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:

PokéBeach's news commenting system is completely integrated with our forums! , you can reply to this story's forum thread directly on this page with all of the forum's functionality!

  1. His Goominess Galvantula stan
    His Goominess


    Honestly I'm really liking the sounds of all these things. I don't want to say anything for certain until I've played the game, but it's shaping up to possibly be my fave game since B/W/BW2.
    RileyTheRad likes this.
  2. softsoph Aspiring Trainer


    Well like I said, inherently an action such as running back to the Pokemon Center does not add value to the game and it isn't very fun in any way. The only difference between having to do it or not having to do it is theoretically whether you spend time on it or not because it's just not a substantial gameplay feature.
    So does that mean it should just be replaced with accessing healing from anywhere? Absolutely not because adding things like that starts breaking the game and it's very visible if you've ever played any games with cheats on. Once you reduce a game down to instantly being able to perform actions and remove features from the gameplay loop, things get weird and unfun.
    Walking back to the Pokemon Center is inherently not a substantial or fun feature, and yet removing that and replacing it with instant healing would feel very wrong. The same way grinding for 2 hours to get a Pokemon's level up is not a very substantial use of your time and neither is it very fun, but remove that and do something like speeding the game up in an emulator and suddenly you just feel empty and lazy and the game feels unrewarding.
    RileyTheRad likes this.
  3. RileyTheRad Awkward PokeTuber


    ok boomer
  4. RileyTheRad Awkward PokeTuber


    This. Pokemon isn't Dark Souls, they've never been challenging titles and they never will be.
  5. Skeleton Liar サーナ~
    Skeleton Liar


    I'll preface this by saying I do have patience for certain aspects of games with a slower pace, like JRPG's. (Also, I'm not trying to argue, and I know you aren't either. All I'm trying to do is explain why something like this is off putting to me. But my posts can be long-winded, and I'm sure that can seem argumentative.)

    I just don't see how traveling to a Pokemon Center to access a PC is really that time-consuming. While you're playing through the story, one of the first things you do upon reaching a new town is visit the Pokemon Center. So if you need to access the PC, there it is; you didn't have to make a special trip for it. While progressing through a route, If for some reason you feel the need to go back and get a Pokemon from the PC, it shouldn't take too long to reach the Center again since routes are typically short in more recent games. Travelling to and from the Center might take 2 minutes? (Caves, however, could certainly take longer.) But now what reason would you have to get a Pokemon from the PC mid-route? HM's are no longer a thing, so you wouldn't need to get the right Pokemon to progress if it wasn't on your team. And if you have 6 Pokemon on your team and you catch a new Pokemon, the game now asks you if you want the new one on your team and to choose which Pokemon to send to the PC, which was a great change. So you don't have to travel to a Center if you immediately want that new Pokemon on your team. Once you get Fly (or its equivalent), reaching a PC is a short cut scene away. So I don't know how spending this small amount of time is a hindrance in modern generations.

    With there being even fewer reasons to access a PC mid-travel, this new everywhere-PC just seems pointless. I'm assuming since this was in the Let's Go games and that didn't heal your Pokemon, it'll be the same in SwSh, which I suppose makes this relatively harmless. But the reason I don't care for it is what I said in my last post to someone else: 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. I don't need the games to be difficult to think they're fun. But I also don't see the need for games to treat the player like a simpleton. Not to sound like a curmudgeon shaking my cane while saying "kids these days," but that reminds me of my nephew playing Pokemon games. Sun and Moon had characters telling you where to go next AND a map literally showing you where to go at all times, and he somehow still managed to get lost and asked me for help. He was probably 10 at the time. I know he's not dumb, but that was shocking to me. Side note, despite having a Switch and 3DS, he tends to gravitate towards garbage-y F2P mobile or PC games. I guess because they tend to give instant gratification? I don't get it. So something like the everywhere-PC seems designed for someone like him that needs instant gratification/access. Maybe it's just an unfortunate side effect of the current times? Oooorrr... if I were to think of anything that's different in SwSh, perhaps that open area really is so big that traveling through it would feel like a gauntlet if you did need access to a PC? Only thing I can think of.
    softsoph likes this.
  6. softsoph Aspiring Trainer


    I know you weren't trying to argue, if anything I was afraid my reply seemed argumentative. I only meant to add to why I personally think that simplification of gameplay features is a bad thing and even doing it with things that seem like they don't hold any value inherently to the player can hugely affect the enjoyment of the player.

    I agree that it seems to have something to do with instant gratification. (This very thing is also what makes f2p games so effective in general. They give instant gratification and then take it away until the player pays money.)
    Instant gratification also has to do with why it's bad to make actions instant and to simplify things too much. I also don't see any use in the everywhere-PC unless they really added something that makes getting your Pokemon in and out on the fly a necessary thing. I was also talking about instant healing the whole time while it is very likely if they added this that the healing from switching Pokemon around in your box has been removed. However even with that removed something about this feature or simplification just feels wrong. Was it really necessary?
    Instant gratification is also the very reason cheats absolutely ruin the enjoyment of games. It seems really like your brain just needs that challenge and that the idea that you have to do something to get the gratification is important for enjoying anything. When you can instantly get shiny Pokemon because of Action Replay, that sounds fun at first thought maybe. "Oh every Pokemon I encounter will be shiny!". But then you actually do it and it's extremely boring. Afterwards shiny Pokemon are less special to you for a while as well until you throw away your cheats and possibly delete the cheated shinies.
    I don't know how kids think anymore as I'm 20 now, but I do remember that as a child in Pokemon Emerald I got stuck a lot and the reason was that I couldn't actually read English but knew enough English to play the game still. I got stuck a lot and there wasn't much visual indication on where to go sometimes, but I still managed to get through.
    Skeleton Liar likes this.
  7. Skeleton Liar サーナ~
    Skeleton Liar


    Oh, good! I was only concerned about me coming off a argumentative. It’s one of those instances where you have a simple thought or opinion, and you fully understand your reason for it in your head. But once you start typing it out, it seems overly complex and way too long! But it sounds like we’re on the exact same page.

    And also totally agreed with you on instant gratification through cheats. It’s one thing if a game offers something like a New Game+ and you get to keep your levels and/or equipment. You beat the game, you earned this, now go have fun. But it’s another if it’s cheating through unearned instant gratification. I certainly had Game Sharks and an Action Replay when I was younger. Instant shinies—whoa!! And even as recently as B&W, I remember requesting someone to get me a shiny Reshiram because I loved how it looks, but it was shiny locked. It wasn’t something to show off or something that had meaning, just something neat. Fast forward to Omega Ruby, I got the Shiny Charm for completing the Pokédex, and with a lot of time and patience, I caught my very own shiny Reshiram—and shiny Cresselia too! They’re irreplaceable and I’m very happy that I legitimately caught them. Not to sound sappy, but cheat codes granting instant gratification can’t compare to that. Shiny hunting isn’t for everyone; it’s very boring. But it’s incredibly satisfying when it works.

    I can understand getting lost in older games, maybe Gen 1 through 3. Certain areas in those games might feel like, “Wait, where do I go next?” But Sun and Moon? Nope.
  8. Card Slinger J #BringBackNationalDex
    Card Slinger J


    This is further proof that Game Freak trying to cater to two different audiences instead of both like they've done in the past has backfired on them tremendously and not in a good way either. It also didn't help matters with all the Kanto pandering in Let's Go, Pikachu / Eevee! either though I can see with the way the game was designed that competitive players felt left out because of it until Sword & Shield was officially announced. Still having that option of completing the National Dex is still ingrained within the foundation of the Pokémon franchise regardless If Game Freak refuses to accept it. I'm guessing that the "Gotta Catch 'Em All!" slogan is more popular outside Japan due to the success of the 4Kids dub.

    I understand why they did it yet at the same time it's alienated more of their devoted customer base that's kept this video game franchise chugging along in sales. I don't think there will be enough people boycotting Sword & Shield to the point where the games sell less than 15 million units worldwide for Game Freak to get the message that they need to listen to consumer feedback and learn from their mistakes going into Gen 9. As much as I'd like for that to happen chances are that they're still going to continue to settle for mediocrity because it's worked for them in the past despite how the community wants a new approach to the video game franchise that's as groundbreaking as Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch.