Updated: Pokemon Sword and Shield Walkthrough and Guide

IGN's Pokemon Sword and Shield walkthrough and complete strategy guide includes tips and tricks for every gym and route, a list of Pokemon (Pokedex), how-to guides for your biggest questions, info on hidden items, and a cure for Sobble's everlasting sadness. Maybe not that last part, but our Pokemon Sword and Shield walkthrough will guide you from the minute you pick your starter to the moment you are crowned the new champion.
Minor Spoilers Ahead! Pokemon Sword and Shield has just been released, so please be wary of any potential spoilers below.

Before You Buy

Picking your version of Pokemon is a sacred tradition. Make sure you know which one you truly want!

  • Pokemon Sword and Shield Version Differences
  • Promotional Items and Purchase Bonuses

Pokemon Sword and Shield Walkthrough

Although the Generation 8 games have two different versions, this Pokemon Sword and Shield walkthrough will focus on Sword while providing those oh-so important differences from Shield when needed. The Galar region sees the return of gyms and each section of our guide aims to prepare you for each one so you can be the very best. Every location page where Pokemon can be caught come with nifty encounter rate charts so you know exactly where to start building your dream team. Check out the section pages to see a quick overview of all the Pokemon you can catch before reaching the next gym.Oh! And for a great starter guide and tips for what do to first, be sure to check out Tips: Things Pokemon Doesn't Tell You.

Grass Badge – Turffield Gym

Every wild Pokemon and hidden item before the Pokemon Sword and Shield Grass Badge.

  • Postwick
  • Slumbering Weald
  • Route 1
  • Wedgehurst
  • Route 2
  • Wild Area
  • Motostoke
  • Route 3
  • Galar Mine
  • Route 4
  • Turffield
  • Turffield Gym

Water Badge – Hulbury Gym

Every wild Pokemon and hidden item before the Pokemon Sword and Shield Water Badge.

  • Route 5
  • Hulbury
  • Hulbury Gym

Fire Badge – Motostoke Gym

Every wild Pokemon and hidden item before the Pokemon Sword and Shield Fire Badge.

  • Galar Mine No. 2
  • Motostoke Outskirts
  • Motostoke Gym

Fighting and Ghost Badge – Stow-on-Side Gym

Every wild Pokemon and hidden item before the Pokemon Sword and Shield Fighting or Ghost Badge.

  • Hammerlocke
  • Hammerlocke Vault
  • Route 6
  • Stow-on-Side
  • Stow-on-Side Gym – Fighting (Sword Exclusive)
  • Stow-on-Side Gym – Ghost (Shield Exclusive)

Fairy Badge – Ballonlea Gym

Every wild Pokemon and hidden item before the Pokemon Sword and Shield Fairy Badge.

  • Glimwood Tangle
  • Ballonlea
  • Ballonlea Gym

Rock and Ice Badge – Circhester Gym

Every wild Pokemon and hidden item before the Pokemon Sword and Shield Rock or Ice Badge.

  • Route 7
  • Route 8
  • Circhester
  • Circhester Gym – Rock (Sword Exclusive)
  • Circhester Gym – Ice (Shield Exclusive)
  • After Circhester Gym

Dark Badge – Spikemuth Gym

Every wild Pokemon and hidden item before the Pokemon Sword and Shield Dark Badge.

  • Route 9
  • Route 9 – Circhester Bay
  • Route 9 – Outer Spikemuth
  • Spikemuth Gym

Dragon Badge – Hammerlocke Gym

Every wild Pokemon and hidden item before the Pokemon Sword and Shield Dragon Badge.

  • Return to Route 7
  • Hammerlock Gym

Champion Gym Challenge – Wyndon Gym

Every wild Pokemon and hidden item before the Pokemon Sword and Shield Champion Match.

  • Route 10
  • Wyndon
  • Wyndon Gym – Semifinals
  • Wyndon League Member Search
  • Rose Tower
  • Wyndon Gym – Championship Match
  • Slumbering Weald (Return)
  • Energy Plant
  • Wyndon Gym – Final Championship Match

Post Game: Things to Do After You Become Champion

Once you're crowned Champion of the Galar region, come back to do the following.

  • Battles at the Slumbering Weald Shrine
  • Dynamax Pokemon Invade Galar Gyms
  • A Legendary Encounter
  • One Last Battle Against Hop
  • Battle Tower

Helpful How-To Guide Sections

Use our guide and tip pages to discover new strategies as the world of Pokemon can be very complex.Use our guide and tip pages to discover new strategies as the world of Pokemon can be very complex.Not everything is explained away in Sword and Shield. Use our helpful guides to answer some of your biggest questions before you play.

  • How to Pick a Starter Pokemon (And Which One)
  • How to Get Mystery Gifts (Including a Free Gigantimax Meowth)
  • How to Use Poke Jobs Guide and Time Table Chart
  • How to Trade Pokemon in Sword and Shield
  • How to Transfer Old Pokemon
  • How to Turn on and Turn off Autosave
  • How to Change Your Hairstyle, Eyes Color, and More
  • How to Raise Pokemon Friendship and Affection, and What's the Difference
  • Pokemon Type Chart, Type Weaknesses

Now that you've gotten the basics down, check out our later game tip pages to excel in everything Pokemon has to offer.

  • How to Get Money Fast
  • How to Get Shiny Pokemon
  • How to Unlock the IV Checker
  • How to EV Train
  • How Brilliant Glowing Aura Affect Stats (IVs)
  • How To Get Fossils and Revive Fossilized Pokemon
  • How to Get Bottle Caps and Gold Bottle Caps

Everything About the Galar Region

A new generation of Pokemon means a ton of new collectibles and hidden items scattered throughout the Galar region. Our location guides won't let you miss a thing.

  • List of New Generation 8 Pokemon
  • List of Galarian Form Pokemon
  • All 400 Pokemon in Sword and Shield
  • TM Locations

Evolution Guides and Pokemon Locations

Are you dying to get your favorite Pokemon evolved and you don't know how? Did your favorite Pokemon even make it in? Use these links to get a glimpse at the newest and returning pocket monsters.

  • How to Evolve Every Pokemon
  • How to Evolve Eevee (All Eeveelutions)
  • How to Catch and Evolve Applin into Flapple and Appletun
  • How to Evolve Yamask into Runerigus
  • How to Evolve Sinistea into Polteageist
  • How to Evolve Milcery into Alcremie
  • How to Get All the Alcremie Forms and Flavors

Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing Tips

Use our guide and tip pages to discover new strategies for everything involving raid battles in the Wild Area.

  • Max Raid Battle Guide and Tips
  • List of Gigantamax Pokemon
  • List of G-Max Moves
  • How to Get Gigantamax Pokemon
  • How to Get Gigantamax Charizard
  • How to Get Gigantamax Pikachu and Gigantamax Eevee

Other Helpful Guides

Need a suggestion on who to add to your party next? Or are you unsure of which job to send your Pokemon on next? Use these guides to help you with all sorts of activities in Pokemon Sword and Shield.

  • List of Best Pokemon in Sword and Shield
  • Poke Jobs Guide and Time Table Chart
  • Every NPC Trade Quest

Pokemon Sword and Shield offer a massive amount of content and we're constantly updating this guide to get you through the Pokemon League with ease. Check back for more each day!


Michael Koczwara is a writer and Pokemon master who spent over 80 hours combing through every inch of the Galar region to write the Walkthrough. This is familiar territory as this guide is his fifth Pokemon wiki for IGN, starting with Pokemon X and Y and covering every game until Ultra Sun and Moon. Follow him on Twitter @SuperZambezi and on YouTube.

Janet Garcia is an editor and strategy guide writer at IGN who took her rightful place as Galar Champion in order to find the best tips and tricks and answer your most pressing questions about Pokemon Sword and Shield. She previewed Pokemon Sword and Shield earlier this year and interviewed producer Junichi Masuda and director Shigeru Ohmori about the games ahead of launch.

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