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. Expert_Occultist Magic card player


    Ah, I love when games like this keep giving us features that make battling with actual people with optimized pokemon easier.

    *sees zweilous*

    The Fish likes this.
  2. The Rhyperior I am still Mr. Rhyperior
    The Rhyperior


    After all of the leak bombs over the past couple of days, (seriously, I took advantage of it at my own risk) the new info is great for us like me that are competitive-minded. Allowing to change nature and modified egg moves are already been known before but we got an info. No PC boxes in the overworld is fine. We've seen that on Let's Go! and EXP Candies make sense since according to the, Exp. Share isn't a thing anymore and it cannot be turned off, meaning the shared effect of the Exp. Share is now implied in the game. Plus, it is confirmed (they didn't remove videos about it), that Chansey and Audino won't be in the game.
  3. Yaginku Aspiring Trainer


    It would be easier if you've replied to the arguments I've actually written down, not your own assumptions. I didn't even mention anything about making the game easier or harder - just more or less deep.

    Such as equating "a mechanic" to "handholding". Yes, a game like Zelda gives the player a ton of freedom, but it does not let them do sick drifts in Toyota cars. That's not "handholding", that's the designers setting boundaries on what you can and cannot do.
    I know this might not be immediately understandable, but games are a sum of moving parts, not an unrelated mess of activities. When I played The Witcher 3 on the 1.0 patch, I went with a magic build - only to discover, that magic is absolutely broken and I easily defeated monsters that doubled me in level. I have, indeed, reset my stats and went with a fighter build, but the experience was already soured - the game was designed with only one playstyle in mind and it wasn't mine.
    DarkMatterGaming likes this.
  4. KeoKeo Aspiring Trainer


    Spoilers have already leaked much of the dex and new Pokemon. Be warned that this undermines the approach GF has been taking with releasing this game - their approach being to release as little info to avoid spoiling the players' discoveries in game.

    Need I clarify,
  5. Mysticvulpix Just be chill


    Nintendo and gamefreak’s goal is to accommodate for a younger audience, which is why there is so much hand-holding. Pokémon needs to set the bar low so that timmy Can train his Pikachu without worrying about breeding 25 times. But you can set goals for yourself. Nuzzlockes sound like the thing you’re looking for, as you have control over what goes and what doesn’t. If you want the game to be for experienced players, set it so that you can’t do certain requirements, like box transfer on routes or purchase certain items.
  6. Tytus Expanded Best Format


    Why did they keep the stupid candies in the main series games. They are ruining it.
  7. softsoph Aspiring Trainer


    Okay so, swapping a Pokemon in and out of a box in the past actually always has sealed a Pokemon.
    So what I wonder now is, did they accidentally give people no need to even go back to a Pokemon Center anymore?

    Say I'm training something and it faints, can I now just swap it in and out of my box and get it revived. Honestly I'm not against QoL changes or easier to get competitive tier Pokemon but some of these features really make me scratch my head.
  8. PlatinumDude Aspiring Trainer


    LGPE removed the auto heal when the Pokemon is deposited into the PC. This will most likely carry over to Sword/Shield.
  9. bbb888 One Life. One Dream.


    I have mixed feelings about these new features, but I still have questions....

    1) Can Dynamax Pokemon Mega evolve?? or does going big prevent mega evolution?

    2) Can Mega Pokemon Dynamax?? or can only non-mega Pokemon grow big?

    3) How big is Dynamax Wailord??
  10. ShinySylveon Aspiring Trainer


    Eh, I know you disagree with them, but that was still a very uncharitable reply.

    "handholding" is different imo. It's when the tutorials are too long. This isn't a tutorial, this is part of the gameplay, open-ended, almost sandbox-esque. Which, in a lot of ways, is really great, and I personally love it. But, there is a cost to this. Which is the challenge of trying to manage with limited resources and limited Pokemon. The challenge was never really there, as anyone could just run back to the previous Pokemon Center at any time, but this change makes it apparent that the kind of challenging Pokemon game that a significant portion of the fanbase wanted won't happen, as they're going in the opposite direction.

    The point of a game is to experience something. If you have to imagine it yourself (set limits on yourself), it breaks the immersion. I think the immersion is the thing that players who seek a challenging game want.

    The point of a challenge is to push yourself and try to push the game's limits. If you're holding your own self back, that runs counter to that and breaks the immersion.

    I will say that if all of these new ease-of-life features are post-game only, then it wouldn't take away from the main game's challenge. I don't know if that's really what I'd consider the best way forward or not, but it's an option.
    DarkMatterGaming likes this.
  11. OVERGRO Pokemon is lyfe.


    And guess what? This was extremely annoying. I want the Pokemon from my PC to be fresh, not need to heal at a Pokemon Center before and/or after taking them out of the Box. Just a silly extra step. If Boxes still don't heal there needs to be an option on the PC in Pokemon Centers to heal the whole PC at once.

    Like someone mentioned above, on routes and stuff there is typically nothing stopping you from running or flying back to the previous city to heal your Pokemon. Even in caves like Victory Road, they could either make the cloud / anywhere-PC inaccessible (for the "challenge") or not... Escape Rope mechanics were always a thing.

    If you're the kind of person who never did that, you wouldn't use the PC to heal on routes either. Why would you bother?

    If you are, they just made it easier, faster, more enjoyable to do what you were going to do anyways.

    Whether or not the anywhere-PC heals though (and I hope it does), let's hope for increased difficulty!!
  12. softsoph Aspiring Trainer


    Honestly even if we can heal Pokemon mid-route on second thought it might not even be too bad. Like what's the difference really? Running back to the Pokemon Center and spending your time on that or not doing that. Overall it's literally just a difference in having to do something that uses up some of your time or not having to do something that uses up some of your time.

    I do feel like too many QoL things like this start to feel cheat-ish though. For example when I played Minecraft, there was a minimap mod that allowed you to warp around. Sure, the difference is just walking somewhere or not walking there, but it ends up feeling like you're cheating when you just accelerate a gameplay feature so you don't have to do it anymore.

    In the same way that for example speeding up the Pokemon games in an emulator literally mean the difference between spending hours grinding or not spending hours grinding with the same overall result, but which is more fun?
    I actually can't answer that because grinding for a long time feels like a waste of time but speeding it up feels like cheating to me.
  13. Mimikeon Aspiring Trainer


    So basically, you're assuming that this change will result in a massive change in design that will force you to have to change your party often to enjoy the game? That's definitely a take.

    Just relax. Play the game the way you want and see if anything actually changed. Some of you are just looking for extra reasons to complain at this point. Your made-up definition of game design makes it impossible to take you seriously.
  14. Mimikeon Aspiring Trainer


    It was confirmed ages ago when they revealed version exclusives.
  15. AshCo Talks Too Much.


    Yes, a quality of life change that helps out Living-Dex fillers like myself and people who don't enjoy grinding for hours on end, because it slightly resembles Pokemon Go, is ruining the series.
  16. Skeleton Liar サーナ~
    Skeleton Liar


    I think the difference is more a matter of your outlook on Pokémon games throughout the years. While, I don’t think any of these “QoL” changes are anywhere near infuriating or deal-breaking, if the anywhere-PC was to heal your Pokémon (or not) and you don’t have to go to a Pokémon Center or use items, it feels similar to someone wanting a soda, but not wanting to get up from the couch. Add that on top of years of increased handholding. Things like increasing and helping your ability to train Pokémon and deal with EV’s and IV’s more openly has been a welcome QoL change over the years! But with this anywhere-PC, it’s like... was walking or flying to a Pokémon Center ever really an issue, should you feel the need to go to one? It wasn’t for me. So seeing this just feels like encouraging lazy game play. It’s not an actual issue, it just comes off as off-putting to me.
  17. Yaginku Aspiring Trainer


    Throughout this entire conversation, you haven't once addressed the actual points from my posts - rather, you have resorted to answering poor and made-up parodies of them. This is not worth replying too.

    This is, like, the first year of design, in any study. Features build off of other features. I guess ignorance is bliss.
    There's plenty to complain about SwSh. But it's not the topic of this thread. It wasn't even a discussion on the quality of the feature itself - I said, that it exist, because SwSh is openly an online game. Just the impact it has on what type of game Sword and Shield is.
  18. Card Slinger J #BringBackNationalDex
    Card Slinger J


    I think I know the real reason behind the Sword & Shield backlash in recent months. The problem is that Game Freak thought that they could solve most players' issues with the Pokémon video games by separating the casual players from the competitive players by giving them two separate "main series" games. The casual players ended up getting Let's Go, Pikachu! / Eevee! while the competitive players ended up with Sword & Shield. Competitive players complained about how Let's Go, Pikachu! / Eevee! wasn't Gen 8 or felt like a "main series" game so Game Freak gave them something they could enjoy (or at least that was the plan anyway).

    Most of the backlash Sword & Shield is getting is from casual players who make up the vast majority of the Pokémon community as a whole where as competitive players are still niche within the community. Most of them migrated to Pokémon Showdown due to the "main series" games being too tedious and time consuming which seemed to have been fixed in Sword & Shield. So until then they had no reason to care about VGC events since Gen 5. Game Freak is simply reaching out to this minority which is angering the casual community.
  19. Skeleton Liar サーナ~
    Skeleton Liar


    I really think it’s the complete opposite of what you said in the second paragraph. For one example, let’s look at the no National Dex issue. The reason why I personally hate everything about this decision (and the excuses for it) is because since Gen 4, I have completed the National Dex in each generation. That’s something that I WANT to do. A casual fan, on the other hand, would not want to bother with something so tedious and daunting.

    Those who are actually competitive—like competing in tournaments—are the ones who could tolerate all of the grindy, RNG elements of training competitive Pokémon. Someone who is more casual wouldn’t want to deal with that mess. However, I think most people would agree that the increase of easing competitive training is a great improvement over the years.

    Everyone knows that Pokémon games are designed with children in mind, but the increase of handholding and oversimplified solutions to problems that didn’t exist are what’s been off putting for me. (And pandering to a super casual audience that hasn’t played a game since Gen 1–but whoa!! Look at that giant Pikachu!! Remember Pikachu?! I mean, if that kind of marketing somehow gets more people to buy the games, that’s a good thing. But in the meantime, to me, it’s just obnoxious because there are 700 other Pokémon outside of Gen 1 that could use attention.)
  20. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    Funny thing is none of this matters to me since I wont be buying the game. No Pidgey, no sale.