Pokemon Won't Let Guard Down In Sword & Shield - Guide

You won't be able to catch every Pokemon you encounter in Galar right away.


Pokemon Sword and Shield are out on Nintendo Switch, and you'll spend much of your time in the games exploring the Wild Area--a vast open-world expanse that stretches across the Galar region. The Wild Area is home to a variety of different Pokemon, including some that will be a much higher level than you, making it a good place to catch and train monsters.

Unlike previous games, however, Sword and Shield won't just let you capture any Pokemon you encounter during your journey--at least, not right away. While attempting to capture certain monsters, you'll likely notice a message that says the Pokemon "won't drop its guard." So what does this mean, and how do you catch these Pokemon?

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The short answer is you can't. In a departure from previous games, Sword and Shield restrict the level of the wild Pokemon you can catch depending on how many badges you have. For example, if you have one badge, you can only catch wild Pokemon that are up to level 25. That means any time you attempt to capture a monster that's above that level, you'll see a message that the Pokemon won't drop its guard.

Of course, just because you can't catch these Pokemon doesn't mean there isn't an incentive to challenge them. If you're confident in your battle skills, taking on these strong monsters will be a good source of experience points, and because Exp. Share is always enabled, every Pokemon in your party will reap some benefit from the encounter, even if it doesn't directly participate in the battle. However, the disparity in levels can be pretty severe; you can encounter a wild Pokemon in the 50s while your party is still in the 20s, so exercise caution when challenging a strong-looking monster.

Pokemon Sword and Shield are available exclusively for Switch. If you're not sure which version is right for you, we've broken down all the version-exclusive Pokemon and differences to help you decide. For our full thoughts on the games, be sure to read our Pokemon Sword and Shield review.

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