'Pokémon Sword and Shield' Release Date, Legendary Pokémon and More

Everything we learned from Wednesday's Nintendo Direct

pokemon sword and shield release date starter evolutions legendaries

Nintendo first unveiled Pokémon Sword and Shield back in February, but that initial reveal left us with more questions than answers about the upcoming Nintendo Switch game. Now, the company’s finally delivered those answers (and then some!) in a 15-minute Nintendo Direct detailing what to expect from Pokémon Sword and Shield when the release date arrives later this year.

First of all, the release date itself. Pokémon Sword and Shield launches November 15, 2019.

The company also detailed a handful of new Pokémon exclusive to the game. That includes a sheep-type creature called Wooloo. There’s also Gossifleur, a new flowering Pokémon with healing powers that evolves into Eldegoss, and Drednaw a “bite Pokémon” that looks like a snapping turtle. Corviknight is a “flying taxi” that can fast travel you between towns.

The game introduces another feature called Dynamax, which creates giant versions of Pokémon for even more epic battles. This ability boosts a Pokémon’s power, turning their regular moves into “max moves.” Dynamaxing can be used once per battle, and only lasts for three turns.

Sword and Shield additionally offers Max Raid Battles where players can connect online (or locally) to fight against Dynamax-sized Pokémon in the wild. These enemies will stay super-sized throughout the entire battle. Some Pokémon can only be caught through these boss battle-style challenges.

After trying something different in Sun and Moon, Pokémon gyms are returning in Sword and Shield. This time, they’ll lean heavily on that new Dynamax mechanic, and take place in arenas full of screaming fans.

Finally, Nintendo revealed two new legendary Pokémon for Sword and Shield. These two dog-type creatures called Zacian and Zamazenta carry a sword and shield. They’ll apparently play a major role in the game’s story.

Pokémon Sword and Shield takes place in the new Galar region (modeled after the UK) and features three original starters: Sobble (water), Score-bunny (fire), and Grookey (grass). The game also returns to the traditional Pokémon catching mechanic of fighting wild creatures to weaken them, rather than simply tossing Pokéballs like in Pokémon Let’s Go.


Pokémon Sword and Shield launch November 15 for Nintendo Switch.

Media via Wario64, The Pokémon Company