Pokemon Sword and Shield: Release Date, New Pokemon, Preview, Gigantamaxing, Gym Leaders, and Everything You NEED To Know!

What can we expect from Nintendo's latest title? We look at all the new features.


Photo via Nintendo 

Pokemon holds a spot within the hearts of practically every gamer.

Dating back decades the series has reached astronomical proportions and has risen to become one of the most popular games of all time. 

Whenever a new Pokemon game announced there is always a lot of excitement across generations of gamers. Fans expect the best out of each new game, although the series has grown far from its core roots. Nintendo has always strived to captivate fans through new Pokemon, mechanics, and regions whenever they can. 

We are quickly approaching the release date for Nintendo’s Pokemon: Sword And Shield and the publisher have frequently made announcements of a certain feature that will be prevalent throughout the game. 

With multiple announcements over the course of the last few months, what do we know about Sword and Shield thus far? Here are all the details of Nintendo’s upcoming title.

READ MORE: Pokemon Sword and Shield All confirmed NEW Pokemon

Release Date

Pokemon Sword and Shield will be releasing worldwide on November 15th, 2019 and will be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch this time around.

This will also be the first Pokemon game that will not release on the Nintendo 3DS in quite some time.

READ MORE: Things we NEED to see in Nintendo’s upcoming release Pokemon Sword & Shield

Editions

Die-hard Pokemon fans have an exclusive option when it comes to purchasing the game this time around.

Fans are able to pre-order the Pokemon Sword and Shield Dual Pack, which will include both games, a steel book, the two legendary’s, and two exclusive codes for what Nintendo describes as “Dynamax Crystals“. 

The dual pack edition of the game is listed for $119 or £97.50, whether there is still a regular edition pre-order bonus is unknown as of yet.

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Sword or Shield? What’s the Difference?

Now, one of the biggest debates that players may have when going to purchase the newest Pokemon is what version they should get. Accustomed to any Pokemon game, there are multiple editions and they each have their own game-specific legendary Pokemon.

Zacian and Zamazenta are the two legendary Pokemon set to star in Sword and Shield, each will for sure have their own back story but as of now we know little information about the two.

Although from what we know, Zacian (the one with the sword in his mouth) seems like the more offensive one of the two. Also, there might be game-specific Pokemon like Nintendo has done in the past but we are unsure if this will be the case this time around.

READ MORE: Pokemon That NEED a Galar Region Form in Sword & Shield

Location and Region

Pokemon Sword and Shield is set to star in the new Galar Region which Nintendo has depicted as a replica of the United Kingdom. 

The Galar region is shown in the above map and it appears as it can be broken down into different sections where specific Pokemon may be found at. From the snow biome to the wide-open plains towards the bottom half, this region appears to be one of the most promising to date.

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Gym Leaders

Going into Pokemon Sword and Shield this will be the very first time that there will be version-specific gym leaders between two games. 

There are four confirmed gym leaders thus far that have all been showcased during the Pokemon announcements, although the gym battles have been confirmed to be a bit different this time around. 

The winners of the gyms can enter the Champion Cup, a competition held once per year for all trainers who beat all eight gyms. When a trainer goes to a Gym, they have special attire to wear and each trainer can select their own three-digit number to adorn their outfit.

The confirmed gym leaders are:

  • Milo – Grass Type Gym
  • Nessa – Water Type Gym
  • Bea – Fighting Type Gym – Sword specific Gym
  • Allister – Ghost Type Gym – Shield specific Gym

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Starter Pokemon


The three starter Pokemon set to star in Sword and Shield are the typical fire, water, and grass type mixture. We do not know much about the starter Pokemon as of now,  we have not yet been showcased their evolution which has come as a surprise to many but we may in the future. The starter Pokemon are: 

  • Sobble: The water starter
  • Grookey: The grass starter
  • Scorbunny: The fire starter

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Galar Region Pokemon

Introduced during Pokemon Sun and Moon, which was set in the Aloha region, these are region-specific Pokemon that often differ in appearance from their usual form and potentially have a different element tied to them.

Few have been announced thus far but Nintendo should certainly take a look at our list to see which Pokemon they should make Galar region forms of.

The announced Galar Pokemon are:

  • Galarian Wheezing – Poison/Fairy
  • Galarian Zigzagoon – Dark/Normal
  • Galarian Linoone – Dark/Normal
  • Galarian Obstagoon – Dark/Normal

Catching Style

To the joy of many Pokemon fans, Pokemon Sword and Shield is going back to its original catching methods. In Pokemon Let’s Go which was the first Pokemon game on the Switch, they used the mobile version of catching which did not set well with many fans.

Pokemon Sword and Shield will have the normal style of simple clicking catching on release date.

A Real Open World

Nintendo has been very vocal about how Sword and Shield will feature a much more diverse and adventurous world than past games. Whether this means we will be able to wander anywhere we want this time around opposed to previous games where we would usually have to go on a direct path is still yet to be announced. 

A more open world Pokemon game is what fans of the series have been asking for, for quite some time now so it is a good sign Nintendo is listening to the community. 

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Gigantamaxing

Gigantaxmaxing is only specific to certain species of Pokemon throughout the Galar region but some fans are not pleased with this feature as from the picture above it seems the chosen Pokemon may become super overpowered to battle against or with.

We do know that when a Pokemon is Gigantaxmaxing they will immediately access a special move called the “G-Max Move” and will be different for each Pokemon that can unlock this ability.  

Team Yell

As tradition with any Pokemon title, there is always an enemy team that you will constantly have to face off against and they will for sure be linked to the main story. Team Yell was described by Nintendo as “is a group of troublemakers who seem to appear wherever the Gym Challenge takes you and who attempt to get in your way at every opportunity.” An interesting bunch to say the least.

No National Dex

There were massive amounts of anger and backlash towards Nintendo before this decision was made, as there were rumors circulating of the looming announcement and when Junichi Masuda confirmed it all at E3 there was a tidal wave of disappointment.

Having a National Dex within Sword and Shield was amongst fans top wishlist items, importing your favorite Pokemon into the newest game was a must-have for avid Pokemon fans. 

Although we do not know if Nintendo will reverse this decision, should they choose to implement the National Dex into Sword and Shield it will be the right step towards making this one of the best Pokemon games of all time.

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NEW Pokemon

There is plenty of new Pokemon set to be present in generation eight, we detailed all the confirmed ones already so be sure to check out our list!

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Nick Farrell

Realsport's Senior Writer focusing on pretty much everything esports and gaming as of late. I have special interest in Fortnite esports and a massive NBA fan.

Besides writing, I am a full-time student studying Communications with a minor in Business at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador.

You can stay up to date with all my recent articles @nickfarrell91 on Twitter.

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