Dynamaxing is Pokemon Sword and Shield’s main gameplay gimmick, turning a trainer’s Pokemon into gigantic, glowing versions of themselves. Gigantamaxing does even more, changing the Pokemon’s form once they’ve grown to Dynamax size. Several Gigantamax-able Pokemon are available early in Sword and Shield’s main story, and the games’ central characters talk often about Dynamaxing. But how do you Dynamax a Pokemon in Sword and Shield? The answer can lie behind several hours of gameplay, so we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to Gigantamax Pokemon in Sword and Shield.
When can you Dynamax and Gigantamax your Pokemon in Sword and Shield?
Almost as soon as you can begin catching Pokemon, you’ll be able to obtain the special Gigantamax Pikachu or Eevee and the Gigantamax Meowth. With these unique and powerful Pokemon in your party, you’re probably wondering how to bring them to their full potential. Unfortunately, there are a few requirements you need to meet before you can “embiggen” these friendly ’mons.
First, you’ll need to reach the point in the story where you receive a Dynamax Band from Professor Magnolia. This happens fairly early in the game, soon after reaching the first town. Once you have the band, you’re theoretically able to Dynamax any of your regular Pokemon and Gigantamax your Gigantamax-able Pokemon. Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing are only available in certain situations, however — you can’t just suddenly make your Grookey ultra-powerful in a duel with a random kid on the side of the route. You can only Dynamax your Pokemon in two scenarios:
- In a Max Raid Battle, where you and three other trainers face off against a permanently Dynamaxed Pokemon
- In high-level trainer battles, such as battles with gym leaders or the league champion
You’ll reach the Wild Area pretty quickly, so you can Dynamax your Pokemon there early in the game. If you‘re not one for cooperative play with other real-life trainers, you can bring NPC allies to your aid for Max Raid Battles. But if you’re not interested in raiding at all, you won’t be able to use the Dynamax mechanic until the gym battle against Turffield’s Grass-type leader, Milo. Getting to Milo takes about four or five hours of gameplay (or more, if you’re taking time to level up your party and catch lots of Pokemon), so you’ll have to wait a while to see your Pokemon Gigantamaxed if you avoid Max Raids.
How to activate Gigantamax and Dynamax in Pokemon Sword and Shield
Once you’re in the appropriate battle type to be able to Dynamax or Gigantamax a Pokemon, all you have to do is select the reddish “Dynamax” icon to the left of your Pokemon’s moves. Even if a Pokemon can Gigantamax, the icon will still just say “Dynamax.” After selecting Dynamax, you’ll immediately choose the D-Max or G-Max move you want them to perform. After this initial move, your Pokemon’s Dynamaxed or Gigantamaxed state will only last two more turns, so make sure to time Dynamaxing wisely.