Before you take on the champion of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, you’ll need to take on eight different Gym Leaders first.
All players are required to complete each Gym’s special mission before fighting the leader in pitched combat. You’ll complete a variety of tasks for each one. It can be tricky, but we’re here to help.
Here’s every Gym Mission and how to beat every Gym Leader in Pokemon Sword & Shield.
Note: You cannot access your Box while completing a Gym Mission.
Milo’s Gym Mission has you lead a pack of 20 Wooloo to a blockade of straw bales. Moving toward the Wooloo makes them roll away from you. Herding all 20 onto a platform will let you progress to the next space. You’ll also find obstacles like walls and Yamper that make Wooloo roll away. The Yamper stop being obstacles if you defeat the Gym Trainers nearby. Try to keep the Wooloo together as one group. You don’t have to bring all 20 to the platform at the same time, however.
How to Beat Milo
Gossifleur – Level 19 – grass
Eldegoss – Level 20 – grass
Make sure to bring a team that can take on grass-type Pokemon, like fire-, bug-, ice- and flying-type Pokemon. You can find ice-types in the snowy areas in the Wild Area before Motostoke. Rookidee and Blipbug are also really useful and can be caught early on, but make sure to evolve them before going to the stadium. Eldegoss can Dynamax and use Max Overgrow, which makes the terrain grassy and heals all the Pokemon on the ground slightly.
This Gym Mission has you pressing buttons to make waterfalls turn on and off. Each waterfall is color coded. If you press a red button, for instance, then the waterfall over a red platform will move to another red platform.
The Gym Mission may look like one massive area, but it’s really divided up into three sets of puzzles. And as bite-sized chunks, they’re not too hard to figure out.
For the first set, hit the red button, hit the yellow button and then hit the red button again.
The second set is a little trickier. Go past the Gym Trainer and hit the yellow button. Make sure the red waterfall on your level isn’t on. Hook around to the red button and hit it. The pass through.
The third set introduces the blue buttons. Before you do anything, go down the stairs from the Gym Trainer and hit the yellow button. Then go back up and hit the red button past the blue platform. Hit the blue button to the right. Go to the right and that’s it. You can head back out to heal your team or continue on to fight Nessa. However, if you want to exit the stadium, you have to start the Gym Mission all over.
How to Beat Nessa
Goldeen – Level 22 – water
Arrokuda – Level 23 – water
Drednaw – Level 24 – water/rock
Goldeen and Arrokuda are both pushovers. That being said, Arrokuda has Aqua Jet which always attacks first so be aware of that.
Drednaw is the one you should be worried about. It will Dynamax right away and hit you with Max Geyser. The move causes the area to rain, which powers up Drednaw’s devastating attacks. Even after Drednaw returns to normal, the rain will still persist a little bit afterwards. Even in its normal form, Drednaw’s Razor Shell and Bite attacks hit hard. Make sure you have a grass-type on hand because Drednaw is double weak to grass-type moves. It’s also weak against electric-, fighting- and ground-type moves.
Kabu’s Gym Mission has you catching wild Pokemon in the gym to score points. Catching a Pokemon will earn you two points while defeating it will earn you one. While you’re battling the Pokemon, a Trainer will appear to attack your Pokemon.
If you’ve got Quick Balls on you, now is a good time to use them. You’ll catch all the Pokemon with ease thanks to them and rack up the points. If you bought Sword and Shield digitally, you should have gotten a code through email that will give you 12 Quick Balls.
How to Beat Kabu
Ninetales – Level 25 – fire
Arcanine – Level 25 – fire
Centiskorch – Level 27 – fire/bug
Be careful of Kabu’s Pokemon as they can inflict burn on your Pokemon thanks to Will-O-Wisp. Ninetales can also trap you in fire with Fire Spin as well as burn you for extra damage. Water-types are very useful here as well as rock-types. Rock-types in particular are perfect for dealing with Centiskorch since it’s double weak to rock-type attacks.
Your first version exclusive gym leaders are here. Bea is exclusive to Sword while Allister is exclusive to Shield.
Both of these Gyms Leaders have the same Gym Mission, which is to go on a ride in an amusement ride and slide down a course while rotating the control stick to the left or right to go left or right. You’ll find special obstacles that will bounce you up. Some will impede your progress while some will get you to where you need to go.
How to Beat Bea
Hitmontop – Level 34 – fighting
Pangoro – Level 34 – fighting/dark
Sirfetch’d – Level 35 – fighting
Machamp – Level 36 – fighting
Bea’s Pokemon are tough, but if you managed to nap a ghost-type then their fighting-type attacks will phase right through. Then you can hit them hard with flying-, psychic- or fairy-type moves. Fairy-types are especially effective on Pangoro who is double weak to their attacks. Be careful around Gigantimax Machamp as its signature Max Move raises its critical hit rate.
How to Beat Allister
Yamask – Level 34 – ghost- and ground-type
Mimikyu – Level 34 – ghost- and fairy-type
Cursola – Level 35 – ghost-type
Gengar – Level 36 – ghost- and poison-type
Leave your normal- and fighting-type Pokemon in the Box since their moves are ineffective against Allister’s Pokemon. If you have ghost- and dark-type Pokemon, now’s the time for them to shine. Mimikyu is weak to steel-type attacks as well as ghost-type ones, and since Gengar is a poison-type as well as a ghost-type, that makes it weak to ground- and psychic-type attacks.
Opal’s gym has players answer trivia questions. If they get it right, then one of their Pokemon’s stats are boosted. If they get it wrong, one of their Pokemon’s stats are lowered.
Here are the questions we encountered and their answers:
|Fairy-type weakness||steel or poison|
|Previous Trainer’s name||Annette|
|What do I eat for breakfast||Omelettes|
|Favorite Color||Not the first option (Sorry, I accidentally clicked the A button before I got a good look at the answers. Just don’t select the first one)|
|How old am I||16-years-old (We answered with 88-years-old but even though it was correct we still got our stats lowered, so answering with 16-years-old should get your stats boosted)|
Be careful about using poison types against some of the Gym Trainers because the Spritzee line can use Psychic and wreck them.
How to Beat Opal
Weezing – Level 36 – poison/fairy
Mawile – Level 36 – steel/fairy
Togekiss – Level 37 – fairy/flying
Alcremie – Level 38 – fairy
Many of Opal’s Pokemon can drain your HP with Draining Kiss, so be wary about that and use poison- and steel-types so they don’t drain as much HP. You can also use psychic-types against Weezing, ground- and fire-types against Mawile, and rock- and electric-types against Togekiss.
More version-exclusive Gym Leaders! You’ll get Gordie with Sword and Melony with Shield.
Both Gyms will see you walk across a sandy or icy path while avoiding pitfalls with a special devices. As you get closer to pitfalls, the Switch’s controllers will vibrate and the device’s beeps get more frequent. Stepping onto a platform serves as checkpoints. If you fall into a pit, you’ll spawn at the platform.
I’m not sure if this is the same in Shield, but for Sword’s gym the last section of the Gym’s Mission is obscured by a sandstorm. Make sure you hang to the left so you can step on the platform halfway across for the checkpoint.
How to Beat Gordie
Barbaracle – lvl 40 – rock/water
Shuckle – lvl 40 – bug/rock
Stonjourner – lvl 41 – rock
Coalossal – lvl 42 – rock/fire
Two of Gordie’s Pokemon have double weaknesses to moves: Barbaracle with grass-type moves and Coalossal with water-type moves. His Shuckle has huge defenses, but its attacks are weak. Use water-, rock-, or steel-type moves to get rid of it.
How to Beat Melony
Frosmoth – lvl 40 – ice/bug
Darmanitan – lvl 40 – ice
Eiscue – lvl 41 – ice
Lapras – lvl 42 – water/ice
All of Melony’s Pokemon are weak to rock-type attacks, with Frosmoth being double weak. Be wary of Lapras’ water-type attacks, however. All of Melony’s Pokemon are also weak to fighting-types with the exception of Frosmoth, but it also has a double weakness to fire-types.
Piers’ Gym is pretty straightforward compared to the other Gyms. Just head down Spikemuth taking on the dark-type Pokemon of the Trainers you come across.
How to Beat Piers
Scrafty – lvl 44 – dark/fighting
Malamar – lvl 45 – dark/psychic
Skuntank – level 45 – poison/dark
Obstagoon – level 46 – dark/normal
Piers can’t Dynamax his Pokemon and you can’t either, so no need to worry about that.
Most of Piers’ Pokemon are double weak to one type: fairy-type for Scrafty, bug-type for Malamar and fighting-type for Obstagoon. Skuntank’s only weakness is ground-type.
Scrafty will likely use Fake Out for its first turn, but it shouldn’t be too bad a problem. Be careful of Skuntank’s Toxic which badly poisons your team as well as its ability Aftermath which makes your Pokemon lose 1/4 its maximum HP if they defeat Skuntank with a physical move. Obstagoon is tricky for Pokemon that use physical moves; its Obstruct move not only protects itself but harshly lowers defense if the move it protected is physical and it can also use Counter which deals twice as much damage as the physical attack its opponent used.
Raihan is the final Gym Leader, so naturally he and his Gym Mission are the toughest.
His Gym Mission consists of double battles against three Gym Trainers, Sebastian, Camilla and Aria. Each Trainer will use a Pokemon that creates a certain type of weather in the battle.
If your Pokemon have moves that hit both Pokemon on a team or can protect or heal your teammates, now’s their chance to shine. Great moves to bring include Heal Pulse which will heal your teammate. The Hattena line can use this move, and you can get one by trading it for a Maractus with the man in Stow-on-Side. Ribombee’s Pollen Puff move is even better; not only will it heal your teammate if used against it but, unlike Heal Pulse, it will damage foes if the move is used at them. Misty Terrain will protect Pokemon on the ground from status conditions and halve the damage taken from dragon-type moves for five turns. If you have a fairy-type Pokemon Dynamax, the fairy-type Max Move they use will automatically create Misty Terrain.
Fairy-types in general are fantastic to use since they’re completely immune to dragon-type moves.
Sebastian uses a Pelipper and Sliggoo. Pelipper will make it rain in the match, which will heal Sliggoo’s status aliments thanks to its Hydration ability (though we haven’t seen this in action so it may use its other ability too). Use electric-type moves against Pelipper and take out Sliggoo with fairy- or ice-type Pokemon.
Camilla uses a Turtonator and a Ninetales that makes it sunny in the match, which powers up both of their fire-type attacks and reduces the power of water-type moves. Both Pokemon are weak to ground- and rock-type attacks. Be careful about using physical moves on Turtonator as its Shell Trap move will inflict massive damage on those that use physical moves on it.
Aria uses a Hakamo-o and an Abomasnow that makes it hail in the match. Use fire-types against Abomasnow and fairy-types against Hakamo-o.
How to Beat Raihan
Gigalith – level 46 – rock
Flygon – level 47 – ground/dragon
Sandaconda – level 46 – ground
Duraludon – level 48 – steel/dragon
Gigalith will activate a sandstorm when it enters the battle, damaging all types except for rock, ground and steel as well as boosting the special defense of those three types.
Take down Gigalith with water-, grass-, fighting-, ground- or steel-type moves. Flygon has a double weakness to ice and a regular weakness to dragon- and fairy-type. Sandaconda is weak to water, grass and ice. As for Duraludon, all its weaknesses for dragon-type are covered by its secondary steel typing, taking neutral damage against dragon-, ice-, and fairy-types. However, the steel typing makes it weak to fighting- and ground-type moves.