Everything You Should Know About Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokémon fans have been waiting patiently for more information about the mainline Pokémon games being released for the Switch. Thankfully, that wait has been cut short. During a brief Pokémon-themed Nintendo Direct, the two newest main series Pokémon games were announced—Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

But, Nintendo did a lot more than just announce the games; they’ve also given Pokémon fans a sneak peek of what these new games are all about. So, without further ado, here’s everything that we know about Pokémon Sword and Shield.

The Galar Region

A map depicting the entire Galar region.

As per usual for core Pokémon games, Sword and Shield are taking place in a completely new region—the Galar region. Like previous regions, Galar takes inspiration from real-world locations. This time around, it appears that the region is influenced by Great Britain—the map of the Galar region, seen above, is rather reminiscent of Great Britain.

A New Region Means New Mysteries?

An image of strange symbols carved into a hill from the new Pokemon games.

The stunning Galar region is ours to explore, and there seems to be a lot to uncover. One of the biggest takeaways from the reveal trailer is the mysterious symbols that appear to be etched into the hillsides of Galar. Pokémon fans have taken to the internet to voice their theories, but there aren’t any answers yet—and there probably won’t be until the games come out.

That being said, the symbols are reminiscent of hill figures, which are often found in Great Britain. If Galar is based on Great Britain, then perhaps these symbols are a direct reference.

Brand New Starters

With every new Pokémon game, we also get three brand new starters, and Sword and Shield aren’t exceptions. The Galar region’s starters are the grass-type monkey, Grookey (the best one), the fire-type rabbit, Scorbunny and Sobble, the water-type lizard.

Gyms Are Back!

While 2016’s Pokémon Sun and Moon did away with the traditional gym-leader system in favor of island challenges, it appears that Sword and Shield are going back to basics. From what the trailer showed, gyms and gym leaders look like they’re back this time around. If these gyms do differ from how they were implemented in previous games, it’s unclear how as of now.

Traditional Pokémon Gameplay

Purists, rejoice! Like with the removal of trials, Pokémon Sword and Shield is going back to the basics in its approach to gameplay. Forgoing the Pokémon Go and Pokémon Let’s Go style of creature-catching and once again embracing random encounters, Pokémon Sword and Shield don’t seem especially interested in reinventing the formula as Sun and Moon did.

Release Date

While there is no solid release date, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are slated to come out Fall 2019. As with previous mainline Pokémon titles, Sword and Shield will be released simultaneously.

Check the entire Pokémon direct out here:

Pokémon Direct 2.27.2019

Welcome to the Galar region! Your introduction to the world of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield begins here with this Pokémon Direct. Learn more about Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield! https://goo.gl/nckpTa #NintendoSwitch #PokemonSwordShield #PokemonDirect Subscribe for more Nintendo fun! https://goo.gl/HYYsot Visit Nintendo.com for all the latest!