Pokémon Sword and Shield introduces multiplayer raids to the monster-battling series – not counting Pokémon Go. Raids see four players enter a dungeon to take on a wild Dynamax Pokémon.
Don’t know what any of that means? Don’t worry, we’re here to help unravel the mystery…
What is a Max Raid Battle?
The raids in Pokémon Sword and Shield are actually called Max Raid Battles. Using your Y-Comm (a new gadget being added to the series) you can choose to enter a raid whenever you’re inside a Wild Area. Once done, you’ll enter a queue to find three other trainers to join you, either through the internet or local communication. If you can’t find enough trainers then NPCs will fill the gaps in your team.
When you have four players ready to go into a Max Raid Battle, you will each choose one of your Pokémon to take into battle – yes, you can only pick one. One cool feature is that the weather in the Wild Area at the time will affect the battlefield conditions during the raid. If you enter a raid during a thunderstorm, for example, your Water and Electric-type moves will be increased. Worth thinking about when choosing which Pokémon to take into battle.
Once you have four Pokémon chosen, your team will then try to take out the wild Dynamax Pokémon. And it won’t be easy.
What does Dynamax mean?
When a Pokémon Dynamaxes it grows to a huge size and gains extra moves while being able to dish out more damage. Dynamaxing is similar to Mega Evolutions except it can be applied to all Pokémon.
However, only one person in your team can Dynamax a Pokémon during a Max Raid Battle. Furthermore, it will only work once per battle, with the effect lasting for three turns. So it’s best to coordinate with your team and decide which is the best Pokémon for the job. Unfortunately for you, the same rules don’t apply to the wild Dynamax Pokémon you’re fighting. It will be in its most powerful form for the entire fight.
If it wasn’t obvious, coming up with a strategy with your team is essential to win a Max Raid Battle. This is made easier by the icons that appear in the top-left of the screen, which show the moves each trainer has chosen to do during a turn.
At some point in the battle, it’s likely the wild Dynamax Pokémon will put up a barrier to protect itself. The raiding team will need to attack and break the barrier before they’re able to do any further damage to the Dynamax Pokémon behind it.
If your Pokémon gets knocked out during a Max Raid Battle you won’t be able to continue fighting, but you can cheer the rest of the team on. If your team does manage to beat the wild Dynamax Pokémon then you’ll all be given the chance to catch it, even if you were knocked out. Your victory will also be rewarded with useful items.
So there you have it – a handy explainer of Max Raid Battles and the Dynamax ability! Who else can’t wait to start battling when Pokémon Sword and Shield arrives in November?
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