10 Pokemon Sword & Shield Tips You Need to Know

pokemon sword shield tips

Screenshot by Jack Fennimore

There’s a ton of new features in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield as well as expanded mechanics from previous games in the franchise. It can be quite overwhelming, but that’s what this guide is for!

Here are 10 Pokemon Sword & Shield tips you need to know.

1. There are Many Ways You Can Increase Spawns for Wild Pokemon

If you’re looking for a specific type of Pokemon – especially a rare one – there are a variety of ways to increase the rate at which you encounter the Pokemon in the wild, according to Serebii.

One method to get increased spawns is to defeat Pokemon in the wild. The more you defeat, the more you encounter in the wild.

Another method is to open the Pokedex and pay attention to the “Current Recommendations” section for whatever location of the game you’re in. Whatever Pokemon are listed will have a higher chance of being encountered. Catching all of the Pokemon in the list for an area will reset the list. The list will also reset the next day.

Yet another method is to put a Pokemon with a certain ability in the lead spot on your team. Abilities that do this include Flash Fire for fire-type Pokemon, Harvest for grass-type Pokemon, Lightning Rod for electric-types and Storm Drain for water-types.

2. You can Wake Up Sleeping Pokemon in Pokemon Camp

While making a quality curry while using the Pokemon Camp feature will cure the status effects of Pokemon in addition to healing them, refilling the PP of their moves and raising their happiness, if you’re Pokemon is asleep you can wake them without going through the trouble. All you have to do is repeatedly call to the sleeping Pokemon and it will wake up.

3. Whistle in the Wild Area

Most of the Pokemon in the Wild Area will respond to you whistling (hold down on the left stick). This is a good way to get the attention of Pokemon that run to you when they notice you. However, it’s also the only way of touching Pokemon flying through the air so that you start a Pokemon battle with them. For any Pokemon in the air (that don’t just fly down to you when you get close), just whistle near them and they will fly down to touch you.

4. Use the Shortcuts in the Menu

The main menu has a number of shortcuts you can use to access features quickly. From the main menu, you can press R to save the game without moving the cursor to the Save button. You can also hit the Y button to rearrange the icons in the main menu. This is great if you find yourself using some functions over others, allowing you to get to those functions easier.

If you exit out of the main menu and go back in again, the last function the cursor highlighted will still be there.

The Pokedex also has shortcuts. If you highlight a Pokemon and hit the X button, it will immediately take you to the map where you can find icons highlighting where the Pokemon can be encountered.

5. You Can Get Leftovers from Berry Trees

Shaking Berry Trees dotted throughout the Galar Region will award you with berries and even Pokemon encounters. But we once also received the Leftovers held item for shaking a tree.

The Leftovers item heals your Pokemon’s HP a little bit every turn, making it the perfect held item for bulky Pokemon like Snorlax or Jellicent.

6. Keep Your Eye Out for TMs

TMs are dotted throughout the landscape, and some can be cleverly hidden. However, simply keeping an eye out for them will help you nab them. For instance, climbing up a latter up to a sign in Route 8 will let you see the location of a TM. TMs can also be hiding behind buildings like the Professor’s house past Route 2.

Also be sure to revisit areas once you earn the Rotom Bike upgrade on Route 9 that lets you ride your bike across bodies of water. A great area for this is the lake next to the Professor’s House, where you can ride across the lake for a TM for the move Psycho Cut.

7. Use Defog in Max Raid Battles

The move Defog has been given an upgrade, according to Serebii. In addition to blowing away Reflect, Light Screen, Aurora Veil, Safeguard, Mist, Spikes, Toxic Spikes and Stealth Rock on the target Pokemon’s side of battle and lowering the target’s evasion by one stage, it also removes terrains that have been applied on the battlefield. Grassy, Electric, Psychic and Mystic Terrain will be completely negated. This is perfect for fighting Dynamax or Gigantamax Pokemon who use the electric-, fairy-, psychic-, or grass-type Max Moves, since those moves also apply special terrain.

8. Pay Attention to the Weather in the Wild Area

The kinds of Pokemon encountered in an area of the Wild Area will change with the weather. For instance, in Watchtower Ruins, you can only catch the Pokemon Ralts in Fog, according to Serebii.

Also, for all areas of the game where you can find Pokemon, the Pokemon you encounter in the overworld and the Pokemon you encounter randomly in tall grass can be different.

9. Keep Your Eye Out for Pokemon with an Aura

Occasionally, you’ll find Pokemon out in the wild who have a golden aura around them. Pokemon with this aura have guaranteed maximum IVs for at least two stats and also have an Egg Move that is otherwise only obtainable through breeding, according to Serebii. Plus you get Watts for defeating or catching a Pokemon with the aura, which you can spend at vendors in the Wild Area.

The encounter rate for Pokemon with the special aura goes up the more Pokemon of different species you battle or catch. You can also increase your chance of fishing a Pokemon with the aura if you fish for Pokemon and consistently reel them over and over again. If you catch a Pokemon, don’t get a bite, fail to reel in the Pokemon biting on the hook or leave the area, the combo will be broken.

10. Send Your Pokemon out on Poke Jobs

You can send your Pokemon on Poke Jobs through the PC at the Pokemon Center. Doing so will have the Pokemon earn XP and give you rewards. The longer you have your Pokemon work, the better your rewards are. The rewards start out small but can grow to include money or items you can sell for money, according to Serebii. If you have Pokemon that are under level compared to your team, such as if you have a newly hatched Pokemon from an egg or you have a B-team of Pokemon you know you won’t use for a while, you can have them complete jobs so they can keep up with your main team.

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