give them a boost in power. Dynamaxing your Pokémon can sway the course of a battle! You’ll be able to Dynamax any Pokémon from the Galar region so long as you have the Dynamax Band. There’s no need to have the Pokémon hold a special item. This means that you can choose which one of your Pokémon to Dynamax depending on what’s happening in the battle.
Many new Abilities have been discovered in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield! The Ability of Galarian Weezing, Neutralizing Gas, is one such Ability! This Ability neutralizes the ongoing effects of other Pokémon’s Abilities and even prevents Abilities from being triggered!
There are new items available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield that will broaden the strategies you can use in Pokémon battles! These include items that can combo with specific moves to give you an edge in battles, like Room Service and Eject Pack.
When held by a Pokémon, Room Service will lower the holder’s Speed when the move Trick Room is successfully used. When a Pokémon holding Eject Pack has any of its stats lowered, it will immediately switch out so you can send in another Pokémon from your team!
Catch Pokémon with Hidden Abilities
Some Pokémon have rare Abilities known as Hidden Abilities, which are different to their usual Abilities. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, it seems that Pokémon caught in Max Raid Battles might have these Hidden Abilities.
Plus, there’s also a chance that you’ll encounter a special Pokémon capable of Gigantamaxing in Max Raid Battles! While extremely rare, by attempting many different battles, there’s a chance you could even encounter a Pokémon that can Gigantamax...and also has a Hidden Ability!
Set Up Your Pokémon Camp
You can enjoy a Pokémon Camp almost anywhere anytime you’re exploring in the Galar region! If you ever feel like spending some time with the Pokémon in your party or cooking up a nice meal with them, then there’s no need to hesitate—in many cases, you can just set up camp right then and there!
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!
Customize Your Character
As you travel, you’ll come across boutiques and hair salons. By visiting them, you can buy new clothes for yourself or change your hairstyle to freshen things up! There are plenty of different clothing items, hairstyles, and even makeup options, so try out different combinations and show the entire Galar region your favorite look!
Make a Surprise Trade
In these games, you can use Y-Comm to do things like trade Pokémon via the internet or local communication. One of the features available on the Y-Comm menu is the Surprise Trade. Select a Pokémon from your Boxes that you’re willing to trade, and that’s it! A trading partner will automatically be found as you continue on your adventure!
These trades can be carried out with players from around the world if you’re using the internet. But with local communication, you can even get a trade from someone around you before you know what’s happening! Head out to lots of different places, and see if you can get a Surprise Trade! You won’t know what Pokémon you’ll get in exchange for your Pokémon until you actually receive it. If you’re lucky, you might end up with a rare Pokémon.
Take Your Favorite Pokémon for a Stroll with the Poké Ball Plus!
If you link up your Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield game with a Poké Ball Plus, you’ll be able to transfer your favorite Pokémon to the Poké Ball Plus, and take them for a stroll in the real world! Even when you’re not playing the game, you’ll get to spend time with your Pokémon. The Poké Ball Plus will light up and vibrate, and you’ll even hear your Pokémon’s cry from time to time!
The Poké Ball Plus contains the Mythical Pokémon Mew when purchased new. If you link up a new Poké Ball Plus to Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield, you’ll be able to receive Mew in the linked game.
Keep checking Pokemon.com for more details on the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games!