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Everything We Know About Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield is the 8th generation of the long-awaited Pokémon series. Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct revealed more information about the upcoming game, from multiplayer co-op raids, newPokémon, Dynamax battles and of course its release date on November 15th. Here’s yesterday’s awesome new trailer in case you missed it.


Pokémon Sword and Shield Is Set In Galar

Game Freak‘s Shigeru Ohmori, who is directing the games, has described Galar as: “An expansive region with many environments, containing idyllic countryside and contemporary cities, vast planes and craggy snow-covered mountains.”

Galar features something called the Wild Area, which is a new addition to the franchise. This wilderness between towns and cities is the ideal place to hunt for Pokémon, and the game even allows you to take control of the camera viewpoint to search for critters in the Wild Area’s hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Weather conditions will affect which Pokémon you find.

And, as for the sort of society that exists in Galar, Shigeru Ohmori has said: “The people and Pokémon live here, and they’ve worked together to develop the industries in the region.” Similar to the world of Detective Pikachu? It seems that Galar is a region where Pokémon have a bit more of a function beyond just battling.


The Starters

Veteran Pokémon trainers will be familiar with the three starter Pokémon conundrum. Pokémon Sword and Shield look like it’s going back to its roots with its new starter set: Grookey, the grass-chimp Pokémon; Scorbunny, the fire-rabbit Pokémon; and Sobble, the water-lizard Pokémon.

Here’s how Shigeru Ohmori describes the options that you’ll be presented with by Pokémon Sword and Shield: “The chimp Pokémon Grookey – this mischevious Pokémon is full of boundless curiosity. The rabbit Pokémon Scorbunny, which is always running around – bursting with energy! And the water-lizard Pokémon Sobble – a bit timid, shooting out attacks as it hides in the water.”


What Is Dynamax?

Dynamax is a way of making your Pokémon grow in size and enhance its abilities. Players will only be able to use this ability once per battle and the Pokemon will only remain in its Dynamax form for three consecutive turns before returning to normal. Watch out though because your opponents can use it, too, so you’ll need to choose wisely if you don’t want to squander a potential advantage.

Dynamaxing can be done during gym battles, raids, and trainer battles. According to the presentation, you’ll need to master Dynamaxing if you want to become a full-fledged trainer.


How Does Multiplayer Work?

Now that Pokémon can max out on steroids with Dynamax you’re going to need some additional help taking them out in the wild. Here comes Max Raid Battles! This mode lets you and up to three others battle a giant, wild Dynamax Pokémon together. You’ll be able to play with nearby friends using local wireless play as long as they each have their own copy of the game and their own console. You can also participate in raids with other online players as long as you have a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

You’ll need to strategize with your fellow raiders since only one of you will be able to use the Dynamax form on your Pokémon. Max Raid Battles take place in the Wild Area, that large section of the map that stretches between towns. This raid battle is a pretty similar mechanic to that explored in Pokémon Go. But this time you’ll be able to summon giant holographic Pokéballs to try and catch these big beasties, which should be fun. I’m not sure we can call them pocket monster anymore.


That’s all we know so far about Pokémon Sword and Shield but stay tuned to Unpause for more information!