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How to tweak Exp. Share and auto-save in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Exp. Share? Auto-save? Give me Pokémon classic! 

Originally Published: 
Game Freak / NIntendo

In the last few Pokémon generations, Game Freak has made all sorts of under-the-hood adjustments to the gameplay, and Gen 8 is no exception. The developer aims to provide a cleaner experience by introducing autosaves and sound control settings while bringing back items like Exp. Share to reduce the time spent grinding. But can you turn these additions off to obtain a Pokémon Sword and Shield experience closer to the classic games? Well, almost.

Here’s everything you need to know about Exp. Share, auto-save, and sound settings in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Can you turn off Exp. Share in Sword and Shield?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn off team-wide Exp. Share in the traditional sense, no matter how much you scroll through the settings. To avoid over-leveling your Pokémon, place every ‘mon that you wish to remain the same level in your PC until they’re needed. This is a bit of a hassle, but it’s doable with Pokémon Sword and Shield’s always accessible PC.

Can you turn off auto-save in Sword and Shield?

Seasoned Pokémon players often impose challenges on themselves to raise the difficulty level of Pokémon games. A lynchpin for a few of these self-imposed challenges is the power to save your game sporadically, which the new autosave feature would make impossible. Luckily, autosaving can be turned off with a few flips of the menu.

  1. Press the X button.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Scroll down just a bit, and the autosave on/off switch should be smack dab between the switches for “Horizontal Camera Controls” and “Casual Controls.”
Nintendo/ The Pokemon Company

Voila! Once turned off, you’ll have to save manually, adding a bit more classic flair to your Pokémon experience.

Can you change the sound settings in Sword and Shield?

In the Let’s Go games, Game Freak introduced sound settings, allowing players to adjust the volume of Pokémon cries, music, and sound effects. This extra layer of control comes back for Pokémon Sword and Shield, but this time around, it has to be unlocked.

Sound control can be unlocked as early as your first visit to Motostoke City. Upon entering Motostoke, go straight until you spot a record store on your right. Speak to the man standing in front of the store wearing a newsboy hat. He’ll jabber on for a moment then bequeath you a Key Item called “Hi-tech Earbuds.”

Nintendo/The Pokemon Company

Once they’re in your inventory, the settings menu will expand to include adjustments for Pokémon cries, the music, and sound effects. Now you’re finally in control! If you don’t want those extra options, simply ignore this man.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are available for Nintendo Switch.

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