Pokémon Sword and Shield: How to win every Gym Battle
You can't become a Pokémon master without first beating all eight gyms in the Galar region. Pokémon Sword and Shield each have two of their own gyms that are exclusive to either version, but they're still located in the same towns. As for the rest, they're identical whether you pick up Sword or Shield. Here are some easy ways to beat each gym leader, no matter which version you bought.
- Gym 1: Turffield
- Gym 2: Hulbury
- Gym 3: Motostoke
- Gym 4: Stow-on-Side
- Gym 5: Ballonlea
- Gym 6: Circhester
- Gym 7: Spikemuth
- Gym 8: Hammerlocke
Gym 1: Turffield – Milo
Gym mission: Herding pens of Wooloo. Just run around and chase the Wooloo in the direction you want them to go.
- Gossifleur (Level 19)
- Eldegoss (Level 20, Dynamax)
Both Pokémon are regular Grass types, so Fire, Poison, Bug, Ice, and Flying-type attacks will be super effective against them. Try not to use Water, Ground, or Rock-type Pokémon as they are weak against Grass attacks.
Gym 2: Hulbury - Nessa
Gym mission: Use switches to direct the flow of water and clear your path towards the other side of the room.
- Goldeen (Level 22)
- Arrokuda (Level 23)
- Drednaw (Level 24, Dynamax)
Goldeen and Arrocuda are both Water types, while Drednaw is a Water/Rock dual type. Bring an Electric or Grass Pokémon to make quick work of them. Drednaw is also vulnerable to Fighting and Ground attacks. Do not bring Fire, Rock, or Ground Pokémon as they are weak against Water types.
Gym 3: Motostoke - Kabu
Gym Mission: Defeat or catch wild Pokémon in the stadium to earn 5 points before the other competitors.
- Ninetales (Level 25)
- Arcanine (Level 25)
- Centiskorch (Level 27, Gigantamax)
Ninetales and Arcanine are both Fire types, so bring a strong Water, Rock, or Ground Pokémon with the appropriate type moves to take them out. Centiskorch is a Fire/Bug-type, so it is weak to Water, Flying, and Rock. Do not bring any Grass, Bug, Ice, or Steel types because they are weak against Fire.
Gym 4: Stow-on-Side: Bea (Sword) or Allister (Shield)
Pokémon Sword Gym Mission: Use your left and right thumbsticks while sliding down a slope and use punching gloves to move yourself.
- Hitmontop (Level 34)
- Pangoro (Level 34)
- Sirfetch'd (Level 35)
- Machamp (Level 36, Gigantamax)
All of Bea's Pokémon are Fighting types except for Pangoro, which is Fighting/Dark. Fighting Pokémon are weak against Fairy, Psychic, and Flying attacks. Pangoro is weak against Fighting, Fairy, and Flying, but is immune to Psychic damage. Do not bring any Normal, Dark, Ice, Rock, or Steel Pokémon as they are weak against Fighting types.
Pokémon Shield Gym Mission: Ride in what looks to be an amusement park ride as you use the left and right thumbsticks to avoid obstacles along your path.
- Yamask (Level 34)
- Mimikyu (Level 34)
- Cursola (Level 35)
- Gengar (Level 36, Gigantamax)
Allister specializes in Ghost types, but three out of four of his Pokémon are dual types, meaning they have another type aside from Ghost. Yamask is Ghost/Ground, Mimikyu is Ghost/Fairy, and Gengar is Ghost/Poison. All Ghost Pokémon are naturally vulnerable to other Ghost and Dark attacks. Mimikyu is also weak against Steel types. Yamask is also weak against Water, Grass, and Ice, and Gengar is also weak against Ground and Physic. Do not bring another Ghost Pokémon.
Gym 5: Ballonlea - Opal
Gym Mission: Answer questions while battling Pokémon trainers. Correct answers boost your stats, while wrong answers lower them.
- Weezing (Level 36)
- Mawile (Level 36)
- Togekiss (Level 37)
- Alcrmie (Level 38, Gigantamax)
Opal specializes in Fairy Pokémon, but only Alcremie is a pure Fairy type. The others are Poison, Steel, and Flying for Weezing, Mawile, and Togekiss, respectively. Fairy types are weak against Poison and Steel attacks. Mawile, being a Fairy/Steel type, is actually immune to Poison damage. Instead, you'll want to use Ground or Fire. Weezing is weak to Ground, Steel, and Psychic. And Togekiss has the most vulnerabilities with Ice, Poison, Steel, Electric, and Rock, all being super effective. You'll want to avoid bringing Dragon, Dark, or Fighting Pokémon as they are weak against Fairy attacks.
Gym 6: Circhester - Gordie (Sword) or Melony (Shield)
Pokémon Sword Gym Mission: Like classic games, you'll need to walk across a collapsible floor without falling into the pits. You're given a detector that emits a vibration when you get close to a pit, so you know to go in another direction.
- Barbaracle (Level 40)
- Shuckle (Level 40)
- Stonhourner (Level 41)
- Coalossal (Level 42, Gigantamax)
You'll be battling Rock-type Pokémon at Gordie's gym, and three have secondary types as well. Barbaracle is Rock/Water, Shuckle is Rock/Bug, and Coalossal is Rock/Fire. You'll want Pokémon with Ground, Water, Fighting, or Grass moves to easily take them out. Rock-type attacks are super effective against Fire, Ice, Flying, and Bug, so avoid bringing Pokémon of any of those types.
Pokémon Shield Gym Mission: This is another mission where you'll need to navigate a collapsible floor. You'll be given a detector that warns you before falling into a pit so that you can steer yourself in the right direction.
- Frosmoth (Level 40)
- Darmanitan (Level 40)
- Eiscue (Level 41)
- Lapras (Level 42, Gigantamax)
All of Melony's Pokemon are Ice types, so bring a strong Fire, Fighting, Rock, or Steel Pokémon (preferably Fire), and you decimate them. Lapras is a special case because it is also partially a Water-type, so you'll want a Grass or Electric Pokémon on hand as well. Don't bring Ground, Flying, or Dragon types.
Gym 7: Spikemuth - Piers
Gym Mission: There isn't a gimmick here. You'll just need to defeat a handful of Team Yell grunts before being able to challenge the gym leader.
- Scrafty (Level 44)
- Malamar (Level 45)
- Skuntank (Level 45)
- Obstagoon (Level 46, Gigantamax)
Every Pokémon Piers throws at you have two types, one of which is always Dark. You'll want to use Bug, Fighting, and Fairy-type moves to take out Obstagoon, Malamar, and Scrafty (Fairy types would be best). Skuntank is vulnerable to Ground attacks. Both Psychic and Ghost are weak against Dark types, so keep them out of your time while challenging this gym,
Gym 8: Hammerlocke - Raihan
Gym Mission: This one is fairly straightforward. Just beat a few gym trainers in double battles.
- Gigalith (Level 46)
- Flygon (Level 47)
- Sandaconda (Level 46)
- Duraludon (Level 48, Gigantamax)
Raihan is the Dragon master, and this is where you'd normally want to fight
fire with fire dragon with dragon seeing as Dragon types are their own greatest weakness, but because many of his Pokémon have two types, you'll need to think outside of the box. Gigalith is vulnerable to Fighting, Water, Grass, Steel, and Ground. Flygon is weak against Dragon, Fairy, and Ice, but immune to Ground. Sandaconda is weak against Water, Grass, and Ice. Lastly, Duraludon is vulnerable to Fighting and Ground types. Just don't take any other Dragon-types, and you should be okay.
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Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life, and bought a Nintendo Switch specifically for all things Pokemon. You can find her obsessing over Star Wars and other geeky things on Twitter @JenLocke95.