Pokemon Sword & Shield Max Raid Schedule: Every Gigantamax Pokemon Available Right Now

You're more likely to encounter Gigantamax Butterfree, Drednaw, Corviknight, and more until early January.

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Pokemon Sword and Shield are out now on Nintendo Switch, and the games take a page out of Pokemon Go's book by introducing Raid Battles to the series, which have you to team up with other players to take on supersized Pokemon together. While most of the Pokemon you encounter in these Max Raids will be Dynamaxed, you'll also have a chance of coming across Gigantamax monsters, and The Pokemon Company has confirmed some of the Gigantamax Pokemon you're more likely to see in the games right now.

During specific periods of time, certain Gigantamax Pokemon will appear more frequently than normal in Max Raids, making it much easier to add them to your collection. From now until early January, you'll have a greater chance of encountering Gigantamax Butterfree and the newly introduced Gigantamax Snorlax in Max Raids, regardless of which version you're playing. Additionally, Pokemon Sword players will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Drednaw and Sandaconda during the same time period, while those playing Shield will be more likely to find Gigantamax Corviknight and Centiskorch. You can see the current Gigantamax Raid schedule below.

Gigantamax Raid Schedule

  • Butterfree -- November 15 - January 9
  • Drednaw (Sword version) -- November 15 - January 9
  • Sandaconda (Sword version) -- December - January 9
  • Corviknight (Shield version) -- November 15 - January 9
  • Centiskorch (Shield version) -- December - January 9
  • Snorlax -- December 4 - January 9

In Sword and Shield, Max Raid Battles occur at special dens dotting the Wild Area, an open-world expanse that stretches through the Galar region. You can tell when a Max Raid Battle is happening when a beam of light is emerging from one of these dens. You can take on Max Raids with three other trainers, who can either be real players online or AI-controlled partners. Much like in Pokemon Go, you'll first need to defeat the Max Raid Boss in battle within a set amount of time before you can have a chance to capture it.

The Pokemon Company teases that "the Gigantamax Pokemon you’re likely to encounter will change over time," so it seems there will be an ongoing schedule of Gigantamax Raids. You can read more about the first confirmed Gigantamax Raid Bosses on the official Pokemon Sword and Shield website.

Gigantamaxing is a special strain of Dynamaxing. While all Pokemon are able to Dynamax, only certain species can Gigantamax, and even then, only special individuals within that species can actually Gigantamax--so a Butterfree that you catch in the grass, for instance, will not be able to Gigantamax, but one that you encounter through a Max Raid will. You can see all the Gigantamax Pokemon revealed so far in our Gen 8 Pokemon gallery.

On top of those monsters, you can get a couple of Gigantamax Pokemon for free in Sword and Shield. If you have save data of Let's Go Pikachu or Eevee on your Switch, you'll receive a Gigantamax-capable Pikachu or Eevee in your game, and everyone who purchases a copy by January 15 will get a free Gigantamax-capable Meowth via Mystery Gift. For more on the titles, check out our Pokemon Sword and Shield review.

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