Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass announced

Planned for release June, November
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  • Friday, January 10, 2020

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Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass logo

Two expansions for Pokémon Sword and Shield have been announced: The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. These expansions will introduce brand-new Pokémon to the games, as well as make over 200 more old Pokémon available. These expansions were revealed in a Pokémon Direct presentation.

The expansions are bundled together in the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass. The pass, which is currently available for purchase, entitles customers to each of the two expansions once it is released. The Isle of Armor are planned to be released in June 2020, while The Crown Tundra is planned to be released in November 2020. These expansions are instead of releasing an upper version like Pokémon Platinum, as Game Freak have done in the past. The expansion for each version of the game must be purchased separately; in order to access the expansion content in both Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, the player must buy the expansion pass for each game.

Each expansion will add over 100 new Pokémon (over 200 combined) not previously seen in the Galar region into the game. The expansion pass is not required to obtain these Pokémon: they can still be obtained by trading with other players or by transferring them from past games using Pokémon HOME, which is planned to launch as a paid service in February 2020.

A new regional form, Galarian Slowpoke, was also revealed. Galarian Slowpoke is a Psychic-type Pokémon. It can evolve into Galarian Slowbro with an item from the Isle of Armor or Galarian Slowking with an item from the Crown Tundra, although neither of those Pokémon have been fully revealed yet. Galarian Slowpoke can be obtained in Pokémon Sword and Shield now, regardless of whether the player has purchased the expansion pass.

An update for Pokémon Sword and Shield was also released introducing Klara and Avery to the game, as well as letting the player catch a Galarian Slowpoke in Wedgehurst Station. The Nintendo eShop can be accessed directly from the game after installing the latest update. The Expansion Pass is now available for pre-purchase. Special clothing items featuring Pikachu and Eevee are available now as a bonus for purchasing the expansion pass.


In both the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra, the player can move freely and explore Pokémon Dens, similar to the Wild Area in the base game.

Players will be able to play the expansion content with their current save data. Players can access the expansion content as soon as they reach the Wild Area.

The Isle of Armor

The Isle of Armor logo

The first expansion, The Isle of Armor, is planned for release in June 2020. It focuses on the theme of "Growth" and takes place in the eponymous Isle of Armor, just off the shore of the Galar region.

This expansion introduces the new Legendary Pokémon Kubfu and Urshifu.

  • Kubfu is a Fighting-type Pokémon that has the Ability Inner Focus. After it has undergone sufficient training, it will evolve into Urshifu.
  • Urshifu has two forms: Single Strike Style and a Rapid Strike Style. Single Strike Style is Fighting/Dark-type whereas Rapid Strike Style is Fighting/Water-type. Both forms have the new Ability, Unseen Fist. Both forms also have distinct Gigantamax forms. It also has a new move for each of its two styles.

The Isle of Armor expansion includes:

  • A dojo for Pokémon battles, where the player takes up apprenticeship under Mustard, who once mentored Champion Leon and is also a former champion of Galar.
  • A new rival, depending on the version. In Pokémon Sword, the player trains with Klara, who uses Poison types. In Pokémon Shield, Avery, who uses Psychic-types, will be their training rival instead. Both seek to one day have Gyms and Stadiums to call their own.
  • The new character Mustard, who entrusts the player with Kubfu. Kubfu evolves into Urshifu once the training is complete. Urshifu has a brand new ability, as well as two different fighting styles, the Fighting/Dark-type Single Strike style and the Fighting/Water-type Rapid Strike style. Urshifu also has a Gigantamax form, having a different appearance and G-Max Move depending on the style.
  • The fully-evolved forms of the Galar starter Pokémon (Rillaboom, Cinderace, and Inteleon) will also receive Gigantamax forms. During the player's adventure in the Isle of Armor, they can train their starter Pokémon to be able to Gigantamax.
  • Gigantamax forms of Venusaur and Blastoise will also be available.
  • New Move Tutors will appear.
  • Apricorns will be available, which can be made into Apricorn Poké Balls.
  • The Exp. Charm, a new item which grants more experience to party Pokémon, will be available.
  • New fashion items and looks for the Rotom Bike will be made available.

The Crown Tundra

The Crown Tundra logo

The second expansion, The Crown Tundra, is planned for release in November 2020. It focuses on the theme of "Exploration" and takes place in the eponymous Crown Tundra. In this frigid winter area, with its towering mountains, people live in small communities that support and rely on each other. A certain person will appoint the player as the leader of their exploration team in the Crown Tundra.

This expansion introduces the new Legendary Pokémon Calyrex. It is a Psychic/Grass-type Pokémon. The player will encounter it during this expansion.

  • Kubfu is a Fighting-type Pokémon that has the Ability Inner Focus. After it has undergone sufficient training, it will evolve into Urshifu.

This expansion includes:


By Nintendo