What is Dynamax in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

What is Dynamax in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

How does Dynamax work?

You can make one of your Pokémon giant once each battle. Dynamax only lasts for three turns, so you'll need to use this feature strategically when taking on difficult opponents, like gym leaders. When Dynamaxing, all your Pokémon's moves become more powerful. The gyms in Sword and Shield are built like huge sports stadiums to accommodate these large Pokémon battles and, according to the presentation, the fans in the stands will react to your tactics. You trigger Dynamax from the same screen as your moves list.

In the Nintendo Direct presentation Pokémon Sword and Shield's planning director, Kazumasa Iwao, said that Dynamaxing "will be key to becoming a full-fledged trainer in these games." Be prepared to learn this new fighting style to get far in Gen 8 and to capture Pokémon in Max Raid Battles.

Multiplayer Max Raid Battles and Dynamax

A new co-operative element called Max Raid Battles is featured in Sword and Shield. You and up to three other trainers encounter a wild Dynamax Pokémon with the end goal of being able to try and catch it. The wild Pokémon stays giant during battle and has enhanced attacks that make it difficult to beat. During these encounters, only one of the four players will be able to Dynamax their Pokémon, so you'll need to strategically plan with your team when using it.

You can connect with friends using local wireless play in Max Raid Battles or connect with other players online from around the world. Once you've defeated the Dynamax Pokémon, you'll get the chance to catch it, using an enormous Poké Ball. The type of Dynamax Pokémon you encounter will depend on where you and your friends battle within the game and what the weather is like.

Is Dynamax a mixture of Mega Evolution and Z-Moves from previous games?

It does seem similar to the Mega Evolution and Z-Moves found in X, Y, Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, Ultra Moon, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire, but it's definitely different. It's similar in that your character will be equipped with a special bracelet that somehow corresponds to Dynamaxing - like how the Z-Ring, Z-Power Ring, and Mega Ring, from previous games channeled Z-Moves and Mega Evolution.

There's also the fact that your Pokemon get's larger and more powerful like they did with Mega Evolution in previous games. However, the biggest difference is that this enlarging process seems to be available for all Pokémon, regardless of whether or not they are the final evolution.

Here are some more Dynamaxing pictures for your viewing pleasure:

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.