In Pokemon Sword and Shield, there are 400 pocket monsters to catch. Filling out your Pokedex is as much a part of the experience as completing the story and becoming Galar’s newest Champion. To that end, Sword and Shield introduces Trainers to the Wild Area. It’s an expansive, open-ended place where many of the game’s Pokemon can be found and caught.
It’s not always as simple as just riding your Rotom Bike around the Wild Area, though. Many species of Pokemon will only appear if the weather conditions are just right. For example, Sneasel will only show up during snowy weather, while Sabeleye prefers the fog. Weather changes regularly in the Wild Area—every 24 hours, to be precise—which can turn a Pokemon hunt into a matter of luck. There is a way play god, though, and harness the weather for your own Pokemon-catching purposes. In this guide, we’ll run down how to alter the weather in Pokemon Sword and Shield by tooling around in your Switch’s date settings.
Remember that you can always check what weather you’ll find in the Wild Area. Pressing the +button while viewing the Town Map will display iconography over each region that depicts what weather is currently occurring there.
How to Change the Weather in Pokemon Sword and Shield
Under normal circumstances, the weather in the Wild Area changes once a day. This is based on your Nintendo Switch’s internal time and date settings. If you want to change the weather, simply head into the system settings on your console and change the day. Because the weather that you’ll encounter on any given day is random, it might take a few tries to find the specific conditions you’re looking for. There are nine weather conditions in total in Pokemon Sword and Shield:
While it’s true that what weather you’ll get is largely random, players have discovered some dates that correlate to specific conditions. This list was assembled by YouTuber Austin John Plays.
- Normal: May 1, 2020
- Sunny: July 1, 2020
- Cloudy: March 1, 2020
- Rainy: October 1, 2020
- Thunderstorm: November 1, 2020
- Snow: December 1, 2020
- Hail: February 1, 2020
- Sandstorm: April 1, 2020
- Fog: June 1, 2020
It’s important to note that two of the conditions—hail and sandstorm—appear to require a certain number of gym badges, and you won’t encounter foggy weather until you beat Leon and become the new Champion.
Other Effects of the Weather in Pokemon Sword and Shield
Beyond causing specific species of Pokemon to appear (check this Serebii page for all the weather-dependent Pokemon), the weather can affect battle. Some weather conditions will bestow a bonus to certain types of Pokemon and their related attacks. For instance, sunlight can make fire attacks stronger while rain will bolster water attacks.
Max Raid battles do not appear to be affected by the weather outside, meaning that a Pokemon that wouldn’t normally appear during the current conditions may still show up in dens in their Dynamax form.
And that’s how to change the Wild Area’s weather in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Did you find the Pokemon you were looking for? Let us know in the comments section!