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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.

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!

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
EeveeFrom the man by the ticket barriers in the Wild Area Station, if you played Pokémon Let's Go Eevee
PikachuFrom the lady by the ticket barriers in the Wild Area Station, if you played Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu
OnixStrong
WingullNone
BunnelbyNone
MetapodExclamation Mark
NuzleafExclamation Mark
TyrogueNone
DiggersbyNone
KarrablastDynamax
BonslyDynamax
TogepiDynamax
HaunterStrong
PelipperStrong
ButterfreeFlying
PidoveFlying
NinjaskNone
RoseliaNone
AxewDynamax
PanchamNone
MorelullWeird Dynamax
ItemLocation
Poké Dolls x5From the lady with a backpack inside Wedgehurst Station.
Pokémon Box LinkFrom Sonia as you enter the Wild Area
Jar of HoneyHidden: in little bushes of weeds.
Poké BallHidden: in little bushes of weeds.
Exp Candies XSx7 from Karrablast Dynamax
Exp Candies Sx2 from Karrabalst Dynamax
Dynamax Candiesx2 from Karrabalst Dynamax
Iapapa BerryKarrablast Dynamax
Pomeg BerryKarrablast Dynamax
Balm MushroomKarrablast Dynamax
TM Leech LifeKarrablast Dynamax
Rare CandyBonsly Dynamax
Aguav BerryBonsly Dynamax
Grepa BerryBonsly Dynamax
StardustBonsly Dynamax
Star PieceBonsly Dynamax
TM Drill RunBonsly Dynamax
Energy RootHidden: in little bushes of weeds (on right of area)
Kelpsu BerryTogepi Dynamax
TM Dazzling GleamTogepi Dynamax
Tiny MushroomHidden: by tree
Wiki BerryAxew Dynamax
Hondew BerryAxew Dynamax
NuggetAxew Dynamax
TM Dragon ClawAxew Dynamax
Rare CandyMorelull Dynamax
Aguav BerryMorelull Dynamax
Kelpsy BerryMorelull Dynamax
Balm MushroomMorelull Dynamax
TR Dazzling GleamMorelull Dynamax
Poké BallHidden: on the ground in central area

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
OddishNone
TympoleNone
GrubbinExclamation Mark
BudewDynamax
BewearStrong
ItemLocation
Big MushroomHidden: by a tree
Aguav BerryBudew Dynamax
Tamato BerryBudew Dynamax
TR Seed BombBudew Dynamax
Wishing PieceHidden: By Watt trader next to fallen tree
Revival HerbHidden: Between two Dynamax Dens on left wall
Fancy AppleBy tree near next area
Exp Candies XS x3From hiker by a tree near next area, in exchange for 100W
Energy RootHidden: 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
GastlyStrong
DelibirdStrong
NoibatStrong
DrifloonStrong
DuskullStrong
DrifblimStrong
SwoobatStrong
GlalieStrong
ItemLocation
Tiny MushroomHidden: by tree near previous area
White HerbBy tree on left of area as you enter from the south
Big MushroomHidden 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
VanilliteNone
TympoleNone
SnoruntNone
WooperDynamax
DiggersbyNone
MagikarpFishing
ChewtleDynamax
PalpitoadStrong
PurrloinNone
WingullNone

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

With it finally in the wild, here's how to start the Crown Tundra DLC and our full Pokémon Crown Tundra walkthrough. Plus, here's how to catch Calyrex, Glastrier and Spectrier, the Regieleki and Regidrago puzzle solution and Regirock, Regice, Registeel locations, details on how to catch Legendary Birds Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres in the Crown Tundra, the Ultra Beasts and Necrozma adventure, Dynamax Adventures, including the legendries you can catch on these adventures, and the new Crown Tundra Pokédex and returning Pokémon explained. For Isle of Armor players, here's how to find the Slowpoke, where to find Max Mushroom locations, and how to get Kubfu, become best friends and evolve it, plus all Diglett locations too! For the base game, here's info on the ability to transfer Pokémon to Pokémon Home, the Wild Area, lists of all TM locations and TRs, all Galarian forms and finally our main Pokémon Sword and Shield walkthrough for the whole game.


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
GalvantulaStrong
MachopNone
DrifloonNone
StunkyNone
MachokeStrong
StuntankyNone
CrabbyNone
KinglerNone
NuzleafNone
CrawdauntNone

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
MachokeNone
BronzorNone
SnoverSnow
SnoruntSnow
BisharpNone
GlalieStrong
ItemLocation
TM81 BulldozeFar east side of Giant's Seat, against the wall
Big Pear x2From fishing lady by river, in exchange for 100W
LeftoversIn a corner by a small tree by the wall on eastern side

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
CorviknightStrong (Lv. 50!)
BunnelbyNone
StunkyNone
StuntankNone
XatuFlying
VulpixStrong
ItemLocation
HoneyHidden: small bushes
Thunder StoneBy a patch of long grass on the upper edge on the eastern side
Tiny MushroomHidden: By a tree near the wall at top of area
Big MushroomHidden: By a tree near the wall at top of area
ReviveHidden: By pair of trees in north of area
Big MushroomHidden: By pair of trees in north of area
Big MushroomHidden: 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!

About the Author
Chris Tapsell avatar

Chris Tapsell

Reviews Editor

Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Reviews Editor and most decorated Football Manager. He used to write guides, and will send you links to his favourite spreadsheets if you ask him about League of Legends or competitive Pokémon.

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