Pokémon Sword and Shield: How to get Pokémon with Hidden Abilities

Pokemon Sword and Shield screenshots
(Image credit: iMore)

Pokémon Sword and Shield have several excellent additions to training and breeding competitive Pokémon. Between mints, Hyper Training, Max Soup, and plenty of tools for EV training, you can make just about any Pokémon in a competitive battler with enough work. Until recently, one of the only things you couldn't change about a Pokémon to have its Hidden Ability. But that's all changed with the Ability Patch that arrives with the Crown Tundra DLC.

What are Hidden Abilities?

Hidden Abilities were first introduced in Gen 5 with Pokémon Black and White. They are a lot like regular Abilities that help you during battles. Only, it's far less likely for you to find a Pokémon with a Hidden Ability in Sword and Shield. For instance, a Charizard has the potential to know the Hidden Ability Solar Power, which increases the Special Attack of a Pokémon by 1.5 when the weather condition is currently Harsh sunlight.

Most Pokémon species have the potential to have a Hidden Ability. However, you can only acquire a specific Pokémon with a Hidden Ability under special circumstances or by using an Ability Patch from the Crown Tundra DLC. Otherwise, the only way to permanently make your Pokémon's stats stronger is through EV training.

List of all Hidden Abilities

If you want to see which Pokémon are capable of learning which Hidden Ability, check out Bulbapedia or Seribii. We've combined their lists together to create a list of every Hidden Ability that's currently available. In total, there are 153 Hidden Abilities that you can get.

  • Adaptability
  • Aftermath 
  • Analytic 
  • Anger Point 
  • Anticipation 
  • Aroma Veil 
  • Battle Armor 
  • Big Pecks 
  • Blaze 
  • Bulletproof 
  • Chlorophyll 
  • Clear Body 
  • Cloud Nine 
  • Competitive 
  • Compound Eyes 
  • Contrary 
  • Cursed Body 
  • Cute Charm 
  • Damp 
  • Defiant 
  • Drizzle 
  • Drought
  • Dry Skin 
  • Early Bird 
  • Effect Spore 
  • Electric Surge
  • Flame Body 
  • Flare Boost 
  • Flash Fire 
  • Friend Guard 
  • Frisk 
  • Gale Wings 
  • Galvanize 
  • Gluttony 
  • Gooey 
  • Grassy Surge
  • Grass Pelt 
  • Guts 
  • Harvest 
  • Healer 
  • Heavy Metal 
  • Honey Gather 
  • Huge Power 
  • Hustle 
  • Hydration 
  • Ice Body 
  • Ice Scales
  • Immunity 
  • Imposter 
  • Infiltrator 
  • Inner Focus 
  • Insomnia 
  • Intimidate 
  • Iron Fist 
  • Justified 
  • Keen Eye 
  • Klutz 
  • Leaf Guard 
  • Libero
  • Light Metal 
  • Lightning Rod 
  • Limber 
  • Liquid Voice 
  • Long Reach 
  • Magic Bounce 
  • Magic Guard 
  • Magician 
  • Marvel Scale 
  • Minus 
  • Mirror Armor
  • Misty Surge
  • Mold Breaker 
  • Moody 
  • Motor Drive 
  • Moxie 
  • Multiscale 
  • Natural Cure 
  • No Guard 
  • Oblivious 
  • Overcoat 
  • Own Tempo 
  • Perish Body
  • Pickpocket 
  • Pickup 
  • Pixilate 
  • Plus 
  • Poison Heal 
  • Poison Touch 
  • Power of Alchemy 
  • Prankster 
  • Pressure 
  • Propeller Tail
  • Protean 
  • Quick Feet 
  • Rain Dish 
  • Rattled 
  • Reckless 
  • Regenerator 
  • Rivalry 
  • Rock Head 
  • Rough Skin 
  • Run Away 
  • Sand Force 
  • Sand Rush 
  • Sand Veil 
  • Sap Sipper 
  • Scrappy 
  • Serene Grace 
  • Shadow Tag 
  • Sheer Force 
  • Shell Armor 
  • Simple 
  • Skill Link 
  • Slush Rush 
  • Sniper 
  • Snow Cloak 
  • Snow Warning 
  • Solar Power 
  • Soundproof 
  • Speed Boost 
  • Stakeout
  • Stalwart
  • Static 
  • Steadfast 
  • Steely Spirit
  • Stench 
  • Storm Drain 
  • Sturdy 
  • Super Luck 
  • Swarm 
  • Sweet Veil 
  • Swift Swim 
  • Symbiosis 
  • Tangled Feet 
  • Technician 
  • Telepathy 
  • Thick Fat 
  • Tinted Lens 
  • Torrent 
  • Toxic Boost 
  • Truant 
  • Unaware 
  • Unburden 
  • Unnerve 
  • Vital Spirit 
  • Volt Absorb 
  • Water Absorb 
  • Water Veil 
  • Weak Armor 
  • White Smoke 
  • Wonder Guard 
  • Wonder Skin 
  • Zen Mode 

How do I get a Pokémon with Hidden Abilities?

Pokemon Sword and Shield

(Image credit: iMore)

One way to get a Pokémon with a Hidden Ability is to battle and catch one in a Max Raid Battle. Not all Max Raid Battle Pokémon will have Hidden Abilities, but you can eventually come upon one. You'll know if a Pokémon has a Hidden Ability because a notice pops up on the left of the screen just as the battle starts letting you know that the Hidden Ability is in effect. However, Abilities can do the same thing. You'll need to check our list to see if it's a regular Ability or a Hidden Ability.

Follow these steps to get a Scorbunny, Grookey, and Sobble with a Hidden Ability. You'll need a Pokémon HOME account as well as Pokémon Sword or Shield.

How do I check to see if the Pokémon I have has a Hidden Ability?

Pokemon Sword and Shield

(Image credit: iMore)

Possibly, someone could trade a Pokémon to you that has a Hidden Ability. To check, go to the menu and select Pokémon. Hover over a Pokémon in your party, and you'll be able to see the Ability on the right. For instance, in the picture above, my Butterfree knows the Hidden Ability, Tinted Lens.

Unfortunately, Sword and Shield don't tell you if your Pokémon simply knows an Ability or a Hidden Ability. The only way to know if a Pokémon has a Hidden Ability is to check its stats and then check Bulbapedia to see if that listed Ability is that specific Pokémon's Hidden Ability.

Breeding Pokémon with Hidden Abilities

Pokemon Sword and Shield

(Image credit: iMore)

Once you've caught a Pokémon with a Hidden Ability, you can take it to the Pokémon Nursery and breed it. There's a 50% chance of passing on a Pokémon's Hidden Ability to its offspring. However, if you breed a Pokémon that has a Hidden Ability with a Ditto, you'll always pass the Hidden Ability down. It definitely makes it even more appealing to catch and breed a Ditto.

How to change a Pokémon to have its Hidden Ability

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rillaboom

(Image credit: iMore)

The biggest change when it comes to Hidden Abilities is the Ability Patch, which is a new item that arrives with the Crown Tundra DLC. This item completely changes how to get Pokémon with hidden abilities in Sword and Shield because it allows you to change a Pokémon's Ability to its Hidden Ability. It's one of the new additions in the Crown Tundra that makes one of the best Nintendo Switch games even better.

It's not clear at this point how to obtain an Ability Patch, but the official word is that they'll be "hard to come by but worth the effort."

The Ability Patch is a gamechanger when it comes to Hidden Abilities. It means that you can take your original starter, a shiny, or any Pokémon you'd like and switch it to have its Hidden Ability.

The Ability Patch seems to be a one-way trip, so make sure that you want your Pokémon to have its Hidden Ability. This mechanic is likely also in place to prevent certain combinations such as a Machamp with No Guard as its ability and the move Fissure.

Special powers

There you have it. Now you know how to get a Pokémon with Hidden Abilities and how to breed for additional Pokémon with Hidden Abilities. Good luck with the Max Raid Battles! I hope you're able to catch and breed everything you're looking for!

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

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.