Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass: Tips for beating Restricted Sparring

Restricted Sparring Dynamax
Restricted Sparring Dynamax (Image credit: iMore)

Pokemon Restricted Sparring Win

Pokemon Restricted Sparring Win (Image credit: iMore)

Inside the dojo on the Isle of Armor, you can enter Restricted Sparring matches. In these battles, each of your Pokémon have to have a type in common. You battle three-on-three against NPCs and keep battling until all of your Pokémon faint or you quit. Winning these battles earns you Battle Points (BP) very quickly, and you also get a reward if you get five or more wins in every type.

What is Restricted Sparring?

Pokemon Restricted Sparring

Pokemon Restricted Sparring (Image credit: iMore)

Restricted Sparring requires you to battle with Pokémon that share a type. Pokémon can be dual-type, but there has to be a single type in common across your entire team of three Pokémon. You can do Restricted Sparring for every type, so you'll probably have to train up a few more Pokémon to have enough for each type.

Battle damage carries over between each match. You can heal between battles a total of two times, and then you can just keep fighting until all of your Pokémon faint. You can also quit after any match that you'd like. Unlike the Battle Tower, you can't pause and continue a streak later.

What do you get for winning?

Pokemon Mustard T Shirt

Pokemon Mustard T Shirt (Image credit: iMore)

The most valuable reward you get for winning Restricted Sparring matches is BP. You earn three BP for every match that you win and after you win your first five in a row, you get an extra 30 BP. On top of that, you also get 20 BP for every five matches that you win in a row. You get both the 30 BP and 20 BP rewards after winning your first five matches, meaning you can earn a total of over 60 BP for winning just five matches in a row.

In addition to winning enough BP to purchase all the Mints you'd ever want, you also earn a reward if you get five or more wins in every single type, the Masterly Mustard Casual Tee. This is a rare shirt that you can only get by winning each type of Restricted Sparring.

Tips and tricks for winning

Restricted Sparring is a bit different than other battling in Pokémon. Because battle damage carries over, you have to plan things a bit differently. While there are several ways to win, here are some strategies I used to defeat each type.

Prioritize HP

Pokemon Shell Bell

Pokemon Shell Bell (Image credit: iMore)

Unlike competitive Pokémon or the Battle Tower where you can be down to your last health point when you when, you want to win each match in Restricted Sparring with as many healthy Pokémon as possible. That means that items like a Life Orb and moves that cause recoil damage aren't worth it. Moves that absorb health from the opponent and items like the Shell Bell that restore health help you end each match near full health. Moves like Giga Drain and Drain Punch can be exceptionally useful if you finish a match against a Pokémon that's weak to the move.

Heal wisely

Restricted Sparring Healing

Restricted Sparring Healing (Image credit: iMore)

If you're trying to get as long of a streak as possible, you'll want to stretch out your healing. But if your goal is to get five wins, earn BP quickly, and work your way towards beating each type, you should use both heals before match five. I found that healing after match two and match four worked well, though I occasionally needed to mix it up or use both heals early on.

Dynamax to the max

You can Dynamax during Restricted Sparring and your opponent can't. That's quite the advantage if you'd like to utilize it. You can Dynamax early on, get momentum, then finish of your opponent with some boosts or terrain that you set up through Dynamaxing. Dynamaxing is also a great way to prevent a Pokémon from fainting against super effective or strong moves from your opponent.

Get to battling!

I found Restricted Sparring to be a fun challenge. It's unique enough that you have to think of new strategies, and I had to train up a few Pokémon of each type to fill out my team. In addition to being a fun challenge, it's also an excellent way to earn BP. Give it a try and let us know what you think of Restricted Sparring in the comments.

Sean Endicott