We have gained new information on Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield via Nintendo Treehouse’s demonstration and from people playing the demo on the show floor.
Here’s a run-down of everything we have learned so far:
Two new Pokemon have been discovered by those on the show floor. The first is Yamper, an electric type Pokemon. We do not have any Pokedex information, but we do know its ability- Ball Fetch. “If the Pokémon is not holding an item, it will fetch the Poké Ball from the first failed throw of the battle!”
The second new Pokemon discovered was Impidimp. As this was used by an opposing trainer in the demo, details are scant at this time. We are hearing multiple reports that it is a Dark and Fairy Type- information you would not usually know of an opposing Pokemon in past games. We assume that staff may have stated the Pokemon’s type to players or some new feature lets you know your opponent’s type.
Nessa the water type Gym Leader has been revealed. She is shown to have a Drednaw, which may be her most powerful Pokemon, as she’ Dynamax’ed’ it.
“Nessa is an expert on Water-type Pokémon and one of the Gym Leaders you must face on your adventure. Her calm and collected attitude hides a competitive spirit and indomitable will. She will overwhelm any opponent in battle by blasting them with powerful Water-type moves.”
Water Type Gym
We also get our first look at the inside of a gym. It seems that while the gym has a giant stadium to fight against the gym leader, traditional gym puzzles have returned. If we had to guess, we would say that the buttons spread around would turn on and off the various water pipes above, granting and taking away access to various areas in the gym.
[Images via Pokebeach]
Max Raid Battles
- Pokemon Dens will have a glowing red light that goes high into the sky when a wild Dynamax’ed Pokemon is in them. These were the red lights and small circles of stone we saw in past trailers and footage.
- You choose one Pokemon to send into battle. This can be selected from your party or your box.
- Max Raid Battles appear to have a star-rating next to them. We assume this is to indicate difficulty.
- Each Max Raid Battle has a turn limit of 10.
- Opposing Dynamax Pokemon in Max Raid Battles can sometimes have special effects. This includes being able to use multiple moves in a single turn, or nullifying your Pokemon’s stat boosts or abilities
- Once the opposing Dynamax Pokemon is down to half or less health, it summons a special barrier that makes it immune to most damage. The barrier is made of segments, and damaging attacks destroy one segment regardless of strength. Max Moves from your Dynamax’ed Pokemon destroy two segments per attack.
- The player who can Dynamax their own Pokemon changes- however only one player can Dynamax their Pokemon in the battle. You can see some information of what your allies are doing (using an attack, status move, or dynamaxing) but you cannot see specifically what moves they are selecting. If your Pokemon is KO’d, you can still cheer for your allies. This can have beneficial effects such as healing allied Pokémon.
- The effects of two Max Moves were revealed. Max Rockfall will cause a sandstorm to start, while Max Flare will make the weather sunny.
The Wild Area
- Players can whistle. This has different effects on different Pokemon- luring them towards you, making them stop and stare, or scaring them off. Some flying Pokemon are too high up in the sky to run into, so whistling can be used to lure them down.
- There is a greater variety in the levels of the Pokemon. In Treehouse’s demonstration, they fought a level 7 Metapod but also a level 26 Machoke. Suffice to say, it was advised players choose when to run carefully.
- Some Pokemon are marked as being “powerful”. Their encounter message states “You encountered a very strong-looking [name]!” It is stated that “These Pokémon are constantly on their guard—in fact, you won’t even be able to throw a Poké Ball at them when first starting your adventure.”
- Weather in the Wild Area can change what Pokemon you can encounter. In addition, combinations of weather can produce various effects. For example, a thunderstorm will have both the effects of rain and electric terrain.
- Three new areas in the Wild Area were named as you entered them. These were called Lake Miloch, Rolling Hills, and Lake Axewell. Some of these also seem to be divided even further, such as South Lake Miloch and East Lake Axewell.
Pokemon Home & Transferring Pokemon
It was confirmed during Treehouse’s demonstration that not all Pokemon could be transferred from Pokemon Home into Pokemon Sword & Shield. Only Pokemon that appear in the Galar Pokedex can be transferred into Sword & Shield. However, any Pokemon can be transferred into Pokemon Home. The reason for this limitation was explained as a combination of game balance, development time and while the Switch was more powerful allowing for “more expression” with each Pokemon- there were now over 800 different species.
It seems this may have been divisive among fans. As of this time of writing, the Nintendo Treehouse video has 6.1k upvotes and 4k downvotes. It is worth noting that the full “National Dex” was eventually allowed to be used online during Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon. While even the single-player is cut off, we are curious if something similar will happen after Sword & Shield’s release.
- The Y-Comm is a new mechanic used to communicate with other players. On the bottom left of the screen, “stamps” will appear. These will inform you of Pokemon a friend has just caught, or let you know if someone is asking you to trade. These players can then appear in your game as an NPC and can give you items. These features work both locally and online.
- Poke Ball Plus is compatible with Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. As well as being able to take Pokemon from the game and into the ball for unspecified benefits, a brand new Poke Ball Plus will be able to send Mew into the game. “If you have already received Mew in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, you will be unable to receive Mew from the same Poké Ball Plus in Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield.”
- Grookey has an attack called Branch Poke. It is safe to assume this is a Grass type move.
- Two new items were shown to be picked up, but not their effects. One was Pungent Root, found near a lake. The other was Pack of Potatoes from another player via Y-Comm.
- We are hearing reports that each Pokemon has a specific “Dynamax Level.” We are unsure what this means at this time.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will launch November 15th globally for Nintendo Switch.
You can find the full Nintendo Treehouse live demonstration below: