How long does it take to beat Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Dual Legendary Pokemon Sword and Shield
Dual Legendary Pokemon Sword and Shield (Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

How long does it take to beat Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Best answer: That depends on your playstyle. If you plan to play Pokémon Sword or Shield at a typical pace, including exploration, talking to NPCs, and visiting the Wild Area, it will take between 30-40 hours to complete. If you decide you want to hammer through without any extra content, it will still take about 16-25 hours. On the other hand, if you are a completionist, it may take you more than 50 hours to complete.Unsheathe your sword: Pokémon Sword ($60 at Amazon)Take up your shield: Pokémon Shield ($60 at Amazon)

Put in the time

Gen 8 is finally here; Pokémon Sword or Shield is on the shelves and ready to play, but is there enough game to warrant the $60 price tag? Of course! For anyone not familiar with the Pokémon franchise, these are games that take a bit of time to complete. From start to finish these games are typical long-haul RPGs, with all the grinding that goes along with that.

The games' length depends on what type of player you are. Sure, any gamer could try to plow through the gyms as quickly as possible and reach the end in record time (looking at you, speedrunners). Now that Pokémon Sword and Shield has practically done away with the grinding element, will it take as long as the previous franchise entries to complete?

In a short answer, yes. At an average pace, including necessary exploration, NPC interaction, and some Wild Area fun, either game can take upwards of 30-40 hours to complete in one run. If you don't have any interest in any of the extra stuff, some players have clocked about 16-25 hours. However, if you want to do everything the game has to offer, it could take countless hours to complete.

All the game has to offer

You could solider on through the main campaign, catch a few Pokémon, beat all the gyms, and be done with it, but where's the fun in that? There is so much going on within the game that it's easy to get lost in it. Players can explore every part of the new Galar region, capture all the new Pokémon, and get to know the people in this Gen 8 area. Plus, with the addition of the Wild Area, you can free roam as long as you'd like. There are a ton of things you could do, including:

  • Max Raids
  • Cooking
  • Egg breeding
  • Search for Shinies and other rare Pokémon
  • Gather collectibles

Honestly, the amount of time you put into Pokémon Sword and Shield depends entirely on your personal preference. If you want to get through the Galar region as quickly as possible for the cred, or you want to take your leisurely time, there's a lot of game here regardless.

Sara Gitkos

Sara is the Freelance Coordinator, writer, and editor at iMore. When not editing or writing away, she's glued to her Nintendo Switch, Xbox, or PS5, though she's a retro gamer at heart.