Pokemon Sword and Shield Shake Up Natures and Egg Moves

Gen VIII introduces some big changes to Pokemon stat mechanics, plus early adopters get the chance to encounter more Gigantamax Pokemon for a limited time.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are literally right around the corner, but we're still getting new (official) information about how the game's systems work. A new trailer released by The Pokemon Company offers a brief overview of some big changes made to the traditional Nature and stat mechanics, among other things.

Here's a run-down of what we gleaned from the trailer. 

Natures, Stats, and Mints

Natures have been a staple in Pokemon since they were first introduced in Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire. If you aren't familiar with Pokemon Natures, basically, they're personality traits.

Apart from being cute (who wouldn't want to hug a Bashful Charmander?) they determine which stats get a growth boost and which don't every time a 'mon levels up. We've got a handy Pokemon Natures guide detailing all the ins and outs, too.

Usually, these Natures are static, so if you need a Gastly with high Special Attack but get one with a Lonely nature, you're only choice is to keep catching until you chance upon one with the Nature you need.

That's not the case anymore. Sword and Shield are introducing special items called Mints that function very similarly to the Attitude books in Yo-Kai Watch by letting you change your Pokemon's Nature. Judging from the trailer, it looks like a Pokemon's stats reflect the change as if they had the new Nature all along.

On top of that, Egg Moves — special moves Pokemon can only learn from being hatched — can be transferred to Pokemon of the same species at the Daycare.

It opens up some interesting possibilities for the competitive scene, making it easier and faster to train a Pokemon team. But it also means casual players have a better chance of using whatever Pokemon they want and getting the most out of it. How common these Mints will be wasn't mentioned, though, so we'll have to wait and see. 

The trailer also highlights Experience Candy, which offers experience point boosts, and shows the return of the stat-boosting items like Calcium.

Bigger is Better: More Gigantamax-able Pokemon

One other announcement that accompanied the new Sword and Shield features trailer involves Gigantamaxing. From launch (November 15) until sometime in early January 2020, Gigantamax Pokemon will be more common.

Gigantamaxing is the next step up from Dynamaxing, but unlike the latter, we only know of a smattering of Pokemon that can Gigantamax.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield news as it develops, including our review shortly after launch.

Contributor

Josh Broadwell's gaming career began early--1993, to be exact--when he was introduced to the Super Nintendo and Super Mario World. Despite all the magnificent games the SNES and, later, the original PlayStation had to offer, it wasn't until the GameBoy Advance era that he finally discovered RPGs, which quickly became a favorite genre. He holds a BA in history, an MA in history, and is currently pursuing an MA in strategic communication.

Published Nov. 6th 2019

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