The Pokémon Company and Nintendo today announced a specific time period when Trainers will be more likely to encounter certain Gigantamax Pokémon in the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games. The first Online Competition—Galar Beginnings—and new items and features were also revealed.
Increased Chance of Encountering Gigantamax Pokémon
In Max Raid Battles, four Trainers can team up to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon. In extremely rare cases, a Gigantamax Pokémon can appear instead of a Dynamax Pokémon. Only certain species of Pokémon can Gigantamax—and even among such species, only very rare specimens will be able to.
From Friday, November 15, 2019, until early January 2020, players will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Butterfree in Max Raid Battles. An internet connection will be required to participate in Max Raid Battles.
New Items and Features for Training Pokémon
New items that will help Trainers raise their Pokémon will be introduced in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
Each Pokémon has a Nature that can impact which of its stats are likely to grow faster or slower than average. Using a Mint on a Pokémon seems to change these stat-growth patterns and will impact which stats of a Pokémon are likely to grow faster than usual. Mints will not change a Pokémon’s Nature.
Special supplements—nutritious drinks like Protein and Iron—raise a Pokémon’s base points, which in turn help raise that Pokémon’s stats. If two Pokémon are of the same species but one has more base points, the Pokémon with more base points will grow stronger. Until now, there has been a limit on how many special supplements could be used on a Pokémon. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Trainers will be able to max out a Pokémon’s base points using only these supplements.
Normally, Pokémon earn Exp. Points through battling. If a Trainer uses an Exp. Candy, they will be able to give their Pokémon Exp. Points directly. Exp. Candy can be earned in Max Raid Battles.
Sometimes, a Pokémon hatched from an Egg will know unusual moves called Egg Moves. Egg Moves are moves that a Pokémon normally wouldn’t be able to learn through more common means, like leveling up or using TMs. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, if two Pokémon of the same species are placed at a Pokémon Nursery together, an Egg Move that one them knows can be passed on to the other Pokémon. A Pokémon can only learn an Egg Move in this way when it knows three or fewer moves.
New Gameplay Features
There are many new features that will be introduced in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield that are designed to make a Trainer’s adventure easier to enjoy.
Pokémon that aren’t on a Trainer’s team can be deposited into Pokémon Boxes. In these games, Trainers will not only be able to access their Pokémon Boxes in various towns and facilities but also while they’re on the road or even when exploring tall grass. Pokémon can be swapped in and out of a Trainer’s team whenever the Trainer wants, though there are a few places, such as mission areas where a Trainer takes on a Pokémon Gym, where Trainers won’t be able to access their Pokémon Boxes.
Saving the game diligently has always been a part of a Pokémon adventure but in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Trainers can take advantage of the new autosave function. The autosave function will automatically save a player’s progress during their adventure at various points, such as entering a town or building. Although the function is automatically enabled when a Trainer begins their adventure, it can be turned off so saves can be made manually. Even when autosave is on, it is still possible to save progress in the game manually. Trainers can choose how they would like to save in the Options menu.
If a Pokémon that has been received in a trade doesn’t have a nickname, Trainers will now have the chance to give it a nickname—but only once. This can be achieved by speaking to the man standing behind the left-hand counter in any Galar region Pokémon Center. Like previous Pokémon video games, the name of a traded Pokémon that already has a nickname cannot be changed.
The first official Online Competition for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Galar Beginnings, will be held in December 2019 and will be accepting participants from across the globe.
Sign-Up Period: Friday, November 15, at 00:00 UTC to Thursday, December 5, at 23:59 UTC
Competition Period: Friday, December 6, at 00:00 UTC to Sunday, December 8, at 23:59 UTC
Battle Format: Single Battle
Eligible Pokémon: Pokémon obtained in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield
Zacian, Zamazenta, Mew (contained in the Poké Ball Plus), and some other special Pokémon are not eligible.
Players can register three to six of their Pokémon to their Battle Team.
All Pokémon in this competition will automatically become Lv. 50 for the duration of each match.
Ranking Results Announcement: December 2019
Players will be able to join the competition by opening the X menu in their game and selecting VS, Battle Stadium, and then Online Competitions. There is no need to register on the Pokémon Global Link.
Nintendo Switch Online membership and Nintendo Account required for online features.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will release on November 15 for Nintendo Switch.