Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battle Beginner’s Guide

Details on Max Raid battles in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Included are an overview, ways on how to host a max raid battle, steps on how to join max raid battles, gigantamax Pokemon, and features of dens.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battle Beginner's Guide


The wild area is home to many rare and powerful Pokemon. There’s no surprise that many trainers flock to the zone in online play. It has patches of grass and lakes like any other regular route in the Galar region. There are also dens spaced out and serve as lairs for powerful dynamaxed Pokemon. After inspection, dens give trainers some watts, a unique currency that can be used to redeem rewards from various NPCs.

TR List

Below, we go over the several mechanics and features that focus on Max raid battles in the wild area.

Max Raid battle


A Max Raid battle is a new type of battle that pits four trainers in a match against one powerful Pokemon. Trainers need to use one Pokemon each to defeat the Pokemon. Doing so gives them a chance to capture the weakened Pokemon. However, after a set amount of turns or after multiple Pokemon faint, the battle ends and the trainers are driven out of the den. In the main story, a similar battle occurs that puts the trainer alongside three AI partners.

What are Max Raid Battles?

How to host

To host a Max Raid battle, trainers need to obtain the Y-Comm after a cutscene with Professor Magnolia. To host a max raid battle, trainers need to have also reached the wild area. The first stop is at the Meetup spot. To have a better shot at scoring rare Pokemon, trainers need to accomplish certain feats like completing the main story.

Regardless of your progress, if you have the Y-Comm, you can press Y to bring up the menu. Below are the steps on how to host a Max Raid battle.

1 Head to the wild area.
2 Look for your desired den. Depending on the status of the den, you may or may not have to drop a Wishing piece to summon a Pokemon.
3 Interact with it to check the Pokemon.
4 Select “Invite Others” if you want to gather a group of trainers. You may also select the second option to play with AI trainers if you don’t have a working connection or prefer to battle the Pokemon on your own

In offline play, the battle immediately starts with you and three random AI. In online play, a timer appears and gives enough time for trainers to get a group together. You can also cancel the queue if you wish.

Setting your max raid battle to private

If you want a private match, you’ll need to set a password or link code to prevent random players from joining.

1 Perform the first two steps outlined above.
2 After saving, interact with the den to check the Pokemon.
3 On the menu, press the “+” button and you’ll be asked to set a four-digit link code.
4 After inputting the numbers, share the code with your friends and wait for them to join your max raid battle.*

*With a link code, your room will appear with a padlock icon on the stamps feed.

How to join friends


When connected to the internet, trainers can pair up with friends in local communication and online mode. The local communication is set by default and you can pair up with friends if your devices are near each other.

How to join a friend’s max raid battle in online play

1 To connect your switch to the internet, go to the Y-Comm menu and then press the “+” button to connect.**
2 You’ll be notified if the connection was successful.
3 You can then refresh the feed on the right side of the menu by pressing X.
4 You can find friends easily by using the filter function of the Y-Comm. On the menu, scroll down to the Search stamps and press A to confirm. When asked, select the “Friends only” option.
5 After confirming, finalize your choice to join a friend’s hosted match.

**You need to have a working internet connection and an active nintendo subscription to do this method.

How to join random max raid battles

Similar to joining friends, you can also join random trainers. For local communication, you should be able to find trainers if there are devices nearby. To check for on-going matches easily, go down to Search Stamps and choose the second option “Seeking” to filter the active max raid battles. Due to delays and exploits, some rooms might have already started or not exist anymore. Another downside to this method is that you don’t have the ability to communicate with them. Some trainers in random max raid battles may set a four-digit link code of their own which prevents you from joining.

Gigantamax Pokemon

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Gigantamax Corviknight

Sometimes, you’ll find strange silhouettes when joining or hosting a Max Raid battle. Unlike regular dens, these dens contain a Gigantamaxed Pokemon. These Pokemon have a unique appearance rather than the fairly typical appearance of Dynamaxed Pokemon. They also carry signature moves which deal massive damage. So far, there are only a handful of Pokemon that can Gigantamax.


The wild area contains many nests in the form of dens. These dens are scattered across the map and each may contain one random Pokemon from a unique pool. Each den can vary in terms of three features: the presence or absence of light emanating from it, the number of stars, and the background color.


When exploring the wild area, you can encounter three different kinds of dens. One is an empty den that gives a decent amount of watts. The uncommon ones shine with a red light and give more watts. These dens also contain a Pokemon and often come from a pool of standard Pokemon. Rare dens are bursting with neon pink light and may contain a powerful Pokemon such as the highly sought after Gigantamaxed Pokemon.

How to Farm Watts


The stars at the top of a Max Raid battle screen give a brief analysis of what you’ll encounter. Dens that have more stars indicate stronger dynamaxed or Gigantamaxed Pokemon. A Pokemon with five stars have better IVs than those with less. The number of stars also depend on your progress in the main story. If you wish to challenge more powerful Pokemon like those with five stars, you will need to work on your gym badges first.


Another feature in the menu is the color of the Max raid battle. After catching a Pokemon, take a look at the background color. Having a yellow color often hints at a rare encounter. These include hard to find Pokemon like those with a Hidden ability.

How to block players

While the purpose of max raid battles is to connect trainers so that they can help each other, sometimes you’ll be paired with people who exhibit unsportsmanlike behavior. Fortunately, you can filter the trainers who can join your hosted battles to prevent certain players from joining again. To do this, you need to wait until the match reaches the rewards screen. From there, press either “-” or “+” and you’ll be asked to select which player to add to your block list.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Recommended Article List

▼Pokemon Sword and Shield Recommended Articles
Expansion Pass All Diglett Locations Gen 8 Starters
Galar Dex Pokemon Battles Walkthroughs
Beginner Guides Strategy Guides Game Database
Strategy Guides Post-Game TM Locations
TR List Evolution Stones Evolution Methods

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