Even though a few hundred Pokemon were cut from the series in Generation VIII, completing your Pokedex is still a lofty and difficult task. Luckily, many evolved forms and hard-to-find Pokemon are fairly easy to find in the Wild Area, the Isle of Armor, and Crown Tundra.
If you’re looking to complete your Pokedex, don’t expect a walk in the park. Even though it’s a bit easier than at some points in the past, it’s still a tedious mission with a few difficult entries. Here are some essential tips to help you get started, and some pointers for making the final push to fill in the last few gaps.
One of the most valuable tools at your disposal is Pokemon Camp. It may seem like a fun little bit of relaxation and leisure with your team, but if done right, camping in Sword & Shield will superpower your Pokemon like nothing else.
There are two reasons for this. First, camping grants your Pokemon experience, which will level them up faster than you’d expect. Second, playing with your Pokemon and cooking curry will level up their friendship status, which can make many Pokemon evolve and become stronger in battle.
9 Pokemon Home
One of the most helpful methods for completing your Pokedex is hidden in plain sight: Pokemon Home. Using this application can help in a few ways: it allows you to transfer old Pokemon to Sword & Shield, filling in those hard-to-finish parts of your Pokedex, and you can use it to trade with other people with ease.
With a paid membership to Pokemon Home, you can deposit ten Pokemon for a surprise trade and three in the GTS at once. Even with a basic membership, you can deposit three wonder trades and a GTS slot.
8 Raid for Exp Candies
You might notice that your Pokemon doesn’t receive any Exp. from finishing a Max Raid. But, something even better happens instead: you find EXP Candies. These small treats provide an immense amount of Experience to your Pokemon, and there’s no shortage of them.
Raiding in order to collect EXP Candies is a common tactic in the player community. Need to level up that Larvesta to level 59 to evolve it? That’s no problem if you have a stack of EXP Candies in your bag. You can also get Rare Candies from Max Raids.
7 Lucky Egg
Leveling up Pokemon is a cinch with the use of a Lucky Egg. When held, this item will boost the Exp. gain of the holder. It’s pretty easy to find, too.
Head to Hulbury and enter the local seafood restaurant, the Captain’s Table. Talk to the head chef, who will tell you that his delivery person isn’t at work. You can help him complete deliveries, with rewards for each. For the third delivery, your reward will be the Lucky Egg.
6 Catch a Ditto
Breeding certain Pokemon is also necessary to complete your Pokedex, mainly for Baby Pokemon. Also, you may only have access to a Pokemon’s evolved form and need to breed for the lower stages. Luckily, any Pokemon that can breed can do it with Ditto, saving you the headache of checking egg groups and figuring out which Pokemon can breed with which.
Ditto can be caught in the grassy portion of the Lake of Outrage or the Workout Sea during any weather type.
5 Poke Balls 101
There are dozens of different types of Poke Balls, and each of them has a different purpose. Learning which ones are the right choice for each situation can be useful knowledge when completing your Pokedex.
Some of the most useful Balls in general are Ultra Balls and Quick Balls. The latter performs better at the beginning of a battle, meaning you can sometimes save some time by just encountering a Pokemon you need and (hopefully) capturing it in a single move without any of the weakening process.
4 Watch the Weather
The weather changes daily in the Wild Area’s various sections, as well as on much of the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra. Not only do different Pokemon spawn, but some exclusives are locked to certain weather types.
Electabuzz and its evolutionary relatives, for example, will only appear in the Crown Tundra during thunderstorms. Additionally, some Pokemon only evolve in certain weather, like Sliggoo into Goodra requiring overworld rain.
Even better, though, is that some pain-in-the-butt evolutions can be made easier by the weather. Evolving Seadra into Kingdra normally requires a trade and a held item, but Kingdra appears in the wild during thunderstorms in the Honeycalm Sea, saving you the trouble.
3 Find a Trading Partner
Speaking of trading — you’ll need to do quite a bit of it to complete a Pokedex. Sword & Shield both have version exclusives, some Pokemon evolve when traded, and if you have the DLC, choosing between two Pokemon is sometimes necessary (like Spectrier and Glastrier or Regidrago and Regieleki).
Finding someone you can trade with is invaluable. You can set up a time to go through and do all the trade evolutions at once, or if the person is willing, you can trade them as you have them. Ideally, you find someone with the other version, so you can swap version exclusives.
2 Get Organized
It can be hard to remember which Pokemon you’re still missing and how to find them. There are so many different spawn areas, evolution methods, and other information to try and sort out that sometimes getting organized is all you need.
It might be useful to get some good old pen and paper to write down what you need and how to obtain it, or making a plan in your phone’s memo pad app for which order you’d like to catch the missing Pokemon in. Whatever your method is, organizing your thoughts and eliminating the second-guessing and forgetfulness can be incredibly helpful.
1 False Swipe
There are a handful of moves that can be incredibly helpful in catching Pokemon. The most famous among them is False Swipe, introduced in Generation II. This move will always leave the opponent with a single hitpoint, meaning you can weaken them down to the lowest possible amount without knocking them out.
Pair False Swipe on a single Pokemon with Hypnosis, Sing, or other moves that put a Pokemon to sleep or paralyze it and you’ll have yourself a catching machine. Many Pokemon are able to learn sleep or paralysis moves and False Swipe, like Gallade, who can learn both False Swipe and Hypnosis. Throwing on Sunny Day is also a good idea, as it can eliminate harmful weather effects like Hail or Sandstorm that can knock out your potential catch.
NEXT: Every Pokémon That Can Learn False Swipe
Michael is a journalist with several years of experience writing about video games, television, and social issues. He loves indie platformers, Pokémon, and Hack ‘n Slashers.
Currently playing: Hades, Hyrule Warriors, Stardew Valley.
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