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Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order guide

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order guide
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Action stations: the release date is basically here and if you're a big pocket monsters fan then you need to make sure you get your Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order done in the next few days: before the release date later this week that is November 15 2019. But it pays to get ahead and prepare, so this guide will have you well set. Some of the fancier editions of Pokemon Sword and Shield come with an adorable statue featuring each new starter or a limited Nintendo Switch Lite design, so you'll need to act blisteringly fast this week to make sure you get the right version for you successfully pre-order. Those special ones won't last forever!

This is especially true due to the hype for catching 'em all and for Sword and Shield is currently at mega-super-huge fever pitch ahead of its release this Friday. Given the size of the new region we're dealing with, and the full RPG approach, Sword and Shield looks to be a great shake up for the series and provide a game of the decade for die-hard fans of the franchise. Whether it's an open 'Wild Area' where Pokemon can be seen wandering freely or the Pokemon Camp which allows you to interact with your favourite pocket monsters, this is Pokemon like we've never seen it. 

Thus, to embrace the excitement and anticipation, we have a thorough run down of each Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order right here. This will give you a better idea of what's available as there are some variations in editions, from different retailers, and depending on where you are in the world. We've included everything from steel book editions to digital download costume content, and you'll find them all below. We've also included that tasty Zacian and Zamazenta Switch Lite Edition in case you want to grab the new handheld console alongside your Pokemon purchase (and if you'd prefer more standard Lite colors, check out our guide to the best Nintendo Switch Lite prices ). 

While we wait for Pokemon Sword and Shield, why not distract yourself with some Black Friday Pokemon deals in the run-up to the sales event this November? There are sure to be some killer deals on collectables and other-Pokemon themed gear coming up this month, and they're bound to hit bargain prices when the Black Friday game deals themselves kick in properly. 

Get the best Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order deals

An important point to note, particular to newcomers to the Pokemon world, is that Sword and Shield are two different items available: they are the same game but each has their own distinct collection of Pokemon within. Thus, you'll only need to buy one or the other to get going.....but we have a feeling there will be plenty of people who'll go for both to get the whole experience, and to collect the games in their entirety.

You'll notice that you can pre-order Pokemon from the usual retailers so you should have a decent choice of where to go. We will say right at the top though, that while you do get benefits and bonuses from pre-ordering, these differ somewhat depending if you're in the US or the UK. We'll give brief but clear info below on where they differ.

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Dual Pack

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Dual Pack

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The dream for all players...but it comes at a bit of a cost. Snagging the double pack will get you both the glorious games in their entirety, and is ideal for collectors and big Nintendo fans. There are some slight discrepancies between US and UK versions here however. Generally, US fans will get two downloads codes for Dynamax Crystals as their pre-order bonus, while ordering at Amazon will get you the in-game gold studded leather case item (and $10 for Prime members) and ordering at Best Buy will bag you a collectable coin (and $10 credit for My Best Buy members). Over in the UK however, the brits will get a figurine, two raid passes, and a lovely steelbook too when ordering from Nintendo UK, Very, Argos and Amazon.

US Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Dual Pack pre-order links

UK Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Dual Pack pre-order links

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Pokemon Sword

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Pokemon Sword

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Pokemon Sword on its own will bag you the glorious game, but a handful of Pokemon that are exclusive to it; not available in the Shield version.

In terms of pre-order bonuses, it looks a bit light for our US chums, and the bonuses only seem to be with the Dual Pack above. We'll update this page if and when this changes, however. For our UK readers, if you pre-order Pokemon Sword from Nintendo UK, Very or Argos using the links below, you'll receive a free steelbook as well as a Tracksuit Digital pre-order bonus. And if your pre-order from Amazon UK you’ll receive the  an exclusive Digital gold studded leather case as well as the Tracksuit bonus.

US Pokemon Sword pre-order links

UK Pokemon Sword pre-order links

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Pokemon Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Pokemon Shield

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The same game but with a bagful of its own specific Pokemon, the Shield variant of the latest in the series is readily available to pre-order.

It looks like a familiar tale in terms of pre-order bonuses for our US friends: only with the Dual Pack. But, of course, if anything filters down to the individual pre-orders, we'll update this page accordingly. While in the UK, buyers will get the same pre-order bonus from Nintendo UK, Very or Argos, of the steelbook and the Tracksuit Digital pre-order bonus. Amazon UK will get you that extra digital bonus of the Digital gold studded leather case as well (bot not the steelbook).

US Pokemon Shield pre-order links

UK Pokemon Shield pre-order links

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Other Items

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Last, but no means least, there are a couple of books available for pre-order - both sides of the pond - which would be excellent companions to the game, as well as must-haves for Pokemon fans.

There is a strategy guide available for pre-ordering, with two versions of it going in the US, and one in the UK (sorry, UK friends). The Strategy guide comes in a standard paperback edition - lovely in itself - but the Collector's Edition is where the excellence is truly at. Along with it providing the same function as the normal guide, the collector's edition comes in a premium, and gorgeous hardcover, has exclusive concept artwork, and bags you a Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield Joy-Con controller skin and tech decal pack.

Elsewhere there is an official Pokedex available for pre-order. This will give you the chance to read up on all the Pokemon of Sword & Shield, and give you some extra tips, hints and tricks on where to find them and how to build them into powerful teams.

It's worth noting that while pre-orders are live for both of these, their release dates come later in November and December this year.

US pre-order links

UK pre-order links

Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-orders - Zacian & Zamazenta Switch Lite

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Celebrate your Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order with this special edition of the Switch Lite. This console features stylish cyan and magenta buttons and elegant illustrations of the two new Legendary Pokémon from the upcoming games.

Getting the most out of Pokemon Sword and Shield

To get the most out of you're Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order is going to be with a Nintendo Switch setup that's turned up to 11 - or as close as you can get it to that. But you'll also want the best value out of everything you're looking at so it pays to look around. Starting simply, that means examining closely what the best Nintendo Switch bundles going offer you. Elsewhere you'll probably want to see what your options are for getting a Nintendo Switch controller cheap and raiding the retailers for some of the best Nintendo Switch accessories. One of the accessories that you should definitely invest in is a Nintendo Switch SD card; you'll want to make sure - particularly if you're going for both Sword and Shield - that you have adequate space for all that Pokemon goodness. To complete the package, protect your Switch with the best case for Nintendo Switch and then plug in one of the best Nintendo Switch headsets to have your Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order fully serviced and optimised. A lot to consider perhaps, particularly given Nintendo gear holds its price quite stubbornly. However, if you're able to upgrade your Switch setup in any of these departments then you'll be off to a blinder.

I'm one of the UK Staff Writers for the Central Hardware Team, and I take care of a whole host of buying guides, gaming tech reviews, news and deals content that pops up across GamesRadar+. I'm also a qualified landscape and garden designer so do that in my spare time, and lean on it to write about the landscapes and environments in games, offering some informed analysis of them where I can. I'm currently a good way through an Assassin's Creed-athon having started with ACIII Remastered back in March, and am currently on Syndicate. When I'm not playing solo, I'll play coop games like Wildlands with my best friend online. I just love open worlds and landscapes, OK?