New Items, Quality of Life Features and More for Sword & Shield

Posted by Marriland

A new official trailer for Pokémon Sword & Shield has been revealed today and it showcases a lot of new quality-of-life upgrades for gameplay, especially the process of raising competitive Pokémon for battle.

Additionally, there’s an increased chance of finding Gigantamax Butterfree in Max Raid Battles from November 15, 2019 through early January 2020, and an Online Competition — Galar Beginnings — which takes place from December 6–8, 2019.

Quality of Life Changes & More

Here’s a list of some of the major changes in Pokémon Sword & Shield, based on official information:

  • In Max Raid Battles, up to four players can team up to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon, but in very rare cases specific Pokémon species are capable of being in their Gigantamax form instead. From November 15, 2019 through early January 2020, Gigantamax Butterfree will be more likely to encounter in Max Raid Battles than usual.
  • New items and features for training Pokémon have been revealed that should help speed up the process of acquiring battle-ready Pokémon.
    • Using a Mint item will change the stat-growths of a Pokémon in the same way that a Nature does. Although this doesn’t change the Pokémon’s actual Nature, it changes the effect it has on the stats to something of the player’s choosing, based on the name of the Mint — a Modest Mint change the stat-growths to that of a Pokémon with a Modest Nature, for example.
    • Vitamin items, such as Iron, Protein, and HP Up, all raise the Effort Values of the respective stat when used on a Pokémon, but couldn’t be used “more than 10 times” — more specifically, when the Pokémon’s EVs for that stat exceed 100 (out of 252). In Pokémon Sword & Shield, that limitation is removed, meaning you can use these items to fully EV Train your Pokémon, so long as you have the money to afford the items.
    • There are now several varieties of Exp. Candy, which gives the Pokémon a certain amount of EXP based on the size of the candy you give it. This is similar to a Rare Candy, except has the potential to give substantially more levels. Exp. Candy can be earned from Max Raid Battles.
    • Egg Moves can now be learned by placing two Pokémon of the same species in the Pokémon Nursery (Day-Care), and an Egg Move that one knows can be passed on to the other Pokémon. From the sounds of things, this is separate functionality from breeding, meaning it should be an effective way to get Egg Moves on Pokémon without having to breed a whole new one.
  • Nicknames can now be given to traded Pokémon that weren’t already given a nickname, although this can be done only once.
  • The Pokémon Box can be accessed from nearly anywhere in addition to Pokémon Centers and other facilities, similar to how it was available in Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu & Eevee. There are a few places in the game where the Pokémon Box will be inaccessible, though, such as while taking on Pokémon Gyms.
  • Autosave is a new feature that will automatically save the game for the player when entering buildings, towns, etc. It’s enabled by default, but can be turned off at any time, and manual saving is still available at any time.

Online Competition: Galar Beginnings

In addition to that, the first official Online Competition, Galar Beginnings, will be held from December 6–8, 2019, from the in-game Online Competitions menu.

Here are the specifics for that tournament:

Competition Name: Galar Beginnings 
Sign-Up Period: Friday, November 15, at 00:00 UTC to Thursday, December 5, at 23:59 UTC
Competition Period: Friday, December 6, at 00:00 UTC to Sunday, December 8, at 23:59 UTC
Battle Format: Single Battle
Eligible Pokémon: Pokémon obtained in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield

  • Zacian, Zamazenta, Mew (contained in the Poké Ball Plus), and some other special Pokémon are not eligible.
  • Players can register three to six of their Pokémon to their Battle Team.
  • All Pokémon in this competition will automatically become Lv. 50 for the duration of each match.

Ranking Results Announcement: December 2019

A Nintendo Account and Nintendo Switch Online membership active for that account are required in order to participate in the Online Competition. Registration on the Pokémon Global Link is not necessary.


Lastly, here are some screenshots showcasing the new features:

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