Walking Pokémon Sword and Shield in The Isle of Armor return

With all of the reveals from today’s Pokémon Presents livestream, today has undoubtedly been a great day for Pokémon news. Of course, with The Isle of Armor also releasing today, players have been discovering new details about this Expansion Pass. Serebii has already confirmed an exciting feature: the return of walking Pokémon to Pokémon Sword and Shield!

The walking Pokémon mechanic dates back to Pokémon Yellow, when the player’s Pikachu traveled behind them at all times. However, it wasn’t robustly implemented until HeartGold and SoulSilver, when any Pokémon at the lead of the party would follow behind the trainer. Similarly, Pokémon can follow behind the trainer in Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!. In those games, trainers can select which partner will follow them, regardless of who leads the party.

It seems that Sword and Shield will follow the walking Pokémon pattern from Gen 4. This means that the lead party member will follow behind the trainer. However, this returning mechanic is not available right off the bat. Instead, players must reach a certain point in The Isle of Armor before unlocking this feature.

Walking Pokémon return to Sword and Shield

Unfortunately, the implementation of walking Pokémon in Sword and Shield seems less than perfect so far. Many players have noted that the Pokémon struggle to keep up with the trainer. As a result, they tend to lag behind the trainer before running to catch up. Hopefully a patch will come in the near future to make this feature function a bit more smoothly.

It is also worth noting that walking Pokémon can appear in their shiny forms. The overworld does not distinguish between shiny and non-shiny wild Pokémon. Because of this, it is impossible to know if a wild Pokémon is shiny without running into it. So to see your own Pokémon in all of its shiny glory is certainly a nice touch.

What are your thoughts on the return of walking Pokémon in Sword and Shield? Are you racing through The Isle of Armor so that your own Pokémon can follow behind you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on our social media!


Dylan Tate
Dylan Tate is a student in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, including Smash Bros., Splatoon, ARMS, and Pokémon. Dylan also writes esports news articles for Daily Esports.

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