The first part of Pokémon Sword and Shield’s two-part expansion pack is set to release in June. Nintendo and The Pokémon Company revealed more details about both the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra DLC packs on June 2, including a release date for the Isle of Armor and loads of new Pokémon that trainers will be able to catch.
A video announcement early Tuesday morning, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company finally confirmed a release date for the first installment beyond the vague "June 2020" window.
Gamers haven’t received much information about either expansions since they were first announced in early January, besides an in-depth look at one of the new legendary Pokémon coming to the games in June. So Tuesday's announcement will come as major update to fans who have been patiently waiting for more places to explore and new Pokémon to catch in the Galar region.
This is uncharted waters for the 24-year-old franchise and fans are itching for more information. Expanding Sword and Shield with major DLC releases is a first for the franchise.
Previously, Pokémon titles have received an entirely new version a year-or-so later — e.g. Black 2 and White 2 (2012) and Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (2017). Now, fans won’t have to buy a whole new game if they want the latest Pokédex updates and more of the Galar region to explore.
“You’ll be able to set out on new adventures using the saved data you’re already playing with,” Game Director Shigeru Ohmori said during the DLC’s announcement on January 9.
Game Freak, Sword and Shield's developer, is focusing on making these new chapters of Sword and Shield a seamless experience that expand upon the base game directly.
Like the exclusive Pokémon and gyms in Sword and Shield, players of each game will have slightly different experiences depending on the version you have. Here’s everything we can expect to see in the expansion packs.
What are the release dates for the Sword and Shield expansion passes?
The Isle of Armor DLC will be released on June 17, The Pokémon Company announced on June 2.
The Crown Tundra DLC still has not received a specific release date, but is set for launch during the fall of 2020. While the June 2nd announcement didn't come with a Crown Tundra release date, The Pokémon Company dropped plenty of details that for fans excited for part-two of the Sword and Shield DLC bundle.
How much will the Pokémon Sword and Shield expansion passes cost?
The Sword and Shield expansion pass is available now for $30 in the Nintendo Switch eShop. It’s a solid chunk of change, but it’s still $10 cheaper than the $40 price tag Game Freak slapped on Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
Purchasing it now will ensure you're able to set off on the new adventures the Isle of Armor hold in the coming weeks and will give you access to the second DLC pack, Crown Tundra, when it’s released in the fall.
What will the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra be like?
Once they’re released, any players with the expansion pass will be able to access the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra, regardless of whether they’ve completed the main campaign or not.
The Isle of Armor is an island off the coast of the Galar region, where players will become apprentices of a Pokémon dojo master named Mustard. You’ll venture through sandy beaches, dense forests, and dark caves to catch Pokémon that aren’t available on Galar’s mainland.
The Crown Tundra is a mountainous, snow-swept area home to a roster of never-before-seen Pokémon, who can be caught by exploring frozen temples and the depths of Pokémon Dens.
What new characters are coming to Sword and Shield?
You’ll also be faced with a new rival in the Isle of Armor. Klara (in Sword) and Avery (in Shield) challenge you to Pokémon battles during your island adventure.
Klara specializes in Poison-type Pokémon and Avery has a team full of Psychic-types. Make sure you come prepared with some counter picks.
What new Pokémon and legendaries are coming to Sword and Shield?
The only new, non-legendary Pokémon Game Freak revealed Thursday was Galarian Slowpoke that is now available to expansion pass buyers. But the DLC teaser teased seven new legendary Pokémon.
Here’s a full list of all of the rare creatures that will be included in the expansion pass:
- Kubfu is Fighting-type that will join trainers on their adventure through the Isle of Armor.
- Urshifu Single-Strike Style is Fighting/Dark-type and the evolved form of Kubfu. Your Kubfu will evolve into Single-Strike Style Urshifu if you complete the Tower of Darkness.
- Urshifu Rapid-Strike Style is a Fighting/Water-type and the evolved form of Kubfu. Your Kubfu will evolve into Rapid-Strike Style if you complete the Tower of Waters.
- Regieleci is an Electric-type with the new move Thunder Cage, which deals damage and traps the enemy in an electrified cage for four to five turns.
- Regidrago is a Dragon-type that knows the attack Dragon Energy, which deals more damage the higher the enemies HP is.
- Galarian Articuno is a Psychic/Flying-type who will have the new move Freezing Glare which has a chance to Freeze the opposing Pokémon.
- Galarian Zapdos is a Fighting/Flying-type that knows the attack Thunderous Kick, which does damage and lowers the Defense of the Pokémon it hits with the move.
- Galarian Moltres is a Dark/Flying-type that knows Fiery Wrath, an attack that deals devastating damage and can cause the opponent to flinch.
What new Gigantamax forms are coming to Sword and Shield?
The final evolutions of of all three Galar starters — Cinderace, Rillaboom, and Inteleon — will get Gigantamax forms. And that’s not all!
During the Direct, the Game Freak team revealed Blastoise and Venusaur will also get Gigantamax forms, so expect some of the other Pokémon added with the expansion pass to get their own bigger and badder forms.
What existing Pokémon are coming to Sword and Shield?
The expansion pass will also add 200 existing Pokémon that didn’t make it in the initial release of Sword and Shield, a move seemingly directed at diehard “Dexit” fans who were hugely upset Game Freak cut out some of the franchise’s most iconic characters.
Here’s a list of the confirmed existing Pokémon that will be making a comeback to Sword and Shield, thanks to the expansion pass. Only final evolved forms are listed below, but their earlier forms will also be included:
The Pokémon Sword and Shield expansion pass is now available for pre-purchase.