Pokemon Sword and Shield’s turn-based combat may look pretty familiar at first glance, but, as with every new entry in the series, some key tweaks and upgrades are being made. We’ve known for a while that the game will feature giant Dynamax versions of all its critters, but the latest Sword and Shield trailer reveals some of the new abilities, items, and fresh mechanics you can expect. You can check it out below.
Here are some more details on Sword and Shield's new battle mechanics:
Dynamaxing and Max Moves
The Dynamax phenomenon not only makes Pokemon huge -- it can also give them a boost in power and sway the course of a battle. The Max Moves that only Dynamax Pokémon can use aren’t just powerful but also have impressive additional effects. For example, the Water-type Max Move, Max Geyser, will trigger the rain weather condition, and the Fighting-type Max Move, Max Knuckle, will increase the Attack of all allied Pokémon.
New Abilities and Items
Many new Abilities have been discovered in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. One such Ability is Galarian Weezing’s Neutralizing Gas. This Ability neutralizes the ongoing effects of other Pokemon’s Abilities and even prevents Abilities from being triggered.
Some Pokemon have rare Abilities known as Hidden Abilities. In Pokemon Sword and Shield, Pokemon caught in Max Raid Battles might have these Hidden Abilities. There is also a very small chance that Trainers will encounter a special Pokemon capable of Gigantamaxing in Max Raid Battles. While extremely rare, by attempting many different battles, there’s a chance they could even encounter a Pokémon that can Gigantamax and has a Hidden Ability. One such Hidden Ability is Corviknight’s Mirror Armor, which will bounce back any stat-lowering effects from an opposing Pokemon’s Abilities or moves.
New items that can be combined with specific moves to give Trainers an edge in battle will also be available in Pokemon Sword and Shield. These items include Room Service and Eject Pack. When held by a Pokemon, Room Service will lower that Pokémon’s Speed when the move Trick Room is successfully used. When a Pokemon holding Eject Pack has any of its stats lowered, it will immediately switch out so another Pokemon can be sent in.
Certainly seems like Pokemon Sword and Shield’s battles will be more strategic than ever, which is a good thing, because the game will have a Battle Stadium that lets players from around the world compete for glory online...
In Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, Trainers can connect to the internet and battle against each other in either Single or Double Battle formats in the Battle Stadium. In the Battle Stadium, Trainers can engage in Ranked Battles where they will face other Trainers and their Battle Teams from across the globe.
- Trainers will battle those with a similar rank and will earn points depending on the results of those battles.
- Each rank in Ranked Battles belongs to a specific tier, and Trainers can increase their rank by earning enough points.
- Trainers can check their own ranking in the Battle Stadium. They can also see how all of the participants placed in a competition on the smartphone version of Pokemon HOME.
In Casual Battles, it’s not about who wins or loses—it’s about becoming a better Trainer.
- One exciting aspect of Casual Battles is the ability to use certain Legendary Pokémon and Mythical Pokemon that are not eligible for Ranked Battles.
Features like Online Competitions and Rental Teams will also allow players to connect with other Trainers in different ways. Trainers who participate in Online Competitions can battle in either Official Competitions or Friendly Competitions.
Pokemon Sword and Shield hits the Nintendo Switch on November 15. Any hardcore Trainers out there planning to dominate the Battle Stadium?