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Pokémon Sword and Shield

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Pokémon Sword
Pokémon Shield
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A path to greatness should've been forged.
Protagonist(s): Victor/Gloria
Genre(s): Role-playing
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Release: November 15, 2019
Engine: gamefreak lib[1][2]
Developer(s): Game Freak
Publisher(s): Nintendo
The Pokémon Company
Country: Japan
Series: Pokémon
Predecessor: Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
Successor: Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX (by release date)

Pokémon Sword and Shield are role-playing games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. They were released worldwide simultaneously on November 15, 2019, as the 29th and 30th games in the franchise's main continuity and as the first games for Generation VIII, and the second in the series to be released on a home console, the first being Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!.


Pokémon Sword and Shield takes place in the Galar region, a region where Pokémon battling is so important that it's infused into the region's culture. In this region, the Pokémon League is based around a professional yearly competition where sponsored trainers battle Gym Leaders on massive stadiums in televised matches for the chance to battle the region's champion, Leon.

Victor/Gloria is a young resident and close friend of Hop, Leon's younger brother. The two are given sponsorship from Leon to participate in this year's league as well as a starter Pokémon. Right after becoming trainers, however, the two are attacked by a mysterious wolf-like Pokémon that cannot be harmed before being rescued by Leon.

Victor/Gloria and Hop embark on a journey across the Galar region to compete in the Pokémon League, explore the secrets behind the Dynamaxing ability where Pokémon become temporarily extremely powerful and gigantic and learn the truth behind the mysterious wolf Pokémon with the help of the regional professor's granddaughter Sonia. On their way, they also meet new rivals such as Bede, an arrogant trainer sponsored by the league's chairman Rose, and Marnie, a timid Punk girl who has an obnoxious obsessive fanbase calling themselves Team Yell that goes out of their way to sabotage other trainers participating in the league.

Bad Qualities

  1. The most infamous problem is that many Pokémon (like the Johto, Hoenn (in which they were brought back via the Crown Tundra DLC), Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos Starters) were cut from the game. While migration from previous Generations is still possible, only Pokémon existing in the initial in-game Pokédex or added via events or DLC expansions can be migrated.
    • It doesn't help the fact that it was confirmed that this will continue to be the case for future games.
    • Even after the Crown Tundra was released, there are still 234 missing species.
  2. In addition to the full Pokédex being unavailable, over a hundred moves (e.g. Hidden Power and Pursuit) are absent too while Mega Evolutions, Primal Reversions, Z Moves and Ultra Burst were replaced by Dynamaxing.
    • It should be noted that signature or trademark moves of Pokémon in the game are cut like Heal Order, and yet Light of Ruin, still attached to a Pokémon that's never been released, is still in the game and still usable.
    • Magearna is usable, but it can not use Heart Swap, unlike in Generation VII. Manaphy is not usable in Sword and Shield, but still.
  3. Despite being the first generation on a home console, which provides more opportunities for additions and changes than a handheld system, the game does little to make any innovating changes to the same formula the series has used for 20+ years. This can be seen as Game Freak playing it too safe.
  4. Although the Wild Area provides a more open area for exploration, it only makes up a portion of the overall map while routes outside the Wild Area remain linear like in previous games.
    • The camera can only be freely moved around in the Wild Area and the DLC areas, while it remains at a fixed angle in areas outside those areas.
  5. Speaking of map design, many routes, cities/towns, and dungeons are smaller than in previous games, which severely limits exploration.
    • Because of Dungeons being less common in addition to being small and linear, this results in the Escape Rope, which is now a key item, being rather unnecessary.
    • There are also less locations to explore compared to other regions.
    • Many of the town/cities offer little to do to have players come back to them.
    • Large sections of the Wild Area, as well as a bunch of areas outside the Wild Area can also feel rather empty, a problem plaguing most open-world games nowadays.
    • Most routes are overly-linear, and have very little to no branching paths.
  6. Even though the story puts more focus on emphasizing the importance of the Pokémon League, it is still the same predictable, bare-bones, and overall low-stakes plot seen in almost every other mainline game, especially when compared to the Generation V and VII games.
    • The plot revolving the Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta are, for the most part, an afterthought as most of the lore involving the two Legendaries is relegated to a side-story in the main plot that has little impact on the main plot and a rather brief post-game campaign.
    • The pacing of the story is also poor as almost nothing interesting happens until you reach Wyndon, and when something interesting does happen in the story, the player will almost never witness the event, as they will have just missed it and simply get instructed to go to the next gym.
    • The post-game story is a poorly written mess riddled with illogical moments.
      • What does forcefully Dynamaxing Pokémon have anything to do with destroying Zacian and Zamazenta's legacy?
      • The player had plenty of opportunities to easily stop Sordward and Shielbert, but never did so.
      • It is unclear how Sordward and Shielbert gathered a large and fiercely loyal following, especially when they weren't mentioned once prior to their introduction, and none of the major characters had any clue who they were.
  7. The graphics range from average to flatout terrible for both 2019 and Switch standards, with many textures looking no better than a twenty-year-old game especially the infamous tree model and this cave in the Crown Tundra, and the real kicker is that the Let's Go games came out a year prior and those games have better looking graphics (however despite this, many areas are still decently detailed and good looking, especially Ballonlea). The game also suffers from numerous graphical issues due to bad coding.
    • The render distance is very poor, worse than in Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast, as NPCs and Pokémon will pop in out of thin air when you get close to them, to talk about there's no backup distance for them to stop popping many times when you move slightly like in many RPG games like Dragon's Dogma, which was also ported to the Switch, has an incredibly long distance to make the enemies disappear from the area that the player is very far away.
      • This gives the player little time to react should an NPC or Pokémon pops up in front of them which can cause accidental battles if the player runs into the latter (E.G the wandering Steelix at giant seat).
    • The game still has occasional framerate drops, though not as frequent as the 3DS games. This is most noticeable when other players (especially online) are in the open world map.
    • Weather transitions in the Wild Area look incredibly poor, with the weather changing within a few seconds, including the area the player was just at. This makes it look like the surrounding areas also have the same weather condition when they don't.
  8. False advertising: Adding on to BQ #1, Game Freak claimed that the reason why they removed so many Pokémon was to create "more expressive animations", but the animations saw little to no improvement. This results in the decision becoming not only a questionable reason to cut content, but also a lazy excuse to not have every Pokémon.
    • Another case of false advertising is that the models for the returning Pokémon are simply up-scaled versions of their 3DS models, despite Game Freak stating the models were made from scratch.
    • In the Isle of Armor expansion, the wandering Wailord in the Workout Sea is shown to be at it's actual size but when the player battles it, it is shown to be significantly smaller compared to before it was battled.
  9. A severe lack of difficulty, possibly even more than Pokémon X and Y.
    • Trainers are less common than in previous games, and when they do appear, they usually have no more than two Pokémon.
    • The built-in EXP Share, while it does reduce grinding, it can easily make your Pokémon over-leveled if you train too much as the game's level curve was not built around it.
      • Making matters worse the game's director Shigeru Ohmori even defends that decision to not add an option to turn off the built-in EXL Share by saying to "simply by putting the rest of your Pokémon in the PC.", which is ultimately nothing but a lazy excuse for this decision.
    • The lack of difficulty can render some activities pointless such as the Pokémon Camp.
    • The fifth and last two gyms also suffer from this, as they are just simply fighting one trainer after another with no other challenges to overcome.
  10. As mentioned above, the animations have not improved from past 3D Pokémon games and are hilariously bad, the worst offender being the infamous scene where Zamazenta/Zacian just turns around and walks away in one post game cutscene.
    • A lot of animations from the 3DS games having been reused, and the animations for certain moves look very primitive for both 2019 and Switch standards, such as the notorious Double Kick animation. When Dubwool uses Headbutt though, it does a Double Kick animation instead.
      • For the Pokémon, the animations used in the Campsite feature were also reused from Pokémon Amie and Refresh from the Generations VI and VII games (including the walking and running animation that went unused in the data of the Generation VII games).
    • When a Dynamaxed/Gigantamaxed Pokémon is attacked by a normal size Pokémon, it shows a splash-like attack animation instead of the normal attack animation.
    • In the intro and credits cutscenes, a mouse cursor that was accidentally left in can be seen.
  11. While the Festival Plaza from the Generation VII games was already disliked for replacing the PSS system from Pokémon X and Y, the Y-comm is even more barebones and has several more issues.
    • Players are unable to send invitations to each other, they instead have to search for them in the stamps, which can be a pain.
    • Because of the lack of invitations, the best way to get someone specific to join your session is complicated. First both players have to be on the same friend list, then one of the player will have to set up a link code for the specific activity and then message the player outside of the game due to being unable to message them in-game.
    • Profile setting is also far more barebone with only being able to change in-game profile picture as well as managing your list of blocked users. You can't have personal messages anymore.
    • There is now a forced 20 minute timer during online battles, which can encourage players to deliberately stall in order to gain a cheap victory.
  12. Like several other Nintendo games, online functionality has several issues such as lagging servers, trouble connecting to servers, or getting disconnected suddenly from the servers.
    • This makes looking for stamps more difficult than it already is, with refreshing usually not solving the issue.
  13. Doing Max Raid Battles without other players is frustrating as the Raid Pokémon often bring up shields that need to be attacked multiple times to break and the AI teammates tend to be uncooperative and often die in one hit.
    • To make matters worse, once the Raid Pokémon's health reaches a certain point, they will not lose any more health so they can use the shield, unnecessarily drawing out an otherwise short battle. This is a case of artificial difficulty.
    • Even with other players, Max Raid Battles still have their share of issues. If you successfully defeat a Dynamaxed/Gigantamaxed Pokémon, you only have one chance to successfully catch it (unless you are hosting since it's guaranteed capture except for event raids) regardless of how many stars the MRB was. This decision would have been understandable for one to two-star battles, but it is unreasonable for the rest of the levels. This stipulation also makes it easy to lose out on a shiny Pokémon should the Dynamaxed/Gigantamaxed Pokémon be shiny.
  14. Similarly to the opening hours in Sun and Moon, the player will get constantly interrupted by other characters throughout the game, most of who either state the obvious or tell you information that you'll likely already know.
  15. Numerous problems with the characters.
    • Throughout the story, many of the characters have a tendency to constantly remind the player that Leon is the "unbeatable" champion, which gets old rather fast.
    • Hop has no characteristics that make him stand out from other rivals. He is also the worst offender of interrupting the player as mentioned above, which makes him come across as annoying to many.
    • Although well-written characters, both Bede and Marnie are underutilized in favor of Hop, resulting in them having little impact on most of the plot.
    • Team Yell is far too similar to Team Skull, as both teams are composed of hooligans who serve more as comic relief than they do an actual threat to the player. They both also have no serious goals other than to obscure trainers in their respective Region's challenges.
    • Chairman Rose's goal doesn't make much sense, as he wants to fix an energy crisis that will not happen until about a thousand years in the future. The revelation of him being the main antagonist also had no build-up whatsoever unlike Lusamine, making his role as an antagonist feel forced. It's also never explained how exactly he managed to find and awaken Eternatus, making Eternatus' appearance also feel forced.
      • This was even something that the Journeys anime addressed on, as during the Sword & Shield arc, it is revealed that in the anime canon, the reason why he became evil was that his father died in a coal mine collapse accident that happened when he was very young, as his dad just looking for energy source, thus, it inspired him to find a more viable energy source like Eternatus, where no one will ever die from a tragic experience that his dad had suffered from when his dad possibly either got crushed by rocks or fell towards his death. This actually makes Rose's goal in the games look worse by comparison since there is rarely any motivation for him to do this, where as in the anime, his father died and wanted to do what he was supposed to do a long time ago, find more energy source, which actually makes Rose a far more interesting character than he was in the games.
    • Oleanna (Chairman Rose's assistant) barely does anything in the game (apart from battling you at the Rose tower).
    • The post-game antagonists, Sordward and Shielbert, are two of the the worst villains in the Pokémon franchise. They are incredibly obnoxious in a bad way, and their goals are even more vague and nonsensical than Chairman Rose's.
      • Their designs are also very poor, especially for Sordward, whose hairstyle (which is supposed to be shaped like a sword) resembles a penis.
  16. Very little post-game content, even for Pokémon standards. The only noteworthy post-game content is a short epilogue story-line, the Battle Tower, and rematches at the Pokémon League, all three of which are common post-game content in the series. There is also no post-game exclusive areas to explore at all unlike the previous games.
  17. The Battle Tower is inferior to previous Battle Tower analogues, as it doesn't have super single nor super double battles, and only one tower boss (Leon).
  18. The GTS was removed, which makes looking for a specific Pokémon a player wants to obtain significantly more difficult unless they have the mobile version of Pokémon HOME.
  19. The game doesn't have any sound options until players acquires the Hi-tech Earbuds from a random NPC in Motostoke next to a record shop, which is an odd and pointless decision.
  20. Although having no voice acting isn't necessarily a bad quality, the cutscenes in the game were clearly designed for voice acting, such as the intro and Piers's infamous concert, this results in the cutscenes being awkward to watch. While this problem is present in some of the older games, it is ignorable as those type of cutscenes were less common, and had less dialogue.
  21. Players are unable to catch over-leveled Pokémon. While this does prevent the game from being even easier than it already is, in previous games players were able to catch them, but couldn't use them until a certain number of badges are obtained.
  22. Shiny Pokémon don't appear shiny in the overworld (except the one following players on the DLC map) unlike the Let's Go games and in the same fashion with Pokémon GO, which is a major problem for players trying to find shinies. On top of that, many Pokémon are shiny-locked, including the starters (when you start the game (you can still get them via breeding (both normal and Masuda Method)) and Legendaries.
  23. Story progression remains linear. While this is in previous games, the fact that the player can fight over-leveled Pokémon early on gives little to no reason for players to be unable to explore over-leveled areas outside the Wild Area earlier than they're supposed to.
  24. Unlike the Let's Go games, Repels have no effect on overworld Pokémon, especially those annoying Sharpedo on the Isle of Armor. This, along with the fact that random encounters are now much easier to avoid, makes them completely useless.
  25. The berry growth mechanic has been removed which not only makes shaking trees where Pokémon hoard their foods (at the risk of getting attacked by a wild Pokémon residing there if you shake when the leaves shakes violently which results in nearby offscreen Pokémon to steal some or in the worst case scenario all the items you harvested) and Max Raid Battles the only way to obtain them, but also makes filling the Curry Dex significantly more tedious and luck based than it needed to be.
  26. Around the initial launch of the game, similar to the Generation VI and VII games, whenever the digital version of the game attempted to autosave, it would trigger a bug would occur and that would end up wiping out not only the save data of the game itself, but the save data of every other game on one's Switch.[3] This thankfully has since been patched.
  27. While it is great to see the Walking Pokémon feature again (only on the DLC map though), it was poorly implemented as many of them (such as Mewtwo, Melmetal, or Dragapult) can't even keep up with the player's character (especially when the player is riding their bike). Even worse is if the player gets too far away, they'll simply just teleport behind the player.
      • Also to turn off this feature the player has to speak to an NPC in a specific area (Master Dojo on the Isle of Armor or a house in Freezington) instead of having the option to turn it off in the Pokémon menu. Like with the Hi-tech Earbuds, it was also a pointless decision.
  28. Despite that the game was in development for nearly 2 years since the release of Sun and Moon, it doesn't help that Game Freak was also working on Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, and Little Town Hero, and hired a small and inexperienced team to work on Sword and Shield.[4] In other words, the game was rushed, while Game Freak themselves were overworked, which might explain everything listed above.
  29. With the missing features, the game is overpriced, costing $60 (80$ CAD) ($90 (120$ CAD) bundled with the expansion pass) while the older games with arguably more content costed $40 (50$ CAD) at most.

Good Qualities

  1. Since the new Galar region is based on Great Britain, the game often take cues from UK culture, such as the characters speaking in British slang, and some of the new Pokémon introduced, which include:
    • The starters Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble represent music, sports, and drama respectively.
    • Galarian Ponyta and Rapidash are based on unicorns.
    • The new Fossil Pokémon are based on the fact that UK archaeologists would often unknowingly mismatch bones from different fossils to make up skeletons.
    • Galarian Mr. Mime's evolution Mr. Rime resembles the famous British comedian Charlie Chaplin.
    • The Legendaries Zacian and Zamazenta take inspiration from the Arthurian legends, being based on Excalibur and Prydwen respectively.
  2. The concept of regional variants introduced in Sun and Moon is expanded, now it is no longer restricted to Generation I Pokémon and Galarian variants can even take completely new evolutions not available to the regular forms.
  3. Several concepts introduced in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! have been introduced into the main series. Some examples include:
    • The ability to manage your team anywhere you want via the pause menu rather than having to return to a Pokémon Center to use a storage box.
    • Wild Pokémon are visible in the overworld, allowing you to pick which Pokémon you want to battle. At the same time however traditional tall grass encounters are still available.
    • Pokéball Plus is also compatible with these games, meaning that Mew can also be obtained, although you can't use it as a controller here.
    • If your Nintendo Switch has a save file data for either Let's Go, Pikachu! or Let's Go, Eevee! or both, you can get a special Pikachu or an Eevee that have Gigantamax forms.
  4. The process of raising Pokémon is streamlined to be less reliant on grinding and RNG with the addition of EXP. Candies and mints. The former allows Pokémon to be up-to-level with your current team easier than before, while the latter allows the player to change their Pokémon's natures to a better one.
    • You can now have 2 Pokémon of the same species gain new Egg moves after breeding, something that only their children can do in previous Generations.
  5. Dynamaxing is introduced, allows players to make their Pokemon gigantic and significantly more powerful in a similar fashion to Mega Evolutions. However, unlike Mega Evolutions, every Pokemon can be Dynamaxed and the transformation only lasts for 3 turns to balance it out. When Dynamaxed, Pokemon have their HP increased up to double the base HP and their Moves become stronger "Max Moves" that also activate secondary effects.
    • Certain Pokemon get special "Gigantamax" forms when they are Dynamaxed. These forms have access to "G-Max" moves and have pretty interesting designs, such as Gigantamax Alcremie being based off a cake, Gigantamax Sandaconda transforming into a tornado, and Gigantamax Pikachu resembling Pikachu's design from Gen 1.
    • During the main story mode, Dynamaxing can only be done during specific battles to prevent the player from abusing it against regular opponents who themselves can't Dynamax.
  6. The Wild Area offers for the first time a more open-world experience, allowing the player to freely move the camera around. The player can also encounter over-leveled and fully evolved Pokémon in the area, which is another first in the franchise.
    • Players can participate in Max Raid Battles which are scattered throughout the Wild Area, where the player and three other trainers, whether they are NPCs or other players, work together to battle Dynamaxed Pokémon which are drastically more powerful than any other wild Pokémon and give out useful items as rewards for defeating them.
    • When doing a Max Raid Battles with other players, everyone gets a chance to catch the Dynamax Pokémon.
    • The Wild Area also introduces Watts as a new currency which can be used to obtain valuable items, upgrade the player's bicycle or buy curry ingredients.
    • The Wild Area allowing you to catch fully Evolved Pokémon that would normally be difficult to evolve and even including Trade evolutions also facilitates the process.
  7. As mentioned in BQ #6, the story puts more emphasis on the Pokémon League and the Gym Challenge, treating it as a competitive sports event and making it so the player has a more tangible reason to compete in the league similar to the anime while also being reminiscent of professional soccer as gym battles take place in large stadiums.
    • Most Gym challenges are reworked to be much more creative than previous gym challenges.
    • The Elite 4 is replaced with the Championship Cup, which has the player battle their main rivals throughout the story in final matches before facing the champion. In revisits, the player can then choose which opponents will participate in the cup. Which looks like a great step up from past Pokémon games.
  8. A great soundtrack that has more variety (including styles unique to this game) compared to any other previous generation while also fitting the theme of the Galar region. Some of the more notable examples include the Gym Leader battle theme or the northern half of the Wild Area.
    • The Battle Tower theme was composed by Toby Fox, the creator of Undertale and Deltarune. This, again, symbolizes the series going more worldwide.
  9. You can now finally skip cutscenes and tutorials if you've already played the game and want to do another playthrough.
  10. Technical Records (TR) are introduced, which are one-time use move tutors similar to TMs before Gen V, however unlike older TMs these can be found again infinitely by doing Max Raid Battles and often have better moves than TMs to compensate.
  11. While very similar to Team Skull, Team Yell still does a decent job at providing comic relief, and is also a jab at toxic fanbases.
  12. The camping mechanic replaces Pokémon Amie/Refresh as a more interactive way to build your Pokémon's friendliness values while also restore their health and PP. In the process, your Pokémon will be very happy and be more willing to listen to you.
    • Additionally, certain Pokémon have specific reactions when you play with them using a bell teaser or a rubber ball, which can be both charming and funny, or when they interact with other Pokémon present in the camping area.
    • While a bit repetitive, the cooking feature is pretty fun and makes decent use of the Switch's motion controls.
  13. Despite the Y-comm system not being that good, one good feature about it is that players are able to search for players to do Link Trades, Random Trades, or Battles without interrupting normal gameplay.
  14. The Pokémon that can only be captured in the DLC can be traded to the base version of the game without needing to buy the DLC, something that most other games with DLC wouldn't do.
  15. A couple of nice additions to the shiny animations, with there now being a new sparkling animation with squares that's rarer than the normal one with stars.
    • Shiny Pokémon that hatched from eggs now have the sparkling animation displayed. This can especially prove useful for shiny Pokémon that barely look any different.
  16. Character customization is further expanded upon from previous games, and with even more options with the DLC.
  17. As mentioned earlier, the DLC (The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra) is an improvement over the base game, and fixes several issues with the base game. Some examples include:
    • The Isle of Armor DLC introducing new features such as Max Soup, a potent stew that can allow certain Pokemon to Gigantamax when given to them. With it, you no longer need to hunt for Gigantamax Pokémon with good stats, you can simply give the Soup to any Pokémon that has a Gigantamax form. It requires three Max Mushrooms, which you can find in the forests and caves around the Isle of Armor.
    • For the first time in the series, you can reset a Pokémon's EVs! To reset EVs, find Lady Clear in the Workout Sea area in the Isle of Armor DLC and she will return your Pokémon to a blank slate in exchange for ten pieces of Armorite Ore.
    • The Cram-o-matic in the DLC is a cool machine where you can combine items to get different items, although you have to save before using it every time.
    • Like the Wild Area, the Isle of Armor and The Crown of Tundra is now open-world and also allows camera control.
    • The ability patch is introduced as part of the Crown Tundra expansion which allow players to change a Pokémon's ability to it's hidden ability. This means players will no longer get frustrated when the shiny they hatch specifically via the Masuda Method didn't inherit the hidden ability from it's mother or non-ditto parent.
      • You can get one from Peony inside the max lair after showing him a Necrozma you caught during Dynamax Adventure.
      • Alternatively you can also get more from a backpacker with a Sableye inside the max lair at the cost of 200 Dynite Ore each which are obtained by doing dynamax adventure or max raid battles in the crown tundra.
  18. The voice clips for Pikachu and Eevee are amazingly voiced thanks to Ikue Otani and Aoi Yuuki.


  1. The best starter to select here is the Scorbunny line, due to its accessibility to Fire-type and Fighting-type moves that allows it to defeat 2 out of 4 of Raihan's Pokémon, Marnie's entire team and Hop's Dubwool and Snorlax. It also has the added bonus of being able to sweep through Chairman Rose's entire team, due to his whole team being weak to Fire with two of his Pokémon being double weak to it. Despite not being able to hold itself in the Champion Cup, it is still able to hold its own against Champion Leon's Mr. Rime and Aegislash. In addition, its signature move, Pyro Ball, has 120 base Power and 90% accuracy, which are good enough for an extremely strong move.
    • It's hidden ability Libero makes it even stronger similar to the Froakie line's hidden ability since whenever it uses a move other than fire type moves, it changes the pokémon to that type allowing it to receive STAB from every attack.
  2. When doing trade evolutions online, you should make sure to trade for another copy of the same Pokémon as there's no guarantee that the other player will return you the traded Pokémon.
    • If you plan on completing the Curry Dex, you may optionally ask the trader if the Pokémon they are about to trade is holding the Bob's/Bach's food tin as those ingredient are only obtainable in either versions of the games.
  3. An easy way to make money is to buy Luxury Balls in the Wild Area for 100 Watts each then sell all of them in a store. Farming Watts is a very easy process so you'll be able to get lots of Luxury Balls quickly.
  4. Make sure you take some time to do Max Raid Battles during the early game, as lower ranking Raids don't get shields making them easy to defeat and you'll still get the useful rewards, mainly the EXP Candies and TRs.
  5. Certain Pokémon only spawn in the Wild Area and DLC map during specific weathers, you can manipulate the date in your Nintendo Switch to force a certain weather to occur so you can hunt what you want without having to wait. You can look up online lists for which specific date to set for which weather condition, and which Pokémon spawn during those weather conditions.
    • Keep in mind this will freeze daily events for 24 hours.
  6. A very easy method to evolve Galarian Farfetch'd into Sirftech'd is to battle a Wobbuffet, which are found in the same route where you can catch Farfetch'd as an overworld spawn. Continuously attack Wobbuffet with Rock Smash, it'll do very little damage so you'll have many turns to land those 3 Critical Hits and the low damage per attack makes it so Wobbuffet's Counter won't faint your Farfetch'd.
    • The Leek held item, the move Focus Energy, and using a Dire Hit all increase Farfetch'd chances of landing a Critical Hit, making the process significantly easier. Wild Farfetch'd have a 50% chance to be holding a Leek when caught.
    • Make sure you have healing items for each time Wobbuffet uses Counter.


Prior to release, it was announced at E3 2019 that not all existing Pokémon would be available in the games. This decision was met with widespread criticism and spawned a controversy known as Dexit. This controversy proved to be very divisive within the Pokémon community, and a number of fans considered boycotting the game, and even review bombed the game when they released. Many fans even called for the games to be delayed until all the Pokémon could be added, unaware that it would also push back the Anime and the TCG. The announcement for the game's Expansion Pass caused further backlash from fans (despite improving upon the game's flaws), leading them to accuse Game Freak of cutting content just to sell it back.


Pokémon Sword and Shield received a positive reception by critics and mixed by players, with many considering the games to be the weakest in the core series of Pokémon games. While both versions have a critic score of 80/100 on Metacritic, the user score is much lower, having a score of 4.6/10 for both [5] [6], mainly due to review bombing. It became the most polarizing game in the Pokémon franchise, as well as the most polarizing game of 2019 (along with Death Stranding).

Despite the criticism, the games have sold very well (to the point that some people bought a Switch just because of either of the two), selling more than 6 million copies worldwide during its opening week, surpassing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game.[7] As of March 2022, the games have sold 24.27 million copies worldwide, making them the second best selling main series Pokémon games, the fifth best-selling Switch games and the 38th best-selling games of all time.


  • Zacian and Zamazenta's names mean "the Cyan One" and "the Magenta One" respectively.
  • Gloria, the game's female player character, spawned the "Scottish Pokémon Trainer" meme, which was shown in the #BringBackNationalDex minimalist poster.
  • The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra are based on the Isle of Man and Scotland respectively.
  • The Galar region's name is also the Irish word for "disease", although this could be seen as a red flag.
  1. It is the first game since Black and White to have version exclusive Gym Leaders.
    • It is also the first game to feature a Dark-type gym.


The game's official trailer


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