Welcome to Galar, the region for Pokémon Sword and Shield. This land is huge and offers a little bit of everything inside of it. From heavy forests full of Caterpies to large lakes filled with Magikarps, this is by far the biggest map for a Pokémon game we've ever seen. Here, we're going to go over all the different areas we know about so far based on images, trailers, and released gameplay.
First things first, let's take a look at the full overall map.
Huge, right? Now, let's get down to a few comparisons to show you just how big this map really is.
The full map of Pokémon Sword and Shield
We've all seen expanded maps of Pokémon regions before and they always seem bigger than they actually are, but that's not the case with Sword and Shield. Instead, the Sword and Shield map works more like a TARDIS from Doctor Who. It's bigger on the inside. That's a lot of game considering the size of this map. It's crazy to think that this giant map is just the tip of the iceberg. Here's a comparison to show you what I mean.
Take a look at the piece of the map above. There are two different colored circles on this map, but we're going to focus on the white circle at the bottom of this map first.
Here's a purple house on the side of a lake with a small bridge attached to it. Just above it are the mountains dividing it from the next section of the map where the lakes are located. (Where the red circles are.)
Now take a look at what this purple house looks like from an in-game perspective.
It looks pretty condensed on the actual map itself, doesn't it? Like the area may be a smaller section from an in-game perspective, but that's not the case at all. In fact, this is but a teeny tiny section of the map and a super large section of in-game space for you to roam in.
Now, we're going to compare the sections where red circles are. This is to show you the map-to-in-game reference of a larger section of the map and then compare it to the section with the white circles.
The red circle section of the map and the in-game reference photo below demonstrate the different geological sizes of the areas you can explore compared to the map that was released. The section of the map with the purple house is a much smaller section compared to the difference in space between the two large cities. Let's take a look.
The red circle on the top represents the clock tower in the industrial city and the circle in the center represents where the character is standing in-game for the following image.
There are two things to look at when comparing the red circles to the in-game image. One: The clock tower is a good distance away from the lakes when looking through an in-game perspective. Two: You can see the massive city at the top of the map, and that's an even further distance away. But, even with all that visual on such a small section of the map, it looks like it's one serious trek to get to either one of those areas!
So, how big is the map in Sword and Shield? Pretty massive.
If we gauge the depth perception of in-game visuals to other games released in the past few years that have been published and/or developed by Nintendo, like Breath of the Wild, you'd know that just barely seeing something in the background seems like it may be close by, but in reality it means nothing.
You could see clear across the map in Breath of the Wild, but could still take at least five minutes of running time to get to the other side of the map. And that's not even going into all the nooks and crannies of the game, either!
While we haven't seen any footage of it in the trailers yet, I'm sure there's going to be an exploration in the waters as well. Almost every Pokémon game has had some sort of a overseas adventure, and just about all of them have a Surf ability to ride the waters on the back of your Pokémon.
What has been confirmed are the underground adventures.
Here you can see a mine full of shiny rocks and trainers to battle. How deep the mine goes isn't known to us, but there have always been sections of Pokémon games in caves, tunnels, and underground paths to the next town. This just goes to show that even with the massive amount of space to explore above ground there is still an entire section for you to explore underground as well!
How does this compare to other games?
According to Metro, a Pokémon representative has confirmed that the wild areas of Pokémon Sword and Shield are about as big as two of the regions in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While that may no sound huge considering Breath of the Wild had 15 regions, for a Pokémon game, this is quite massive. Pokémon Sword and Shield will easily dwarf the previous Pokémon games.
It's time to start getting hype
Here's an official gameplay video of Pokémon Sword and Shield that debuted during E3 2019. There are massive areas to explore, Pokémon running freely in the wild, and weather changes in the environment.
I can't say officially how big the map truly is, but I can say I absolutely believe this map to be the biggest map any Pokémon game has ever had. I'd even argue the map is bigger than Breath of the Wild.
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Essa Kidwell is an expert in all things VR and mobile devices who can always be found with an Oculus Go, a Pixel 2, and an iPhone 7+. They've been taking things apart just to put them back together for quite some time. If you've got a troubleshooting issue with any of your tech, they're the one you want to go to! Find them on Twitter @OriginalSluggo or Instagram @CosmeticChronus.