Pokemon Sword and Shield details handy features, new items, Gigantamax Pokemon encounters, and first online competition

Introducing mints, special supplements, Exp. Candies, and more.

The Pokemon Company has released new information, video, and screenshots of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield introducing the game’s handy features, new items, Gigantamax Pokemon encounters, and first online competition.

Get the details below.

■ Handy Features to Help You on Your Adventure

There are many new features in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield that are designed to make your adventure even easier to enjoy. We’d like to show you a few examples.

Pokemon Boxes

You can deposit Pokemon you don’t want on your team in your Pokemon Boxes. In Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, you’ll be able to access your Pokemon Boxes in various towns and facilities—but also while you’re on the road or even when you’re exploring in the tall grass! You’ll be able to swap Pokemon into and out of your team whenever you want, so try experimenting with all sorts of different Pokemon.

Just be aware that there are a few places—such as the mission areas where you take on Pokemon Gyms—where you won’t be able to access your Boxes.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Autosave

Saving diligently has always been part of a Pokemon adventure, but now there’s an autosave function to help you out! The autosave function will automatically save your progress during your adventure at various points, such as when you enter a town or a building.

This function is automatically turned on when you begin your adventure, but you’ll be able to turn it off if you want to have more control over when your progress is saved. Even with autosave on, you’ll still be able to save manually, too, just as you can when autosave is off. Go to the Options menu to choose how you’d like to save, so you can set up an experience that suits your style!

—A message will appear in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen when your progress is being automatically saved.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Nicknames

If a Pokemon you received in a trade doesn’t have a nickname, you’ll now have the chance to give it a nickname—but only once! Speak to the man standing behind the left-hand counter in any Galar region Pokemon Center—this jack-of-all-trades is sure to help you out!

Note that, just as in previous titles, you won’t be able to change the name of a traded Pokemon that already has a nickname.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

■ Many Brand-New Items and Features to Help You Raise Your Pokemon

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will introduce new items and features that can help you raise your Pokemon! Get your favorite Pokemon all trained up, and enjoy your adventure with them!

Mints

Mints are items that will make their first appearance in these games. They’ll impact which stats of your Pokemon are likely to grow faster than usual! Each Pokemon has a Nature, and this Nature can impact which of the Pokemon’s stats are likely to grow faster or slower than average. Using a Mint on a Pokemon seems to change these stat-growth patterns! However, a Pokemon’s Nature itself won’t change even if you use a Mint.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Special Supplements

Nutritious drinks like Protein and Iron raise a Pokemon’s base points, which in turn help raise that Pokemon’s stats. Until now, there has been a limit on how many of these items could be used on a Pokemon. However, in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, you’re now able to max out a Pokemon’s base points using only these supplements!

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

If two Pokemon are of the same species but one has more base points, the Pokemon with more base points will grow to be stronger!

Exp. Candies

Normally, your Pokemon earn Exp. Points through battles. But if you use an Exp. Candy, you’ll be able to give your Pokemon Exp. Points directly! You can earn these Candies in Max Raid Battles, so collect a bunch and level up your Pokemon in a flash!

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Egg Moves

Sometimes, a Pokemon hatched from an Egg will know unusual moves called Egg Moves. These Egg Moves are moves that the Pokemon wouldn’t normally be able to learn through more common means, like leveling up or using TMs. In these games, if you leave two Pokemon of the same species at the Pokemon Nursery together, an Egg Move that one of them knows can be passed on to the other Pokemon!

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

■ We Now Know the Best Times to Meet Gigantamax Butterfree and Other Rare Pokemon

In Max Raid Battles, four Trainers team up to take on a wild Dynamax Pokemon. But in extremely rare cases, a Gigantamax Pokemon can appear instead of a Dynamax Pokemon. Normally, your chances of encountering a Gigantamax Pokemon are very, very small. However, we’ve discovered that certain Gigantamax Pokemon become more common during specific time periods!

From Friday, November 15, 2019, until early January 2020, players will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Butterfree in Max Raid Battles.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

During this same period, players of Pokemon Sword will also be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Drednaw and players of Pokemon Shield will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Corviknight!

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

And it seems there may even be other Gigantamax Pokemon that could appear more often than usual, so be sure to give Max Raid Battles a try!

We suspect that the Gigantamax Pokemon you’re likely to encounter will change over time, too, so stay tuned!

Note: To enjoy the above feature, you’ll need to connect to the internet.

■ Announcing the Very First Online Competition: Galar Beginnings

We’re proud to announce the first official competition for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield!

  • 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 Pokemon: Pokemon obtained in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield
    • Certain special Pokemon will not be allowed.
    • Register three to six of your Pokemon to your Battle Team.
    • All Pokemon in this competition will automatically become Lv. 50 for the duration of each match.
  • Ranking Results Announcement: December 2019
  • Notes:
    • Membership in the Nintendo Switch Online (paid) service is required for Online Competition participation.
    • You’ll be able to join the competition by opening the X menu in your game and selecting VS, Battle Stadium, and then Online Competitions. There’s no need to register on the Pokemon Global Link.

In the Galar Beginnings competition, you’ll be able to make your Pokemon huge by Dynamaxing them—or even have their form change by Gigantamaxing them! These effects will last for only three turns per battle, so be sure to use them wisely!

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Further details on the competition regulations will be released in the coming days.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are due out for Switch on November 15.

Watch the trailer below. View the screenshots at the gallery.

Use the coupon code "GEMATSU" for 5% off.

comment policy

Comment Policy

Comments are welcome and encouraged on Gematsu. However, we ask that you follow a simple set of guidelines:

  • Read the full article before commenting.
  • Stay on topic.
  • No drive-by comments, including trolling, baiting, or shit-posting.
  • Know when not to comment. If you do not care about a topic, you do not need to comment.
  • No offensive comments. This includes abusive, threatening, pornographic, misleading, or libelous content / language, as well as general harassment and individual attacks.
  • No port-begging.
  • No console wars.
  • Use spoiler tags when posting spoiler or NSFW (non-nude-only) content. For example: <spoiler>Woe is Leomon.</spoiler> State the subject of the content outside of the spoiler tags.
  • Be respectful towards other commenters. You do not have to agree with each other, but debate politely. If you find that a commenter is not following this simple etiquette, do not carry on the conversation—simply report it.

Gematsu reserves the right to edit or delete any comments without notice. This comment policy is subject to change at any time.