Pokemon Sword and Shield: Release Date, New Pokemon, Gigantamaxing, Gym Leaders, and Everything You NEED To Know!
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Pokemon Sword and Shield: Release Date, New Pokemon, Gigantamaxing, Gym Leaders, and Everything You NEED To Know!

Nick Farrell
10 November 2019

Pokemon Sword and Shield, the next installment in the Pokemon game franchise, will be realeasing later this year and making its debut on the Nintendo Switch. There's a lot of information that has already made it to the public and here's what we know so far.

Pokemon Sword and Shield, the next mainline installment in the Pokemon game franchise, will be out later this month and making the next generation's debut on the Nintendo Switch. The pre-release campaign for Pokemon Sword and Shield is already well under way and we've been flooded with a wealth of data about the upcoming game, such as the fact the game will appear at the Pokemon Championships 2020 and we may still get some more soon with a potential Pokemon Sword and Shield announcement in the Anime series.

Pokemon has a spot within the hearts of many gamers over the years. Dating back decades the series has reached astronomical proportions and has risen to become one of the most popular games of all time. Whenever a new Pokemon game is announced there is always a lot of excitement across generations of gamers. Fans expect the best out of each Pokemon game, although the series has grown far from its core roots, Nintendo has always strived to captivate fans through new Pokemon, mechanics, and regions whenever they can.

We are quickly approaching the release date for Nintendo’s Pokemon Sword And Shield and Nintendo has frequently done announcements of a certain feature that will be prevalent throughout the game. With multiple announcements over the course of the last few months, what do we know about Sword and Shield thus far? Here are all the details of Nintendo’s upcoming title.

Release Date

Pokemon Sword and Shield will be releasing worldwide on November 15th, 2019 and will be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch this time around. This will also be the first Pokemon game that will not release on the Nintendo 3DS in quite some time now.

Location and Region

Pokemon Sword and Shield is set to star in the new Galar Region which Nintendo has depicted as a replica of the United Kingdom. The Galar region is shown in the above map and it appears as it can be broken down into different sections where specific Pokemon may be found at. From the snow biome to the wide-open plains towards the bottom half, this region appears to be one of the most promising to date.

Gym Leaders

Going into Pokemon Sword and Shield this will be the very first time that there will be version-specific gym leaders between Shield and Sword. There are four confirmed gym leaders as of now that have all been showcased during the Pokemon announcements, although the gym battles have been confirmed to be a bit different this time around. The winners of the gyms can enter the Champion Cup, a competition held once per year for all trainers who beat all 8 gyms. When a trainer goes to a Gym, they have special attire to wear and each trainer can select their own 3 digit number to adorn their outfit.

The confirmed gym leaders are:

Milo – Grass Type Gym
Nessa – Water Type Gym
Bea – Fighting Type Gym – Sword specific Gym
Allister – Ghost Type Gym – Shield specific Gym

Starter Pokemon

The three starter Pokemon set to star in Sword and Shield are the typical fire, water, and grass type mixture. We do not know much about the starter Pokemon as of now,  we have not yet been showcased their evolutions which has come as a surprise to many but we may in the future. Thee starter Pokemon are: 

Sobble: The water starter
Grookey: The grass starter
Scorbunny: The fire starter

Galar Region Pokemon

Introduced during Pokemon Sun and Moon, which was set in the Aloha region, these are region-specific Pokemon that often differ in appearance from their usual form and potentially have a different element tied to them. Few have been announced thus far but Nintendo should certainly take a look at our list to see which Pokemon they should make Galar region forms of!

The announced Galar Pokemon are:

Galarian Wheezing – Poison/Fairy
Galarian Zigzagoon – Dark/Normal
Galarian Linoone – Dark/Normal
Galarian Obstagoon – Dark/Normal

Catching Style

To the joy of many Pokemon fans, Pokemon Sword and Shield is going back to its original catching methods. In Pokemon Let’s Go which was the first Pokemon game on the Switch, they used the mobile version of catching which did not set well with many fans. Pokemon Sword and Shield will have the normal style of simple clicking catching on release date.

A Real Open World

Nintendo has been very vocal about how Sword and Shield will feature a much more diverse and adventurous world than past games. Whether or not this means we will be able to wander anywhere we want this time around opposed to previous games where we would usually have to go on a direct path is still yet to be announced. However, a more open world Pokemon game is what fans of the series have been asking for, for quite some time now so it is a good sign Nintendo is listening to the community. 


Gigantamaxing is only specific to certain species of Pokemon throughout the Galar region though fans are concerned that the chosen Pokemon may become super overpowered to battle against or with.

We do know that when a Pokemon is Gigantaxmaxing, they will immediately access a special move called the “G-Max Move” and will be different for each Pokemon that can unlock this ability.

Nintendo has also recently revealed that some Gigantamax-capable Pokemon will depend on preorders and other Pokemon games you own. Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, for instance, unlocks Gigantamax-capable versions of themselves for Sword and Shield, while early adopters of the new generation of Pokemon get access to the longest Meowth ever.

No National Dex

There were massive amounts of anger and backlash towards Nintendo before this decision was made, as there were rumors circulating of the looming announcement and when Junichi Masuda confirmed it all at E3 there was a tidal wave of disappointment.

Having a National Dex within Sword and Shield was amongst fans top wishlist items, importing your favorite Pokemon into the newest game was a must-have for avid Pokemon fans. Although we do not know if Nintendo will revert this decision anytime soon, should they chose to implement the National Dex into Sword and Shield it will be the right step towards making this one of the best Pokemon games of all time.

NEW Pokemon

There is plenty of new Pokemon set to be present in generation eight, we detailed all the confirmed ones already so be sure to check out our list!

What do you think of Pokemon Sword and Shield? Let us know by Tweeting us!

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Written By
Nick Farrell


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