With the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield upon us, it’s time to dig and start the long heavy task of filling our Pokédex with the hundreds of Pokémon found in the games. Along the way you may have some questions; a few things don’t make themselves obvious and you’ll want answers fast. Here are solutions for the issues I had early in the game, so you don’t lose a second out in the Wild Area.
Good news, no return to a Pokémon Center is necessary. Just hit X to open your menu, go to Pokemon, then hit R to open your boxes and select new Pokemon.
The Pokémon you’re allowed to catch is tied to how far you’ve come along in the main game and how many badges you’ve earned. You won’t unlock the top tier, level 60, until getting all your 8 gym badges.
If you pass by a flying-type Pokémon and they do not hover near you, just whistle. Note that this does not work with Butterfree.
During the game, you will receive a Rotom Bike, which after a certain point will also have the ability to go over water. Some notable locations to revisit at that point include the northwest pond in the Wild Area (the patch of land behind it has some of the best and strongest Pokémon), and the pond outside Professor Magnolia’s house.
As with previous games, the differences between the twin games aren’t substantial. If you’re playing both games, you may notice right off the bat that some Pokémon will spawn in different places or at different times than you remember.
The exclusive Pokémon are:
Sword: Seedot (Nuzleaf, Shiftry), Swirlix (Slurpuff), Scraggy (Scrafty), Gothita (Gothorita, Gothitelle), Rufflet (Braviary), Mawile, Farfetch’d (Sirfetch’d, Galarian) Passimian, Turtonator, Solrock, Darumaka (Darmanitan, Galarian), Stonjourner, Deino (Zweilous, Hydreigon), Jangmo-o (Hakamo-o, Kommo-o), and Zacian.
Shield: Lotad (Lombre, Ludicolo), Spritzee (Aromatisse), Croagunk (Toxicroak), Solosis (Duosion, Reuniclus), Vullaby (Mandibuzz), Sableye, Ponyta (Rapidash, Galarian), Oranguru, Drampa, Lunatone, Corsola (Cursola, Galarian), Eiscue, Larvitar (Pupitar, Tyranitar), Goomy (Sliggo, Goodra), and Zamazenta
There are also two exclusive Pokémon Gym leaders to each game. In Sword, you’ll meet Bea in the Fighting Gym (4th) and Gordie in the Rock Gym (6th). In Shield, you’ll meet Allister in the Ghost Gym (4th), and Melony in the Ice Gym (6th).
Additionally, which game you are playing may determine a key choice near the end of the game, however, it doesn’t seem to be consequential in the scheme of things.
Yup! At the first train station, once you reach the other side, there are two children in a corner; talk to them to receive your reward.
If you’re looking to fast track your way to a few Eevee evolutions (I don’t know about you, but so far, Eevees seem scarce), then check out the lawn area behind the giant pond in the northwest section of the Wild Area, labeled Lake of Outrage on your map. There will often spawn an Eevee unique to whatever weather conditions are going on at the time. Around the rocks, you will also find evolution stones to do it the other way.
There are a few vendors in the Wild Area who will sell you unique curry base items like sausage and bags of bones, while trees can be shaken for berries—just don’t shake too often or you’ll wake up a Pokémon and get all your berries stolen. Other base ingredients like apples and leeks can be found at the roots of trees, the edge of bodies of water, and around large boulders like those in the north Wild Area.
Steel! Plan accordingly. Take lots of Fire, Ground, or Fighting-type Pokémon in the battle with you.
Those can be found from Watt Traders out in the Wild Area. The Quick Balls are particularly helpful.
The Fairy Gym will feature battles with four old ladies who will ask you questions. Answering correctly will give you stat boosts during the fight. The answers to the first three are Poison, Annette, and Omelettes. The last set is The Wizard, Purple, and 16.
That can be found in our guide.
Stay tuned to Paste Games for more Pokémon Sword and Shield guides to come.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.