Sword And Shield’s Wild Area Feature Brings Back Roaming Pokémon


The hype train is well and truly back on track for Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Yesterday, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company aired the second in a series of special Direct presentations for the upcoming RPGs that, while only 15 minutes long, was crammed with several surprise announcements. Without a doubt, the award for most unexpected revelation belongs to the newly-devised Dynamax Pokémon system. If you’ve yet to discover what all the fuss is about on that front, head over here for our in-depth breakdown of the feature, as well as Sword and Shield‘s raids.

As for the case at hand, fans of last year’s Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! will assuredly be ecstatic to hear of a returning element from those games. The popular roaming feature – Pokémon that appear in the overworld, as opposed to only being triggered by random encounters in wild grass – is set to return for Generation 8, though not without its limitations.

The full ins and outs of the system are still forthcoming, though what the Direct does confirm, is that roaming Pokémon will be restricted to the newly-christened Wild Area. This vast expanse is the very same staging ground for Sword and Shield‘s aforementioned Raids and will be accessed via the Galar region’s various towns and cities. As to whether Trainers will have immediate access to the zone right from the off remains to be seen, though my hunch is that entry will be restricted until the Elite Four have been toppled.

For now, that’s everything we know about the Wild Area, though it goes without saying that Game Freak will be on-hand at this year’s E3 to provide further enlightenment.

Pokémon Sword and Shield launch November 15th worldwide and will be available both separately and as part of a double pack bundle.