How to Win Max Raid Battles | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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A guide on how to participate in and how to win Max Raid Battles in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips and tricks in facing and catching the Dynamax Pokemon that appear in Max Raid Battles.

What is a Max Raid?

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Max Raid Battles are a special new feature in Pokemon Sword and Shield where four players will battle together against a single Dynamax Pokemon.
All About Max Raid Battles

How to Find a Max Raid Battle

Pokemon Den with a Red Pillar of Light

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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.

Online Max Raid Battle

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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.

Offline Max Raid

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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.

Pokemon Den with a Purple Pillar of Light

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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.

Max Raid Battle Strategy Guide

Choosing Pokemon

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In a Max Raid Battle, each player is only allowed to bring one Pokemon to participate. However, the type of the Pokemon you will be facing is indicated in the top-left corner. Players can refer to these and choose Switch Pokemon to choose a Pokemon with a strong matchup against the opponent's type.

Pokemon Type Matchups

The enemies found in Max Raid Battles are not consistent. They vary depending on the weather and where you are in the Wild Area, so selecting a good type matchup will be the best way to ensure that the battle will go smoothly.

Dynamaxing

Dynamax
Only one Pokemon among the four of you is allowed to Dynamax at a time. At the start of the battle, the initiator of the Max Raid is allowed to Dynamax on the first turn. If they choose not to, each player will be given a chance to Dynamax in sequence. If another player Dynamaxes their Pokemon before you, you'll have to wait for it to return to normal to get another chance to Dynamax.

Team Cooperation

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In an offline Max Raid Battle, it's easy to just ignore what your partners are doing and let them deal minor damage while you Dynamax and take the lead. In an online Max Raid, however, teamwork and cooperation are keys for a successful Raid.

Remember that only one of the team members is allowed to Dynamax, so the members of the team should think about who is the best choice to Dynamax, when they should Dynamax, and what order they will attack in so they can support the Dynamaxed Pokemon effectively.

Dynamax Pokemon

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The Pokemon you will be facing will be in a Dynamax (or sometimes Gigantamax) form all throughout the battle. Max Moves and G-Max Moves have status effects which, unlike most regular moves, will occur 100% of the time. For example, the Pokemon can deal damage and boost its stats or lower yours, or change the weather in their favor.

When selecting which Pokemon to use in a Max Raid battle, compare the Type(s) of the opponent to the Max Moves of those types and check the status effects. This can help you choose a Pokemon who will be effective in each scenario. For example, if the Pokemon is Rock-type, it will likely use Max Rockfall, which causes the Sandstorm weather condition, so selecting a Pokemon which takes no damage from Sandstorm (Rock, Ground or Steel-types) could be a good choice.

List of Max Moves List of G-Max Moves

Catching Pokemon

Catching a Pokemon
Unlike normal Pokemon battles, you don't have to worry about knocking out the Pokemon and missing your chance to catch it. When the opponent Pokemon's HP runs out in a Max Raid Battle, all players will get the chance to catch it.

Each player can try throwing a Poke Ball in sequence. However, only the player who successfully catches the Pokemon will get to keep it.

Conditions for Losing

In Max Raid Battles, Pokemon who have been KO'd will be revived a few turns later, so even if you get knocked out, the battle hasn't been lost yet.

The battle only ends when:

  • Pokemon on your team faint four times
  • The battle lasts for 10 turns

Max Raid Rewards

Max Raid Rewards
The rewards from Max Raid Battle vary depending on the challenge level of the battle. At the start and end of a battle, you can see a number of stars indicating the challenge level of the battle. The more stars shown, the harder the battle will be, but the better the rewards each player receives for completing it.

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