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Pokemon Sword & Shield's Ball Guy Sucks, Actually

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Ball Guy is my enemy.

Even if you haven't played Pokemon Sword and Shield yet, you might have seen Ball Guy somewhere on the internet. The mysterious Poke Ball mascot was the cause of some debate when the games launched--is he weird, or is he a friend? Back then, I defended Ball Guy. He gives you free Poke Balls, I reasoned. He's nice. He just wants to help out. Who cares if his outfit is weird and he has no known origin?

For far too long, I considered Ball Guy a friend. Not anymore. Ball Guy is my enemy. He sucks, actually. He really sucks. He is the bane of my existence.

I'll admit that during the main story, Ball Guy appears good. He's supportive. He's always there for you, at every Gym. He gifts you various ultra-rare Poke Balls so you can catch your favorite monsters in... cool balls. But when you become Champion, his disposition changes.

See, after you beat the game, you're allowed to call a rematch Champion Cup in Wyndon whenever you want. You battle three people, mostly Gym Leaders, and it takes a bit of time, but it's a decent way to make some money. It's also the only way to get an item I really need: the Flame Orb. Why I need a Flame Orb is not as important as the fact that it is incredibly useful, incredibly rare, and only available at the mercy of Ball Guy, who gives you a prize when you complete the tournament.

Each day, the first prize you get for completing a rematch cup is a Wishing Piece. It is guaranteed, and it resets every day. Ball Guy comes out and hands it to you like it's worth something--it's not. They are easy to buy in the Wild Area for Watts. I don't need them, and I don't want them. But I get one every single day, just so I can grind more Champion Cups on the off chance he'll give me what I want.

Yesterday, I did around 10 Champion Cup rematches. I did not get a Flame Orb. I did get some Dusk Balls (which you can buy easily) and some Ultra Balls (which you can also buy easily). I also got 100 Poke Balls, twice. And when Ball Guy gives you 100 Poke Balls, that's when he shows his true colors.


Before he reveals your absolute garbage prize, he gleefully does the universal sign for mocking others' pain: He animatedly wipes fake tears from his permanently smiling ball face, as if to say "Aww, did the baby want a Flame Orb?", and it goes on for a couple of seconds. He then reveals that he's giving you 100 Poke Balls, which are useless to you. Selling them nets you pennies. You don't catch Pokemon with Poke Balls anymore. But here they are. Guess you better grind this tournament out again, sweetie.

I will do it again today. I will get a Wishing Piece. I will keep running the stupid Champion Cup until I get my Flame Orb. And when I get it, I will never speak to Ball Guy again. He's burned me too many times.

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Kallie Plagge

Kallie Plagge was GameSpot's reviews editor from August 2018 to March 2021. She loves Pokemon, inventory management, and Grunt Birthday Party.

Pokemon Sword / Shield

Pokemon Sword / Shield

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