Pokémon Sword and Shield Weather types, how to change the weather and weather battle conditions explained

Everything you need to know about the weather in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

The weather plays an important part of your adventures in the Wild Area in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Unlike routes and town, which have a set weather, the weather in each location of the Wild Area changes daily. This means that it could be snowing in the Dusty Bowl today, but raining tomorrow.

It is possible to change the weather in Pokémon Sword and Shield, allowing you to catch weather specific Pokémon and experience special battle conditions.

On this page:

What types of weather exist in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

There are nine different types of weather you can experience in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Each one will change the appearance of the Wild Area, while also possibly changing the battlefield and cause different Pokémon to appear.

As you progress further in the game, you will also unlock additional types of weather, allowing you to catch new Pokémon.

Pokemon_Sword_Weather_6
Cycling through a snowstorm.

Here are the types of weather that are available from the beginning of Pokémon Sword and Shield:

  • Harsh Sunlight
  • Overcast
  • Normal Weather (Sunny)
  • Raining
  • Snowing
  • Thunderstorm

After defeating the first three Gyms, you unlock two more additional types of weather:

  • Sandstorm
  • Snowstorm

Once you've become the Champion of the Galar region, you'll also unlock fog.

Pokemon_Sword_Weather_Icons
The weather icons - Normal Weather (Sunny), Overcast, Raining, Thunderstorm, Snowing, Snowstorm, Harsh Sunlight, Sandstorm and Fog.

Weather battle condition affects in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Certain weather types will alter the conditions of a Pokémon battle in the Wild Area, as well as the Pokémon you encounter.

Pokemon_Sword_Weather_4
A nice, sunny, day.

Your Pokémon will only be affected by a weather battle condition if they're battling in an area that is currently being affected by that specific weather type or a Pokémon uses a move or ability that changes the weather condition. These moves and abilities won't, however, change the weather outside of the battle.

Typically weather conditions last for five turns of a battle, but you can get specific items, such as the Heat Rock, which will extend these conditions to eight turns.

Here are the four different weather types that can affect your Pokémon in battle:

Weather TypeEffectsMoves that cause itAbilities that cause it
Harsh Sunlight Boosts fire-type moves
Lowers water-type moves
Lowers accuracy of Hurricane and Thunder
Moonlight, Morning Sun and Synthesis restore more HP
Prevents Pokémon from becoming frozen
Sunny Day
Max Flare
Drought
Rain Boosts water-type moves
Lowers fire-type moves
Hurricane and Thunder become 100% accurate
Moonlight, Morning Sun and Synthesis restore less HP
Rain Dance
Max geyser
Drizzle
Sandstorm Damages all non-ground, rock or steel-type Pokémon
Boosts Special Defence of rock-type Pokémon
Moonlight, Morning Sun and Synthesis restores less HP
Shore Up restores more HP
Sandstorm
Max Rockfall
Sand Spit
Sand Stream
Snowstorm Damages all non-ice-type Pokémon each turn
Blizzard becomes 100% accurate
Moonlight, Morning Sun and Synthesis restore less HP
Hail
Max Hailstorm
Snow Warning
Pokemon_Sword_Weather_13
The lakes look pretty cool in a sandstorm.

Certain Pokémon abilities are also activated by different weather conditions. These abilities are:

Ability EffectHarsh SunlightRainSandstormSnowstorm
Boosts Speed Chlorophyll Swift Swin Sand Rush Slush Rush
Restores HP N/A Rain Dish
Dry Skin
N/A Ice Body
Boosts power Solar Power
Flower Gift
N/A Sand Force N/A
Heals status conditions N/A Hydration N/A N/A
Protects from status conditions Leaf Guard N/A N/A N/A

Locked weather days in Pokémon Sword and Shield explained

Locked weather days refer to the first day of every month when the Wild Area will be covered in only one type of weather effect.

The only expectation is January 1st, which starts the new year off as usual with a variety of different weather types.

The locked weather days and their associated weather are:

DateWeather Type
January 1stN/A
February 1stSnowstorm
March 1stOvercast
April 1stSandstorm
May 1stNormal Weather (Sunny)
June 1stFog
July 1stHarsh Sunlight
October 1stRaining
November 1stThunderstorm
December 1stSnowing

Thank you to AnaMain300 for the help with this information.

Pokemon_Sword_Weather_2

If you want to take advantage of these days, for either catching a specific Pokémon or simply aesthetics, then all you have to do is change the date on your Nintendo Switch.

To do this enter the System Settings for your Nintendo Switch. From there scroll down to the System option and select the Date and Time option.

Pokemon_Sword_Weather_5

Next you'll want to turn off Synchronise Clock via Internet. This will allow you to manually change the date or time to whatever you want, effectively making you the weather god of the Galar region.

Pokemon_Sword_Weather_12
Make sure 'Synchronise Clock via Internet' is turned off.

Finally, all you have to do is change the date to whichever locked weather day you want, leave the System Settings and start playing either Pokémon Sword or Shield.

Pokemon_Sword_Weather_7
Now you can change the date to whatever you please.

For more like this, our complete Pokémon Sword and Shield walkthrough, explainer on the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass, and Pokémon Sword and Shield tips are the places to start. Otherwise, we cover everything 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 TM locations and TRs, new Gen 8 Pokémon, the Sword and Shield Pokédex, Sword and Shield version differences, all Galarian forms and the Sword and Shield Legendaries. We also have an evolution guide, including details on evolving Applin, Farfetch’d, Milcery, Sinistea, Toxel and Yamask.


How to check the weather in the Wild Area in Pokémon Sword and Shield explained

There are a couple of different methods you can use to check the weather in the Wild Area in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

The first is to simply visit the Wild Area and wander about - you'll quickly realise what weather you're experiencing.

The second way is to open the Town Map from the X menu.

Pokemon_Sword_Weather_10
Select the Town Map to for a Wild Area weather forecast.

Once this map is open, press the + button to show the weather for each route and Wild Area location.

You can do a very similar thing with the Pokédex as well.

Pokemon_Sword_Weather_3

Simply select the Habitat Map for any Pokémon within the Pokémon and then, once the map is open, press + to toggle the weather on and off. You can also access the Flying Taxi from this map, allowing you to quickly reach the right location, and weather, for you.

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About the author

Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's guides writer. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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