After much waiting – and controversies – Pokemon Sword and Shield finally kicks off the eighth generation of GameFreak’s massively popular franchise on Nintendo Switch. There’s a new region to explore, new Pokemon to capture, new Gym Leaders to fight and Pokemon to Gigantamax. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you out on your journey.
Much like in previous Pokemon titles, you’re not going to want to evolve or even narrowly focus on every Pokemon captured in the early game. Instead, look to create a balanced team especially one that can cover for your starter’s weaknesses. Explore the areas around you and experiment with capturing all kinds of Pokemon. Evolutions for nearly every Pokemon will crop up down the line so don’t worry about putting all your resources and energy into evolving your own from the outset. It’s elementary but still worth remembering, especially for new players.
If you want to up the challenge a bit, look into changing the game’s battle style. Instead of Switch, which asks if you want to change a Pokemon once an opponent’s has fainted, go with Set. This will keep your Pokemon in the fight and force you to deal with potential counters, having to switch without the relative safety provided and so on.
From the outset, you might be tempted to wander around the Wild Area and catch Pokemon willy nilly. However, you’ll find that certain Pokemon are described as “Strong-Looking”. They’re openly roaming and higher in level than any of your current Pokemon. Capturing them isn’t possible – you need Gym Badges to be “allowed” to capture them – you can defeat them and get some XP for your team. Just be careful because some Strong-Looking Pokemon will massively out-level your own and appear more commonly in the Wild Area as you progress through the game.
Inactive Den Farming
When traversing the Wild Area, you might have noticed some glowing beams. These are dens, which serve as battlegrounds against Gigantamax Pokemon. However, if a den isn’t glowing, you can still interact with it to earn Watts. Watts are a currency used in the Wild Area with certain vendors and going to inactive dens will net 50 of them. So even if a raid isn’t available, keep scouring the area for dens and get those Watts.
Though Pokemon Sword and Shield shouldn’t push you to the limit all of the time, there will be some battles – like the Max Raids – where you’ll need help. As such, it’s possible to call in backup and have a friend jump in to help out. Just remember that if your friend has a stronger Pokemno, let them Gigantamax it during the fight (since only one can be active on your side at a time and the overall battle has a turn limit).
In the late game, you’ll have the ability to change a Pokemon’s nature with Nature Mints. Each Mint has its own unique name but will essentially boost one stat while lowering another (with the Serious Mint making all stats equal). After completing the main story, go to the Battle Tower in Wyndon and select three Pokemon to battle with inside. Every win grants three Battle Points and you can purchase a Mint with 50 BP from the vendor.
Mew was initially the toughest Pokemon to unlock in Pokemon Red and Blue but the process to get it in Sword and Shield is more straightforward. First, you need to have unlocked Mew in Pokemon Let’s Go via the Mystery Gift option. You’ll need a Pokeball Plus accessory for the same. Once that’s done, connect the Pokeball Plus to Pokemon Sword and Shield, choose the Mystery Gift option and viola, Mew is available for you. Is it step up from all the crazy glitches in the 90s? We’ll let you decide.
Want to level some Pokemon on the side without having them in every single battle, especially if they’re too weak (and you’re not in the mood for Strong-Looking Pokemon fights)? Try sending them on Poke Jobs. Go to a Pokemon Center and access the Rotomi for a set of jobs. Look for the one that best suits your Pokemon and send them off. Completing the job will net some XP and as more jobs are completed, you’ll get items as well. When a Pokemon has completed a job, you’ll be notified of the same so head back to the Pokemon Center to pick them up.
The Wild Area will be overwhelming especially at the start but it has its perks. If you see something sparkling, walk up and interact with it to get Poke Balls or even items that can fetch a pretty penny. These items will respawn so don’t be afraid to chart a farming route and just explore the Wild Area in the midst of other activities. Also note that Leftovers can be found while exploring, which provide a nice held item for the early going.
Cooking curry is a pretty important activity since it can increase your bond with a Pokemon and bestow different benefits. Curry is made with berries (yes, seriously) and special ingredients, the latter which is abundantly found in the Wild Area. Berries are found in random places but there’s a certain technique to nabbing them from trees. Be careful of shaking the tree too much since it can cause a Pokemon to attack. Instead, look for the intervals between shakes and grab the berries in those moments.