First released alongside Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee!, the Poké Ball Plus offered a unique way to play that game one-handed. Designed to resemble the Poké Balls used to catch Pocket Monsters, it's a cute little controller with a built-in accelerometer which adds a fun flavour to playing through the remakes of Pokémon Red and Blue, the original Pokémon games on Game Boy.
But can you use the Poké Ball Plus to play Pokémon Sword and Shield? Well, although it doesn't work as a controller in this game, the little Poké Ball Plus device is compatible with Pokémon Sword and Shield, albeit in a more limited way. It is the only way to unlock the mythical Pokémon Mew in Pokémon Sword and Shield, although you'll probably need a brand new Poké Ball Plus. It's also a handy accessory when paired with Pokémon GO (and check out our other guide if you want to know how to pair the Poké Ball Plus accessory with your iOS or Android device).
Below is a list of questions and (more importantly!) answers pertaining to the Poké Ball Plus and Pokémon Sword and Shield. Read on to find out exactly how you use the little device with the latest in the mainline series of Pokémon games.
If you're eager for a full list of the 400 Pokémon available in the Galar Pokédex, check out our snazzy Galar Pokédex database tool. You can also find out more about the three Pokémon Sword and Shield starters and their evolutions, check out our Pokémon type chart for info on strengths and weaknesses, hunt out Easter Eggs in Pokémon Sword and Shield, and find out how to find and evolve Galar region Pokémon from Sirfetch'd to Frosmoth, Alcremie and many more.
How do I use the Poké Ball Plus in Pokémon Sword and Shield?
It's possible to load Pokémon from Sword and Shield into your Poké Ball Plus and take them for a walk with you to collect minor bonus items and rewards, much in the same way that you could in Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! & Eevee!. While inside the Poké Ball, you're able to hear the Pokémon's call by pressing the button on the controller.
Can I use the Poké Ball Plus as a controller in Pokémon Sword and Shield?
Short answer: no. Unfortunately, the Poké Ball Plus does not feature any of the controller functionality when used with Pokémon Sword and Shield. Repeat - you cannot use the Poké Ball Plus as a one-handed controller in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! & Eevee! were designed as introductions to the world of Pokémon and several gameplay features were simplified to make it more approachable and accessible for newcomers. Pokémon Sword and Shield are not compatible with the Poké Ball Plus in the same way and can't be used to control the game.
What rewards can I get by walking with a Pokémon Sword and Shield Pokémon in my Poké Ball Plus?
Nothing very exciting, we're afraid. Unlike in Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! & Eevee! where your Pokémon also got experience points for your steps taken while in in the Poké Ball Plus, in Pokémon Sword and Shield the Pokémon do not receive XP. You'll get Poké Balls, Stardust, Rare Candy and various other items only.
How do I connect the Poké Ball Plus to Pokémon Sword and Shield?
To connect your Poké Ball Plus to Pokémon Sword and Shield, first hit 'X' to go to the menu during normal gameplay. Click on 'Mystery Gift' and the scroll down to 'Take a Stroll with Poké Ball Plus'. Once selected, press the Top button or the Control stick on the controller and wait for it to connect. After it has connected, follow the instructions to load a Pokémon or claim the rewards of a stroll.
If you have a Pokémon from Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! & Eevee! already in the Poké Ball Plus, the rewards will be deleted if you overwrite the data with a Pokémon from Pokémon Sword and Shield. Be careful!
Can I transfer Mew from a Poké Ball Plus to Pokémon Sword and Shield?
Yes, BUT (and this is a big 'but') only if you haven't previously claimed and transferred it to Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! & Eevee!. Assuming you have a freshly-purchased Poké Ball Plus that has never been registered to claim the Mew it contains, you can transfer this Pokémon into Sword and Shield if you have an internet connection in much the same way as you unlock Mew in Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! & Eevee!. Just remember, it's one or the other!
You can claim your Mew by going to 'Mystery Gift' in the pause menu and connecting your Poké Ball Plus.
Can I transfer Pokémon from Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! & Eevee! to Pokémon Sword and Shield?
Not using the Poké Ball Plus, but yes, this is now possible using the companion app Pokémon HOME for Switch and mobile. As long as that Pokémon features in the Galar Pokédex (Caterpie, for example), you will be able to transfer it from Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! & Eevee! to Pokémon HOME and then on into Pokémon Sword and Shield. Although beware that Pocket Monsters transferred from Let's Go, Pikachu and Eevee cannot be moved back to those games once you've moved them to Sword and Shield (although they can be returned and stored in Pokémon HOME). Why? We don't know why. You just can't.
You can find out much more about Pokémon HOME with our handy Pokémon HOME guide.
Can I transfer Pokémon from Pokémon GO to Pokémon Sword and Shield?
This is possible if you also own Let's Go, Pikachu and Eevee (you can move compatible Pokémon from Pokémon GO to that game, then to Pokémon HOME and then to Sword and Shield), although functionality is on the way that will enable you to transfer critters from Pokémon GO to Pokémon HOME directly. If we were you, we'd probably sit tight for that unless you're absolutely desperate.
So, while the functionality of the Poké Ball Plus is quite limited when it comes to Pokémon Sword and Shield, you can get some modest benefits by taking your Pokémon for walks with you and if you're desperate to use Mew in Pokémon Sword and Shield, a brand new Poké Ball Plus is currently the only way.