During the latest Pokemon Direct online presentation, GAME FREAK inc. announced Pokemon Sword and Shield’s release date, showed off gameplay, and shed light on the new location for this latest adventure — the Galar Region. Here’s everything you need to know about Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for the Nintendo Switch.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Release Date

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for Nintendo Switch release date is November 15, 2019. Like past entries, it will be available in all region on the day.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Dynamax Phenomenon explained

New to Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield is the Dynamax Phenomenon. Developer Game Freak describes this as a phenomenon unique to certain locations in the Galar region where Pokemon can take on massive appearances during battle. Game Freak states it’s a integral part of Pokemon battles in Galar. Aside from a size upgrade, all moves of the supersized Pokemon turn into powerful Max Moves. These have special effects. For example, the Normal-type Max Move, Max Strike, has the additional effect of lowering the Speed stat of an opponent it hits. The Max Moves the player’s Pokemon can use are determined by the kind and types of moves they knew before Dynamaxing.

How Pokemon Gyms Work in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield

In the Galar region, Pokemon Gyms are found in stadiums. They attract trainers that are expert in specific Pokemon types such as Milo. He’s the Grass Gym leader for Galar. Like most Pokemon games, your objective is to be the Pokemon Champion. In order to do so you’ll need to defeat the number one trainer in each Gym. While this is par for the course, spectators flock to the Gym Stadium to view these battles which usually have Dynamax Pokemon. Matches are also broadcast through Galar.

Raids in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Explained

Max Raid Battles are a new battle format that takes place in the Wild Area, in which the player will team up with three other Trainers to take on a wild Dynamax Pokemon. Trainers will then get a chance to catch the wild Dynamax Pokemon if they manage to defeat it—but it won’t go down easily. The wild Dynamax Pokemon remain in their giant form the entire battle and have other unique powers. Close teamwork is the key to success, because only one Trainer involved in the battle can Dynamax their Pokemon. Some Pokemon can only be caught in Max Raid Battles. Max Raid Battles can become even more fun when the player connects with friends to battle together via Nintendo Switch Online. If three other Trainers aren’t available to participate in Max Raid Battles, support Trainers will automatically be added to the player’s team to help battle the wild Dynamax Pokemon.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Characters

Leon is the current Champion of the Galar region and has never been defeated in an official Pokemon battle. Extremely popular for his skill and personality, Leon holds the title of “the greatest Trainer in all of Galar.”

Hop is Leon’s younger brother and will become one of the player’s rivals. The player and Hop are neighbors and begin their journey to become Champion on the same day.

Professor Magnolia is the preeminent Pokemon Professor of the Galar region. The main focus of her research has been the Dynamax phenomenon.

Sonia is the granddaughter of Professor Magnolia as well as being Leon’s childhood friend. Besides being very knowledgeable and willing to offer helpful advice to the player, Sonia is also a young researcher and Professor Magnolia’s assistant.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Legendaries

The Legendary Pokemon Zacian and Zamazenta are shrouded in mystery and are unknown even to those who live in the Galar region. Zacian’s attacks are so graceful that its movements captivate opponents. Holding what appears to be a sword in its mouth, Zacian’s shining blade can cut through anything. With majestic movements and what appears to be a shield covering its body, Zamazenta can turn back any attack and overwhelm any opponents that dare face it.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Starters

Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble are three Pokemon that players can choose to be their first partner. Newly discovered details for these Pokemon include the following.

Grookey

  • Category: Chimp Pokemon
  • Type: Grass
  • Height: 1′
  • Weight: 11 lbs.
  • Ability: Overgrow

The stick that Grookey holds, originally from the forest where groups of Grookey live, is imbued with special powers after being exposed to the energy within Grookey’s body. Its green fur creates energy from sunlight. When Grookey drums with its stick near wilted flowers and leaves, they regain their colour.

Scorbunny

  • Category: Rabbit Pokemon
  • Type: Fire
  • Height: 1′
  • Weight: 9.9 lbs.
  • Ability: Blaze

Scorbunny uses its powerful legs to confuse and disorient its opponents by running and jumping around them. Because the soles of its feet can become very hot, Scorbunny’s kick can burn and damage opponents, too. With a sac in its chest containing viscous fire energy, Scorbunny can increase its heart rate and body temperature by running around. This awakens the true power of its fire energy and greatly increases its physical abilities.

Sobble

  • Category: Water Lizard Pokemon
  • Type: Water
  • Height: 1′
  • Weight: 8.8 lbs.
  • Ability: Torrent

When Sobble touches water, its body changes its pattern and color, allowing it to blend into its surroundings. A rather timid Pokemon, Sobble will secrete the water within its body like sweat and disappear into its surroundings when nervous or embarrassed. With tears that are as potent as a hundred onions, Sobble will start to bawl if it feels threatened, spreading its tears around the area and causing everyone around it to start crying uncontrollably. Sobble will then use this distraction as a chance to escape.