One of the biggest new features in Pokemon Sword and Shield is Max Raids. For the first time in the series, you can team up with three other trainers (either locally or online) and take on supersized Dynamax Pokemon together in cooperative battles.
The Pokemon you encounter in these Max Raids are special in a few different ways. First, there’s a chance the monster will have its Hidden Ability. Regular wild Pokemon you come across in Sword and Shield will never have these, making this the only way to obtain Hidden Abilities in the games (outside of breeding, and in that case one of the parents would need to have the Hidden Ability in order to pass it down).
Depending on the level of the Raid, the Pokemon will have a couple of perfect IVs (base stats) as well, making them useful for breeding if you’re trying to put together a competitive team. You’ll also receive an assortment of rewards for clearing Max Raids, including Exp. Candy and TRs, which can otherwise only be purchased with Watts (and are quite costly). Finally, Max Raids are the only way to encounter Gigantamax Pokemon; unlike standard monsters, these Pokemon take on a different appearance when they Dynamax.
Which Pokemon you encounter in Max Raids is typically up to chance, but developer Game Freak periodically hosts Max Raid events that make certain monsters–such as popular competitive Pokemon like Dragapult and Tyranitar–much more common for a limited time. You can see the full list of Max Raid events happening right now in Pokemon Sword and Shield below. Be sure to also check out our Max Raid guide for tips to help you conquer these Dynamax monsters.
Pokemon Sword & Shield Current Max Raid Events
|Dragapult||Sword & Shield||May 11|
|Excadrill||Sword & Shield||May 11|
|Togekiss||Sword & Shield||May 11|
|Tyranitar||Sword & Shield||May 11|
|Whimsicott||Sword & Shield||May 11|
|Heat Rotom||Sword||May 11|
|Wash Rotom||Shield||May 11|
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