Unlike previous games in the series, Pokémon Sword and Shield won’t be getting a new version of the game a year later with an extra adjective. Instead, Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and Shield Expansion Pass, DLC for Pokémon Sword and Shield, will allow you to play new stories in Galar using the save data—and pocket monsters—you already have. They’ll also be bringing over 200 existing Pokémon to the games.
The first of these new stories are called The Isle of Armor, coming in June 2020, and Crown Tundra, coming in Fall 2020. The Isle of Armor will feature new clothes, rivals, and Pokémon previously unseen in the Galar region as well, like the legendary Pokémon Kubfu. And your starter will be able to Gigantamax. There are also what appear to be Gigantamax forms of evolved Generation 1 starters Venusaur and Blastoise, good news for fans who were bummed that only Charizard was available.
The Crown Tundra takes place in a remote, frozen outpost and is focused on exploration. It’s further out than The Isle of Armor, but we do know that it also comes with a legendary Pokémon, Calyrex, and a new form of co-op play, where players can explore Pokémon dens with other players.
Both these new stories will be on seamless maps, like the Wild Area in Pokémon Sword and Shield, though Game Freak said on today’s Nintendo Direct that they’ll be bigger, with “more to do.” Update: 10:40 a.m. ET: You can buy both expansion passes now on the Nintendo eShop, and they go for $30.
I could not be more happy about not having to buy a new game, and getting to play more Pokémon with the monsters that I’ve already caught. Hopefully when players that were pissed about Dexit get their hands on Isle Of Armor and Crown Tundra, they’ll be able to chill a little.