Pokemon Sword and Shield Are Getting Expansions, Adding in Over 200 Returning Pokemon

Pokemon Sword and Shield Are Getting Expansions, Adding in Over 200 Returning Pokemon

Journey to the Isle of Armor, Crown Tundra, and more.

On today's Pokemon Direct presentation, Game Freak's Shigeru Ohmori and Junichi Masuda introduced the new way that the lifespan of Pokemon Sword and Shield's Galar region will be extended. In lieu of following up the games with another standalone installment set in the same region, Pokemon Sword and Shield will each receive Expansion Passes that add new environments, Pokemon, Gigantamax forms, characters, fashion items, and more.

The Expansion Passes for both titles will deliver content in two chunks: the first, due in June 2020, will take players to the new Isle of Armor, while the Fall 2020 installment will be set in the Crown Tundra. The passes cost $29.99 each—just as with the base games, the passes for Sword and Shield will contain slightly different content and need to be purchased separately.

Hiroyuki Tani, Game Freak's director for the Expansion Passes, introduced both the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra following a sizzle reel centered on the various Pokemon set to appear in the new areas. On the Isle of Armor, players will train under the tutelage of a new character, Mustard, alongside a new rival: Klara, a Poison-type trainer in Sword, or Avery, a Psychic-type trainer, in Shield. There, players will also have a chance at catching a new fighting-type legendary Pokemon named Kubfu. Kubfu evolves into Urshifu, a Pokemon with two different fighting style-based forms.

The icy expanses of the Crown Tundra seem more focused on adding even more legendary monsters to the Sword and Shield roster in souped-up endgame content. In addition to new legendaries such as Calyrex (said to have ruled all of Galar) and what appear to be new elemental additions to the Regi-family, a whole host of legendary monsters from previous generations will be found in the tundra. Some of these will be encountered in new co-op Dynamax battles that take place in Pokemon dens.

New fashion items will keep your trainer warm and stylish in the tundra. | Game Freak

In all, Game Freak promises that over 200 "well-known" Pokemon will return in the expansion passes. Whether or not this will sate the "Dexit" crowd, it's quite something to see the Pokemon series step away from Black and White 2 or Ultra Sun and Moon-esque mid-cycle releases and release straightforward DLC. Even more interesting is the fact that, Expansion Pass or not, Sword and Shield owners will receive an update that allows them to trade for Pokemon found only at the Isle of Armor or Crown Tundra, so if there's just one Pokemon in the DLC you've been pining after, you won't necessarily need to buy it.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

Dicey Dungeons Had a Surprise Launch on Switch Last Night

Turns out Nintendo had another card up its sleeve. A card with, uh… with dice on it.

How Familiars.io's Creator Fit Multiplayer Monster-Taming Into a Single Tweet

Bless Twitter's Javascript embeds for letting this Pokemon-like flourish.

CD Projekt Red Is "Not Encouraging" Cyberpunk 2077 Returns, Joint-CEO Tells Investors

"We hope they'll give us a chance to improve the game on the original consoles," says Marcin Iwi?ski.

Need help?

Witcher 3: How to Start the Blood and Wine DLC and Meet Its Level Requirements

We explain how to get to Toussaint and what level you should be when you do.

Witcher 3: All the Correct Play Lines in "The Play's the Thing" Quest

We explain how to perform the Doppler's play with Priscilla, as well as whether to choose tragedy or comedy.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Mystery Gift Codes List (January 2020)

You can get free gifts in Pokemon Sword and Shield by entering certain Mystery Gift Codes. Here’s a full list of all the active codes available right now.

The Outer Worlds Shrink Ray - How to Get the Unique Shrink Ray Science Weapon

This is where you can get the Shrink Ray science weapon in The Outer Worlds, one of the unique weapons in the game.