Pokémon Sword (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ソードPocket Monsters Sword) and Pokémon Shield (Japanese: ポケットモンスター シールドPocket Monsters Shield) are the primary paired versions of Generation VIII. The games were released on the Nintendo Switch worldwide on November 15, 2019 for both retail sale and download. All copies of the game are playable in nine languages: Japanese, English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.
Known as the Gym Challenge, Gyms that the player must battle with the goal of becoming the Champion will return to the games, after being replaced by trials in Pokémon Sun and Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. The challenge culminates in the annual Champion Cup tournament where the player may challenge the Champion.
Dynamax is a new type of transformation that allows any Pokémon from the Galar region to power up and become larger using the Dynamax Band. After Dynamaxing, a Pokémon can use a Max Move.
Gigantamax is a special phenomenon that also changes the appearance of a few individuals of certain species of Pokémon. Like Dynamaxing, the Pokémon is increased in power and becomes bigger. A Gigantamax Pokémon can use a G-Max Move.
Pokémon Sword and Shield can connect with Pokémon HOME. This allows it to store and receive Pokémon from Pokémon HOME, including Pokémon from previous generations that were transferred into Pokémon HOME. However, only Pokémon in the Galar regional Pokédex can be transferred to Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Pokémon Sword and Shield received positive reviews among release. IGN rated the games a 9.3/10, praising the simple battling system and Dynamaxing, but criticizing the basic graphics and lack of a full Pokédex.
The games sold 6 million units in their launch weekend.