The biggest Pokémon just got a whole lot smaller. Starting today, Pokémon Sword and Shield players are way more likely to run into Dynamax versions of some of the franchise’s most famously cute creatures, including Pichu, a painfully adorable mouse who had a turn as an overpowered brawler in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Dynamax Pokémon are amped-up versions of standard Pokémon unique to Generation VIII. They have heightened stats. They have special, type-specific moves (i.e., Max Knuckle or Max Lightning). They’re immune to certain game-changing effects, like attacks that cause flinching or one-hit knockouts. They’re also hilariously enormous.
Last month, The Pokémon Company increased the probability of running into massive versions of already massive Pokémon—Charizard, Garbodor, Copperajah, and Duraludon—through April 27. Now, in addition to those big beasts, you can run into a new crop of Dynamax Pokémon as part of a new Max Raid mini-event, which will be available until 7:59 p.m. EST on April 15. These Pokémon, all of whom are catchable, are mostly babies:
- Ditto (not technically a baby, but hey, who doesn’t want another Ditto?)
- Mime Jr.
In the narrative of Sword and Shield, Dynamax Pokémon only show up in so-called Power Spots, areas that are brimming with ethereal energy. Pokémon stadiums fall into this category. (Other locations that we’re redacting for spoiler reasons do, too.) They mostly show up as other trainers’ Pokémon—which, in keeping with series tradition, you cannot catch—but you can also run into them on their own turf. All you have to do is head to the Wild Area. There, you’ll find Pokémon Dens: hexagonal wells that glow firetruck red and emit beams of light.
Interacting with a Pokémon Den triggers a Max Raid battle. There, you and three other Pokémon trainers or AI teammates can take on one Dynamax Pokémon. For the most part, winning the fight gives you a chance to capture these Pokémon. (In extremely rare cases, as with the Pokémon Day Mewtwo Max Raid event, beating the battle gives you little more than some bragging rights and a few rare items.) At the end of the bout, anyone who participates can lob a Pokéball, but the host of the raid has a higher chance of success. It’s a fun way for endgame players to try tough fights and potentially add new, powerful Pokémon to their teams.
Of course, captured Pokémon revert back to their normal-sized state once they join your party. To re-supersize them, you’ll need to head to a Power Spot.
As always, Max Raids promise the possibility of scoring some sweet rare items, like Big Nuggets or EXP Candies. Upon victory, this current batch of battles can grant an Everstone (an item that stalls evolution) or a Destiny Knot (something you can use when breeding Pokémon to pass on IVs from parent to baby).
But, items aside, the true prize is Pichu. Just ask any Smash player.