For many players, the ultimate goal in any Pokemon game is to complete the Pokedex, and the Pokemon: Sword & Shield versions are no different. After becoming the champion of the Galar Region, fans may look at their over half-empty Pokedex and think the task too great to fill in the rest.

RELATED: Pokemon Sword & Shield: The Strongest Galar Pokemon, Ranked

Completing the Pokedex isn’t as difficult a task as it may seem. In fact, Sword & Shield make the Pokedex easier to fill out than ever. But what should a player do to find and catch 'em? Have no fear, with these tips and tricks, completing the Pokedex will turn from trial to trivial.

Updated by Michael Christopher on March 7, 2022: We've refreshed this list to add more tips, keep it current following the release of Sword & Shield's two rounds of DLC, and make it more readable.

Load up on Quick Balls, Ultra Balls, and Dusk Balls

The first thing a player should do before setting out to complete their Pokedex is to load up on the right Poke Balls. This will make catching wild Pokemon much easier. Ultra Balls are, of course, the classic choice, with their 2x modifier. However, Quick Balls and Dusk Balls should also be on the shopping list of every player looking to complete the Pokedex.

Quick Balls give a six-times chance of catching a Pokemon if used on the first turn of every battle, making obtaining Pokemon much faster. Quick Balls can be purchased in Wyndon in bulk. The vast majority of Pokemon players added to their Pokedex will be obtained through a catch, rather than by breeding or trading. This means players should stock up with at least 100 Quick balls at a time.

Dusk Balls, on the other hand, will be a great option for every throw after that first one if the Quick Ball fails, so long as it's nighttime or the player is inside a cave. While the standard Ultra Ball has a 2x catch modifier, Dusk Balls have a whopping 3.5x catch modifier in caves and at night. Dusk Balls can be purchased from the southernmost Poke Mart in Hammerlocke.

It's easy to change the time of day if the player typically plays during daylight hours. Simply close the game, navigate to the Switch's settings menu, unsync the date and time from the internet, and set it to nighttime. Now reopen the game, and it should be nighttime.

Don't Ignore Surprise Trades

As soon as players gain access to online play, they should start using the surprise trade feature. This will allow players to put up any Pokemon for trade, and receive a random one in return. While many players send out route 1 and 2 Pokemon that Trainers have surely already caught, others send out breeding rejects of powerful Pokemon, like the starters and other rare goodies.

Players who use surprise trades from the beginning or start keeping it active at all times are sure to receive at least one good Pokemon after a few tries.

Actually use the Pokedex

In most Pokemon games, there really isn’t much reason to actually look at the Pokedex besides checking what you have and don’t have. However, in Sword and Shield, the Pokedex also guides players to the next Pokemon they should catch to fill up the Pokedex.

RELATED: Pokemon Sword & Shield: How to Get Froslass

It tells players where to go and can be incredibly beneficial for anyone who just doesn’t know where to start. Of course, a great place for any Trainer to begin is to just head to the Wild Area and catch whatever is nearby.

Explore the Wild Area

So many rare or hard-to-get Pokemon are available as overworld spawns in the wild area at different times of the day and in different weather conditions. From trade evolutions that used to cause so many issues for solo players to Pokemon that require specific evolution items, so many powerful Pokemon will chase down unsuspecting Trainers. Who says players need to run from these encounters?

Gallade, Lucario, Machamp, Gengar, and even Dusknoir are just a few of the Pokemon players can find roaming the Wild Area.

Of course, like changing the time to night for Dusk Balls, players can also change the date to alter the weather in the Wild Area.

Change the Weather

Many Pokemon in the Galar Region are only available in the wild area during certain weather conditions. Waiting for the perfect conditions at the perfect time of day is incredibly tedious. Not many players know that on certain days, the entire Wild Area, Isle of Armor, and Crown Tundra are set to a specific weather condition:


Wild Area

Isle of Armor

Crown Tundra


May 1

Mar. 15 | Sep. 15

Apr. 30 | Dec. 1


Mar. 1

Feb. 15 | Nov. 15

Mar. 31 | Oct. 31


Oct. 1

Apr. 15| Jun. 15 | Dec. 25



Dec. 1 | Dec. 25


Jun. 30 | Sep. 30


Feb. 29 | Jun. 1 | Sep. 1

Jan. 15 | Oct. 15

Jul. 31

Intense Sun

Jul. 1 | Aug. 1

May 15 | Dec. 15

May 31


Apr. 1




Nov. 1

Jul. 15 | Aug. 15



Feb. 1


Jan. 31 | Feb. 28 | Feb. 29 | Aug. 31 | Nov. 30

By changing the date and time of their Switch system, players will change the date in-game and will transform the weather conditions.

Join Max Raid Battles

For players who use surprise trades and are always online, another incredibly useful tool is to join in on any Max Raid Battles that pop up on the screen. These can be a great way to catch version exclusives, rare base forms, or difficult evolutions, and earn watts that can be incredibly helpful.

Watts are also used to pay the digging duo, which is the only way for players to get the fossil pieces of the Galar Region. Trainers will likely need to farm the fossils and will need a large supply of watts to do it.

To have access to Max Raid notifications and join other players, an internet connection is needed, and it needs to be connected in the game. This can be done by accessing the Y-Comm menu and connecting. Of course, local communication can be used if the player is nearby who they want to raid with in real life, but to play with people online, a Nintendo Switch Online membership is necessary.

Breed Pokemon and Hatch Eggs

Some baby or base forms of different Pokemon are more difficult to obtain than their fully evolved forms. For these Pokemon, it is best to catch a wild Ditto in the wild area at the Lake of Outrage to use for breeding.

RELATED: Pokemon Sword & Shield: How to Evolve Toxel

By placing a Ditto and another (non-Legendary) Pokemon in the Pokemon Nursery (there's one on Route 4 and one in the Wild Area's Bridge Field), the player will eventually be rewarded with an egg. Hatching this egg by walking or biking a certain distance will result in the base form of the Pokemon’s evolutionary line.

Note: Some Pokemon need to be holding an Incense to produce a baby form, otherwise, they'll just produce the base stage of the evolutionary chain. These Pokemon need an Incense to produce their baby form:

  • Snorlax + Full Incense = Munchlax
  • Wobbuffett + Lax Incense = Wynaut
  • Luck Incense + Chansey or Blissey = Happiny
  • Odd Incense + Mr. Mime or Mr. Rime = Mime Jr.
  • Rock Incense + Sudowoodo = Bonsly
  • Rose Incense + Roselia or Roserade = Budew
  • Sea Incense + Marill or Azumarill = Azurill
  • Wave Incense + Mantine = Mantyke

Grab Some Evolution Items Easily

Many Pokemon need specific items to evolve, like how Eevee’s evolutions depend on the evolution stones (or friendship). Players who explore the Wild Area and discover the Lake of Outrage will find stone pillars jutting out of the ground in a circle. Behind each stone is an evolution stone that players can use to evolve their Eevee or other Pokemon.

Other Pokemon may need specific evolution items that can be found around the various routes of Galar or can be purchased with BP from the Battle Tower. Additionally, combining items in the Cram-O-Matic can result in some evolution items.

Build a "Pokedex Completion" Team

Having to catch so many Pokemon to complete the Pokedex is already a chore sometimes, but when Pokemon keep escaping being caught, it can be even worse. However, several moves and abilities exist that can help with catching those elusive or difficult 'mons.

Here are just a few ideas for which moves and abilities to include on a Pokedex completion team:

  • False Swipe: this move always leaves a Pokemon with 1 HP)
  • Sunny Day: this move will clear out harmful weather that might knock out a potential catch
    • Warning: some Pokemon can have an ability called Dry Skin, which damages them in harsh sunlight (Jynx, Croagunk, Toxicroak, Helioptile, Heliolisk)
    • Air Lock and Cloud Nine are abilities that clear the weather effects
  • The abilities Arena Trap or Shadow Tag: these prevent the opponent from fleeing
    • Magnet Pull is another ability like this, but it only works on Steel-types
    • Mean Look is a move that prevents fleeing
  • Moves that put Pokemon to sleep (Hypnosis, Lovely Kiss, etc.) or inflict other status conditions

Look for Friends and Communities

Trainers can turn to their friends or online communities for help with completing the Pokedex. Maybe it’s a version exclusive, like Shiftry or Darumaka, maybe it’s the Starters, or even the Legendaries. No matter what a player is missing, asking a friend for help is a sure-fire way of getting that Pokemon into the Pokedex.

Players can also turn to online communities like the r/pokemontrades Reddit page. There are also Discord servers that have trading communities or people looking for others to join them in Max Raid Battles. No matter where Trainers look, there will always be people who are willing and able to help.

Head to the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra

Now that the most enterprising and dedicated Trainers have completed the Galar mainland Pokedex, what else is there to do? What about starting over and doing it all again — twice! Well, not all of it.

The Isle of Armor DLC has another 100 old Pokemon to the Galar Region, and a whole new Pokedex to go along with them, as well as some new Pokemon. Meanwhile, the Crown Tundra adds a handful of new Pokemon, as well as opening access to a ton of Legendary Pokemon (and other Pokemon) from past generations.

With two giant new Wild Area, new Pokemon, and a whole new batch of overworld spawns, all of the strategies listed above will be just as effective for completing the two areas' new Pokedexes.

NEXT: Pokemon: The Most Unusual Pokedex Entries