Pokémon Sword and Shield: Upgrading your Rotom Bike for the Rotom Rally

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rally Racing
Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rally Racing (Image credit: iMore/ Casian Holly)

Ever since the first Pokémon journey in Pokémon Red and Blue, getting your first bike has been a milestone of most any Pokémon game. Usually, it is a means to travel quickly, as well as hatch Eggs faster but in Pokémon Sword and Shield, it's also a means to earn a lot of Watts fast while challenging yourself and getting to know the Wild Area better.

What is the Rotom Rally?

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rally Courses

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rally Courses (Image credit: iMore/ Casian Holly)

The Rotom Rally is a series of racecourses set up in the Wild Area in Pokémon Sword and Shield. There are seven different points which you can select to race to and from on your Rotom Bike to earn Watts. Once selected, your course will be outlined on the map and you will have a time limit in which to complete it. Along the way, there will be small white balloons that give you a speed boost, large red balloons which add 15 seconds to your clock, and wild Pokémon that will cause you to spin out. Even if you run out of time, you will still get a reward but the better you perform, the more Watts you will earn.

Rotom Rallyists

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rallyist

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rallyist (Image credit: iMore/ Casian Holly)

There are seven Rotom Rallyists spread around the Wild Area. If you talk to any two of them, the Rotom Rally becomes available. If you speak to all of them, every Rotom Rally Circuit will be available, but keep in mind, some of them are in much more challenging parts of the Wild Area. Early in the game, you'll be able to easily handle the Meetup Spot and Dappled Grove but as you level up your Pokémon and earn more badges, you'll be able to handle all seven. The Rallyists can be found:

  • Meetup Spot
  • Dappled Grove
  • East Lake Axewell
  • Giant's Seat
  • Bridge Field
  • Giant's Cap
  • Hammerlocke Hills

In addition to hosting the races, the Rallyists also sell special Poké Balls, TRs, and even Wishing Pieces, the item you can use to summon a Dynamax Pokémon to an empty Dynamax Den. They can upgrade your Rotom Bike and give your Rotom Bike a make-over to match the first Pokémon in your party.

Upgrades to the Rotom Bike

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Bike Upgrade

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Bike Upgrade (Image credit: iMore/ Casian Holly)

For a total of 9,000 Watts, any of the Rotom Rallyists will improve your Rotom Bike. This improvement will help your turbo boost charge up even faster. These upgrades are split into three different speed boosts, the first costing 1,000 Watts, the second 3,000 Watts, and the third 5,000 Watts. While that might seem like an awful lot to pay out, keep in mind that the faster you complete the Rotom Rally Circuits, the better your rewards.

Tips for racing

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rally Score

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rally Score (Image credit: iMore/ Casian Holly)

While the course laid out for each circuit is fairly direct, there are still ways to improve your time.

  • First, and most importantly, invest the Watts in improving your Rotom Bike. The faster your turbo boost recharges, the quicker you can complete the course.
  • When your race starts, the moment the count down begins to fade, hit B to start your turbo boost. You can use it the moment the race begins and, depending on how much you've upgraded your bike, multiple times through the race. Don't hesitate to reach for that boost as often as possible.
  • Also, prioritize which balloons you go for. You should aim for every red balloon but sometimes the white balloons will trick you. If it seems like you'll have to deviate from the course too much to get one, that speed boost won't make up for the lost time trying to track down the balloon.
  • While avoiding hitting Wild Pokémon is important, if you do hit one, let go of the left Joy-Con stick to help reduce your spinning so you can recover faster.
  • Avoid the tall grass, even if there is a balloon or it seems like the most direct path. Wild Pokémon can still be hiding in there and slow you down.


Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rally Watts

Pokemon Sword and Shield Rotom Rally Watts (Image credit: iMore/ Casian Holly)

In addition to the fun and challenge, you get rewards for participating in the Rotom Rally. The more balloons you pop in the Circuit, the more Watts you will earn. With a little practice, you can earn 400+ Watts each time on the longest course, between Hammerlocke and the Meetup Spot. Even if you don't complete the course, each balloon you collect still rewards you with Watts. There are also some milestone rewards:

  • TM14 Thunder Wave: complete a Rotom Rally run for the first time.
  • TM80 Volt Switch: obtain a score of 20,000 or higher.
  • Fast Ball: complete a total of 11 Rotom Rally runs.

Questions about the Rotom Rally

Do you have any questions about the Rotom Rally? Any tips for fellow racers? Just want to brag about your top score? Drop us a comment below and be sure to check out our many other Pokémon Sword and Shield guides!

Casian Holly

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.