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Pokémon Sword and Shield Pokémon Camp - playing with your Pokémon and cooking explained

It's time to take your Pokémon on a camping trip.

Pokémon Camp is a brand new feature in Pokémon Sword and Shield, which lets you set up a campsite for you and your Pokémon to enjoy.

Here you can spend your time playing with your Pokémon and cooking. Your friends can join in too, using local communications or the Internet to visit your campsite.

So grab your sleeping bag and thermos flask - it's time to go camping!

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When do you unlock Pokémon Camp in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

If you want to set up a Pokémon Camp, you'll first need a set of Camping Gear.

Lucky your Mum (in-game Mum, not real life Mum) will give you a set as you depart from the Wedgehurst train station to Motostoke for the first time.

Receiving the Camping Gear will unlock the 'Pokémon Camp' option in the X menu.

You won't have to wait long to try it out either as your next destination is the Wild Area.

How to set up a Pokémon Camp in Pokémon Sword and Shield

You can set up your Pokémon Camp whenever you're travelling through the Wild Area, most routes and even some of the cities in the Galar region.

Find an area that looks like a fun place to set up camp and open the X menu.

From there select the option for Pokémon Camp and you're tent will be all set up for you. You don't even have to bother with the tent pegs!

Now that you're tent is all set up, you can freely play with your Pokémon or cook a delicious curry.

Throughout your travels across the Galar region, you'll encounter NPCs who have also set up Pokémon Camps. You can use these Pokémon Camps as if they were your own.

How to cook curry at your Pokémon Camp in Pokémon Sword and Shield

The main reason why you'll want to set up a Pokémon Camp is to cook a tasty curry for you and your Pokémon.

Curries have a variety of effects of your Pokémon from simply healing them, to granting more EXP to making them friendlier towards you. It's worth experimenting with the various ingredients to discover all the different kinds of curries you can create.

Before you can start cooking, however, make sure you gather some ingredients and berries.

Berries can easily be found by shaking berry trees that are scattered all across Galar. Each tree will hold a different variety of berries, allowing you to build up a good collection.

Ingredients, like a Fancy Apple, can be found in the Wild Area. It may take you some time to hunt down all the ingredients you need. The Fancy Apple, for example, can be found,hidden, on the ground around regular trees.

You can check which ingredients you have by selecting the option ' Check ingredients' from the Cooking menu in your Pokémon Camp.

Once you've gathered enough ingredients, it's time to set up camp and start cooking.

Press X to open the Camp menu and select the option 'Cooking,' followed by 'Start cooking.'

The first step in cooking curry is to select your ingredients.

Reading the descriptions for both the berries and ingredients will help you select which ones to use. Including a variety of different berries is also a good idea, because it will ensure you get the best effects for your Pokémon.

When you're ready to actually start cooking, press the + button.

Actually cooking your curry is broken down into three steps.

The first is to fan the flames, ensuring your curry is cooked at the right heat. To do this either press A or move your Joy-Con up and down.

The second is to stir the curry, by rotating the right controller or by moving your Joy-Con around in a circle. Try to not get too excited when you stir the curry through - you don't want it to spill.

The third and final step is to put your heart into it, which isn't as gory as it sounds.

A yellow ball with a heart will appear at the bottom of the screen and around the curry two circle will appear - one dark green, one little circle. A third circle will start to move through these circles, getting closer to the curry pot.

By either pressing A or moving the Joy-Con downwards, send the yellow heart into the curry as when the moving circle enters the green, non-moving, circles.

It's very similar to have Nice, Great and Excellent catches work in Pokémon Go.

With that, your curry will made for you, and you're Pokémon, to devour.

After eating the curry, you'll be informed of exactly what you made, Spicy Apple Curry for example, the Taste Rating and the effects it had on your Pokémon.

The Taste Rating depends on how complicated the recipe was and the ingredients you put into the curry.

Any new recipe your complete will be added to your Curry Dex, which is accessible via the Cooking menu in Pokémon Camp.

How to play with your Pokémon at your Pokémon Camp in Pokémon Sword and Shield

You can also play with the Pokémon in your party after you've set up your Pokémon Camp.

Either press A to call other a Pokémon or Y to take out a toy to get their attention.

Once you have your Pokémon's attention you can play with them using either balls or the Poké Toy. You can even use your Joy-Con to easily wave the Poké Toy back and forth to attract the attention of Pokémon at the back of your camp.

You can even press down on the control stick to make your trainer crouch down to be closer to smaller Pokémon.

Pokémon Camp Multiplayer in Pokémon Sword and Shield explained

You can enjoy the multiplayer aspect of Pokémon Camp by either using local communications or by connecting to the Internet.

While you don't have to pay to use the local communications, there is a subscription fee for using the Nintendo Switch Online service. If you want to use Pokémon Camp on the Internet, then you're going to have to pay this subscription fee.

Once you've decided how you wish to connect with other players, it's time to find them.

As you journey around the Wild Area, you may find yourself encountering a tent.

This tent is a sign that another player has set up a Pokémon Camp. If you interact with the tent you, and a Pokémon from your party, can enter their campsite.

Up to four players can hang out at the same campsite at a time, cooking curries together and playing with each other's Pokémon.

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Lottie Lynn

Guides Editor

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