Pokémon Sword and Shield: Version exclusives unlocked during limited-time event

Pokemon Sword Shield Version Exclusive Event
Pokemon Sword Shield Version Exclusive Event (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Pokémon Sword and Shield released for Nintendo Switch back on November 15, 2020.
  • Both copies of the game have Pokémon that can only be found in their respective versions.
  • For a limited time, Pokémon will break its version exclusive rule by allowing players to find version exclusive items as well as encounter Pokémon that typically only appear in one version or the other.
  • Not all version exclusives will be included.
  • To encounter these typically version-locked Pokémon, players will need to participate in Max Raid Battles in the Wild Area.
  • This limited-time event starts today and runs until March 25, 2020 at 4:59pm PT/ 7:59pm ET.

One of the biggest staples of the core Pokémon RPGs is version exclusive Pokémon. Basically, either version of the game has Pokémon that the other doesn't, which encourages trading between players. In a truly unprecedented move by Game Freak and The Pokémon Company, version exclusive Pokémon and items from Sword and Shield will show up for a limited time in either game. This event begins today and runs until March 25, 2020 at 4:59pm PT/ 7:59pm ET

Pokemon Sword Shield Version Exclusive Event (Image credit: iMore)

To find these previously version-locked creatures and items, you'll need to take to the Wild Area and participate in Max Raid Battles. We have learned that not all version exclusives will be unlocked, however. Fortunately, Serebii has put together a list of Pokémon that will be appearing in raids for this Pokédex Completion Event.

In addition to Pokémon, players are more likely to find version exclusive items as a reward for completing these raids. Players have reported finding fossils, curry ingredients, and even the Sweet Apple or Tart Apple needed to evolve Applin into its version exclusive evolutions.

To help you out, here's a list of all version exclusive Pokémon. Just remember that not all of these Pokémon will be appearing in Max Raid Battles.

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.