Gamefreak has announced Pokemon Sword & Shield will receive content updates through “Expansion Passes” you can purchase for $29.99 each. These updates will include new areas with brand new Pokemon, characters, stories, and over 200 additional Pokemon from previous generations.
The first Expansion Pass will be named “The Isle of Armor” and will release in June 2020. The second will be named “The Crown Tundra” and will release in fall 2020. Both updates will feature different Pokemon and content for each game.
These Expansion Passes will replace the “third version” of games Gamefreak has always released. Instead of a Pokemon Sword 2 or Pokemon Shield 2, these updates will instead serve to expand the original games.[no_toc]
Gamefreak will also push free software updates to Sword & Shield for those who don’t buy the Passes, which will update the game’s coding with the new and returning Pokemon’s data. This will allow those players to receive Pokemon from the Expansion Passes via trades.
Later today, a software update will be distributed to Sword and Shield that will allow players to encounter Galarian Slowpoke. It will eventually evolve into Galarian Slowbro in Isle of Armor and Galarian Slowking in The Crown Tundra. If players head to Wedgehurst Station, they can also meet a Trainer who will appear in the Expansion Passes. In Sword, you can encounter Klara, while in Shield, you’ll run into Avery.
It was also announced Pokemon HOME will be released in February. No additional details were revealed.
New Pokemon from the Direct Presentation
These include: 1) Gigantamax forms of Blastoise, Venusaur, Rilaboom, Cinderace, Inteleon, and Urshifu 2) Galarian forms of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, and 3) two new Regi Pokemon.
Today, The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo announced new downloadable content for the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games. The Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and the Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass will contain The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra expansions, two separate adventures that will enable fans to meet new characters, catch newly discovered Pokémon, and explore new areas in the Galar region. Available now exclusively on Nintendo Switch™ systems, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch titles of all time and had the highest-grossing launch of any Pokémon games, with more than six million units sold worldwide during launch weekend.
During a Pokémon Direct presentation, The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo also unveiled Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. The game revisits the classic Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, which were originally released in Europe in 2006. Now exclusively on Nintendo Switch systems and with updated visuals and a stunning picture-book art style, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX launches on March 6, 2020.
THE POKÉMON SWORD EXPANSION PASS AND POKÉMON SHIELD EXPANSION PASS
Trainers will be able to jump right into their new adventures with the same save data they have been using to play Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield. They will also be able to begin exploring the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra at almost any point in the main games. Whether a Trainer has just started their adventure in the Galar region or is well along the path to becoming Champion, they will be able to enjoy the new content as soon as it’s released.
The Isle of Armor is scheduled to be released by the end of June 2020, and The Crown Tundra in the autumn of 2020. The Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass, which include both sets of content, will be available for prepurchase for £26.99 starting later today, January 9, 2020. Both expansions will include a new area to explore, newly discoverable Pokémon, clothing items, handy features, and more. In addition, fans can receive special bonuses when purchasing the Expansion Pass: a Pikachu Uniform and an Eevee Uniform. Fans will be able to receive the Pikachu and Eevee Uniforms in Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield by using codes that they will receive after they purchase the Expansion Pass.
The Isle of Armor
In this expansion, Trainers will head to the Isle of Armor, the stage of a new adventure in the Galar region. The Isle of Armor is a giant island full of environments not seen in Galar before. There players will find wave-swept beaches, forests, bogs, caves, and sand dunes. There are also plenty of Pokémon that make this island their home, living freely amid the lush natural surroundings. There’s even a dojo here that specializes in some very particular training styles. Trainers and their Pokémon will take up an apprenticeship under the master of this dojo and train hard to become even stronger.
The Crown Tundra
This expansion is set in the snow-swept realm of the Crown Tundra. The Crown Tundra features a beautiful shining, silvery landscape. In this frigid area, with its jagged winter mountains, people live in small communities where they support and rely on one another. A certain person will appoint the player as the leader of their exploration team in the Crown Tundra, where Trainers will be tasked with investigating the reaches of this frozen land. Here, Trainers will be able to explore the full depth of Pokémon Dens, which they’ve so far only been able to glimpse in Max Raid Battles.
NEWLY DISCOVERED POKÉMON
Kubfu will appear in The Isle of Armor. This Pokémon is hardworking and strives to train both its body and mind. It uses each defeat as motivation, training itself with even more vigor after a loss in order to grow stronger. It has an organ that produces “fighting energy” in its lower abdomen, and before heading into battle, Kubfu will increase this energy through unique breathing techniques and intense focus. Wild Kubfu live in mountainous areas far away from the Galar region, but it was once a species that called Galar its home. It’s noted in historical texts that this species used to head to uncharted lands with people as they set out to trade or explore. Records suggest that the Kubfu living in faraway mountains today may have descended from Kubfu that became naturalized to the distant lands they visited in their journeys.
Urshifu (Single Strike Style) Urshifu (Rapid Strike Style)
Category: Wushu Pokémon Category: Wushu Pokémon
Type: Fighting/Dark Type: Fighting/Water
Height: 6’3″ Height: 6’3″
Weight: 231.5 lbs. Weight: 231.5 lbs.
Ability: Unseen Fist Ability: Unseen Fist
Kubfu will evolve into Urshifu after it has undergone sufficient training. It seems that Urshifu has two forms—a Single Strike Style and a Rapid Strike Style—and it appears that each form has different types as well. Urshifu in Single Strike Style form favor battling without holding anything back. When enraged, they will mercilessly attack an opponent until it is utterly defeated. A Single Strike Style Urshifu’s movements are often direct and involve rushing forward in a straight line. It will keep its distance from its opponents at first only to leap in close instantly to deliver a powerful blow. Urshifu in Rapid Strike Style form maintain a calm demeanor, observing their opponents and measuring their strength while dodging attacks. A Rapid Strike Style Urshifu will use flowing movements in battle to smoothly parry an opponent’s moves and then overwhelm the opponent with a flurry of rapid strikes.
Gigantamax Urshifu (Single Strike Style) Gigantamax Urshifu (Rapid Strike Style)
Category: Wushu Pokémon Category: Wushu Pokémon
Type: Fighting/Dark Type: Fighting/Water
Height: 95’2″+ Height: 85’4″+
Weight: ??? lbs. Weight: ??? lbs.
Ability: Unseen Fist Ability: Unseen Fist
Single Strike Style Urshifu and Rapid Strike Style Urshifu also have Gigantamax forms. Gigantamax Single Strike Style Urshifu looks ready to bellow in fury. People call it both “the very embodiment of rage” and “a divine emissary that banishes evil spirits with its fury.” Gigantamax Rapid Strike Style Urshifu will quietly maintain its stance with a calm expression. When facing this Pokémon, it seems some will become greatly agitated, feeling as if the very depths of their soul have been exposed. Yet others report feeling a sense of relief, as if they’d been cleansed of evil spirits.
Trainers will encounter Calyrex in The Crown Tundra. This Pokémon ruled all of Galar in ancient times. Though it appears delicate and slight, its every move is filled with grace and dignity. It also has extremely high intelligence, and it’s said to see every past, present, and future event.
GIGANTAMAX FORMS OF FIRST PARTNER POKÉMON FROM POKÉMON SWORD AND POKÉMON SHIELD
The Isle of Armor expansion will allow Trainers to help some of the Pokémon traveling with them gain the ability to Gigantamax. This has led to the discovery of the Gigantamax forms for Rillaboom, Cinderace, and Inteleon, the Evolutions of the three Pokémon that Trainers could choose as their first partner in the Galar region.
Rillaboom’s tree-stump drum has grown rapidly—to the point that it now resembles a small forest on its own. Gigantamax Rillaboom has merged with this forest of drums and become even more powerful. It can control its sticks as if they were its own limbs and will demonstrate transcendental drumming techniques. Gigantamax Rillaboom will focus completely on playing its drums, compelled by the power welling up inside it. The sound can reach across oceans and be heard by those living in other regions. It’s said that those who hear the beat will begin to dance uncontrollably, overwhelmed by a rhythm that surges from inside them.
Category: Striker Pokémon
Weight: ??? lbs.
The burning ball at Cinderace’s feet has grown to massive proportions thanks to Gigantamax energy. If Gigantamax Cinderace kicks the ball using its well-honed techniques, its fighting spirit will possess the ball and cause the ball to pursue opponents as if it had a mind of its own. Gigantamax Cinderace boasts incredible leg strength–in fact, its legs are said to rank among the strongest of all Pokémon. Even without its gigantic Pyro Ball, it can deliver powerful kicking moves that overwhelm other Dynamax Pokémon.
Category: Secret Agent Pokémon
Weight: ??? lbs.
Inteleon has gained an extremely long tail thanks to Gigantamaxing. The tail’s length is said to be over 130 feet. While Gigantamaxed, Inteleon will stretch its long tail out and hold it straight to form a pillar, and Inteleon will take up a battle position at the top. This Pokémon has an incredibly sharp mind and calculates the precise effects that gravity will have on the trajectory of its shots, enabling it to be an extremely effective sniper. Inteleon has many hidden tools within its body, and these have also been enhanced due to its Gigantamaxing. The nictitating membranes on its eyes not only allow it to measure the distance to the target—they now let Inteleon detect temperature, air pressure, and even humidity. Inteleon is a skilled sniper as well—easily hitting a Berry that’s rolling around over nine miles away.
REGIONAL FORMS OF FAMILIAR POKÉMON
Regional forms of certain Pokémon are found in Galar. These forms have adapted to the unique environment of the Galar region and look different than the same species might look when found in other regions. These adapted forms are known as the Galarian forms of those Pokémon, and it seems their behavior also differs from that of their species’ previously discovered forms.
The Slowpoke of the Galar region used to eat the seeds of a certain plant that grew in their habitat. These seeds were in fact Galarica seeds, used to this day as an essential spice for cooking in the Galar region. The Slowpoke in Galar built up particles of this spice in their bodies over several generations, eventually gaining the unique appearance and behavior they are known for today. Galarian Slowpoke spend their days wallowing on seashores and riverbanks without thinking about anything in particular. Occasionally, they might get a very sharp look in their eyes, but they will soon revert to their zoned-out expression. It’s thought that this behavior is caused by the accumulated Galarica particles stimulating Galarian Slowpoke’s brain, resulting in it thinking of something tremendous—only for the Galarian Slowpoke to immediately forget what it had just thought of. Galarian Slowpoke can evolve into Galarian Slowbro if an item that can be found on the Isle of Armor is used. It can evolve into Galarian Slowking instead if an item that can be found in the Crown Tundra is used.
MORE PAST POKÉMON AVAILABLE TO OBTAIN IN POKÉMON SWORD AND POKÉMON SHIELD
Many Pokémon that didn’t originally appear in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield make their homes on the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra. Trainers will meet a lively array of diverse Pokémon, from newly discovered Legendary Pokémon and new regional forms to familiar Pokémon that have been seen living in other regions. Free updates are also planned for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield to coincide with the release of these expansions. Updates are scheduled for the same days that The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra expansions are released. Each of these updates will enable players who haven’t purchased an Expansion Pass to receive Pokémon that will be added via The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra expansions through means such as trading. Players will also be able to bring over past Pokémon to their games from the cloud service Pokémon HOME, scheduled to launch in February 2020, as long as the Pokémon appear in The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra expansions.
Fans will be able to obtain a special training uniform in The Isle of Armor. They will be ready to face any challenge thanks to their new outfit, and it will be sure to get them ready in both body and mind for their upcoming training. In The Crown Tundra, Trainers can don exploration gear to prepare themselves for researching the many intriguing destinations the tundra holds. They might find a strange temple where they least expect it or a mysterious giant tree growing in a place it doesn’t seem to belong.
During their adventure, Trainers will run into many interesting characters.
A man named Mustard will appear in The Isle of Armor and will be responsible for the player’s training. He’s a legendary Trainer who held the seat of Champion for an astounding 18 years, back before Dynamaxing was incorporated into the battles of the Pokémon League. His record has yet to be beaten. In fact, Champion Leon himself trained under Mustard, and Mustard was the first one to recognize Leon’s latent talent.
There are two new rivals that can appear in The Isle of Armor: Klara and Avery. They’re skilled Trainers of Poison-type Pokémon and Psychic-type Pokémon, respectively, and they’re training hard so that they can someday set up a Gym and stadium for their own type. Trainers will face a different rival depending on which game they’re playing. Klara specializes in Poison-type Pokémon and is training hard at Mustard’s dojo. She’ll do just about anything to appear adorable and cute, as popularity is what she admires most of all. She goes about her days with a smile on her face, but hiding behind it is a calculating nature that she puts to very good use. Avery is one of the Trainers who strive to become stronger at Mustard’s dojo, and he is a proficient user of Psychic-type Pokémon. He is gentlemanly and well-mannered but also very proud.
NEW FEATURES ADDED IN THE ISLE OF ARMOR AND THE CROWN TUNDRA
There will be over one hundred new clothing items added in The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. In The Isle of Armor, Trainers will also find new items that will help them along their journey, like an Exp. Charm that’ll come in handy when leveling up their Pokémon. New tutor moves that have never been available in past Pokémon core series games will appear in The Isle of Armor expansion along with Restricted Sparring, where Trainers will be limited in what types of Pokémon they can use and forced to battle under set conditions. In The Crown Tundra expansion, Trainers and their friends will be able to enter and explore Pokémon Dens in a new gameplay feature. Deep inside these dens, they’ll have a chance to encounter Legendary Pokémon from previous Pokémon core series games.
Many Pokémon not found in Galar’s Wild Area make their home on the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra. Trainers will have their Galar Pokédexes updated so that they can register even more Pokémon as they discover them. In The Isle of Armor, players will aim to complete the Isle of Armor Pokédex, while in The Crown Tundra, they’ll be working on the Crown Tundra Pokédex.
There are Pokémon Dens on the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra, just like in the Wild Area. When Trainers check out a Pokémon Den that has a pillar of red light coming out of it, they’ll be able to participate in a Max Raid Battle. These are battles where the player will team up with three other Trainers to take on a Dynamax Pokémon. In the Pokémon Dens on the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra, Trainers will be able to encounter Pokémon that aren’t found in the Wild Area. They’ll be able to invite friends to join these Max Raid Battles—and not just friends who are playing using the Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass or Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass. Players will be able to have even friends who are playing Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield without an Expansion Pass come and join them.
SNEAK PEEK AT POKÉMON SWORD AND POKÉMON SHIELD EXPANSION PASS AVAILABLE VIA UPDATE
Starting later today, January 9, 2020, an update will be distributed for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield players that will allow them to experience a small slice of the Expansion Pass’s new content. Once they’ve received the update, players will need to head to Wedgehurst Station. There, they’ll meet a Trainer who will appear in the Expansion Pass content. In Pokémon Sword, Trainers will encounter Klara, while in Pokémon Shield, they’ll run into Avery. Players can even add a Galarian Slowpoke to their team. It doesn’t matter whether players have purchased the Expansion Pass or not—anyone who’s playing Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield will be able to experience the beginning of the Expansion Pass’s story.
SPECIAL POKÉMON SWORD AND POKÉMON SHIELD EXPANSION PASS PURCHASE BONUS
If Trainers purchase the Expansion Pass, they’ll be able to receive a Pikachu Uniform and an Eevee Uniform as a special purchase bonus. They’ll be able to wear these outfits in the expansions but also in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.