All Pokémon are special, but there are a handful of Pokémon that are just too useful to pass up. Pokémon Sword and Shield features a handful of Pokémon that are a step above the rest — not because of their power, but because they’ve got a unique benefit. Some Pokémon will attract more battles, others will increase the amount of money you make, while others still can speed up egg hatching considerably. The best Pokémon aren’t just fighters — and here are my 14 essential picks that every Pokémon team should have.
This list isn’t about choosing the best Pokémon for battling — there are no ‘best’ Pokémon, after all! Every team is different, and every battle might require different Pokémon to succeed. This is all about the Pokémon that provide handy benefits that you’ll want to keep around if you’re planning to play well into the post-game of Sword and Shield. These aren’t just some of my favorite Pokémon, they’re also endlessly useful for a variety of reasons.
Except for magikarp. That guy is never useful.
More Pokémon Sword & Shield guides:
How To Evolve All The New Galar Region Pokémon | Evolution Guide | What’s Exclusive To Each Version? | How To Catch Shiny Pokémon | Pick This Starter Pokémon For An Early Advantage | How To Easily Evolve Farfetch’d Into Sirfetch’d | Brilliant Aura System | How To Catch Improved Pokemon | Combo & Ultimate Moves | Move Tutor Locations | How To Catch Pokemon Easier | False Swipe & Hypnosis Guide | Easter Eggs, Secrets & References Guide
Gallade is one of the best for capturing Wild Pokémon in the game — and it’s all thanks to False Swipe and Hypnosis. False Swipe allows Gallade to knock Pokémon down to 1 HP without defeating them, and Hypnosis just makes Pokémon easier to catch. This guy is absolutely essential!
You can grab False Swipe from any Pokémon Center. Talk to the Move Reminder on the left to learn it.
- How To Catch: Capture a male Ralts / Kirlia in the Wilds and use a Dawn Star. They’re rare, so be on the lookout!
Ditto is absolutely essential for breeding. Why? Because this genderless Pokémon can breed with literally any other Pokémon in the game. Drop off a Ditto and a Pokémon of choice at the Pokémon Nursery, and they’ll start producing eggs. You don’t want to miss this guy — if you manage to trade with a friend from a different country / language, you’ll even get a bonus to the amount of shiny Pokémon you find.
- How To Catch: Ditto will sometimes appear in the Lake of Outrage area of the Wilds. Check daily to spot them!