Pokemon Sword and Shield - What are Max Raid Battles?

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Max Raid Battles require players to work together to defeat and capture powerful Dynamaxed Pokemon.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battles

Max Raid Battles

Max Raid Battles are co-op encounters that pit a group of up to four players against a wild Dynamaxed Pokemon. These are incredibly powerful versions of Pokemon that are able to use unique abilities to overpower challengers. Players can host or join Max Raid Battles using the Y-Comm feature.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battles

Wild Dynamaxed Pokemon are found in Pokemon dens all around the Galar region. They appear as small wells that emit red beams of light toward the sky.

Wild Dynamaxed Pokemon

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battles

Wild Dynamaxed Pokemon use max moves in battle in addition to regular ones. Max moves do damage while activating a variety of effects that give Dynamaxed Pokemon significant advantages over foes.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battles

Before attacking, wild Dynamaxed Pokemon can remove all stat changes and active ability effects of opponents. This includes those that raise attack, defense, evasion, and accuracy. Wild Dynamaxed Pokemon may attack twice in one turn as well.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battles

Certain wild Dynamaxed Pokemon will set up protective barriers that negate nearly all incoming damage. The barrier will have to be destroyed first by attacking it to render the giant Pokemon vulnerable.

Preparation Screen

Before a Max Raid Battle begins, each member of the team must select a Pokemon to use. These can be selected from the player’s current party or the storage box. There is no way to switch Pokemon during combat, so it is important to choose carefully. Note that there is also a time limit on the preparation screen.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battles

A silhouette of the wild Dynamax Pokemon is shown on the left side of the screen. The enemy Pokemon’s type and the battle’s failure conditions are also indicated here. Stars can be seen on the upper left corner, presumably the difficulty of the battle.

Other Max Raid Battle Mechanics

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battles

To be able to defeat the wild Dynamaxed Pokemon, one member of the team will be allowed to Dynamax their Pokemon. It will then become crucial to develop a strategy that takes the friendly Dynamaxed Pokemon’s abilities into account.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battles

A team member whose Pokemon faints during battle will still be able to help out by cheering for his allies. Doing this restores the health of friendly Pokemon.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Max Raid Battles

When enough damage has been dealt to the wild Dynamaxed Pokemon, it can be caught. All members of the challenging team will receive the Dynamaxed Pokemon if this happens, regardless of who captured it.

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