Pokemon Sword And Shield's First Gigantamax Raid Schedule Revealed

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

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Pokemon Sword and Shield have arrived on Nintendo Switch, and like Pokemon Go, the games allow you to team up with other players and take on supersized Pokemon in Raid Battles. The Pokemon Company had previously teased that some Pokemon you encounter in these Max Raids are capable of Gigantamaxing, and now it has confirmed some of the first Gigantamax Pokemon you'll have an opportunity to catch.

From November 15 to early January, you'll have a greater chance of encountering Gigantamax Butterfree in Max Raids, regardless of which version you're playing. On top of that, Pokemon Sword players will be more likely to encounter Gigantamax Drednaw during the same time period, while those playing Shield will be more likely to find Gigantamax Corviknight.

Gigantamax Raid Schedule

  • Butterfree -- November 15 - early January
  • Drednaw (Sword version) -- November 15 - early January
  • Corviknight (Shield version) -- November 15 - early January

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 pre-order guide.

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