Pokémon Sword and Shield: How to use Gigantamax, and which creatures can grow

Gigantamax Pikachu and Eevee Pokemon Sword and Shield
Gigantamax Pikachu and Eevee Pokemon Sword and Shield (Image credit: iMore)

Are you ready to take your Pokémon battles to the Gigantamax? Once you've reached the point in the game where you can Dynamax, you'll be ready to unleash your huge Pokémon on the battlefield. However, there is a peculiar phenomenon that can allow certain Pokémon to take a unique form. Are you ready to rumble?

What is Gigantamax, and why would you want a Gigantamax Pokémon?

Within Sword and Shield, every Pokémon can Dynamax, but only a few can Gigantamax during battles. In both cases, a Pokémon grows larger, has devastating hit points, and can use more powerful moves. However, a Pokémon that can Gigantamax will also slightly change its appearance. For instance, an Alcremie goes from being a cute little cream whip to being a tall cake when Gigantamaxed. Using a Gigantamaxed Pokémon effectively could easily tip the balance of power in a battle! So, yes; you definitely want one.

How to tell if a Pokémon can Gigantamax

You can't simply look at a Pokémon and tell whether or not it has the capability to Gigantamax. To find out if your new pocket pal has that unique ability, do the following:

  1. Open your main menu by pressing the X Button.
  2. Scroll to the Pokémon Menu and press the X Button again.
  3. Select the Pokémon that you would like to view and press the X Button again.
  4. You will then be able to see the Pokémon's summary.
  5. If the Pokémon has a red X symbol next to its name, as per the screenshot below, then it can Gigantamax.

How to use Gigantamax:

You can't just Gigantamax anywhere, unfortunately. If you want to show off and use your new Gigantamax Pokémon, here is how you can.

  1. Find or start a Raid in the Wild Area, start a Stadium battle against a gym leader, or start an Online battle against other trainers.
  2. Select Pokémon that can use Gigantamax; you are only allowed one Pokémon per battle.
  3. Once in battle, select the Dynamax option.
  4. Look for the move that has G-Max written before it; for example, G-Max Wildfire or G-Max Sandblast.
  5. Select this option to unleash your epic G-max moves and watch your Pokémon power up to the extreme!

Gigantamax Meowth Pokemon Sword and Shield (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Don't forget to enjoy the awesome music.

What is the difference between Dynamax and Gigantamax?

Dynamax Pokémon can power up, become bigger, and have 1.5x their usual stats, all Pokémon of a certain species will be able to Dynamax. Still, only special individual Pokémon will be able to Gigantamax. This will replace the Dynamax function for these rare Pokémon. The Pokemon that Gigantamax will become even bigger, power up even further and receive an even bigger stat buff as well as gain access to a G-Max move, which is an even more bombastic version of their already strengthened Dynamax move.

Which Pokémon can use Gigantamax?

There are plenty of possible Gigantamax Pokémon in the Galar region, but there are also a few you can get as a bonus for playing other Pokémon games on the Switch. Keep in mind, some of the Pokémon on this list are exclusive to Sword or Shield. As you hunt them down, keep in mind you may have to check out both games if you want to collect them all. Sometimes, you just have to catch them.

  • Alcremie
  • Butterfree
  • Centiscorch
  • Charizard
  • Copperajah
  • Corviknight
  • Drednaw
  • Duraludon
  • Garbodor
  • Grimmsnarl
  • Hatterene
  • Kingler
  • Orbeetle
  • Sanaconda

If you are looking for the more exclusive Gigantamax Pokémon, the following are game exclusive.

  • Appletun (Pokémon Shield)
  • Gengar (Pokémon Shield)
  • Lapras (Pokémon Shield)
  • Coalossal (Pokémon Sword)
  • Flapple (Pokémon Sword)
  • Machamp (Pokémon Sword)

In addition to game exclusive Pokémon, players can also obtain unique Gigantamax forms through special events or by playing the Pokémon, Let's Go series.

  • Eevee (Pokémon Let's Go, Eevee!)
  • Pikachu (Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu!)
  • Meowth: Mystery gift (Pokémon Sword/Shield early purchase bonus)
  • Snorlax (Max Raid battles between Dec - Jan 2020)

While some of these Pokémon may no longer be available, you can still trade for them. So, it's still possible for you to collect them all.

Which Dynamax are you after?

So, What is your favorite Dynamax Pokémon, and why? Did you have an epic battle trying to obtain it? Let us know by dropping some comments below!

Natalie Houghton