Editorial Gaming Nintendo

Pokémon Sword and Shield: What We Know So Far

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Get Ready to Dynamax those Wailords

Unless you’ve been living under a Rock type, you’ll no doubt be aware that the latest installment in the Pokémon franchise is on its way to the Nintendo Switch this year. But, it can be hard to keep up with all the details of the new games as information trickles out to use ahead of the release of Sword and Shield on November 15. Below we’ve curated everything we know so far about the two games so far.

1. The Galar Region

Pokémon Sword and Shield Galar Region

As with all good Pokémon games, Sword and Shield features an entirely new region for you to explore. The Galar Region is modeled after the United Kingdom and as such, features a blend of traditional and modern styles. While we don’t know the names or layouts of any of the cities of the region yet, we do know that you’ll start your Pokémon journey in the south of the map, making your way northwards through lush fields and grasslands into a more industrial landscape. We also know that the areas between cities will be home to a new feature called the “Wild Area”.

Within the Wild area, you’ll be able to encounter Pokémon from various past regions, with different Pokémon appearing at different times of the day and changes in the weather. Another feature that has carried over from Lets Go Pikachu and Eevee is that Pokémon will actually walk through the wild now instead of just hiding in the tall grass, although Pokémon still can be encountered in the tall grass. You can also whistle to attract a Pokémon’s attention or sneak up on them, adding a new element to the catching process as certain Pokémon will likely flee if you approach them too hastily.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Gyarados

2. New Friends and New Rivals

Your Journey through the Galar Region wouldn’t be complete without company along the way. Joining you on your travels is a host of characters and anyone who’s played a Pokémon game before will no doubt be familiar with the set-up by now, but let’s see who’ll you’ll be running into as your progress through the game.

Hop

Pokémon Sword and Shield Hop

Your Rival and childhood friend, Hop is an energetic young man and the younger brother of Leon the Galar Region’s Pokémon Champion. Like previous rivals in the series, his aim is similar to your own of becoming the Pokémon League Champion.

Leon

Pokémon Sword and Shield Leon

The stylish older brother of Hop and the current Pokémon League Champion, not much is known about him except for the fact he has a Charizard as his partner Pokémon. He also likes capes.

Professor Magnolia

Pokémon Sword and Shield Professor Magnolia

The wise old professor of the Galar region and the second female Professor of the mainline Pokémon games. She researches the strange occurrence of Dynamax in Pokémon and will most likely also give you your first Pokémon as well as your Pokédex.

Sonia

Pokémon Sword and Shield Sonia

The Grandaughter of Professor Magnolia and her research assistant and friend of Leon, she will most likely be popping up throughout the game to assist you on your journey and to provide Key Items or advice.

Milo

Pokémon Sword and Shield Milo

The Grass Type Gym Leader of the Galar Region, Milo is a cheerful individual who also uses the power of Dynamax in his gym battles and has been shown using Eldegloss, one of the new Grass-Type Pokémon to appear in the Galar Region.

Nessa

Pokémon Sword and Shield Nessa

The Water type Gym Leader of the Galar Region, not much is known about Nessa as of yet, but she uses the new water type Drednaw and is also capable of Dynamaxing it to give you an added challenge.

4. New Pokémon

No Pokémon game is complete without new Pokémon to catch and from what we’ve seen so far Galar has some interesting additions to the Pokédex. Whilst we won’t name every new Pokémon here, we will show you the two new legendary Pokemon Zacian and Zamazenta.

The two Pokémon have a regal look about them and although we don’t know much about them so far, we could speculate that they are ancient Pokémon not seen in the Galar region for a long time, hence their armored nature.

ZacianZamazenta

5. New and Returning Features

Dynamax

Move over Mega Evolution and goodbye Z-Moves, because there’s a new style of battling in town and it’s a big (see what I did there?) deal.

Dynamaxing is a new mechanic present in both wild raids and in gym battles. Put simply, it allows you to grow your Pokémon to Kaiju-level proportions for three turns of combat. However, like Mega Evolution, it can only be activated once per battle and it can only be used in certain areas, so don’t expect to be sending your Kaiju-sized Wailord out against that level 5 Rattata.

Size isn’t the only thing that increases when your Pokémon Dynamax’s, its moves get a huge boost in power too, becoming max moves that vary in power and effect according to your Pokémon’s normal moveset.

Galar Taxi

Why hop on your Pidgeot and get your hair all windswept when you can ride in style? The Galar Region is home to the Galar Taxi service. which will allow you to travel between towns via the new Pokémon, Corviknight.

Rotomdex

A holdover from the Sun and Moon games, the Rotomdex takes the place of your normal Pokédex and gives you access to a variety of features including giving out advice and showcasing your world map, its unknown at this time whether you’ll gain any new abilities for the Rotomdex

Bike

Running around the world can be a tiring experience, especially when you’re getting chased by a horde of angry Machop, luckily the bike makes its return to the Pokémon franchise and it brings with it the ability to ride on water. That’s right, with the aide of some floaties and pedal power, trainers can now take to the water without having to hop on their Pokémon’s back.

That’s a wrap!

Well, that’s all we’ve seen from Pokémon Sword and Shield thus far, but if you want to keep updated then be sure to check back regularly as we learn more details ahead of the game release on November 15.

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