Pokemon Sword and Shield launch for Nintendo Switch on the 15th of November, and a plethora of new details about both games has been announced, as they were recently revealed as the GameInformer cover title for the month of November. We’ve compiled all the new details into the six key facts about Pokemon Sword and Shield that you probably didn’t know – and why we’re so excited about them.
1) Max Raid Battles Represent The Biggest Challenge
From previously released footage of Pokemon Sword and Shield it was clear that Dynamax and Gigantamax mechanics would see players facing off against giant Pokemon with their own giant Pokemon. However, it’s now been revealed that players will also be able to take part in cooperative Max Raid Battles, which are one of the biggest challenges in the games.
Max Raid Battles were inspired by the Raids in Pokemon Go. The idea is to present players with a challenge that they can’t quite walk right into and conquer straight away. A ranking system will show how much of a challenge each Max Raid Battle is, going from one to five stars. According to the developers, who are already playing a lot of Pokemon Sword and Shield, even they run into issues when taking on these battles. The idea is that players will be able to work together to take down the higher difficulty Max Raid Battles, and players will be able to judge which difficulty they should tackle based on a rating of their Pokemon party. More details about these Max Raid Battles will be revealed when the game launches.
2) Forgetting To Save Or Losing Battery Isn’t An Issue Anymore
If you’re old enough to remember playing the original Pokemon games, like I am, you’ll also remember the dread of your GameBoy losing battery before you’ve had time to save. The number of times I got stuck on a gym leader, turned off my GameBoy, and then realised I hadn’t saved for three hours, is shameful. However, this issue isn’t going to exist in Pokemon Sword and Shield, because the games have an autosave feature.
The developers have implemented this autosave feature to make trading, and difficult Pokemon captures, easier on players. However, for veterans who are stuck in their ways like me, there’s an option to turn off the autosave feature. This will set the game back to the good old days, and if you forget to save, then all your progress is lost. Apparently autosave has also been implemented because it’s harder to reset these Pokemon games since they’re on the Switch. This makes sense, since the GameBoy had one button to turn it off and on, while with the Switch you now need to close the software and shut the console down separately.
Personally I’m looking forward to that feeling of deep regret at forgetting to save, how about you? Tell us about it in the comments.
3) Pokemon That Were Cut From Sword And Shield Will Come Back Eventually
Not a lot of detail was covered on this point, but the developers at Game Freak have confirmed that Pokemon that were cut from Pokemon Sword and Shield will see a return to the games in different regions in the future. Whether this means that more regions will be added to Pokemon Sword and Shield, or that there will be events when these Pokemon can be captured, is still unclear. What is clear is that Game Freak made the cuts in the total number of Pokemon because they wanted to include more unique gameplay features in the games, which they’ve had to sacrifice because of the sheer number of Pokemon in past games.
4) There Are No HMs in Pokemon Sword And Shield
HMs are known as Hidden Machines, and they are moves that could be taught to Pokemon in all the games apart from Sun and Moon. These moves could be used in battle, but their primary purpose was to provide new ways of getting around, such as moving across water with Surf, fast travel with Fly, and unblocking certain areas with Cut. With Sword and Shield these moves are remaining firmly out of the series. The developers felt that the evolution of the games is at the point where it’s better to offer players more ways to get around, and let them figure out how to get to places by themselves.
5) Experience Is Automatically Shared
A device called EXP Share was used in previous Pokemon games to divide up the experience points gained in a battle between Pokemon. This was a way for players to level up their weaker Pokemon, evolve, them, and make them viable in combat without actually using them for a good long time. However, that system is now part of Pokemon Sword and Shield. The game automatically divides up the experience points gained in battles between all Pokemon in the party, meaning all Pokemon will now level up at a constant pace.
As someone who used to put my weakest Pokemon up first and then swap them out of battle in order to level them up, I really appreciate this system. On the other hand, there are a number of Pokemon fans who enjoyed working with each member of their party to keep them at the same level, and now that way of playing Pokemon is dead.
6) Pokemon Can Change
In previous Pokemon titles, the only way to get the perfect Pokemon for certain types of battles was to breed them. This would eventually result in a Pokemon with the right stats, moves, and personality to go into battle with. Pokemon Sword and Shield have a different mechanic that will let players alter these aspects of their Pokemon without spending hours breeding them. Game Freak won’t tell us what this is, but I think it probably has something to do with spending time outside of battles with those Pokemon, and doing certain things with them that will teach them the right moves, help them gain better stats, and alter their personality.
On a side note, I think it would be really cool if you could adopt Pokemon like you can adopt cats and dogs, and nurture them back to health and get them to trust people again after some trauma. Not that I ever want Pokemon to go through trauma of any kind, but maybe the ones that members of Team Rocket have owned or something.
Those are the six brand new facts about Pokemon Sword and Shield discovered so far. Be sure to check back with Power Up Gaming and we’ll update you with everything we know about the games as it develops.