Launch week has arrived for Pokemon Sword and Shield, Nintendo’s latest pair Pokemon RPGs, out November 15 on Switch. This marks the first Nintendo home console to receive an entirely new Pokemon adventure since the Gamecube. Since they were first announced earlier this year, we’ve learned quite a bit more information about Pokemon Sword and Shield. As usual, there will be two versions to choose between.
Pokemon Sword and Shield will bring trainers to the Galar Region, introducing a new generation of Pokemon, battle mechanics, legendaries, and a revamped Pokedex. As in previous games, you’ll have three starter Pokemon to choose from: Grookey, a grass monkey; Scorbunny, a fiery rabbit; and Sobble, a shy water lizard. The Galar region is scattered with towns where humans and Pokemon live and work together, and they include huge Pokemon gyms where people gather to watch epic battles between trainers and gym leaders.
Sword and Shield will introduce an interesting new battle mechanic: Dynamax, an ability that turns your Pokemon into a giant form of themselves for three turns. Available to use once per battle, Dynamax boosts your Pokemon’s power and is triggered by a separate button, similar to Z-Moves. Outside of gym battles, you can also pair up with three other trainers (locally or online) to fight wild Dynamax battles against one giant Pokemon, which you can afterward catch. These encounters are called Max Raid Battles.
An August update also shared more information on Galar’s regional variant Pokemon, such as a very dapper Weezing and black-and-white Zigzagoon. New rivals were also revealed, including a distinctly punk group of individuals called Team Yell. A 24-hour livestream in October revealed another region-specific Pokemon: a Psychic-type Galarian Ponyta, which is exclusive to Pokemon Shield.
Now that we’ve gotten a closer look at Pokemon Sword and Shield and have a better idea of what to expect from the games, you might be ready to throw your money at Nintendo and pre-order your copy now. In addition to ordering a single copy, Game Freak announced you’ll be able to pre-order a double pack that contains both games. You can find everything you need to know about pre-ordering Pokemon Sword and Shield below.
Pre-order bonuses for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield
The Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order bonuses include:
- Amazon: $10 credit (Prime members only) for pre-ordering one of the games; Gold Studded Leather Case DLC for pre-ordering the double pack
- Best Buy: $10 credit (My Best Buy members only; creating an account is free); collectible coin for pre-ordering the double pack
- GameStop: Double-sided wall poster for pre-ordering the double pack
- Walmart: Keychain featuring all three starter Pokemon for pre-ordering the double pack
- Pokemon Center: Free keychain plush featuring one of the games’ starters
While not limited to pre-orders, a special bonus will come with downloadable versions of Pokemon Sword and Shield from the Nintendo Eshop: 12 Quick Balls, special Poke Balls that make your chances of catching a Pokemon higher at the start of a battle. You’ll receive a code that allows you to start the game with 12 Quick Balls in your possession. To get this perk, you have to download Pokemon Sword or Shield from the Eshop before January 15, 2020. If you purchase a digital version of the double pack, you’ll get two separate codes for each game.
Using Nintendo’s game vouchers for Pokemon Sword and/or Shield
Remember Nintendo’s limited-time game vouchers deal announced a while back? While the vouchers are no longer available for purchase, you can still redeem them on Pokemon Sword and Shield. As a reminder, here’s how that works: Nintendo’s pair of vouchers cost $100, so if you choose two full-price ($60) games, that’ll end up saving you $20 total. The eligible games list for the vouchers also includes Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Super Mario Maker 2, the Pokemon: Let’s Go titles, and many more Switch games, so you can mix and match however you like.
Note that if you plan to use Nintendo’s game vouchers on both Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, you won’t receive the special bonuses included with the double pack (detailed below).
Where to pre-order Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield
Not sure which version to go for? Read up on all the Pokemon Sword and Shield version differences, including version-specific Pokemon.
Pre-order Pokemon Sword
Pre-order Pokemon Shield
Pre-order the Pokemon Sword and Shield Double Pack
The games will also be available as a dual bundle, and Nintendo’s official website has confirmed its price: $120. For purchasing the double pack, you’ll receive two codes (one per game) for special items called Dynamax Crystals, which will allow you to face Dynamax Larvitar and Dynamax Jangmo-o in special Max Raid battles. Normally, Jangmo-o is limited to Pokemon Sword and Larvitar is limited to Pokemon Shield, and neither can be encountered until much later in the game. But with these special bonus codes, you’ll be able to quickly catch them in either version.
On top of that, several stores are also offering their own exclusive bonuses for those who buy the Double Pack:
GameStop is offering a double-sided wall banner (pictured above), with one side featuring the game’s legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta, and the other side displaying a colorful map of the Galar region. According to GameStop on Twitter, quantities are limited, so pre-ordering a copy or grabbing the game within the first few days of release would offer the best chance of securing the wall banner for yourself.
At Walmart, you’ll get an exclusive keychain featuring the three starters when you pre-order the double pack.
Meanwhile, My Best Buy members can receive $10 reward credit and a collectible coin (pictured above) when pre-ordering the double pack. Unfortunately, Amazon’s $10 reward credit offer only applies to the individual games, but you’ll get the Gold Studded Leather Case DLC if you pre-order the double pack.
If you pre-order the double pack at Target, you’ll get a golden steelbook case (shown below) that features Zacian on one side and Zamazenta on the other. It’s a gorgeous case that is exclusive to Target in the US.
Pre-order double pack (US)
In the UK, the dual pack includes the golden steelbook and an adorable Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble figurine. While the steelbook is available at Target in the US, the figurine is UK exclusive.
Pre-order dual pack (UK)
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