How (Not) to Get Victini in Pokemon Sword & Shield

The Pokemon Sword and Shield Crown Tundra DLC brings back virtually every Legendary Pokemon imaginable. It’s like Super Smash Bros Ultimate in Pokemon form. Over the 20+ years the franchise has existed, we’ve gone from four legendary Pokemon all the way and beyond 70, making the method of catching the things anything but. Mythical Pokemon, on the other hand, are still relatively special. Rather than having cool story-enriched in-game encounters, they’re typically only obtainable through rare timed events and special promotions. Victini is one such Mythical Pokemon, and many think it’s playing an elaborate game of hide and seek in the latest DLC. So here’s some clarification on how to get Victini in the Crown Tundra add-on. Or, more specifically, how and why you can’t get it, despite some earlier musings.

Across the Crown Tundra DLC, Legendary Pokemon are stuffed inside the new Max Lair that makes up the Dynamax Adventure mode, with others being sprinkled throughout the DLC’s storylines like Regice in Legendary Clue 2. They’re all there. But when it comes to Mythical Pokemon – the ones usually reserved for special offline events, promotional deals, and limited-time mystery gifts – things get a bit more complicated. The appearance of Keldeo opened up the floodgates, but what spewed out was only disappointment.

Crown Tundra Victini guide

Over the launch weekend of Crown Tundra, several rumors and theories made the rounds about how to get Victini in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Some made decent sense – like winning the Galarian Star Tournament a set number of times, or with every available battle partner. Victini is, after all, the Victory Pokemon, making it a fitting way for the chirpy macaroon-loving mythical beast to make itself known. As it turns out, though, every method has been debunked. Victini, at least a few days into the Crown Tundra launch, is unavailable in the current mainline Pokemon titles through means other than transferring from another game. Just like Mew, Jirachi, Celebi, Shaymin, Deoxys, and every other Mythical Pokemon known to exist, it can’t be caught in the latest Pokemon releases through an in-game encounter of any sort. That’s it.

The reason Victini made the rounds in the first place was through the discovery of related code within the files of the new DLC. Data for Victini was found, but in a seemingly unfinished state. Prominent figures within the Pokemon community, Like Serebii webmaster Joe Merrick, tested various ideas and emerging theories, but not one resulted in Victini becoming available. The basis of code is there to flag Victini as a possible encounter, but the finer details are not. There’s no text for the supposed encounter and carrying that flag means it won’t appear in Max Raid battles or some random event.

After putting the myths to bed, it’s safe to assume Victini isn’t obtainable in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Not right now, at least. Whether Victini was cut due to time constraints or merely existed as a placeholder is anyone’s guess, but whichever way you swing it, it cannot be found or caught in-game at this moment.

Victini’s almost surprise discovery and subsequent theories echo ideas entrenched in Pokemon pop culture. Back when it was far harder to comb game files and share those findings online, rumors and hoaxes plagued the community; from the infamous case of Mew hiding under a truck in the very first Pokemon games, to hopping on a rocket in Ruby and Sapphire to find Jirachi. With just how large and fragmented the Pokemon community is, there’s a good chance we’ll be hearing about ways to find and catch Victini in Sword and Shield for years to come. Just know that perfecting a run of the Galarian Star Tournament isn’t it.