Pokémon Sword and Shield are now officially out in the wild, and surprising to no one, they've been huge successes. Fans are now digging into everything the game has to offer, and some think that the games might be a bit too easy.
Today, we're going to be taking a look at five reasons why the games might be pretty easy, and five ways to make the games more challenging. Let's get into it.
10 Too Easy: EXP Share
The EXP share has been turned on to mandatory in Sword and Shield, much to the chagrin of many fans. In all honesty, how much the EXP share affects the game is up to players.
If you face every trainer on every route, its definitely going to make things a little easier. This can be fixed by skipping some trainers and taking Pokémon out of the party, which you no longer need to go to a Pokémon center to do, so it isn't a hassle at all.
9 Challenging: Set Battle Mode
One very easy way to make things more challenging in Sword and Shield is to change your battle mode from switch to set. In set mode, you don't get the option to switch out your Pokémon every time that you faint an opponent's creature.
This means that you won't necessarily have the type advantage, and you'll need to take a turn in order to switch out. This small change can really go a long way in upping the difficulty of the games.
8 Too Easy: EXP Candies
EXP Candies are a new item that functions similarly to rare candies, but they don't necessarily offer a full level, but rather set amounts of EXP.
The items are much more abundant than rare candies as well, meaning that you can get them pretty frequently. This means that you can level up Pokémon at a pretty quick rate if you so choose. As you'll start to notice though, most of the things that make the game easy are completely optional, as are the challenging entries. It all comes down to player choice.
7 Challenging: Not Dynamaxing
E X P A N D. Or don't, it's up to you! If you choose not to Dynamax in Sword and Shield, it will make things pretty difficult for you.
Dynamaxing actually becomes pretty important to the gym battles, so if you choose to forgo it, you're going to be in for a rough one and will have to really up your strategy to make things work. Prepare to get STOMPED by Nessa if you don't.
6 Too Easy: Raids
As long as you don't get paired up with some big ol' idiots, raids can be pretty easy. When you clear them, you get all sorts of rewards that can make the game become really easy. This is actually where you get the aforementioned EXP candies, amongst other rewards.
Of course, you don't have to use the rewards if you don't want them, and can instead just go for taking out the Pokémon, ignoring any side benefits that might come with that. Once again, it's up to the players.
5 Challenging: The Wild Area
The Wild Area can be absolutely terrifying, as illustrated by this trainer running for his life. Look at this man. That empty smile is filled with nothing but FEAR.
Depending on where you decide to venture in the Wild Area, you can end up completely out of your league. It's easy to find level 50 Pokémon once you first make it to the area. Stock up on Pokédolls or something. The Wild Area holds a lot of good and a lot of bad, so just make your choices carefully.
4 Too Easy: Nature Mints
Sun and Moon worked hard to make the competitive scene a bit less daunting to get into, and Sword and Shield are following in Generation Seven's footsteps. With the introduction of Nature Mints, players no longer need to hunt for exactly the right Pokémon to battle with.
You can now change your Pokémon's nature with a mint. Why mints? Who knows. Either way, it makes getting into competitive play a lot easier than it used to be.
3 Challenging: Ignoring Pokémon Camp
If you're a monster and don't like your Pokémon having any sort of attachment to you, or curry, good. This will make the game more difficult, you monster. As long as you don't raise your affection too high with any Pokémon, they won't be inspired to live on one health or cure themself of a status.
This can make the game much easier, and get you out of some tricky situations, so avoid camp and feelings if you're looking for a tough time.
2 Too Easy: Money Everywhere
These games are full of money. Trainer battles, rare items, it's everywhere. This means that gathering supplies from Poké Marts won't be an issue in the slightest. Well... for the most part. There are two types of trainers out there. Some like to spend their money on items that are going to help take them far in the Gym Challenge.
There are some who reward themselves with an entirely new hairstyle and color, lash extensions and a brand new outfit after doing the absolute bare minimum. Either way you play, saving up money for those activities is not going to be a difficult task in the slightest. Go get yourself some blue hair, you've earned it.
1 Challenging: Item Usage
One of the easiest ways to up the challenge in Sword and Shield is to not use items in battle. Did that Dynamaxed Grookey just throat chop you down to one health and call you ugly? Well, better hope that you're faster than it on your next turn.
Eliminating all in-battle use of items is one of the oldest tricks in the book to make the challenge in Pokémon games a little bit harder. It can really sneak up on you if you aren't paying attention, so plan out your turns carefully if you plan on doing that.