Ranked battles for season 1 are available in Pokemon Sword and Shield. If you have already finished the main campaign, you’ll find competitive battles to be a refreshing break from grinding to complete your Pokedex. However, you are in some for a big surprise. As it seems, you can only use Pokemon found in the Galar Pokedex. This means that you won’t be able to trade in your most powerful species through the bank in order to use them in the battles.
The official Pokemon Sword and Shield news channel on Nintendo Switch cover the basics of the first ranked season. The format is Double Battles and you’ll be able to choose 4 different Pokemon to compete. If you are still in the early game and haven’t maxed out your species yet, worry not. They will automatically get to level 50 for the needs of this mode. Here are the regulations for pokemon eligibility:
- Only Pokemon found in the Galar Pokedex may be used
- Legendary and Mythical Pokemon may not be used
- Gigantamax Pokemon may not be used
- No two Pokemon on your team may have the same Pokedex number
Although this is a standard list of requirements, it does state more than the obvious. Practically, every pokemon that isn’t included in the Pokemon Sword and Shield original Pokedex cannot be used. Given the fact that players will be able to trade Pokemon with previous titles through the Pokemon Bank, Nintendo and Gamefreak want to make sure that there won’t be any details missed in their announcement. This won’t give you any hard time if you won’t be using Pokemon Bank as all caught pokemon will be eligible to enter ranked battles except legendary, mythical and gigantamax species.
Note that winning battles and climbing the leaderboard will score your rewards at the end of the season. Those include Gold Bottle Caps, Battle Points, Ability Capsules and Mints. In order to join a battle select VS, then Battle Stadium then Ranked Battles to be redirected to the mode.
In related news, Pokemon Sword and Shield sales have broken 6 million units sold in its first weekend. This makes the newest pair of Pokemon games the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch hardware in history, even in spite of the controversy leading up to the game’s release date.