Pokemon Sword and Shield

How to Start and Join Max Raid Battles

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How to Join Max Raid Battles Header.png
Team up with people around the world to catch wild Dynamax Pokemon with Max Raid Battles in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield! Read on to learn more about how to participate in Max Raid Battles, how to invite your friends, how they work, and what rewards you can gain from them!

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What are Max Raid Battles?


Max Raid Battles are a new way of battling. They allow you to team up with three other trainers to take on a wild Dynamax Pokemon.

with friends.jpg

You can encounter other trainers online or through a local connection and hang out together in the Wild Area. As soon as you have found three other players to team up with, you are ready to join in a Max Raid Battle!

If you don't have other players to fight alongside, you can still participate in Max Raid Battles along with computer players. But when taking down a permanently Dynamaxed foe, you'll need to strategize together to decide who will Dynamax and successfully catch the Pokemon, so doing Raid Battles together with friends is the best way to ensure a successful battle.

Nintendo Switch Online Service is required to play online.

How to Start a Max Raid Battle

pokemon den.jpg

The Wild Area is filled with areas known as Pokemon Dens. Occasionally, you will spot one that is emitting a red beam of light.

This means that there are Dynamax Pokemon of different species and varying strength that can be fought!

How to Choose a Pokemon


In a Max Raid Battle, each player will only be able to select one of their Pokemon to join the battle, so be sure to choose a Pokemon with a good type advantage against the opposing Pokemon. You can check the type of the opposing Pokemon and the difficulty level in the top-left corner of the screen.

You can either choose both Pokemon from your party and Pokemon stored in your Pokemon Boxes to join the battle.

Online Max Raid Battle

You can start an Online Max Raid yourself by finding a Den in the Wild Area and choosing 'Invite Others'. You can use this feature to fight alongside other trainers over the internet or Local Connection.

Take note that a Nintendo Membership Online service (paid) is required for online play. However, if you use Local Connection to play together with friends, you don't need to have the service.

Otherwise, you can join another player's Max Raid Battle using the Y-comm.

How to join another player's Max Raid Battle
Max Raid Online3 If someone is looking for a teammate for a Max Raid Battle, you will see a stamp on the left side of the screen. Press Y to access the Y-Comm screen.
Max Raid Online2 Click the battle you want to join in in the Y-comm screen, then choose Join In.
Max Raid Online1 After choosing the battle, you need to Start a Challenge.

If you want to do Max Raids online specifically with your friends, and don't want random players to join in, you can set a Link Code to ensure only your friends will join the battle.

Offline Max Raid

Even if you don't have any other players to battle alongside, you can still participate in Max Raid Battles. You'll be given three NPC teammates automatically to help you in the battle.

How to Join Another Player's Max Raid Battle

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield has a new feature called Y-Comm. There are many things you can do with it, including trading Pokemon and having Link Battles through the Internet or a local connection.

y-comm screen.jpg
You might see a stamp on the left side of the screen. This is to tell you that you have a connection request from someone else!


Look at the Y-Comm screen and check for a stamp with a black Pokemon silhouette to join a Max Raid Battle.

y-comm screen_pokemonsil.jpg

How to Max Raid with Friends

Although Pokemon Sword and Shield do not offer a set function for inviting specific players to join a Max Raid Battle, it's possible to allow only certain players to join a battle by setting a Link Code on a Max Raid Battle. Players can also search for Max Raids Battles hosted by their Nintendo Switch Friends using the Search Stamps feature.

How to Start a Max Raid with Friends

Start any Max Raid Battle

First, a Host must find a Max Raid Battle at a Den in the Wild Area.

Start a Max Raid Battle by going in a Den wiith a Pillar of Light or by using a Wishing Piece on a Den to initiate a Max Raid Battle.

Set Link Code (Optional)

Link Code.jpg
If you want only your friends to join the battle, you should set a link code and give the code to your friends, to serve as a password they can use to enter your Max Raid. To set the link code, tap the + button on the Joy-Con controller and enter the desired Link Code you want for the Max Raid Battle room. Any eight-digit number will work.

Select 'Invite Others'

Max Raid.jpg
Select the 'Invite Others' option to allow other players to see your Max Raid Battle from the Y-Comm. Be reminded that there is a time limit for the room, so don't spend too much time dilly-dallying before starting the battle!

Get ready for the battle

host 1.jpg
Get ready for the battle by choosing a Pokemon with a strong type matchup for the Max Raid Battle. Strategize and communicate with your friends on how you will defeat the Pokemon.
How to Win Max Raid Battles

Wait for other players to join and get ready

When the Host selects 'Ready to Battle', the battle will start regardless of how many players have joined. If less than 4 players have joined, the other slots will be filled by NPC players.

Start the Battle

Have fun and enjoy playing with your friends of up to 4 players and join forces in defeating the Dynamax or Gigantamax Pokemon at hand.

How to Join a Friend's Max Raid

You can join a Max Raid Battle initiated by a friend at any time when you're not already in a battle. You don't even need to be in the Wild Area yourself to join another player's Max Raid Battle.

Go to the Y-Comm Menu

Go to the Y-comm menu by tapping the X button on the joycon controller. This will bring you to the menu where you can find the Max Raid Battle.

Find the Max Raid Battle

After your friend hosting the battle chooses 'Invite Others', their stamp will appear on the menu. Press X to refresh the available stamps if it hasn't appeared yet. By selecting this stamp, you can join in the Max Raid Battle they've found, even if you aren't in the Wild Area.

Select Start Challenge

Link Code.jpg
Select the Start Challenge button to join the room of your friends Max Raid Battle. If your friend set a Link Code, you'll need to enter the code that was given to you by your friend for you to join the Max Raid Battle. If you've entered the Link Code correctly, you'll be able to enter the battle and Max Raid together with your friends!

How to Max Raid With Friends Online

Add your Friends from the Switch menu

Add friend
Add your friends on your Nintendo Switch account by getting their Friend Code and searching for them. This will allow your friends to use the Search Stamps feature on the Y-Comm to find a Max Raid Battle you're hosting more easily.

How to Add Friends

Go to Y-Comm and connect to the Internet

Go to the Y-Comm menu by tapping X on your Joy-Con controller and press the + button to connect to the Internet.

Go to Search Stamps

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After the Host has initiated a Max Raid Battle and chosen 'Invite Others', other players will be able to find the battle using the Search Stamps feature. On the Y-Comm menu, select 'Search Stamps' and choose 'Friends only'. This will allow you to filter all the results to those of users who have become Friends with your Nintendo Switch account.

Join the Max Raid Battle

Look for the stamp of your Host friend's Max Raid Battle in the Menu and select it.

Max Raid with Friends Information

  1. If possible, using the Local Connection is recommended, as it is easier to connect and find your friend within the Y-comm.
  2. There is not invitation feature in the Y-comm; the only way you can help your friends join your Max Raid is to give them the same link code you have set to your Max Raid Battle room.
  3. A subscription to Nintendo Online is needed if you want to do a Max Raid Battle over an internet connection.

How to Play and Catch Pokemon in Max Raid Battles


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The wild Dynamax Pokemon will not go back to its original form througout the battle.

Out of the four members of your team, only one can Dynamax a Pokemon during a Max Raid Battle.

If you manage to weaken a Dynamax Pokemon in a Max Raid Battle, you might be able to catch it for your team. Each member can throw Poke Balls one by one as an attempt to catch the Dynamax Pokemon.

Wild Dynamax Pokemon

The Dynamax Pokemon you battle may differ based on factors such as weather and your location within the Wild Area.

In the images above, Steenee showed up when it was sunny, while Lanturn appeared on a rainy day.


Teamwork is everything in these battles! Try and work together and coordinate your actions with the other party members for the best chance at winning.

Max Raid Cheer
Max Raid Cheer 2

You can continue to root for your team even if your Pokemon's HP runs out and it faints. Who knows? Cheering could have a big impact on the battle.

Rewards of Max Raid Battles

Rare Item Drops

Before a Max Raid Battle, the difficulty level of the battle will be shown in the top-left corner of the screen, ranging from one star at the easiest to five stars at the most difficult. The higher the difficulty level, the better rewards you receive, so be sure to join higher level Max Raid Battles to get more rare item drops such as Exp. Candy, TRs, and more!

Pokemon with Hidden Abilities

Mirror Armor

Some Hidden Abilities newly introduced in Pokemon Sword and Shield will only be available on wild Pokemon caught in Max Raid Battles. Here, Corviknight demonstrates Mirror Armor, its new Hidden Ability, which reflects all stat-lowering effects back onto the afflicting Pokemon.

How to Get Hidden Abilities

Gigantamax Pokemon

Gigantamax Drednaw

Although the Pokemon faced in Max Raid Battles are usually Dynamax Pokemon, there is a small chance of a Gigantamax Pokemon appearing.

In addition, during certain limited-time periods, there is a higher chance of certain Gigantamax Pokemon appearing during a Max Raid Battle.

How to Obtain Rare Gigantamax Pokemon

Types of Dens containing Max Raid Battles

Pokemon Den with a Red Pillar of Light

Max Raid Battles can be found in the Wild Area. Find a Den that has a red pillar of light coming out, then press the A button.

Pokemon Den with a Purple Pillar of Light

Purple Beam
Just like Pokemon Dens with a Red Pillar of Light, a Max Raid Battle can be found here, but the Pokemon inside are rare and some of them are only available in Max Raid Battles.

Inactive Pokemon Den

Pokemon Den
An inactive Pokemon Den is a den in the Wild Area which is not glowing and has no Pillar of Light. This indicates that there are no Watts or Max Raid Battles available here.

Wishing Piece

Wishing Piece
However, players can force a Max Raid Battle to appear by throwing a Wishing Piece in an Inactive Den.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Related Links

New Features
Max Raid Battles Poke Jobs
Pokemon Camp Surprise Trades
Changing Natures with Mints Auto-save
Changing Your Uniform Wild Area and
Raid Strategy
Changing Nicknames of Traded Pokemon Customizing Your
League Card
Differences Between the Versions Pokemon HOME


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