Best answer: A Nintendo Switch Online subscription is not mandatory for Pokemon Sword & Shield, but it is beneficial to have one - you won't be able to trade Pokemon or battle online without it.

What Online functions will be available?

The only confirmed online and local wireless function at the time of writing is the four-player 'max raid battles' mode where players can team up to challenge a powerful 'Dynamaxed' Pokemon. There is also the ability to transfer Pokemon via the recently announced Pokemon Home service which will launch in early 2020.

With this service, you'll be able to transfer Pokemon from all current Pokemon games, including Pokemon Bank, Pokemon Let's Go: Pikachu & Eevee, and even Pokemon Go into the cloud - from there they can then be downloaded into Pokemon Sword & Shield!

What other options could there be?

Judging by Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, there should be Pokemon trading online as well the ability to battle other players' Pokemon. With any online functionality though, the possibilities are endless.

I would like to see features such as online tournaments or perhaps a nice online lobby where players can come together and discuss Pokemon, form a team, and then take on some really difficult online-only battles. Similar to Pokemon Go, players could also populate their own gyms, join a clan, and battle it out for supremacy online.

It would be awesome if players from Pokemon Go and Sword & Shield players could come together and collaborate online, but I doubt that this will happen due to the lack of GPS in the Nintendo Switch and the fact that Pokemon Go always requires an active internet connection.

What about mini-games? I personally love eclectic mini-games as they can easily switch up the game play and provide some quick multiplayer action. Could you imagine a snowboarding Pikachu or Pokemon bowling?

What is currently known about Pokemon Sword & Shield?

Here's what what we currently know about the upcoming Pokemon Sword & Shield games:

  • They introduce the 8th Generation of Pokemon.
  • A 1st Generation Pikachu is also present in the trailer video - I wonder which Pokemon from other generations will also be able to be caught in the game?
  • Takes place in an entirely new region known as the Galar region which is rumored to be based on the United Kingdom.
  • Introduces 3 new starter Pokemon which conform to the usual Grass, Fire and Water trio
  • First new mainline Pokemon game since Pokemon Sun and Moon were released in 2016.

For more indepth knowledge, here's everything we know so far.

Can't wait for the release of Pokemon Sword & Shield?

If you are craving a fix of Pokemon but can't wait for the release of Pokemon Sword & Shield, then you can jump in right now with either Pikachu in Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu or enjoy battling with Eevee in Pokemon: Let's Go Eevee.

Pokemon Sword & Shield is released worldwide on November 15th, 2019.


Pokemon Sword on Nintendo Switch

Gotta catch 'em all!

Start your new Pokemon adventure in the Galar region, using your sword or shield - the choice is yours!


Pokemon Shield on Nintendo Switch

Gotta catch 'em all!

Start your new Pokemon adventure in the Galar region, using your sword or shield - the choice is yours!

Play online

Nintendo Switch Online Membership

3-Month Subscription

Play online with all your friends and backup game saves to the cloud with ease with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

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