12 things we want to see in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield
Pokemon Sword and Shield (Image credit: Game Freak)

In February, Nintendo announced the next two installments in the main Pokémon games, which are coming to the Switch in late 2019. These two games are going to be called Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

Aside from the differences between the two versions, we've learned some of basics of Sword and Shield, which we dive into in our Pokémon Sword and Shield: Everything you need to know article. However, there's still quite some time before the release of the game, and we predict that more details will reveal themselves around E3 this year.

In the meantime, our staff here at iMore are huge Pokémon fans, and we have a few things that we would like to see in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Less hand-holding

One of my personal biggest issues with Pokémon Sun and Moon was the fact that it felt like the game was holding my hand the entire time I was playing the game. This babying of the player made it so that I actually didn't finish my copy of Pokémon Moon, and I didn't even bother with the sequels.

With Pokémon Sword and Shield, I really hope that there's less hand-holding involved, because I don't necessarily need the game to tell me how to play. I want less linearity and the option to more freely explore Galar as I see fit. I don't want another character always following me and telling me where I should be heading—I'll get there eventually, just let me go out and explore a bit.

New Eeveelutions

Eevee and all of its current evolutions

The Pokémon Eevee is a favorite for many, including myself and a few more of Mobile Nations staff. The base Pokémon is just so cute and adorable, and then it basically evolves into one of seven possible evolutions, all of which are equally as endearing.

Eevee is a part of the first generation of Pokémon, along with the first three evolutions: Vaporeon (Water), Jolteon (Thunder), and Flareon (Fire). In Gen II, it gained Espeon (Psychic) and Umbreon (Dark). Gen IV brought Leafeon (Grass) and Glaceon (Ice), with Gen VI introducing Sylveon (Fairy, and my personal favorite). They always seem to skip a generation or two with Eevee's new evolutions, and they definitely didn't add one in the last generation (Gen VII) with Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Hopefully, we see a new evolution for Eevee in Gen VIII. Perhaps a Steel-type, given the titles of Sword and Shield?

Integrate some Let's Go gameplay elements

Catch Clefairy in Let's Go

Pokémon Lets Go Pikachu/Eevee (Image credit: Nintendo)

When Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee came out last year, it introduced a few new game mechanics, like how we can see Pokémon in the over-world, and skip battling wild Pokémon entirely and just catch them by throwing Poké Balls.

We actually really enjoyed being able to see Pokémon roaming around freely on the over-world, because it helped us pick-and-choose which Pokémon to encounter in the wild. We would love to see this in Sword and Shield, and maybe even integrating the whole Poké Ball throwing mechanic after defeating a wild Pokémon in battle.

Poké Ball Plus support

Pokémon lets go pikachu with poke ball plus

Pokémon: Let's Go plus a Poke Ball (Image credit: iMore)

Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee also introduced a new way to play games with the Poké Ball Plus. It could be used as a controller in the game for movement and going through menu options, as well as catching Pokémon by doing a "throwing" motion with the controller. You could even keep a Pokémon from your game inside the Poké Ball Plus and take it with you on strolls, and it also supported Pokémon Go on smartphones.

It would definitely be a shame if support for the Poké Ball Plus ended with Let's Go, so we are hoping that it will work with Sword and Shield as well as a controller, and even let us take our Pokémon with us as we're out and about.

More end-game content

map of Galar region

Galar Region (Image credit: iMore / The Pokémon Company)

In previous games, once you defeat the gyms and the Pokémon league, you're pretty much done with the game, unless you go for catching the legendary Pokémon that show up afterward. But sometimes, that just isn't enough.

We want to see more options on things to do post-game in Pokémon Sword and Shield, such as a post-game storyline, or even new areas that were otherwise inaccessible, such as in Pokémon Black and White. Having more post-game content would give players more reason to stick around, instead of putting the game aside once the Pokémon League is complete.

Have an actual Pokémon League

Pokémon Sword and Shield soccer stadium

While we're on the topic of end-game content and the Pokémon League, we would like to see a real League this time around. What we mean by this is something along the lines of a single elimination tournament against random trainers to get to the Elite Four.

This would give the whole thing more sense of accomplishment once you get to the Elite Four, and we want the ability to defend our title until we lose it to another challenger.

We feel that this particular wish may be a long shot, but we can dream, right?

Be able to visit other regions

Pikachu in Galar in Pokémon sword and shield

Pikachu Pokemon Sword and Shield (Image credit: Game Freak)

They revealed that Pokémon Sword and Shield takes place in the entirely new region of Galar, which is heavily inspired by the United Kingdom. And with a new region comes new Pokémon, obviously, but they did reveal older generation Pokémon in the trailer.

We would love to be able to see more than one region in Pokémon Sword and Shield, similar to how Pokémon Gold and Silver had both Kanto and Johto, allowing players to travel between the two areas. And since we see old Pokémon in the trailer, there's a slight chance that we can backtrack to an older region to obtain them, right?

British-style Pokémon

If Galar is a region that's based on the United Kingdom, we have to expect some new Pokémon that are inspired by the British, right? Honestly, I love the culture across the pond and hope to see some of that translated into some creative Pokémon.

Plus, it would be pretty cool (or possibly hilarious, depending on how you view it) to see a Pokémon design that's inspired by the Queen's Guard.

No more gene-altering

Pikachu IVs in Let's Go Pikachu

Individual Values (IVs) have always been a thing in Pokémon games, especially for the competitive scene, but lately, they've added more and more ways for players to get strong Pokémon by breeding until they get the perfect one, or through training.

We want to go back to the good old days where it was just about finding strong Pokémon through random encounters, and even just befriending Pokémon who may not be very strong, but are super loyal and trustworthy.

You know, think about the anime series, and that's kind of what we want to go for here. It was the original spirit of Pokémon when the whole franchise started out, and we want to go back to those days.

New team battling mechanics

Battling against a Wailmer in Pokémon sword and shield

Team battles often happen through key parts of the story in Pokémon games, and while it's always fun to team up, the existing team format is a bit awkward. We want to see some improvements made to the team battle format.

What do we mean by this? Well, team battles would be a lot more interesting if there was more moves or abilities that are specifically designed for tag battles. For example, boosting attack or defense when pairing certain Pokémon fight together. Or having combo attacks that you can only pull off with certain teams of Pokémon. These are some of our ideas so far on how team battles could be improved, and mechanics like that would definitely liven up the format.

New soundtrack

And of course, since this is a brand new mainline Pokémon game, we hope for a fresh new soundtrack. We love the classics, but come on! This is a brand new region with hopefully a ton of new Pokémon, soccer-themed gym stadium battles, so there better be some cool new tunes to go with everything.

Pipe Dreams

While it may be a super duper longshot, I think it would be cool to see some voice acting added in.

What do you want to see in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

These are just some of the things on our team's wishlist for the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games launching later this year on Nintendo Switch. What are some things you're hoping to see? Let us know in the comments below!

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.