During a Pokémon Direct on Thursday, two expansions were announced for Sword and Shield: Isle of Armor (coming June 2020) and The Crown of Tundra (Fall 2020). Both will be set in unexplored territories in the Galar region, and come with a bevy of new areas, battle challenges, characters, Pokémon, customizable outfits and more. For those who want to experience both Isle of Armor and The Crown of Tundra, you can pre-purchase expansion passes today on the Nintendo eShop for $29.99. There are two separate expansion passes: one for Pokémon Sword and one for Pokémon Shield.
Both Isle of Armor and The Crown of Tundra will include their own take on the Wild Area, which is a seamless map filled with Pokémon dens for max raid battles. You can invite friends to join these fights, even if they don’t own one of the expansions. Game Freak says these Wild Area locations will be even larger and will include over 200 existing Pokémon (like a Galar version of Slowpoke), as well as Legendary ones. Some of these Legendary Pokémon were revealed during the stream: Kubfu, a bear-like and fighting type will be available in Isle of Armor and the big-headed Calyrex in The Crown of Tundra.
Isle of Armor introduces a new island on the outskirts of Galar, and its story focuses on themes “of growth,” according to the developers. It’s filled with “beautiful nature, bogs, caves, and dunes,” as announced during the stream. In a Dojo for Pokémon battles, you will meet your new and powerful mentor, Mustard. The expansion comes with new rivals as well: Klara, who is a poison type, and Avery, a psychic type.
The Crown of Tundra takes place in a snowy region where you may notice “a strange temple” or a giant tree “growing in a place it doesn’t belong.” It also offers a deeper dive into Pokémon dens, which players only had a glimpse of during max raid battles in Sword and Shield.
As you explore these dens and Wild Areas in either expansion, your starter Pokémon (if fully evolved into Rillaboom, Cinderace or Inteleon) will gain the ability to turn into their Gigantamax forms for the first time.
For those who haven’t yet beaten Pokémon Sword and Shield’s story, the developers signaled that it wouldn’t be a problem. Players can hop into the expansions without having concluded the games’ main quests.
Another announcement during the Nintendo Direct included the reveal of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, a game arriving on March 6 for Nintendo Switch. It’s a remake of the Mystery Dungeon spin-off from 15 years ago, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team. A demo version is available now on the eShop, and progress you make in this free trial will transfer over to the full game when it releases.