Pokémon Sword and Shield Wild Area explained - what we know about how the open world Wild Area works

An in-progress explainer on what we know so far about Sword and Shields big new Wild Area.

The Wild Area in Pokémon Sword and Shield is the first ever open world part of a mainline Pokémon RPG.

It's also, if you're following on here from our Pokémon Sword and Shield walkthrough, the next stop on your journey towards Motostoke City from Wedgehurst - and indeed the area you need to pass through to reach Hammerlocke much later on.

The area itself is large, and full of unusual new systems - as as all the Pokémon and items of course, too. With that in mind, for now this is an in-progress page focusing on the Wild Area as an early part of our walkthrough, rather than a comprehensive explainer of all its systems themselves.

Fear not though! We'll be updating this page as soon as we possibly can with cofirmations of every single Pokémon, item, trainer and other tidbit of lore or systems that we can find. For now, here's what we know about how the Wild Area works, and what we've found ourselves so far.

On this page:

How to ge through the Wild Area when you first visit

Consider this section our "walkthrough" part of the page, as if you're following our walkthrough itself you should find yourself here before early on.

When you arrive in the Wild Area for the first time, you'll be here because your train's got stuck, thanks to some pesky Wooloo on the tracks. The first thing you should actually do is talk to the people inside the train station - two of them are the ones you need to talk to as part of claiming your rewards for playing the Let's Go games - more on that in our guide on how to get Pikachu or Eevee as a reward for playing Pokémon Let's Go.

pokemon_sword_shield_wild_area_1

There's a lady right by the entrance to the Wild Area who'll heal your Pokémon for you for free, if you need it, otherwise, you're free to dive in when you're ready!

Your next stop on the journey itself is of course Motostoke, which is the big, red-bricked city that's straight ahead. You can go straight there if you want, or you can explore, it's totally up to you. We recommend you explore and catch some Pokémon especially, as there are some really great ones to be found here, and it'll help you maintain your squad's level ahead of the Gyms you'll face down the line, too.

One thing to note, of course, although we'll go into this in more depth below: Pokémon can appear in the Wild Area that are well above your squad's current level. Your pals are probably around level 10 as you enter, and right away you can face an Onix that's about Lv.26. If you ever get in trouble, use a Poké Doll - an item you'll probably have a few of by now already - as it'll guarantee you succesfully flee the battle. Oh, and don't cross the bridge just to the east of Motostoke unless you want to be surrounded by Pokémon in the Lv.50s and 60s!

If you ever get lost, too, don't forget you can use the Town Map to figure out where exactly you are.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Wild Area explained - how does the Wild Area work?

There are several new systems at work in the Wild Area. Here's a quick rundown of all the different things at play at once:

Weather

The Wild Area consists of roughly two halves, and within each half is about eight sub-locations, or biomes. Each biome has its own weather, so you can walk from one sunny biome straight into the next one along that's currently experiencing a blizzard. The weather then affects what Pokémon are available. Some might only be available in certain weather conditions, and some in only certain weather conditions and certain biomes at the same time.

Dynamax Raids and Watts

The Wild Area is the only place outside of Gyms where Pokémon can Dynamax. To start one, simply approach any glowing red "den" that also has a pillar of red light coming from it. This will give you a chance to invite up to three more friends or three NPCs to help you in a 4v1 battle. Afterwards, you'll have a guaranteed chance to catch the Pokémon when you defeat it. Checking active dens also gives you Watts, a new kind of resource you can spend at certain vendors (usually at the entrance and exits to the Wild Area itself). You get 50 Watts for checking a glowing den with no active raid, or 300 for starting a raid itself.

Multiplayer

The Wild Area is the main place for multiplayer interactions, like camping together or tackling Dynamax Raids with friends. Use the Y-functions (literally press Y) to invite friends to join you, camp together, trade and battle!

pokemon_sword_shield_wild_area_2

Hidden items

The Wild Area seems to feature respawning, changing hidden items, rather than set ones like in other areas. The most frequent places are under trees, where cooking ingredients and rare types of Mushroom - which you can sell for plenty of money - often appear. Once we figure out how exactly their respawning works, we'll update this page!

Overelevelled Pokémon

Plenty of Pokémon you'll find in the Wild Area will be well above your own level, so beware! We go into these in more detail in our guide to very strong-looking Pokémon and how to catch them!

NPCs

There are a handful of NPCs in the Wild Area, some of which in both parts and some exclusive to the second, higher-level part. Some will let you trade-in Watts - the resource you get for checking dens and taking part in Dynamax battles - for items, others will offer you a chance to battle, and others, in the later second part of the area, can dig for rare items in exchange for your Watts, too.

Below, we'll detail every wild Pokémon we've encountered so far, along with any notes worth bearing in mind on the encounter.

This page is of course very much in-progress, as we work our way through the Wild Area cataloguing the Pokémon and items we've encountered. The lists below are therefore incomplete - and based on Pokémon Sword only, for now - but we will absolutely be coming back to update them once we have comfirmation of everything, as we uncover more!

Wild Area: Rolling Fields - available Pokémon, items and trainers we know about so far

The biome type at the Rolling Fields is Grass and Normal.

PokémonNotes
Eevee From the man by the ticket barriers in the Wild Area Station, if you played Pokémon Let's Go Eevee
Pikachu From the lady by the ticket barriers in the Wild Area Station, if you played Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu
Onix Strong
Wingull None
Bunnelby None
Metapod Exclamation Mark
Nuzleaf Exclamation Mark
Tyrogue None
Diggersby None
Karrablast Dynamax
Bonsly Dynamax
Togepi Dynamax
Haunter Strong
Pelipper Strong
Butterfree Flying
Pidove Flying
Ninjask None
Roselia None
Axew Dynamax
Pancham None
Morelull Weird Dynamax
ItemLocation
Poké Dolls x5 From the lady with a backpack inside Wedgehurst Station.
Pokémon Box Link From Sonia as you enter the Wild Area
Jar of Honey Hidden: in little bushes of weeds.
Poké Ball Hidden: in little bushes of weeds.
Exp Candies XS x7 from Karrablast Dynamax
Exp Candies S x2 from Karrabalst Dynamax
Dynamax Candies x2 from Karrabalst Dynamax
Iapapa Berry Karrablast Dynamax
Pomeg Berry Karrablast Dynamax
Balm Mushroom Karrablast Dynamax
TM Leech Life Karrablast Dynamax
Rare Candy Bonsly Dynamax
Aguav Berry Bonsly Dynamax
Grepa Berry Bonsly Dynamax
Stardust Bonsly Dynamax
Star Piece Bonsly Dynamax
TM Drill Run Bonsly Dynamax
Energy Root Hidden: in little bushes of weeds (on right of area)
Kelpsu Berry Togepi Dynamax
TM Dazzling Gleam Togepi Dynamax
Tiny Mushroom Hidden: by tree
Wiki Berry Axew Dynamax
Hondew Berry Axew Dynamax
Nugget Axew Dynamax
TM Dragon Claw Axew Dynamax
Rare Candy Morelull Dynamax
Aguav Berry Morelull Dynamax
Kelpsy Berry Morelull Dynamax
Balm Mushroom Morelull Dynamax
TR Dazzling Gleam Morelull Dynamax
Poké Ball Hidden: on the ground in central area
pokemon_sword_shield_wild_area_3

Wild Area: Dappled Grove - available Pokémon, items and trainers we know about so far

The biome type at the Dappled Grove is Grass and Bug.

PokémonNotes
Oddish None
Tympole None
Grubbin Exclamation Mark
Budew Dynamax
Bewear Strong
ItemLocation
Big Mushroom Hidden: by a tree
Aguav Berry Budew Dynamax
Tamato Berry Budew Dynamax
TR Seed Bomb Budew Dynamax
Wishing Piece Hidden: By Watt trader next to fallen tree
Revival Herb Hidden: Between two Dynamax Dens on left wall
Fancy Apple By tree near next area
Exp Candies XS x3 From hiker by a tree near next area, in exchange for 100W
Energy Root Hidden: By shore, near next area

Wild Area: Watchtower Ruins - available Pokémon, items and trainers we know about so far

The biome type at the Watchtower Ruins is Ghost.

PokémonNotes
Gastly Strong
Delibird Strong
Noibat Strong
Drifloon Strong
Duskull Strong
Drifblim Strong
Swoobat Strong
Glalie Strong
ItemLocation
Tiny Mushroom Hidden: by tree near previous area
White Herb By tree on left of area as you enter from the south
Big Mushroom Hidden on left wall of route under a smaller tree

Wild Area: West Lake Axewell - available Pokémon, items and trainers we know about so far

The biome type at West Lake Atwell is Water.

PokémonNotes
Vanillite None
Tympole None
Snorunt None
Wooper Dynamax
Diggersby None
Magikarp Fishing
Chewtle Dynamax
Palpitoad Strong
Purrloin None
Wingull None

Wild Area: East Lake Axewell - available Pokémon, items and trainers we know about so far

The biome type at East Lake Axewell is mixed.

PokémonNotes
SnoverNone
ButterfreeNone
PidoveNone
PanchamNone
BudewNone
StuffulNone
HoothootDynamax
GarbodorStrong
ItemLocation
Lum BerryDynamax Hoothoot
Qualot BerryDynamax Hoothoot
TR Tri AttackDynamax Hoothoot
Pretty FeatherHidden: in little patch of long grass near the wall, in a little corner
Poké BallHidden: on the ground in central area

Sword and Shield finally here! Our now complete Pokémon Sword and Shield walkthrough and Pokémon Sword and Shield tips can help with the main adventure, and along the way you'll encounter a few new features - from the Wild Area and Pokémon Camp to strong-looking Pokémon and autosaving. After discovering the starters Sobble, Scorbunny and Grookey, we have a guide to the Turffield treasure riddle solution, and Ballonlea quiz answers and solutions, lists of all Pokémon Sword and Shield TM locations new Gen 8 Pokémon, Sword and Shield Pokédex, version differences, Galarian forms and Sword and Shield Legendaries. We also have an evolution guide, including guides on evolving Applin, Farfetch’d, Milcery, Sinistea, Toxel and Yamask.


Wild Area: South Lake Miloch - available Pokémon, items and trainers we know about so far

The biome type at South Lake Miloch is mixed.

PokémonNotes
Galvantula Strong
Machop None
Drifloon None
Stunky None
Machoke Strong
Stuntanky None
Crabby None
Kingler None
Nuzleaf None
Crawdaunt None

Wild Area: Giant's Seat - available Pokémon, items and trainers we know about so far

The biome type at Giant's Seat is Steel.

PokémonNotes
Machoke None
Bronzor None
Snover Snow
Snorunt Snow
Bisharp None
Glalie Strong
ItemLocation
TM81 Bulldoze Far east side of Giant's Seat, against the wall
Big Pear x2 From fishing lady by river, in exchange for 100W
Leftovers In a corner by a small tree by the wall on eastern side
pokemon_sword_shield_wild_area_4

Wild Area: North Lake Miloch - available Pokémon, items and trainers we know about so far

The biome type at Giant's Seat is Flying.

PokémonNotes
Corviknight Strong (Lv. 50!)
Bunnelby None
Stunky None
Stuntank None
Xatu Flying
Vulpix Strong
ItemLocation
Honey Hidden: small bushes
Thunder Stone By a patch of long grass on the upper edge on the eastern side
Tiny Mushroom Hidden: By a tree near the wall at top of area
Big Mushroom Hidden: By a tree near the wall at top of area
Revive Hidden: By pair of trees in north of area
Big Mushroom Hidden: By pair of trees in north of area
Big Mushroom Hidden: By pair tree in north of area

For now, that's all! Expect significant updates to this page in the coming days, as we confirm more about how the Wild Area's systems work and what, exactly, you can find here and when. For now, we hope this was helpful, and don't forget you can cycle back to our main Pokémon Sword and Shield walkthrough and guide hub for much more!

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About the author

Chris Tapsell

Chris Tapsell

Staff Writer

Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Staff Writer, its newest Chris, and a keen explorer of the dark arts of gaming, from League of Legends to the murky world of competitive Pokémon.

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