The Pokedex In Pokemon Sword & Shield Is A Smartphone That Combines With Your Bike
It looks like your new Rotom Phone will replace some HMs.
Pokemon Sword and Shield introduce or change some major elements that fans are accustomed to. This week's pre-E3 Pokemon Direct further showcased the upcoming Nintendo Switch games, confirming their release date and other gameplay mechanics. Beyond what was in that stream, we've since gotten more information courtesy of the official website, and one thing that it details is Sword and Shield's incarnation of the Pokedex. As it turns out, it doesn't work like the one from previous games.
Just as in Pokemon Sun and Moon, your Pokedex in Sword and Shield contains a Rotom, a Ghost/Electric Pokemon that is capable of inhabiting electronics. However, rather than being its own dedicated device, it appears your Pokedex this time will be part of your character's smartphone, which is fittingly dubbed the Rotom Phone. You can see how it looks below.
Interestingly, it appears the Rotom Phone has more functions than simply logging the Pokemon you encounter. According to the website, you'll also be able to attach it to your bicycle, which will allow you to move faster and even cross water. During the latest trailer, we can briefly see the latter in action when the player character pedals across a lake using a water bike, suggesting this will be your method of traversing bodies of water in Sword and Shield rather than the Surf HM of old. It initially wasn't clear if that bike was a separate item you needed to acquire or if it worked similarly to Sun/Moon's Poke Ride feature, but the website makes it seem it's a form your regular bicycle can take thanks to the Rotom Phone.
If that's indeed the case, then it appears the Rotom Phone could effectively replace HMs, the special moves you needed to teach Pokemon in the past to navigate the region. Recent titles have been doing away with HMs, and it appears Sword and Shield may be continuing that trend by allowing you to change your bike's form to suit the terrain. We already know that Fly is effectively being replaced by one of the new Gen 8 Pokemon, Corviknight, which acts as a sort of taxi service and can ferry players back to towns they've previously visited.
Pokemon Sword and Shield launch for Nintendo Switch on November 15. You can catch up on all the other big news about the games in our Pokemon Direct recap. For more, be sure to check out our Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order guide.
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