Pokemon Sword And Shield: Where To Catch Cool And Rare Pokemon

Pokemon Sword and Shield have finally arrived on Switch. While the games may not include every Pokemon in the series, they do feature a good mix of old favorites and new Gen 8 monsters, so you still have plenty of options to choose from when assembling your Pokemon team.

Where To Catch Certain Pokemon

Most monsters in Sword and Shield can be found roaming about the Wild Area, a sprawling open-world expanse that stretches across the Galar region. The Wild Area isn’t the only place you can encounter Pokemon, but it is home to the largest variety of them (some of which will actually be too strong for you to catch at first), making it the best place to look for new monsters.

As you explore the Wild Area, the weather will change dynamically, which will influence what Pokemon appear in the wild. You also need to keep in mind that you can only catch Pokemon of a certain level depending on how many badges you’ve collected, so you can’t capture every wild Pokemon you encounter.

Fortunately, this isn’t as restrictive as it sounds; you’ll still encounter plenty of monsters, including a bunch of old favorites very early on in your journey. Many can be found in various portions of the Wild Area, but your first chance to catch some will actually be in certain routes and other places. If you’re just getting started, here are some Pokemon you’ll likely want to add to your collection and where you can find them:

EeveeRoute 4 (Outside Turffield)
PikachuRoute 4 (Outside Turffield)
MilceryRoute 4 (Outside Turffield)
SizzlipedeRoute 3
GastlyWatchtower Ruins (Wild Area)
ImpidimpGlimwood Tangle
Galarian PonytaGlimwood Tangle (Shield only)
Galarian Farfetch’dBridge Field (Wild Area) (Sword only)

Rare And Fully Evolved Pokemon

As you progress through the adventure, you’ll also encounter rare and even fully evolved Pokemon in the wild. You’re guaranteed to run into some in certain parts of the Wild Area, but there may be only one of them at a time, so if you miss your chance to catch it, you’ll need to wait a while for it to spawn again–something to keep in mind before you challenge any fully evolved Pokemon you spot.

Fortunately, you can save right before you battle the monster and restart if you inadvertently knock it out (although to ensure a clean reset, you should disable autosaving in the options menu). These Pokemon’s habitats also won’t be listed in the Pokedex, so we’ve rounded up some rare Pokemon we’ve encountered and where they can be found:

MachampGiant’s Mirror
TyranitarDusty Bowl (Shield only)
GengarDusty Bowl
GyaradosEast Lake Axewell
LucarioNorth Lake Miloch
VileplumeDappled Grove
LudicoloDappled Grove (Shield only)
GalladeBridge Field
DusknoirStony Wilderness
SnorlaxMotostoke River Bank
ConkeldurrMotostoke River Bank
HaxorusAxew’s Eye
PangoroRolling Fields
DittoLake of Outrage
LaprasNorth Lake Miloch, Lake of Outrage
Eevee evolutionsLake of Outrage (depends on weather)
RotomLake of Outrage

Pokemon Sword and Shield are available now on Nintendo Switch. You can read our thoughts on the games in our Pokemon Sword and Shield review. If you’re just getting started on your Galar journey, then be sure to check out our other Sword and Shield guides below for more helpful tips.

Pokemon Sword & Shield Guides

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Author: Kevin Knezevic