Expansion

The announcement of Expansion Passes for Pokémon Sword and Shield has come with news that the DLC content for Game Freak's latest entry in the mainline Pokémon series will also bring new features to the game. The two parts of the Expansion Pass feature a brand-new area each - The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra - and both will bring with them new items, features and most importantly new (and old!) Pokémon, too.

Below we've collected all the information concerning the new features coming in the Expansion Passes, as well as general information. Read on to find the answers you're after:

The Pokémon Direct Presentation 9th January 2020

What are the new areas from the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass?

Here's Nintendo's official blurb for each of the two new areas found in the Galar region. First, The Isle of Armor:

Armor

In The Isle of Armor expansion, you’ll head to The Isle of Armor, the stage of your new adventure in the Galar region. The Isle of Armor is a giant island full of environments not seen in Galar before—you'll find wave-swept beaches, forests, bogs, caves, and sand dunes!,There are also plenty of Pokémon that make this island their home, living freely amid the lush natural surroundings.,There’s even a dojo here that specializes in some very particular training styles! You and your Pokémon will take up an apprenticeship under the master of this dojo and train hard to become even stronger.

And second, The Crown Tundra:

Tundra

The Crown Tundra expansion is set in the snow-swept realm of The Crown Tundra. See for yourself the beautiful scenery of this shining, silvery landscape! In this frigid area, with its jagged winter mountains, people live in small communities where they support and rely on one another.,A certain person will appoint you as the leader of their exploration team in The Crown Tundra. You’ll then be tasked with investigating the reaches of this frozen land. And remember the Pokémon Dens that you’ve only been able to glimpse during Max Raid Battles? Well, now you’ll be able to explore their full depths!

Are there any brand-spanking new Pokémon coming with the Expansions?

Why yes there are. First, meet Kubfu and its two possible forms of its evolution Urshifu:

Kubfu

Pokemon Kubfu 2x

  • Category: Wushu Pokémon
  • Type: Fighting
  • Height: 2'
  • Weight: 26.5 lbs.
  • Ability: Inner Focus

Kubfu will appear in The Isle of Armor. This Pokémon is hardworking and strives to train both its body and mind. It uses each defeat as motivation, training itself with even more vigor after a loss in order to grow stronger. It has an organ that produces “fighting energy” in its lower abdomen, and before heading into battle, Kubfu will increase this energy through unique breathing techniques and intense focus. Wild Kubfu live in mountainous areas far away from the Galar region, but it was once a species that called Galar its home. It’s noted in historical texts that this species used to head to uncharted lands with people as they set out to trade or explore. Records suggest that the Kubfu living in faraway mountains today may have descended from Kubfu that became naturalized to the distant lands they visited in their journeys.

Urshifu

(Single Strike Style)

  • Category: Wushu Pokémon
  • Type: Fighting/Dark
  • Height: 6'3"
  • Weight: 231.5 lbs.
  • Ability: Unseen Fist

(Rapid Strike Style)

  • Category: Wushu Pokémon
  • Type: Fighting/Water
  • Height: 6'3"
  • Weight: 231.5 lbs.
  • Ability: Unseen Fist

Kubfu will evolve into Urshifu after it has undergone sufficient training. It seems that Urshifu has two forms—a Single Strike Style and a Rapid Strike Style—and it appears that each form has different types as well. Urshifu in Single Strike Style form favor battling without holding anything back. When enraged, they will mercilessly attack an opponent until it is utterly defeated. A Single Strike Style Urshifu’s movements are often direct and involve rushing forward in a straight line. It will keep its distance from its opponents at first only to leap in close instantly to deliver a powerful blow. Urshifu in Rapid Strike Style form maintain a calm demeanor, observing their opponents and measuring their strength while dodging attacks. A Rapid Strike Style Urshifu will use flowing movements in battle to smoothly parry an opponent’s moves and then overwhelm the opponent with a flurry of rapid strikes.

Also say hello to Calyrex:

Calyrex

Pokemon Calyrex 2x
  • Category: King Pokémon
  • Type: Psychic/Grass
  • Height: 3'7"
  • Weight: 17 lbs.
  • Ability: Unnerve

Trainers will encounter Calyrex in The Crown Tundra. This Pokémon ruled all of Galar in ancient times. Though it appears delicate and slight, its every move is filled with grace and dignity. It also has extremely high intelligence, and it’s said to see every past, present, and future event.

In addition to these, Gigantamax versions of the three fully evolved starters from Pokémon Sword and Shield (Rillaboom, Cinderace and Inteleon) will feature, as well as regional forms of familiar Pokémon such as Galarian Slowpoke which you can catch right now by heading to Wedgehurst Station after downloading the 9th January 2020 update.

Are there any new returning Pokémon from previous generations?

Yes! The Pokémon Direct confirmed that over 200 'old' Pocket Monsters will be returning in the two new regions. There's no complete list of the returners just yet, although you may have glimpsed some in the Pokémon Direct presentation. We'll keep an eye out for updates and add them here when they're announced.

Are there any version-exclusive Pokémon or characters in the Expansions?

Yes. Nintendo has stated on Twitter that each version of the Expansion Pass will feature version-exclusive Pokémon and characters. There's no word on which Pokémon are version exclusives just yet, but the rival Trainer you'll face will depend on the version of the game you have. Pokémon Sword players will face Klara, a Poison-type specialist training at the dojo of Pokémon Master Mustard. Pokémon Shield players will come up against Avery a Psychic-type user also under Mustard's tutelage.

PokemonDirect4

What new features are included in the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Passes?

Each expansion will bring different new Pokémon, areas, features, items and moves that weren't previously available in Pokémon Sword and Shield. The information below comes from the official Pokémon Sword and Shield website:

Additional Features The Isle of Armor The Crown Tundra
New areas Yes Yes
Kubfu and Urshifu Yes
Calyrex Yes
Gigantamax forms for Rillaboom, Cinderace, and Inteleon Yes
New regional forms Yes Yes
Pokémon that didn’t appear in Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield Yes Yes
New Pokédexes Yes Yes
New clothing items Yes Yes
New Pokémon added to Max Raid Battles Yes Yes
New items Yes
New tutor moves Yes
Restricted Sparring battle feature Yes
New co-op play mode Yes

Here's a brief overview of the features:

  • The new expansions will feature over 100 new items of clothing between them.
  • In The Isle of Armor, you'll be able to find an Exp. Charm which is used to level up Pokémon.
  • Brand new tutor moves will feature in The Isle of Armor expansion
  • Restricted Sparring will enable Trainers Battles with Pokémon Type limitations and set Battle conditions.
  • Explorable Pokémon Dens in The Crown Tundra will be home to Legendary Pokémon from previous Pokémon games.
  • Players' Galar Pokédexes will be updated to reflect the new additions - both the Isle of Armor, and the Crown Tundra will also have their own Pokédexes.
  • Both the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra will feature Pokémon Dens just like in the Wild Area in the main game, although they'll feature Pokémon you won't find in the Wild Area. Max Raid Battles will be available in the ones emitting a shard of red light enabling a team of up to three players to battle a Dynamax Pokémon.

Do I need to buy the Expansion Pass to access the Max Raid Battles in the new areas?

No. Friends who don't have the Expansion Pass will still be able to join in these battles.

Do I need to buy the Expansion Pass to access the 200+ returning Pokémon from past generations?

No. Following a free update that will launch alongside the Expansion Passes, players of vanilla Pokémon Sword or Shield will be able to trade those Pokémon with players who have purchased the expansion and caught them all. Therefore, it will be entirely possible to get your hands on those new Pokémon via trading.

Players without the expansion will also be able to bring Pokémon over from past games using Pokémon Home, the new service launching in February 2020 (as long as those Pokémon feature in Pokémon Sword and Shield or its expansions).

Will there be an 'Ultra' version of Pokémon Sword and Shield?

From the way the designers discussed the Expansion Passes in the announcement, these expansions will take the place of the more traditional updated 'third' versions we've seen in previous generations.

When is the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass launching?

Part 1 of the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass - The Isle of Armor - is scheduled for release by the end of June 2020. Part 2 - The Crown Tundra - is planned for Fall 2020.

How much does the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass cost?

Parts 1 and 2 of the Expansion Pass are purchased together for £26.99 / $29.99 and are up for pre-purchase right now. You'll need to purchase the corresponding pass according to which copy of the game you own. If you own both games and want to access the new areas in both, that means buying both the Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and the Pokémon Shield Expansion pass.

Pre-purchasing before the Pass arrives will get you an early purchase bonus of a Pikachu uniform and an Eevee uniform (see below) that you'll be able to equip right away.

Early Purchase Bonus Uniforms


We'll update this guide with more information as we get it.

[via swordshield.pokemon.com]