Multiplayer and Raids shown off for Pokémon Sword and Shield


Pokémon will be including MMO-style raids for the first time in the main series.

The Nintendo Direct showed off multiple players teaming up to battle giant Pokémon in battles called Max Raid Battles. These battles are a new kind of conflict that occur in a particular area of Galar known as the Wild Area.

The Wild Area is an expansive land that has remained an untamed part of the Galar region. Trainers who travel to the Wild Area will find Pokémon that cannot be found anywhere else in the region as they traverse an environment that is continually changing.

Weather, location, and many other factors will change what Pokémon can be encountered in the Wild Area, meaning players will see something new if they visit often. Players will also be able to control the camera freely in these more open locations, letting them better view the area and search for Pokémon and anything else that might appear.

As for the Max Raid Battles, teams of up to four trainers will join forces to take on giant Pokémon known as Dynamax Pokémon. This Dynamax form gives the affected Pokémon a boost in not only size but also to specific stats.

In regular battles, a Dynamaxed Pokémon would only remain in that form after three turns, but the Max Raid bosses will stay gigantic for the entire fight.

A Pokémon in Dynamax form can perform moves known as Max Moves. Much like Z-Moves in Pokémon Sun and Moon, these particular moves can have added effects like the Normal-type move Max Strike dealing damage but also lowering the opponent’s speed. These effects are all determined by the Max Move and what moves the Pokémon knows before Dynamaxing.

Much like in a traditional MMO or even Pokémon GO raids, trainers will need to closely work together to conquer the Max Raid bosses if they want a chance to capture the Pokémon. Certain Pokémon will also only be available through Max Raids.

Players can participate in Max Raids together both in-person and via Nintendo Switch Online, but if a trainer is unable to find a group to raid with, AI support characters will automatically be added to the player’s team so they can still enter the raids.

Of course, since this is a series first, many things can go wrong here, especially with Nintendo’s messy past with online play, but just the concept is something that has been requested for years. Maybe this is the precursor to Nintendo, including more fan-favorite ideas or online implementation.

A good thing to note is there will likely be much different from Pokémon GO raids.