New Updates on Pokemon Sword and Shield Include 18 Gyms, Changes to Exp. Share, and New Battle Mechanics

In a series of interviews with Game Informer, we get new Pokemon Sword and Shield details on gyms, Exp. sharing, and battle mechanics.

With Game Informer’s next feature story being about Pokemon Sword and Shield, Game Freak has provided a variety of updates. Among the updates included deal with the game’s 18 gyms, getting rid of Exp. share, and adding new battle mechanics.

“There are 18 different types of gyms in the story, and depending on the version, which gyms are in the minor league and which gyms are in the major league are different,” says director Shigeru Ohmari via a report from Nintendo Everything. “For example, in Sword, the fighting-type gym will be in the major league, but in Shield, the ghost-type. The idea is that every year, the Galar region is playing and which gyms make it into the minor league versus the major league changes.”

As for Exp. Sharing, a feature that’s been in the series for awhile, won’t make to the latest entries. Instead, each Pokemon in your party will get an equal amount of experience after each battle.

“Traditionally in the series, you start with your starter Pokemon and then you catch a lot of Pokemon in the beginning, and those are with you throughout the whole adventure, and the player gets attached to them,” says planning director Kazumasa Iwao. “This time around, we really wanted to introduce some systems that help the player be able to take those Pokemon they caught in the beginning, and the first one they chose, and actually take them straight into competitive battle. There’s a lot of hidden parameters to Pokemon that aren’t surfaced to the player. We’re doing a lot of stuff in the back end introducing systems that allow players to make sure that Pokemon they want to use in competitive battles are viable.”

Iwao also mentions players can still breed Pokemon if they want to put in the effort. Additionally, Sword and Shield will get rid of HM attacks and feature autosaving, a first in the series.

Pokemon Sword and Shield launch on Nintendo Switch November 15. If you’re looking for more Pokemon news, you can check out Game Informer asking Game Freak 101 rapid-fire questions.

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