Why The New Pokémon 'Sword & Shield' Features Will Feel Familiar To Some Players

by Sophie McEvoy
Originally Published: 
The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

There's only a week left until Pokémon fans experience the next instalment in the franchise through Sword and Shield, and Game Freak has decided to tease fans on the run-up its release. On Wednesday (Nov. 6), a trailer dropped revealing features in Pokémon Sword and Shield that will be very familiar to players of the Let's Go series.

In Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, Game Freak merged the mechanics from Pokémon Go into the traditional RPG format to introduce players of the mobile app to the console games. This included utilising the motion controls of the Switch's Joy-Con controllers, so players can effectively throw Poké Balls at the screen rather than through the traditional battle format seen in previous games.

Candies also feature, which are used to level up and evolve Pokémon in the mobile app. In Let's Go, players use them to increase a Pokémon's stats. These are elements that determine how they perform in battle and can affect a Pokémon's strengths and weaknesses. Outside of Let's Go, raising stats was achieved through EV training. EV's are Effort Values, which is "a way for trainers to battle and earn points toward building certain [...] stats", but this was replaced with the candies.

The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

Pokémon also have natures which can raise or decrease specific stats. Players either go through trial and error by catching Pokémon to obtain the nature they desire or through breeding. These techniques are usually used by players who compete in competitive battles online or those who want to make the most out of their team.

The new trailer for Sword and Shield showcases similar features, with one candy from Let's Go making an appearance. Exp. Candy raises the experience points of a Pokémon, which can be utilised to level them up quickly rather than through battle. A Pokémon's nature can now be manipulated through candy, this time in the form of mints.

When it comes to raising individual stats, Game Freak have gone back to using traditional supplements like calcium and iron. These are included in all the previous games, and do the same thing as candies.

Aside from the training mechanics, another feature in Sword and Shield is portable storage boxes. When travelling around regions, you can only have six Pokémon with you at one time. All the rest you catch are transferred to a storage box on a PC that you can use in Pokémon Centres. In Let's Go, this changed with a portable storage system that players can access in their bags and it'll be the same for Sword and Shield. No more tedious treks to switch out Pokémon from your team, hooray!

Let's Go players will also notice that a few stylistic notes have made their way into Sword and Shield, including the little 8-bit icons for items you and you're Pokémon are carrying, as well as with the icons displaying your Pokémon.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are out on Nintendo Switch next Friday (Nov. 15).

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