Pokemon Sword & Shield Raid Battles: Multiplayer Fights Against Enormous Pokemon

Make my monster grow!


In the Nintendo Direct presentation for Pokemon Sword and Shield, Nintendo introduced a new mechanic called Dynamax. This makes your Pokemon huge and boosts their abilities, but it also plays into another brand-new feature: cooperative multiplayer Raid Battles, which can be home to exclusive Pokemon.

The Wild Area is all of the territory between towns where you can encounter Pokemon, and some special areas in the Wild have nodes where you can join up with other trainers to fight in Max Raid Battles. While your own Pokemon can only go Dynamax for three turns and can only be triggered once per battle, these Max Raid Battles will have you face off against a mega-sized Pokemon for the entire encounter. You'll need to coordinate with other players to bring them down, and only one of the trainers will be permitted to use a Dynamax of their own. The opposing Pokemon will also have access to "unique powers." If you manage to beat them, you can catch them.

These Max Raid Battles will vary by area and weather, and some Pokemon can only be caught by participating in a Max Raid Battle. You can team up with three other players, but if three humans aren't available, AI support trainers will be automatically added to your team. It all seems inspired by the Raid battles in Pokemon Go, albeit with a super-sized twist.

Dynamax Pokemon swap their abilities for Max abilities, and during the presentation we saw several Dynamax battles taking place in specialized Pokemon arenas full of fans. Other details from the Nintendo Direct include new character and story details, and our first look at the two new Legendary Pokemon that represent the Sword and Shield.

Among all the news shared during the Pokemon Direct broadcast was Pokemon Sword and Shield's release date: It launches for Switch on November 15. Read our Pokemon Sword & Shield pre-order guide for more details on where to get it and the special dual pack that includes both games for those who just have to collect both Legendaries.

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