One of the big new additions to Sword and Shield takes a page from Pokémon Go’s raid battles. To access these powered-up Pokémon, players must traverse the Wild Area looking for their glowing dens. While some may be eradiated with a pink glow, players cannot battle a creature inside unless there’s a distinct light shooting toward the sky or if they have a Wishing Piece in hand.
Once you find a den with a creature, you plan for the eventual battle. You can anticipate the battle difficulty by using a star system, which also lets you see a blacked-out sprite of the Pokémon inside. This menu also contains options that allow players to choose to take on the Dynamaxed creature with NPCs or online friends as well as which single team member they will take into battle.
Once the battle commences, players must coordinate their moves and choose who will Dynamax their Pokémon to catch the titanic foe. As the Dynamaxed Pokémon takes more damage, it starts to shield itself, wipe out player buffs and execute two moves in a single turn. Coordination is important because a team can only Dynamax once and the battle does not rage on forever. When four squad members faint or ten turns pass, the opponent will fling players aside, and the match is over.
When victory is achieved, the spoils of war are bountiful. On top of catching the beast, players receive rewards such as Pokémon candies, TMs, treasures to sell, and varied berries to name a few.
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