During the Pokemon Direct event today, Game Freak and Nintendo revealed Pokemon Sword and Shield will be getting an expansion pass featuring two new expansions in the coming months. In addition to new areas to explore and gym leaders to battle, the incoming content will address many fans' biggest problem with the game by adding over 200 more Pokemon to the roster.
The first expansion, The Isle of Armor, will arrive this June, while its follow-up, The Crown Tundra, will hit digital stores in the fall. Both expansions will continue the storyline of the main games. In the first expansion, players will travel to an island region and train under Mustard, a mentor of Leon's, who himself once won the Pokemon tournament. The Crown Tundra, menawhile, will bring a winter map to the game in addition to co-op elements.
No precise release dates have been mentioned just yet. Among the 200+ new Pokemon coming to Sword and Shield there will be new Legendary Pokemon, new Gigantimax forms, and Pokemon that will make their debut in the games.
You won't need to buy the expansion pass to receive some new Pokemon either, as Game Freak revealed they will be adding others in via free updates over the coming months. The studio also confirmed the expansion pass means they won't be releasing an updated version of Sword and Shield later, foregoing their typical release schedule.
The expansion pass will retail for $29.99, though it's not clear whether they can be bought separately. In other cases with Nintendo's expansion passes, that's not been an option.
Pokemon Sword and Shield released in November of last year to "Strong" reviews on OpenCritic. Across 102 reviews, it averages an 80 score with two-thirds of reviewers recommending the game for play. It survived some launch controversy when some fans were upset that the game's Pokedex wouldn't be comprehensive, but it's likely the choice to add them later via this expansion pass was already in the works.