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How to catch Gigantamax Pikachu in Pokémon Sword and Shield

It's big time electric.

Pokémon Sword and Shield’s addition of Max Raid Battles and Pokémon Dens have extended the game’s lifetime indefinitely. Players come back each month to capture a new Gigagantmax Pokémon, which are often troublesome to find in the base game. The latest event in May 2020 brings Gigantamax Pikachu out of exclusivity. The ‘mon was originally only obtainable for those who played Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu, but now anybody can catch everyone's favorite chonky electric mouse.

This month, let’s gather around a local Pokémon Den to capture Gigantamax Pikachu.

How good is Pikachu?

Pokémon Number 025 is an icon. They’re the first Pokémon that anime watchers meet and the indisputable mascot of the whole franchise. Pikachu is the literal face of Pokémon. In addition to being iconic, can Pikachu actually be a viable addition to your team?

The electric Pokémon is fine. They have a base stat total of 320, which is a far cry from Raichu. Once evolved to Raichu, the Pokémon has a base stat total of 485. Unfortunately, a Gigantamax-capable Pikachu is unable to evolve into Raichu, they’re permanently stuck as Pikachu. Even with the boosted stats in Gigantamax form, Pikachu still can’t hold its own against other Gigantamax Pokémon. Capturing Giantamax Pikachu is more something done for novelty than to get the upper hand in a tough battle. Their design is amazing and their Giantamax attack is passable.

Big PikaNintendo

If you’d like to try making them a member of your team, there are a few moves you should teach Pikachu. Thunderbolt does excellent STAB damage. Your Pikachu should also learn TR77 Grass Knot for field coverage, TR68 Nasty Plot for a boost, and Nuzzle to stun your foes.

If you want an electric addition to your team, Giantamax Pikachu isn’t it. Try getting a Raichu instead. You can breed your Gigantamax-capable Pikachu to make a normal Pikachu, which can then be evolved to Raichu by using a Thunder Stone on it. Teach that Raichu the same moves suggested above and you’ll have a winner on your hands.

Gigantamax Pikachu release and end dates

Gigantamax Pikachu will only be available within Max Raid Battles from Monday, May 11 to Monday, May 18.

How to add Gigantamax Pikachu to your Pokémon Den rotation

Before you can begin your hunt for the Electric Mouse Pokémon in earnest, you have to add the event to your game. Open your main menu by clicking the X button then head to the Mystery Gift option. Once there, select “Get the Wild Area News.” Doing so will update your game to include Gigantamax Pikachu as a possible spawn within the Wild Area.

Dig the Pikachu.Nintendo

How to find Gigantamax Pikachu

Having activated the Wild News, Gigantamax Pikachu will now be randomly available within active Pokémon Dens emitting red or purple lights. Luckily, if you run into an event pool of Giantamax Pokémon, they will always be Pikachu. According to Serebii, there’s currently almost only Pikachu spawning in Sword and Shield right now.

If you’re having trouble finding a shiny one, try using the Pokémon Raid Exploit to force one into existence or to farm one for your friends.

Battling Gigantamax Pikachu

Before staring down the massive electric Pokémon, make sure to strengthen your favorite Ground-type Pokémon, as it’ll have double effectiveness against Pikachu.

Now it’s up to you to put your best foot forward and defeat the behemoth! Return on May 19 to capture Gigantamax Eevee, who was previously exclusive to Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee players.

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