Isle of Armor can be played without finishing Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield The Isle of Armor review Nintendo Switch

A recent IGN preview of the upcoming DLC for Pokémon Sword and Shield, The Isle of Armor, has revealed that there’s no need to finish the base game before playing it. This is great news for those looking to start out with the games but may not have the time to get through the base story and simply want to jump into the latest available content.

In order to start out with The Isle of Armor, players will need to have first reached the Wild Area in Pokémon Sword and Shield, which means that they’ll need to have played at least a couple of hours. There’s a lot of world-building and tutorials for various aspects of the game to get out of the way before you get there, but once you hit the Wild Area, you’re pretty much on your own.

But how can this work? Well, all of the trainers that you’ll come up against in Isle of Armor will be scaled to the level of your own Pokémon. That means that you’ll never be facing off against someone with a Pokémon that’s 20 levels higher than the best member of your current squad, and it should make the DLC feel well paced as a result.

This won’t be the first expansion for a game to allow players to jump straight in without finishing the core story first. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition allows players to access the brand new epilogue straight from the menu, and it’s a better game for it. Hopefully the case will be the same with the second DLC that forms the other half of the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass, The Crown Tundra.

Everyone has high expectations of Isle of Armor because the base games are so content-packed themselves. Hopefully this DLC doesn’t disappoint when it finally launches on Wednesday.


Jamie Sharp
Started out playing Metroid 2 on the GameBoy at around 5 years-old, and now I write about games all day long. Can't play Switch and drive, I've tried. As time goes on the Switch is quickly becoming my favourite console of all time.


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