I've been playing Pokémon Sword and Shield since the minute it first released in the US. During my jaunt through the Galar region, I've discovered some cool things that aren't pointed out for you or even immediately obvious. Some of them are game changing, while others are just fun to know about. At any rate, the fact that so many of these hidden things exist definitely makes it fun to explore. Here are some awesome things Pokémon Sword and Shield doesn't tell you about.
1. You already have a change of clothes at the start of the game
When I started my game, I was so excited to run into the first shop and change my main characters outfit. Clothes aren't cheap, so I had to be careful about which ones I purchased. It wasn't until after I had bought new clothes that I realized that my character already had a change of clothes on her. If you're good with those options, you don't have to buy anything yet.
To change clothes, you simply go into the changing room of a clothing store and then you'll be able to choose between all of the clothing options currently in your inventory.
2. You can get face to face in Pokémon Camp
You can kneel down to face level with your small Pokémon in Pokémon Camp by pressing in the right joystick. This really doesn't do anything other than make it easier to see your smaller Pokémon, but it's worth it to see their cute expressions. Especially when you're playing with them and they dodge forward, out of view.
3. Inactive dens give you money
When you're exploring the Wild Area, you'll see plenty of Pokemon dens with shooting beams of light coming out of them. It's explained that going up to these active dens allows you to engage in Max Raid Battles. What the game doesn't tell you, is that you can also interact with inactive dens. You gain Watts, the currency used in the Wild Area, by investigating the dens. This currency is needed for buying rare items.
4. You can get goodies from people in the Wild Area
Watts can be used to purchase super rare items from random NPCs in the Wild Area, so you definitely want to collect Watts and interact with everyone you come across.
What's more, if you have a Nintendo Switch Online account and have your game connected to the internet, you will see other players from around the world in the Wild Area. If you go up to them and press A, they will give you helpful or rare items.
5. You can customize your menu
After pressing the X button to bring up the menu, you can press the Y button and rearrange where the icons are. This makes it easier for you to access the features you actually use, faster. For example if you typically only go into this menu to save or use the Flying Taxi, you can put the Save and Town Map icons at the top of the list.
6. You want to catch Pokémon that glow gold
If you see a Pokémon walking around that has a gold glow around it, you're going to want to go after it. These Pokémon have better stats than average and you earn Watts for capturing them! These golden pocket monsters don't spawn as often so you'll want to be on the lookout whenever you're near wild Pokémon.
7. You can trade your Player Card
When you're in a Pokémon Center, stop in at the Rotom and select, "Use Card Maker" from the menu. You'll be able to choose a background, pose, facial expression, and special effect for your card. What's more, you can trade these cards with friends or, if you have Nintendo Switch Online, the random players from around the world you meet in the Wild Area. It's pretty fun to see what everyone comes up with.
8. Poké Jobs become available early on
Poké Jobs are another feature that you access from a Rotom. You can send your Pokémon away to complete various jobs. This helps them earn experience points and also helps you earn some money. This is a great way to help those Pokémon just sitting in your Boxes level up. Thing is, Hop only tells you about Poké Jobs after you've completed two gyms, but they become available way before that.
Just note that you must manually retreive your Pokémon once the job is done. They won't return on their own. Learned that one the hard way.
9. Those sparkling items respawn
When you wander around the Galar region, you'll occaisionally come across a sparkle on the ground. Pressing A while standing next to it will give you a useful item. If you check back at that same location some time later, another item will be waiting for you. It can defintely make it worth your while to check back in areas that you know you've seen a sparkle before.
10. Whistling attracts strong Pokémon and scares away weak ones
If you see an awesome Pokémon flying up too high for you to reach, you can try whistling at it to attract it to you. Thing is, if the Pokémon is a certain number of levels weaker than you, this will just make it run away. This is a great way to get rid of Pokémon that won't give you a good chunk of experience for battling them.
Additionally, shy Pokémon, like Noibat, get scared and run if they hear or see you coming. In order to fight some lower-level or timid Pokémon, you'll need to sneak up on them instead of charging at them.
Bonus: You can do a dance!
If you rotate the left joystick around and around, your character will eventually do a spin and then strike a pose similar to the Champion, Leon's, signature move. I've taken to dancing right after I win a gym battle or right after I catch a rarer Pokémon to help my character celebrate her victories. It doesn't provide any perks or anything, but it sure is fun to do!
It's fun seeing all of these hidden little options in the game. Since Pokémon Sword and Shield just came out, we're still learning all of the game's secrets. We'll be sure to update this article when we learn anything new, so check back frequently! Until then, enjoy your romp through the Galar region!
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.