The Wild Area is a massive, free-roaming wilderness accessible early on in Pokémon Sword & Shield that houses hundreds of Pokémon in over a dozen habitats.
Although you can access it before you’ve earned your first Gym Badge, you won’t be able to catch all of the Pokémon in it until you’ve earned a few Gym Badges, which will increase the maximum level of Pokémon you can catch here.
Wild Area Habitats
The Wild Area is broken up into a total of 17 different habitats or areas. Most of them are available during your first visit to the Wild Area and you can freely explore them, although you may be unable to catch Pokémon you run into in the later areas, especially ones past the bridge near Motostoke City — you’ll get a bit of dialogue warning you of it when you try to pass, but you can still pass if you’d like.
Below are all of the habitats. You can click the links in that section to visit the respective page for it, which contains all of the encounters and information in that particular habitat.
This marks the southern entrance to the Wild Area and where you first arrive from Wedgehurst. There’s a person that will heal you there as well as a Watt Trader that will trade you items for Watts.
Rolling Fields is the first main part of the Wild Area that you will cross through, aside from the Meetup Spot.
The Watchtower Ruins are in the northwestern part of the Motostoke portion of the Wild Area. The Pokémon on the overworld are much higher level than most of the southern Wild Area, so you’ll need to avoid them; the random encounters are at a reasonable level and offer some useful Pokémon, particularly some Ghost-types.
West Lake Axewell
West Lake Axewell consists of the westernmost lake in the southern part of the Wild Area. It also contains the bridge connecting the Watchtower Ruins to the Rolling Fields. Although a lot of the Pokémon in here are in the water and not attainable during your first visit, there are still quite a few Pokémon near the bridge as well as fishing spots for you to check out.
East Lake Axewell
East Lake Axewell is a large habitat composed of the middle lake in the southern part of the Wild Area in addition to the fields south of Motostoke, including the entrance to the city. There are quite a few Pokémon only available after you can ride on the water, but there’s also a good selection aside from that.
North Lake Miloch
The easternmost lake in the southern part of the Wild Area is considered North Lake Miloch. It’s home to quite a few powerful enemies, both in the overworld and in the tall grass, so you need to be especially careful when traveling through here if you haven’t earned any badges yet.
South Lake Miloch
South Lake Miloch is a bit more reasonable to travel through than its northern half, although it has a bridge to the east that connect’s to the Giant’s Seat, which is home to some strong Pokémon that low-level Trainers won’t be able to catch.
Sitting in the southeast corner of the Wild Area is the Giant’s Seat, a dangerous land full of higher-level Pokémon.
Resting in the middle of East Lake Axewell is Axew’s Eye. It’s a small island that requires the means to traverse the water, so you’ll be physically unable to access it during your first few trips through the Wild Area.
Along the eastern edge of Motostoke in the Wild Area lies a bridge connecting to the northern half of the Wild Area. A person nearby warns you about the stronger Pokémon across the bridge, so heed that warning, as if you’re at a low level, you won’t be able to catch any Pokémon, let alone fight them or even run away.
Bringing along some emergency Poké Dolls or bringing a Pokémon with Run Away for its ability is a good idea if you choose to go exploring early, because there are several great items inside.
The Dusty Bowl is smack dab in the middle of the northernmost part of the Wild Area. It’s quite dry there and has several strong Pokémon.
To the south of Hammerlocke is an area known as Hammerlocke Hills. It rests at the very top of the northern part of the Wild Area. You’ll need to cross through here after earning three badges.
Lake of Outrage
The area from the northwestern river westwards in the final area, the Lake of Outrage, which has very high-level Pokémon inside of it. It is inaccessible during your first few visits through the Wild Area.