Pokemon Sword and Shield - Who are Your Rivals?

A look at the rivals that you will encounter in the Galar region. Each rival has their own purpose as to why they want to be the Pokemon Champion.

Meet the Rivals

Having a rival is a staple in the Pokemon series. The rival is another trainer that regularly challenges you to Pokemon battles as you both strive to become the Pokemon champion. Defeating a rival is significantly harder than beating most other trainers in the series, as they often pick the starter Pokemon who is of an advantageous type to the player’s. While it is common to have one or two rivals, Pokemon Sword and Shield features three rivals for the first time in the series.

Who are these three rivals? Let’s take a look.


The first rival that you encounter in Galar is Hop, one of your neighbors in the starting town. His older brother is the current champion of the region, Leon. Hop aims to be the strongest Pokemon trainer in Galar like his brother.


It is not yet confirmed which starter Pokemon he will choose after you, or if he will even choose a starter Pokemon.


Marnie is a rival who aims to be the Galar region champion just like you, but she has a certain unrevealed reason for achieving this feat. Her partner is Morpeko, a strange Pokemon that can change both its appearance and type whenever its hungry.


She has a number of fanatics following her almost everywhere she goes called Team Yell, a group who will often stop you from one-upping their idol.


An even more mysterious rival, Bede also wants to be a champion, but he has other objectives in Galar.


Interestingly, he was endorsed to join the Gym Challenge by Rose, the chairman of the Pokemon League in the region.

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