Pokemon Sword and Shield Release Date and Legendaries - Everything We Know

Pokemon Sword and Shield Release Date and Legendaries - Everything We Know

Here's all the details we have on the Pokemon Sword and Shield release date, as well as the new Legendaries featured in the game.

The two new Pokemon Sword and Shield Legendaries have now been unveiled, and even if there isn't the full Pokedex in the game there's still a ton to look forward to. In this guide rounding up all the info we have on both games so far, we'll be going over details including the Pokemon Sword and Shield release date, the trio of starter Pokemon we'll be joining in the game, all the news out of E3 2019, and more.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Release Date

The Pokemon Sword and Shield release date is November 15, 2019. Nintendo revealed the Pokemon release date in a special Nintendo Direct on June 5, dedicated to the next generation of Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch.

The Pokemon Sword and Shield box art. | Nintendo

Pokemon Sword and Shield Double Pack

If you're struggling to decide which version of the new Pokemon games to get, Nintendo has announced a special double pack. This Pokemon Sword and Shield double pack will retail in North America at launch for $119.99. This unfortunately doesn't include the special steelbook, which is exclusive to Europe, at least for now.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Gameplay

It was also in the special Nintendo Direct in June that Pokemon Sword and Shield gameplay was revealed for the first time. Dynamaxes are the names of rifts found around the map, which you can enter with the help of other players, and encounter giant Pokemon, that you can then capture. Pokemon in the Galar region can Dynamax to become huge in size, transforming their moves once per battle. The Pokemon revert to their original size after three turns.

Four players can group up to challenge one Dynamax Pokemon, which keeps its huge form throughout the battle. Only one of the four players who has teamed up to take on the Dynamax Pokemon can Dynamax their Pokemon for the battle. These missions are known as Max Raid Battles, teaming up players together to catch one huge Pokemon, but note that you'll need Nintendo Switch Online to take on these Dynamax battles.

In the "Wild Area" in between cities and towns, there's going to be dynamic, changing weather effects, which produce different Pokemon for you to come across. You'll also be able to turn the camera and look around the local environment, for a better look at your surroundings.

Z-Moves are back in Pokemon Sword and Shield. The ultra powerful moves make a grand return in both games, and there's also the new Legendary Pokemon, which have now been revealed to be wolves, that we first saw back in the key art for both games.

Pokemon Sword and Shield E3 2019 News

Nintendo revealed at E3 2019 that you can use the Poke Ball Plus accessory from Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee with both games. Note that you can't use the accessory as an actual controller for the game, like you could in Let's Go, but you can put individual Pokemon from Sword and Shield into the Poke Ball Plus. "Take them out for a stroll, and something good might happen!" Nintendo teased.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Legendaries

Just below, you can see the brand new Pokemon Sword and Shield Legendaries that were revealed recently for the first time. These two are known as Zacian, who carries the sword in their mouth, and Zamazenta, the Pokemon that has a shield curved around its head. These two are the only brand new Legendary Pokemon in Sword and Shield that we know of right now, but there could be new creatures revealed further down the line.

Meet Zacian in Pokemon Sword and Shield. | Nintendo
Zamazenta, the other of the two Pokemon Sword and Shield Legendaries. | Nintendo

Pokemon Sword and Shield Gyms

Gyms take the form of stadiums in Pokemon Sword and Shield. It's here that the Dynamax feature for the games really come into play, battling it out in front of huge crowds. Milo is the Grass-type Gym Leader, and he's just one of the many Gym Leaders you'll be facing off against in stadiums around the Galar region.

Milo, the Grass-type Gym Leader. | Nintendo

Pokemon Sword and Shield Galar Region

Also in the Nintendo Direct on February 27, the setting of the new Galar region for Pokemon Sword and Shield was finally revealed. As of right now, we've got very little information to go on for both titles, but the new region does look fairly industrial, as though the landscape is dominated by cities and factories.

An overview of the Galar region. | Nintendo

In June, Nintendo gave us a look at some of the new characters in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Hop is the name of your rival trainer in Pokemon Sword and Shield, accompanying you through the world. Professor Magnolia, and Sonia Magnolia research the Dynamax instances, and will help you on your adventure in Sword and Shield.

Professor Magnolia, researcher of the Dynamaxes. | Nintendo

Does Pokemon Sword and Shield Have Random Encounters?

The answer to this question is yes, Pokemon Sword and Shield does appear to have random encounters. In the reveal trailer for both games, we can see a player character walking into long grass, and getting attacked by a random Pokemon that appears out of nowhere.

This is a big deal for Pokemon Sword and Shield, because both Pokemon Let's Go games last year dropped this feature. Both games removed the random encounters entirely, and in our humble opinion, the games were actually better off for it. Instead of randomly running into Pokemon in the open world, you'd see all the Pokemon patrolling the surrounding scenery, and decide which ones you wanted to engage in battle.

New Pokemon Gen 8 Starters

So far, three starter Pokemon have been revealed for both Pokemon Sword, and Pokemon Shield. There's Grookey, the chimp Pokemon, Scorbunny, the fiery rabbit-looking creature, and Sobble, the timid water-type Pokemon.


Doesn't this little guy just look adorable. Grookey is going to be the Grass-based starter for both Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Meet your new Gen 8 starter Pokemon. | Nintendo


You can briefly see Scorbunny scampering around the environment in the Pokemon Sword and Shield debut trailer, leaving fiery footprints in the grass wherever they go. As you might have guessed, Scorbunny, is the Fire-type starter Pokemon for Pokemon Sword and Shield.


Finally, there's Sobble, the timid looking Pokemon that will probably run away at the first sign of danger. In Pokemon Sword and Shield, Sobble will act as the Water-type starter Pokemon.

And just as you might have predicted, shortly after the reveal of the new Gen 8 starters, Twitter was ablaze with the hot takes. It certainly seems like Grookey is the most popular starter Pokemon, and Sobble is unfortunately the one that everyone's making fun of. Poor Sobble.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Trailer

So what information could we glean from the debut trailer of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield? Just below, we've recapped all the essential information that you need to know from the reveal trailer into concise points.

  • Random encounters are back once again.
  • Galar is a Britist-based land.
  • Character customization features in Sword and Shield.
  • There's a dynamic day and night cycle.
  • Sword and Shield are directed by Pokemon Sun and Moon lead Shigeru Omori.
Meet Scorbunny! | Nintendo

These all are the collective rumors and information we have surrounding the Pokemon Switch project right now, but make sure to keep an eye on this guide, as we'll be updating it with all the future information that releases surrounding the game, particularly with E3 2018 on the horizon.

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Hirun Cryer

Guides Writer

Hirun Cryer is by far the most juvenile member of USgamer. He's so juvenile, that this is his first full-time job in the industry, unlike literally every other person featured on this page. He's written for The Guardian, Paste Magazine, and Kotaku, and he likes waking up when the sun rises and roaming the nearby woods with the bears and the wolves.

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