In Pokémon Sword and Shield, pitching camp brings trainers up close and personal with their Pokémon team. Camping not only provides health benefits but also introduces more intimate ways to engage with Pokémon.
Selecting a Tent Color
Before setting up camp trainers have the ability to change the color of their tent. The tent color reflects the type of the first Pokémon in a trainers party; red for fire-types, green for grass-types, and so on. To change the tent color, slot a Pokémon of the type you wish to represent into the first position on your team. Then find the Camping King outside the Motostoke entrance in the Wild Area and opt to change the tent color. If the first position party Pokémon is a dual-type, the Camping King will offer both corresponding colors to choose from.
Setting up Camp
To set up camp, press "X" to access the main menu, then select "Pokémon Camp". This will set up the campsite where trainers can enjoy watching the team stretch their legs. Party Pokémon wander the campsite, happy to be out of their pokéballs. When they're feeling extra frisky, trainers can rejoice in watching the Pokémon race and play with each other. If a Pokémon's friendship level is high enough, it may want to play with you instead. Pokémon feeling weary from battle may not feel up to play and will rather take the opportunity to sleep off their injuries. Fainted Pokémon won't appear out and about in the campsite, which makes sense - they're unconscious. Trainers will need to cook up some scrumptious curry to revitalize them.
To engage, focus on the Pokémon you want to interact with (the targeted Pokémon will be in clear view while the others blur slightly). Then call them over by pressing the A button. Interactions with Pokémon consist of chatting or playing. Conversing with Pokémon reveals their general feelings towards you, other Pokémon on the team, and their surroundings, as well as hinting at the Pokémon's comfort and needs.
Playing with Pokémon
Playing with a Pokémon boosts their friendship level. High friendship levels prove invaluable at critical moments in battle. Trainers may bring up the action menu by pressing the X button. From there, they may choose to play, cook, or take down the tent.
The toy selection consists of a feather wand with a bell attached or a bouncy ball to start. Most Pokémon seem to like chasing the ball - but for slow movers, the feather wand is a better option. When playing fetch, not only the target Pokémon may partake. Once thrown, any Pokémon at the campsite may try to claim the ball. Trainers can utilize this by entertaining multiple Pokémon at once to efficiently boost everyone's friendship levels. More balls are awarded by the Camping King for filling out the Curry Dex, so always check back with him after creating several new recipes. The Soothe Ball is mighty helpful for coaxing shy or reserved Pokémon out of their shells and quickly racks up friendship points with them.
Cooking Over the Campfire
Cooking heals HP and status effects, revives fainted pokemon, and also boosts friendship levels. For a complete run-down on all things cooking, check out TheGamer's full guide to cooking the perfect curry.
As with the stirring tip, found in the previous cooking guide, fanning the flames requires technique as well. Again the top of the pot will sparkle when the flame is at its optimal size. To ignite a flame quickly fan the coals. Once the fire is going, trainers must watch the pot and flame carefully. If trainers fan too vigorously the flame will grow out of control and black smoke will start accumulating. However, fanning too slowly will lose the flame entirely. Unlike stirring - which requires a consistent speed - fanning the fire calls for a constant adjustment to maintain the flame.
When collecting berries from trees, wait for a pause in the rustling branches before shaking the tree again. If there's no pause, a Pokémon will fall from the tree on the next shake, causing trainers to lose a portion of the berries.
The amount of berries added to the pot has a direct effect on the curry's ranking. Roughly half a tray will earn Milcery Class, while a full tray will more often earn Copperaja class (depending on the rarity of the berries used and the technique during cooking, a full tray may still result in Milcery class). Full tray or not, without a Key Ingredient, trainers won't attain Copperaja rank. The higher the ranking, the better the stat boosts Pokémon receive.
Camping is wildly helpful at raising new teams, but also a fun way to rest up and bond with Pokémon in general. Equipped with the know-how to camp in even the most strenuous conditions, pitch camp and gather around the campfire to stay warm throughout your adventures this winter!