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Pokemon: 10 Unanswered Questions We Have About Raids

Raids are some of the most confusing and complicated new features of Pokemon Sword & Shield, bringing a titanic cooperative battle to the Pokemon series. Through the Raid Dens and the Crown Tundra’s Dynamax Adventure, four players can take on one massive opponent for several items and high-level captures.

RELATED: Pokemon Sword & Shield: 10 Best Pokemon To Find In Raids, Ranked

Despite the depth of this new format, there’s a lot that’s still oddly unknown about this new form of battling, as well as the Dynamax phenomenon in general. There are several mechanics and story elements in the game that make little sense, and many could greatly use a better explanation.

10 What Are The Catching Odds?

Trainer throwing glowing pink ball in Pokémon Sword & Shield

The mysteries surrounding raids in Pokemon usually fall into two categories. They can either relate to a Pokemon’s lore, or around the actual mechanics of the battles themselves. Since these are utterly unique to this generation of Pokemon, there are several myths and falsehoods surrounding how to best succeed in them.

Some of the largest mechanical mysteries are the odds of obtaining Pokemon in Max Raid Battles, which have greatly different statistics than usual Pokemon catching. Many low-level Max Raid Battles have additionally high capture rates, while many events have standard odds, and even the Legendary Pokemon in Dynamax Adventures will always be caught from any ball, but little in the games themselves explain these odds.

9 How Does Dynamax Weight Figure In A Battle?

Gigantamax Pikachu's Dex entry with an unknown weight in Pokémon Sword & Shield

Of all the many flavorful things that can be learned about a Pokemon from its Pokedex entry, weight and weight are some of the more forgettable features. Each Pokemon has a listed size that you can normally compare with other Pokemon, and some moves even relate to how much larger a Pokemon is to its opponent.

RELATED: Pokemon Gen 8: 10 Things That Make No Sense About The New Characters And World

The sole exceptions are Gigantamax Pokemon, as their entries are always just a series of question marks. Since the height is still given for these forms, the weight of these creatures should be estimable or calculable, but for all we know, our opponents could be bizarrely light for their size.

8 Why Are Some Moves Impossible?

Stonjourner failing to use Heat Crash against a Golbat in Pokémon Sword & Shield

Another confusing aspect of Max Raid Battles is the selection of completely unusable moves, which can easily catch players off-guard. Some that are relatively straightforward are moves that defeat opponents in one hit like Horn Drill, which would likely be overpowered attacks in these fights.

However, many are much more confusing omissions, such as weight-based moves like Grass Knot and Heat Crash. While the unknown weight of Dynamax foes might be the cause of this, it’s odd and frustrating that these and many moves simply don’t work, and an in-game warning that moves will fail might be helpful for new players.

7 What Is The Reasoning Behind Turn Limits?

Dynamax storm increasing in a battle against Anorith in Pokémon Sword & Shield

Another particularly strange mechanic of Max Raid Battles is the turn limit, as most will immediately end once the players have used ten turns without defeating their foe. Mechanically, this is helpful to end battles that aren’t going anywhere, as there’s no way to flee or surrender in most Max Raid Battles.

However, the reasoning given in the game is that the storm of Dynamax energy is growing too strong. This is somewhat conflicting with the fact that trainers are still able to healthily explore without additional equipment, making the theoretical dangers of this environment feel like an artificial barrier.

6 Why Does Instant Dig Occur?

Pokémon using Dig to burrow underground normally in Pokémon Sword & Shield

Some moves happen to even function differently in Max Raid Battles, with Dig being perhaps the strangest. Rather than taking two turns to hide underground and surprise an opponent, this Ground-type move will hit on the same turn it’s used in any Max Raid Battle.

RELATED: Pokemon Sword & Shield: 10 Pro Tips For Mastering Max Raid Battles

This might be to increase the speed of battles to prevent players from losing to the turn limit, but there are several moves like Solar Beam and Fly that do extremely similar things without any alterations. These moves are thankfully still usable, but Dig getting a speed boost is an extremely confusing alteration.

5 How Does TR Generation Work?

The rewards screen of Pokémon Sword & Shield's Max Raid Battles, which often includes TRs

The caves beneath the Power Spots of the Wild Area are certainly vast and strange, making many of the odd items and Pokemon fairly fitting for the strange environment. The same can not be said for the surplus of TRs, however, as Max Raid Battles tend to give these computer disks that teach your Pokemon new and powerful moves.

This certainly isn’t the first time Pokemon has featured some confusing logic, but this item in particular is an especially bizarre instance of items appearing where they probably shouldn’t. They’re still greatly convenient to get in these battles, but why they appear in the first place is undoubtedly quite strange.

4 Why Are NPC Allies Terrible?

One cheery cop and a tired scientist beside an eager trainer in Pokémon Sword & Shield

Easily the most confusing and infuriating parts of Max Raid Battles have to be your NPC companions, something necessary for those playing alone. Not only do these random allies have a level limit of 70, but many use unevolved Pokemon with moves that contribute little to your team.

Even by the standards of most Pokemon trainers, these lower-level trainers are distressingly inept. Some like a trainer’s Solrock will consistently raise its defenses while rarely dealing damage, while Dynamax Adventure allies will frequently pick useless status moves that run out the clock.

3 Do Multiple Legendaries Decrease A Pokemon’s Rarity?

Heatran in a Dynamax Adventure battle in Pokémon Sword & Shield

The rules of legendary Pokemon have always been somewhat confusing. Even in the anime, multiple legendaries appear to exist between the movies and show, making their uniqueness and mythical power somewhat feel lessened.

RELATED: Pokemon Crown Tundra: 10 Things To Know About Legendary Raids

This is even more diminished in the Crown Tundra, as Dynamax Adventures allow trainers to encounter multiple legendaries depending on who you’re playing with and which random opponent you face at the end. Legendaries are still fun to collect, but their legendary status has become an incredibly minor trait through these new raid battles.

2 Why Do Surprise Dynamax Battles Differ From Regular Ones?

Trainer shaking the Dyna Tree in Pokémon Sword & Shield's Crown Tundra area

Max Raid Battles and Dynamax Adventures aren’t the only way to engage in raid battles. The game features a long series of fights against wild Dynamax foes in each Gym as part of the post-game story surrounding Sordward and Shielbert, a Vespiquen encountered in the Isle of Armor story, and even a Greedent in the Crown Tundra’s Dyna Tree.

Why these differ so much from other Dynamax Battles, though, is quite unclear. The ones you encounter in the post-game aren’t capturable, which is a significant shame given that they feature some rare and strong Pokemon. The ones in the DLC also appear only once and separate from Max Raid Dens, making these battles stranger than most in the game.

1 What Is The Point Of Adventure Rentals?

The rental screen in Dynamax Adventures in Pokémon Sword & Shield

The last questionable trait of raid battles once again concerns the Dynamax Adventures, as the mechanics don’t entirely mesh with the flavor. In the game, it explains that rental Pokémon are specially trained to survive the harsher depths of these treacherous caves, and mechanically it makes the battles far more interesting than than the usual Max Raid Battles.

However, what these Pokemon receive to function in these caves is fairly unclear. They mostly appear identical to ones you could catch or potentially breed, and they don’t carry any specific traits that set them apart. Considering your character doesn’t have to wear protective gear in the caves, this mechanic is another that could do with a better explanation.

NEXT: Pokemon Sword & Shield: A Complete Guide To Master Balls


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