Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass: Everything you need to know about the new adventures

(Image credit: Game Freak)

During the Pokemon Direct, The Pokemon Company and Nintendo announced Pokemon Sword and Shield is getting an Expansion Pass that will add two new separate adventures to both versions this year. 

The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra expansions that form the Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass will introduce oodles of additional content, including whole new areas to explore. "In the Expansion Pass, players will visit two brand new areas, the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra", explains game director, Shigeru Ohmori. "The Isle of Armor is a location inspired by the Isle of Man, an island situated just off the coast of the United Kingdom, and the Crown Tundra is a snowy landscape inspired by Scotland.” 

Plus, the expansion pass will get your access to new outfits, Gigantamax forms, interesting additional features and plenty of new Pokemon will be added to the Pokemon Sword and Shield Pokedex to add to your collection. 

All of the extra goodness the Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass is set to bring has us all kinds of excited, and to get you all aboard the hype train for the new content coming your way, we've put together all of the information you need to know about the Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass from the official press release. So make your favourite pot of curry and settle in with your Pokemon as we guide you through the upcoming Isle of Amour and Crown Tundra expansions. 

When will the Pokemon Sword and Shield expansions be coming out and how much will it cost? 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

So, as we said before, the expansion pass will contain two separate sets of content with two new adventures, both Sword and Shield will get the sets of content, but the versions will have some slight differences. The Isle of Armor expansion is set to be released by the end of June 2020, while The Crown of Tundra expansion is scheduled for release in Autumn 2020

The expansion pass is currently available for pre-purchase as of today, January 9, on the Nintendo eshop and will retail for £26.99 / $29.99. Any trainers who decide to pre-order the Expansion Pass will receive codes for a Pikachu and Eevee uniform that can be worn in Pokemon Sword and Shield. 

You don't have to finish Sword or Shield to start the expansions

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Those who haven't reached the end of Pokemon Sword and Shield don't need to worry, because you don't need to finish Pokemon Sword or Shield in order to go to the new areas when either expansion is out. The only requirement is that you'll have had to have reached the Wild Area before you can start. 

The Isle of Armor is a giant island full new environments

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The first expansions will take trainers to a new adventure on the Isle of Armor, a giant island inspired by the Isle of Man, which is full of environments you won't have seen in the Galar region. On the island, you'll find beaches, forests, bogs, caves, and sand dunes, all of which are inhabited by new Pokemon who call the island their home. 

On the island, there's a dojo that specializes in "very particular training styles," and you and your Pokemon can take on an apprenticeship to train under the master dojo to become even stronger. New tutor moves will be included that have never been featured in Pokemon so far, as well as Restricted Sparring, where trainers will be limited to what types of Pokemon they can use under set battle conditions. 

The Crown Tundra takes you to a snow-swept mountainous area

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The second expansion The Crown Tundra is set in a snowy realm with jagged mountains that is inhabited by small communities, which is inspired by the landscape of Scotland. Here, trainers will be appointed as the leader of an exploration team to investigate the far reaches of the icy landscapes. Interestingly, you'll be able to encounter Pokemon Dens and fully explore the depths of the Dens with a new gameplay feature. Inside these Dens, you'll even have a chance of encountering Legendary Pokemon from previous core Pokemon games. 

The expansions will introduce Pokemon new and old

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Most excitingly of all, the expansion will introduce Pokemon old and new to the world of Pokemon Sword and Shield. Both of the new areas will feature Pokemon forms unique to that region, newly discovered legendary Pokemon, and add some familiar Pokemon from past generations. Yep, that's right. Some Pokemon from past generations are on the way.  

You can also try out a sneak peek demo of the beginning of the story for the Isle of Armor expansion as of today, January 9. Doing so will get you a Galarian Slowpoke, a new regional form that can also evolve into Galarian Slowbro using an item found in Isle of Armor or a Galarian Slowking using an item in the Crown Tundra. You can see the description for the new Slowpoke form below:

Galarian Slowpoke 

Category: Dopey Pokemon
Type: Psychic
Height: 3'11"
Weight: 79.4 lbs
Ability: Gluttony / Own Tempo

So far, we've only had a few of the new additions confirmed for either expansion: 

The Isle of Armor Pokemon


Category: Wushu Pokemon
Type: Fighting
Height: 2'
Weight: 26.5 lbs
Ability: Inner Focus

First up is Kubfu, who is a Wushu Fighting type Pokemon said to be hardworking and strives to train both its body and mind. It uses defeat as motivation to grow all the stronger. Sounds like one tough cookie. Kubfu live in mountainous areas far from the Galar region and use special breathing techniques and intense focus to increase its energy. The Fighting type Pokemon also has an organ that produces "fighting energy," which sounds pretty intense. 

(Image credit: Nintendo)


Wushu Pokemon
Type: Fighting / Dark
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 231.5 lbs
Ability: Unseen Fist

Kubfu evolves into Urshifu after it has undergone "sufficient training." Urshifu is a Fighting/ Dark type Pokemon, but it also has two different forms that have varying types - Single Strike and Rapid Strike Style forms. The Single Strike form favours battling without holding back, with more direct movements that often involve rushing forward in a straight line. The Rapid Strike form on the other hand maintain a calm demeanour and observe their opponents, with flowing movements to parry moves and rapidly strike as the name suggests. Both of the different forms also have Gigantamax forms. 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Crown Tundra Pokemon: 


King Pokemon
Type: Psychic/ Grass
Height: 3'7"
Weight: 17lbs
Ability: Unnerve

Finally, the King Pokemon Calyrex can be found in The Crown Tundra. Apparently this Pokemon ruled over the Galar region in ancient times. As a Psychic / Grass type, Carlyrex is described as being slight and delicate in appearance, and moves with grace and dignity. It's also highly intelligent and is said to be able to see past, present, and future events. 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The expansions will give your starter Pokemon the Gigantamax ability 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

One of the most exciting new perks of the upcoming expansion will give your starter Pokemon third evolutions the ability to Gigantamax. The Isle of Armor expansion is where you'll be able to help your Pokemon gain the ability, with Gigantamax forms for Rillaboom, Cinderace, and Inteleon. The official press release for the Pokemon Direct gives a rundown of the starters new forms, which you can check out below: 

Gigantamax Rillaboom

Category: Drummer Pokemon
Type: Grass
Height: 91'10"+
Weight: ??? lbs
Ability: Overgrow

Rillaboom's tree-stump drum has grown rapidly - to the point it now resembles a small forest all on its own. Gigantamax Rillaboom has merged with this forest of drums and become even more powerful. It can control its sticks as if it were its own limbs and the sound from its drums can reach across entire oceans and be heard by those living in other regions. 

Gigantmax Cinderace

Category: Striker Pokemon
Type: Fire
Height: 88'7"+
Weight: ??? lbs
Ability: Blaze 

The burning ball at Cinderace's feet has grown to massive proportions. If Gigantamax Cinderace kicks the ball, its fighting spirit will possess the ball and cause it to pursue opponents as if the ball has a mind of its own. Cinderace's Gigantamax form is said to have the strongest legs of anyone Pokemon and can deliver powerful kick moves that can overwhelm other Gigantamax Pokemon. 

Gigantamax Inteleon

Category: Secret Agent Pokemon (what a category)
Type: Water
Height: 131'3"+
Weight: ??? lbs
Ability: Torrent 

Inteleon has gained an extremely long tail thanks to its Gigantamax form. The tail's length is said to be over 130 feet. In its colossal form, Inteleon will stretch its tail out and hold it straight to form a pillar, and the Secret Agent Pokemon will then sit on top of it. Using its incredibly sharp mind, Inteleon will calculate the precise effects that gravity will have on the trajectory of its shots, making it a very effective sniper. 

The expansions will add new outfits and items 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Over one hundred new clothing items are being added in The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra, including unique outfits for each expansion. You'll be able to get yourself a special Training Uniform on the Isle of Armor, while you can dress up in Exploration Gear in The Crown Tundra. Other items can also be gained in The Isle of Armor expansion that will help you in your adventures, such as an Exp Charm that give the upper-hand as you level your Pokemon. 

You'll encounter new characters during your visit to the new areas 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Of course, with new areas comes new faces. New characters will be introduced in both expansion sets who will be apart of your adventures in some way or other. 

On the Isle of Armor where you can train in a dojo, you'll encounter a legendary trainer who arguably has one of the best names in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Mustard is his name, and training is his game. Mustard held the seat of champion for 18 years before Dynamaxing was added to battles of the Pokemon league. With an undefeated record, Mustard was one of the first to recognise Champion Leon's talent. 

There are also two new rivals appearing in the Isle of Armor. In Pokemon Sword, trainers will encounter rival Klara, a trainer who specializes in Poison Type Pokemon. Pokemon Shield trainers on the other hand will meet Avery, who specializes in Psychic Type Pokemon. Klara trains at Mustard's dojo and is said to do just about anything to appear cute and adorable. Popularity is her biggest concern. Behind her smiling appearance, she has a calculating nature. Avery also trains at Mustard's dojo. He is said to be gentlemanly with good manners, but is a very proud person. 

After the newest Galarian addition? Here's how to get Galarian Slowpoke in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.