The Isle of Armor, the first part of Pokémon Sword and Shield’s expansion pass, has finally arrived. You’ll be heading off to a brand new location, meeting new characters, catching familiar Pokémon, and, believe it or not, doing a whole lot of recycling.
What? It’s true. So before you fire up The Isle of Armor and start your next Pokémon adventure, here’s everything you need to know…
Is there a different version of the expansion pass for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield?
Sort of. There’s just one expansion pass available to buy, and you’ll get a code to redeem in the Nintendo eShop. That’s when you’ll be prompted to specify which version of the game you own (either Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield).
Just as there are differences between Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, there are some differences between the expansion pass for each version too. So, be careful to choose the correct version to match the game you own.
The expansion pass contains both The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra (though that part won’t be available until autumn 2020).
How to get to the Isle of Armor
As soon as you’re able to get to the Wild Area, you’ll be able to head to the Isle of Armor, which means you don’t have to have finished the main game’s storyline, or even have to have started earning Gym badges to get to the new content. Once you unlock the Wild Area, you’ll get an Armor Pass to add to your Key Items. Head to Wedgehurst Station and talk to the new attendant in green to get started.
This new area is an island just off the coast of Galar, and it’s home to some surprising secrets. You’ll find a plethora of biomes to explore: sand dunes, beaches, forests, caves, and bogs.
There’s a new storyline
Being the hard-working Pokémon Trainer that you are, you’re not headed to the Isle of Armor for a restful holiday. That’s what Animal Crossing: New Horizons is for. Instead, you’re here to train under Leon’s former teacher, the ex-champion turned dojo owner Mustard.
You can learn new Tutor moves by exchanging Armorite ore, an item you’ll pick up on your adventures across the island. You can also train up your lesser-used Pokémon in Restricted Sparring, which lets you tailor the battle conditions to suit specific Pokémon.
There’s also a new rival to take on, and which one you get will depend on the version of the game you chose. Owners of Pokémon Sword will face off against poison-type specialist Klara, and owners of Pokémon Shield will take on psychic-type specialist Avery.
You’ll get a new Legendary Pokémon
Your new mentor Mustard will give you an adorable little legendary named Kubfu, and it’ll be up to you to decide how your Kubfu evolves. You can put your new friend through its paces at either the Tower of Darkness or the Tower of Water. Your choice of tower will determine whether Kubfu evolves into either the fighting/dark-type Single Strike Style Urshifu, or the fighting/water-type Rapid Strike Style Urshifu.
Look out for new and familiar Pokémon
If you’ve already caught the full set of Galar’s ridiculously British Pokémon, then you’ve got a new challenge ahead. Thanks to the expansion pass, over 200 familiar Pokémon will be added to the game, including an impressive roster of legendaries. Owners of the expansion pass are the only ones who’ll be able to catch them in the wild though, as otherwise you’ll only be able to get them by trading or importing them via Pokémon Home. It’s also worth noting that these will arrive in two batches along with both parts of the expansion pass, so don’t worry if you can’t find your favourite Pokémon right away.
Two new Regi Pokémon have also been unveiled, though for now it’s not clear if they’re part of The Isle of Armor, or if you’ll have to wait for The Crown Tundra to spot them. Regieleki is a powerful Electric-type Pokémon, while Regidrago is a lethal Dragon-type.
And if you’ve managed to catch a Galarian Slowpoke, you’ll be able to find a special item in The Isle of Armor which will allow it to evolve into the Poison/Psychic-type Galarian Slowbro. If you’re more of a Slowking kind of person, wait for The Crown Tundra to get an item to help your Galarian Slowpoke to evolve.
Your starter Pokémon will learn to Gigantamax
Via a bowl of magical soup, no less. Your cute little starter’s come a long way since the beginning of your adventure, but now it’s time to teach them to Gigantamax. Gather the right ingredients on your travels and you’ll be able to make a bowl of Max Soup. Give it to your starter Pokémon, and this is what you’ll get…
It’s also possible that the soup might have an effect on other Pokémon in your party too. And don’t forget to look out for new Gigantamax forms of Venusaur and Blastoise, which are unique to The Isle of Armor.
You’re going to be doing lots of recycling
It’s very important to take care of the environment, so recycle your unwanted items in batches of four into the Cram-o-matic, a curious metal bird found in the Isle of Armor’s dojo. Certain combinations of items will cause the Cram-o-matic to spit out rare items in return, so it’s worth spending some time figuring out the best recipes.
You can get new outfits
Obviously. There’ll be over 100 new clothing items added across both parts of the expansion pass, as well as a suite of snazzy new backgrounds, effects, and frames for decorating your League Card. Make sure to stock up on PokéDollars first with this handy technique so you can shop to your heart’s content.
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