Pokemon Trainer from Pokemon Sword & Shield
Pokemon Trainer from Pokemon Sword & Shield

The Beginner’s Guide for Pokemon: Sword & Shield

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Pokémon Sword and Shield are the newest games in the Pokémon franchise, taking fans back to the Pokémon world. This time, players find themselves in the Galar Region, where Pokémon Battles are the ultimate pastime. Now that the game is available, some players will find themselves wondering about the new features this title has to make the lives of trainers easier. Gaming Instincts is here to tell players what they need to know in order to survive out there in a dangerous world filled with Pokémon, noisy fans, and Dynamax fights.

Meeting Pokémon

The whole point of Pokémon is to build the best team you can in order to defeat the current champion, Leon. The first thing players will notice is Pokémon now walk around in the grass, just like in Pokémon Go Pikachu or Evee. Now, players can simply go up to the Pokémon in the grass to battle them. In addition, smaller Pokémon will notice the player and walk up to them on their own. They won’t actively run at players to fight, but will instead move in front of the trainer to wait for them to choose to leave or battle.

On the other hand, bigger and stronger-looking Pokémon will actively run at the player, and if they manage to touch the player, the game tells them that this Pokémon is “strong-looking”. This tends to mean the Pokémon is about double the player’s level. So, run away if a Pokémon seems to be stronger than the other ones in the grass.

In addition, players can whistle in order to get a Pokémon’s attention, either to move them or single them out to battle. In the case of walking Pokémon, if they happen to be glowing, this means that they either have money or a currency called “watts,” which one can use to purchase items from various vendors found in Wild Area. Make sure to take these guys out whenever possible.

In another note of interest, the Pokémon players can see walking around are not necessarily the only Pokémon one can catch in the grass itself. When an exclamation point appears, run into it for a chance to spawn a rare Pokémon.

As a final note, some Pokémon can blend in with the environment pretty well, so when going up to something that looks strange, be ready for a possible battle.

Wild Area

The Wild Area is a large section of the Galar Region in which trainers will see other players walking around, meet a wide variety of Pokémon, and camp out.

The Wild Area is probably bigger than any other area in the game. It’s so huge that there are separate zones which players can seamlessly walk to in order to catch the Pokémon there.

Camping and Making Curry

When the player pauses the game, they can create a campsite almost anywhere, which make for great resting spots in the Wild Area. In the Wild Area, players can place a campsite to lay down and play with their Pokémon. Along with talking to and throwing balls at the little guys, players can also make curry to get everyone’s health up and statuses fixed. 

The process is pretty easy. The first things needed are the base ingredients, and also berries. Base ingredients can be gathered either from the ingredient seller near the beginning of the Wild Area, or by random players who, when spoken to, will give the trainer random items which may include ingredients. When players put berries in the pot, they should keep in mind the ingredient type. such as “sweet” or “bitter,” as they contribute to making a high-grade dish—as well as making Pokémon with different moods happier.

Next, the player presses the A button to fan the fire. If the player fans too hard, the curry can become burnt. By themselves trainers won’t generally be able to burn their curry, but with other players or NPCs in the camp, the heating process speeds up, so exercise caution. Next, players have to stir the curry. Stirring it up can be tricky to get used to, so keep rotating the stick at a not-too-fast pace.

Finally, players will get to put their love into the dish. This is represented by the outer line closing in on the circle. The timing is dependent on when the heart lands into the dish, not when the player presses the button, so keep the outline halfway before it reaches the inner circle before pressing the A button.

The dish is graded based on ingredients and how well players cook the curry. It will then be placed in the Curry dex, and the player’s Pokémon will be fully healed, and receive increased friendship with the trainer.

Talk to Players and NPCs

Gamers can see other trainers walking around the Wild Area. Though players can view them moving about, they can’t see these other players doing anything else, as their actions affect nothing in the original player’s world. Instead, they must be interacted with through the Y-Comm in order to battle and trade. Otherwise, when a player walks up to another player’s character, the other trainer greets the player, and then might give them an item. These items are extremely useful, as these player NPCs will hand trainers things from curry ingredients to a wide variety of special items to sell for high prices, such as mushrooms and pearls.

Other players aren’t the only people to talk to around the Wild Area. Trainers will sometimes see NPCs standing near the water areas. When talked to, these NPCs will ask the player to give them some “watts” in order to offload something they’ve found. The amount of watts is cheap more often than not, and gatherable without much effort. When given the watts, the fisher will give the player some useful items to sell, such as pearls.

Dynamax Raid Battles

Dynamax Raid Battles are both a fun and challenging way to level up a trainer’s Pokémon party. Players can find Dynamax Raid Battles in Dens throughout different parts of the Wild Area. A Dynamax-ready Den can be seen across the map, as it is marked by a pink beam of light coming down and through it. If a Den doesn’t have a light but is still pink, that means that it doesn’t have a raid ready, and will instead give players 100 watts as compensation.

When a Max Raid battle is found, players are told the rank of the battle, shown a silhouette of the Pokémon, and can then choose a Pokémon from their box or party to send out. Next, they can choose to wait in a lobby to find three other players to join, or go fight with a party of random NPCs instead. Other players can join Max Raid Battles through the Y-Comm, so if nobody accepts, start with the NPCs.

When the battle starts, a trainer will have the possibility to Dynamax right away. In battles without other gamers present, this will always be the player themself. When given the opportunity, Dynamax, and use a super-effective ability against the opponent to try to take them down. The other players or friendly NPCs will have to deal damage as well, but only a little in comparison, as the Dynamaxed player deals the most damage.

The idea is that players will take turns Dynamaxing to deal the most damage, which is hard when fighting alone, since NPCs don’t seem to Dynamax in Raid Battles. To compensate, players must deal enough damage, and not waste time dilly-dallying with buffs. If players aren’t able to win the battle, they will find themselves kicked out of the fight with no rewards. If the opponent is defeated, players will have a choice to try to catch it, or leave it be. In either case, the battle rewards players with a set of items that can include exp candies, Dynamax candies, berries, TM’s, HM’s and some valuables to sell. Dynamaxing is one of the better ways to level up a player’s team, so use the candies to get a Pokémon to the desired level.

Conclusion

This is everything that players need to know to get started in Pokémon Sword & Shield. Try to remain safe in the Wild Area, camp when needed, and capture all of the Pokémon possible.

Gaming Instincts is dedicated to bringing its readers all the latest and greatest news and updates for all of their favorite titles and more. Be sure to follow Gaming Instincts on Facebook and Twitter for more gaming news.

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