New ‘Sword & Shield’ Info, Easier to Train Competitive Pokemon and More!

A new trailer and press release have been released for Sword & Shield. Revealed are easier ways to train competitive Pokemon, the first Gigantamax Pokemon raid schedule, the first SwSh online competition, and other tidbits.

Bellevue, WA—November 6, 2019—The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo today announced a specific time period when Trainers will be more likely to encounter certain Gigantamax Pokémon in the highly anticipated upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games. The first Online Competition—Galar Beginnings—and new items and features were also revealed. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are launching on November 15, 2019, exclusively on Nintendo Switch™ systems.

Increased Chance of Encountering Gigantamax Pokémon
In Max Raid Battles, four Trainers can team up to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon. In extremely rare cases, a Gigantamax Pokémon can appear instead of a Dynamax Pokémon. Only certain species of Pokémon can Gigantamax—and even among such species, only very rare specimens will be able to.

From Friday, November 15, 2019, until early January 2020, players will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Butterfree in Max Raid Battles. Gigantamaxing changes a Pokémon’s size, power, and appearance and allows it to use a G-Max Move. A connection to the internet will be required to participate in Max Raid Battles.

New Items and Features for Training Pokémon
New items that will help Trainers raise their Pokémon will be introduced in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

Each Pokémon has a Nature that can impact which of its stats are likely to grow faster or slower than average. Using a Mint on a Pokémon seems to change these stat-growth patterns and will impact which stats of a Pokémon are likely to grow faster than usual. Mints will not change a Pokémon’s Nature.

Special supplements—nutritious drinks like Protein and Iron—raise a Pokémon’s base points, which in turn help raise that Pokémon’s stats. If two Pokémon are of the same species but one has more base points, the Pokémon with more base points will grow stronger. Until now, there has been a limit on how many special supplements could be used on a Pokémon. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Trainers will be able to max out a Pokémon’s base points using only these supplements.

Normally, Pokémon earn Exp. Points through battling. If a Trainer uses an Exp. Candy, they will be able to give their Pokémon Exp. Points directly. Exp. Candy can be earned in Max Raid Battles.

Sometimes, a Pokémon hatched from an Egg will know unusual moves called Egg Moves. Egg Moves are moves that a Pokémon normally wouldn’t be able to learn through more common means, like leveling up or using TMs. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, if two Pokémon of the same species are placed at a Pokémon Nursery together, an Egg Move that one them knows can be passed on to the other Pokémon. A Pokémon can only learn an Egg Move in this way when it knows three or fewer moves.

New Features Including Changes to Pokémon Boxes, Autosave Functionality, and Pokémon Nicknames for Traded Pokémon
There are many new features that will be introduced in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield that are designed to make a Trainer’s adventure easier to enjoy.

Pokémon that aren’t on a Trainer’s team can be deposited into Pokémon Boxes. In these games, Trainers will not only be able to access their Pokémon Boxes in various towns and facilities but also while they’re on the road or even when exploring tall grass. Pokémon can be swapped in and out of a Trainer’s team whenever the Trainer wants, though there are a few places, such as mission areas where a Trainer takes on a Pokémon Gym, where Trainers won’t be able to access their Pokémon Boxes.

Saving the game diligently has always been a part of a Pokémon adventure but in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Trainers can take advantage of the new autosave function. The autosave function will automatically save a player’s progress during their adventure at various points, such as entering a town or building. Although the function is automatically enabled when a Trainer begins their adventure, it can be turned off so saves can be made manually. Even when autosave is on, it is still possible to save progress in the game manually. Trainers can choose how they would like to save in the Options menu.

If a Pokémon that has been received in a trade doesn’t have a nickname, Trainers will now have the chance to give it a nickname—but only once. This can be achieved by speaking to the man standing behind the left-hand counter in any Galar region Pokémon Center. Like previous Pokémon video games, the name of a traded Pokémon that already has a nickname cannot be changed.

Galar Beginnings
The first official Online Competition for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, Galar Beginnings, will be held in December 2019 and will be accepting participants from across the globe.

Competition Name: Galar Beginnings
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 Pokémon: Pokémon obtained in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield

  • Zacian, Zamazenta, Mew (contained in the Poké Ball Plus), and some other special Pokémon are not eligible.
  • Players can register three to six of their Pokémon to their Battle Team.
  • All Pokémon in this competition will automatically become Lv. 50 for the duration of each match.

Ranking Results Announcement: December 2019

Players will be able to join the competition by opening the X menu in their game and selecting VSBattle Stadium, and then Online Competitions. There is no need to register on the Pokémon Global Link. Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for online features. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features. Terms apply.

More details regarding competition regulations will be released at a future date.


An overview trailer has also been released:

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  1. MtSilverHermit Aspiring Trainer


    Too much Pokemon Go influence in my main series game :/
    Tytus likes this.
  2. Yaginku Aspiring Trainer


    "Pokémon that aren’t on a Trainer’s team can be deposited into Pokémon Boxes. In these games, Trainers will not only be able to access their Pokémon Boxes in various towns and facilities but also while they’re on the road or even when exploring tall grass. Pokémon can be swapped in and out of a Trainer’s team whenever the Trainer wants, though there are a few places, such as mission areas where a Trainer takes on a Pokémon Gym, where Trainers won’t be able to access their Pokémon Boxes."

    Isn't the entire point of the "Pokemon party" to be limited to six Pokemon?
    Sure, you can't swap mid-battle, but the entire part of going through a route with the right team and surviving until the next PokeCenter is gone.
    Tytus and Ev1l like this.
  3. Orias Still waiting for a shiny gastly card.


    What exactly?
  4. snoopy369 Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    I think that many people consider that relatively un-fun, and so they removed the requirement. You can still play with that requirement yourself, should you choose to; I find that a good compromise.
    bbb888, The Fish and Number51x like this.
  5. VuDu-JuJu Intergalactic Trainer/Hitchhiker


    Important note: all of these features are OPTIONAL. There's no point being mad about ease-of-access features that you don't actually have to use if you don't want to. Not everyone enjoys certain aspects of the games and these features are designed to make the experience more fun for those that don't. If you want to brave the wilds without switching out Pokemon, for example, you can still do that. Reminder that wanting to force players to play the game the way *you* want them to/believe they should is gatekeeping.
  6. Yaginku Aspiring Trainer


    This is one of those arguments that I absolutely hate. This is not an accessibility issue, this is a design issue. Following this logic, you could demand every game to be infinitely moldable - free levels, free stats, free OHKOs on any enemy - this is all fine as cheats or console commands, but actual design is based on boundaries. Forcing the player to play the game the way you want is literally how game design works.

    Ignoring the fact that Pokemon games are an absolute cakewalk 99% of the time - a six-Pokemon limit can be used to finely-tune the difficulty of each route. Various trainer types can force the player to carefully consider what type combination of Pokemon they should bring to each route. That's depth that could be explored, but has been lost.

    But the real reason this is in the game - SwSh is an MMO. You can meet a player at any time and challenge them to a battle, or find a rift together. They want you to be able to Switch™️ teams on the fly without going to the city.
    PokéTex likes this.
  7. Skeleton Liar サーナ~
    Skeleton Liar


    Whoa.... I will immediately turn autosave off. And the whole always available PC boxes is an odd mix of helpful and defeating certain purposes. I can see a situation where you’re off to catch a specific Pokémon and you need a certain Pokémon for its moves or ability. You’ve been traveling for a while and oops! You absentmindedly forgot it. Now you don’t have to go back to the PC to get it, undoing some progress. But on the other hand, that sort of makes the limitation of 6 Pokémon almost moot? At least while traveling. And doesn’t that almost completely remove the use of healing items? You could just put a Pokémon in the PC while traveling, take it back out, and it’s completely healed with all moves restored. That leaves healing items only useful during battle. Hmm...
  8. SableyeGuy Aspiring Trainer


    Hmm, I’ll get a pokeball plus if i cant get a mew and both swsh and lets go.
  9. Rcxd9999 Aspiring Trainer


    I personally love all these quality of life features. Being able to change the nature of your Pokemon with the mints, combined with the existing Hyper Training and Ability Capsules, as well as the ability to transfer egg moves from Pokemon of the same species, will mean that once a Pokemon reaches lv 100, even Pokemon that would otherwise be useless competitively can be made useful, unless the Pokemon needs a Hidden Ability or the ability to Gigantamax, but that's mostly negligible. Hopefully the mints won't be to difficult to get, especially since there is one for each nature.

    I also like how you can use multiple items at once on a Pokemon rather than monotonously mashing the A button like before. I still remember the old days where you would be forced back to the item selection list each time you used an item on a Pokemon. They then made it more streamlined later on by allowing you to stay on the Party screen while using items but this is much better.

    I also particularly like how you can swap Pokemon in your party and box on the go, rather than fly back to a Pokemon Centre and then go back to whatever route you were on. Based on what I've read, it seems that this ability is enabled by an item (possibly a key item) so you might not get it until after the game but that's just what I want as I probably wouldn't really use it until after the game.

    As for whether or not features like the ability to swap Pokemon anywhere at anytime makes the game too easy, firstly, based on the fact that the ability to do so is an item, you might not be able to obtain it until post game, where it would be most utilised.

    Secondly, for those who still want a challenge, you can just create your own Nuzlocke challenge. The concept of Nuzlocke has existed since Gen 3 if not longer and is how people who want a challenge make Pokemon games more challenging for themselves and is honestly a better idea than forcing everyone to play the same way.

    If these quality of life features make the game too easy for you and you want a challenge, don't use them, can't make it any simpler than that. If you want a challenge but don't want to self-impose one on yourself and instead want the game developers to force everyone to play the same way, then I think it's time you to learn some tolerance.
    The Fish and snoopy369 like this.
  10. Mimikeon Aspiring Trainer


    Next time someone asks me why people mock the Pokemon fanbase, I'll link this post. Jesus. I don't even know where to begin...

    If it's like Let's Go, they'll have simply removed box healing.
    RileyTheRad, Number51x and snoopy369 like this.
  11. bunnybird12 Don't be sad- be hoppy!


    Honestly, I'm not very hyped for these games. Dynamax and Gigantamax are really gimmicky, and other than the more open route style there isn't really anything I'm looking forward to. I feel like the Pokemon games are getting even easier than they already are to accommodate newer players, but there isn't an option for more experienced players who don't want to get into the competitive scene.
    hervul likes this.
  12. Merovingian Dead Game Enthusiast


    Not liking the swap Pokemon out on a whim feature. Part of it is me coming back into the Pokemon franchise in Gen 7 (last ones I played was Pokemon Blue and Crystal) and seeing how much hand-holding there was in Sun & Moon really soured my taste for playing the video game side of things. Make a game challenging through good decision making and light anxiety. Some of the challenge in the older games was going low on resources and available Pokemon and it going from Pokemon to Metal Gear Solid as you try to stealth ops your way into a nearby town.

    The ONLY saving point of autosaving is that it can be turned off. Again, I enjoyed having to occasionaly stealth ops my way into the next town. Not sure if this is a feature carrying over from Let's Go (I don't have a Switch, leave me alone). But at least it's something that caters to new players and people who want a challenge, so there's that.

    Now, I have a question for competitive VG players:

    If I'm interpreting the article correctly, you won't have to stat-breed like crazy to get perfect IV for fighting (but will have to resort to that if you want to have a Pokemon that wants to use Hidden Power), but you'll have to dump A LOT of money for Iron, Protein, etc.
    If this is correct, this is fantastic as this seems like it will curb people from cheating (as much) as well as being more "entry friendly" for people who want to compete but have no clue how to egg-breed competitively.
    fleshrum likes this.
  13. Sabaku Aspiring Trainer


    Under normal circumstances, there's nothing stopping people from dodging all wild encounters with a Smoke Ball to make a break for the Center between battles. Having instant access to the box just quickens the process.
    OVERGRO likes this.
  14. Rcxd9999 Aspiring Trainer


    Nutrients like Iron and Protein boost your EVs not your IVs. EVs (effort values) are usually earnt by battling and you can gain the specific types of EVs you need by battling the same type of Pokemon again and again. Nutrients allow you to raise a Pokemon's specific EV stat by 10 points, out of a max of 255. Due to there being items and methods that help you gain more EVs by grinding wild Pokemon, almost no one spends money on nutrients due to it being cheaper, easier and sometimes quicker to just grind wild Pokemon if you know what you're doing.

    IVs (individual values) are set as soon as you obtain a Pokemon, either by catching it or by breeding it, and with the exception of Hyper Training introduced in Gen 7, can not be altered in anyway.

    As for any quality of life features curbing cheating, highly unlikely. It's all about time and ease of access. Sadly, it'll always be easier to just create a perfect Pokemon, rather than go through all the steps to breed and train a Pokemon to perfection, and when creating a competitive team, if cheating is an option, people will use it to save time and hassle sadly.

    There is one function of cheating that I do condone however and that is getting past event Pokemon and region exclusive event Pokemon, especially with all the Japanese exclusive Pokemon that we will never get otherwise. Other than that, I don't condone cheating, but all the new quality of life features mean that we can at least somewhat keep up with them.
  15. Number51x Blasting off at the speed of light!


    True. Important to remember this is supposed to be fun, not a job.
  16. Skeleton Liar サーナ~
    Skeleton Liar


    Ah, okay. I didn’t play either Let’s Go games, so I wasn’t aware this was already a feature. Then I certainly hope they also removed box healing in these games too. That at least seems like a good compromise for adding the convenience of access to the PC from anywhere.
  17. Yaginku Aspiring Trainer


    That's a great way of saying nothing at all.
    It's not related to Pokemon, it's a general consensus. There is a difference between something like a cheat/command and a mechanic. The second implies that you're designing other elements with it in mind. Same thing actually applied to Exp Share - "just turn it off if you don't like it" doesn't work, when the entire game is balanced with it in mind.
    DarkMatterGaming likes this.
  18. Wechselbalg


    Vitamins were used before to raise EVs and not IVs, but vitamins didn't raise any EV beyond 100. I think this new feature will now enable players to use vitamins to max out EVs but breeding will still be required for the IV spread you want. I could be wrong though, since it's not clear from the trailer if by "base point" they mean EV or IV. Considering how vitamins worked before, I assume they mean EV. It'd be great though if you were able to correct IVs as well.
  19. Mimikeon Aspiring Trainer


    You must hate games like Breath of the Wild then, and you probably go around berating nuzlockers and speedrunners for violating the spirit of the game.

    You complain about handholding, then you basically claim that the devs should tell you exactly how to play the game and prevent you from playing in other ways. How do you not see how ridiculous and hypocritical this is? What next, you'll say that it's wrong to box your starter because the devs intend for you to use it the whole time?
  20. fleshrum April in Kalos...

    Advanced Member Member

    ...they scrolled past ten on the vitamins and I started shouting. What an excellent quality of life change. Mints sound like a great way to make all my crap shinies amazing....
    OVERGRO and TatsuyaOrimuta like this.