In today’s Pokémon Sword and Shield Direct, we learned many new details surrounding the two upcoming titles in the popular Nintendo-exclusive franchise. One of the most jarring moments in the opening montage of the Direct came when four trainers encounter a massive Gyarados. One of the trainers threw a giant Poké Ball to reveal an equally massive Raichu. It turns out that one of the unique mechanics in Sword and Shield is a new phenomenon to the world of Pokémon called Dynamax.
Pokémon from the new Galar region can Dynamax to grow massive in size and supercharge their abilities. While Dynamaxed, the Pokémon’s moves become Max Moves. However, a Pokémon only remains in its Dynamax form for three turns, so you need to be strategic about when you boost your Pokémon. After those three turns, it reverts to its normal form.
In the new Wild Area, you can connect with other players to compete in Max Raid Battles against giant Pokémon. In this new local wireless and online multiplayer feature, four players join together to battle wild Dynamax Pokémon. Unlike trainer battles, the wild Dynamax Pokémon keeps its giant form for the entirety of the raid battle. It also has special powers to make it even more challenging.
In each Max Raid Battle, one trainer is allowed to Dynamax their Pokémon. If your team of trainers defeats the wild Dynamax Pokémon, you each have a chance to catch the raid boss. The Pokémon you encounter in these Max Raid Battles depends on which area you’re exploring in the Wild Area, as well as the weather. Some Pokémon can only be caught through Max Raid Battles.
If this all seems a little strange to you, the residents of the Galar region appear as though they don’t fully understand it either. In fact, Professor Magnolia is currently researching the phenomenon to learn more about it. Sonia is her granddaughter and assistant. They will also assist you and your rival, Hop, throughout your adventures.