Pokemon Sword & Shield are out today. That means everyone who hasn’t already is scrambling to decide which version of the game to buy. Luckily, Nintendo has a solution for the indecisive (and filthy rich) among us: the Pokemon Sword & Shield Double Pack. It’s a bundle featuring both games, allowing you to capture every single pokemon on your own, without needing to trade. But unlike most “bundles” — as we’ve come to know them in our modern consumerist nightmare — the Double Pack isn’t cheaper than buying both games together. It costs, get this, exactly one penny more than if you buy Pokemon Sword & Shield separately.
Don’t let that exorbitant price hike fool you, though! The Double Pack actually comes with a very interesting bonus you can’t get anywhere else. I’m talking about Dynamax Crystals. Pokemon Sword & Shield introduced the concept of Dynamax Pokemon, and with it the concept of Max Raid Battles. These are special fights where you and some friends battle a single, embiggened Dynamax Pokemon.
More Pokemon Sword & Shield:
- A Behavioral and Anatomical Examination of Sirfetch’d, the Most Horrifying Pokémon Ever
- Pokemon Sword and Shield Gigantimax Guide – Which Pokemon Have Gigantimax Forms?
- PSA: Don’t Try to Catch ‘Strong Looking’ Pokemon in Pokemon Sword & Shield
Dynamax Crystals are useful for two reasons. First, they let you start Max Raid Battles against Jangmo-o and/or Larvitar much earlier in the game than you normally would. Second, they will help you fill out your Pokedex with version exclusive creatures. Jangmo-o and its evolutions are exclusive to Pokemon Sword, for example, while Larvitar and its successors are only in Pokemon Shield. You just need to redeem the Dynamax Crystal codes in the right games!
Thankfully, the Pokemon Double Pack splits things up nicely. Although it automatically ties Pokemon Sword to whatever Nintendo Switch you make the initial purchase from. Make sure you keep that in mind before hitting purchase! Once that’s done, though, you’ll get a code for Pokemon Shield at whatever email address you have tied to your Nintendo Online account. You know how you get a confirmation email and receipt after you buy games digitally? The Dynamax Crystals codes will show up at the same time in a separate email. As will your code for Pokemon Shield. At that point, you can redeem them on whatever consoles you wish.
I get it… It’s kind of a convoluted process, but it makes perfect sense for a two Switch household. My brother and I grew up playing Pokemon together on two separate Game Boys. He got Red, I got Blue; he got Silver, I got Gold. It was the exact sort of situation that the different version of Pokemon are made to exploit! Now, especially with the release of the Nintendo Switch Lite, that time has likely come again for a lot of folks. It’s odd to think that some of my own friends’ kids are old enough to land in this exact predicament, but here we are. Time is a flat circle and we are all marching towards entropy.
Anyway, if you want to get Pokemon Sword & Shield for yourself and a loved one… this is probably the best way to do it. Whereas it probably makes more sense to buy them separately if you’re only thinking of yourself. That will save you the trouble of redeeming the codes!