Today’s Pokémon Direct announced, and detailed, the new Expansion Pass DLC content for Pokémon Sword and Shield. We also got a general release date for Pokémon Home, and a remake of  Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team.

First, the new game announcement. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a Switch-exclusive remake of the spin-off games Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team, which originally released on Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS in 2006.

Unlike the main series where you play as a trainer catching and training Pokémon, in Mystery Dungeon you’ve been transformed into a Pokémon. The gameplay involves recruiting other pokémon and navigating through random dungeon crawls. The spin-off series enjoyed numerous sequels over the decade since the original release, with the last game, Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, releasing in 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX will only have the one version, and will arrive on the Nintendo Switch on March 6. A free demo is available on the Nintendo eShop, and progress will carry over to the full game. It’s rated E for Everyone.

The bulk of the Pokémon Direct centered on the new Expansion Pass for Pokémon Sword and Shield ($29.99). The Expansion Pass will add two entirely new areas, with new pokémon, trainers, and clothing options, over the course of two parts.

The first part is the Isle of Armor, which looks heavily inspired by Japan. Part 1, The Isle of Armor, will release in June 2020. In Fall 2020 we’ll see Part 2, the Crown of Tundra, which adds a new frozen area. Both areas will primarily feature free-roaming zones like the Wild Area (yay!) including Max Raid Battles. Between both areas, over 200 pokémon can be found from past games, as well as a few new ones.

Sword and Shield will feature some different pokémon and different characters in both new areas. For example, in Sword’s Isle of Armor the rival NPC is Klara, while Shield gets Avery, both with their own gyms and stadiums. Klara specializes in Poison-type pokémon while Avery prefers Psychic-type.

pokemon direct

During the course of the Isle of Armor story, you’ll receive a new legendary pokémon, the bare-like Fighting-type Kubfu. Kubfu can evolve into Urshifu. Urshifu has two different evolution styles to choose from: Single-Strike and Rapid-Strike style. The styles changes its typing to either Fighting/Dark or Fighting/Water, each with a unique move.

During the Isle of Armor, you’ll also unlock new Gigantamax forms for each of the three starter pokémon.

Details for Part 2 were more sparse, but Crown Tundra will focus more on exploration. The newly revealed pokémon is Calyrex, a Psychic/Grass type that looks like a deer with a giant green balloon. Crown Tundra will add a new co-op mode in an underground region full of Max Raid Battles. It’s here you’ll be able to find all the legendary pokémon of past games, including a few new ones.

If you don’t purchase the Expansion Pass, you can still acquire the exclusive pokémon through trades, and eventually via Pokémon Home. Pokémon Home is the upcoming digital storage solution where trainers can store and move their pokémon between games, including from Pokémon Bank. Pokémon Home will release in February, finally letting us bring our old favorites into Sword and Shield, provided they normally appear in Gen 8. More details on Home will be coming in the weeks up to release.

Finally, a software update hit today for Sword and Shield. A Galarian Slowpoke has wandered in from the Isle of Armor to Wedgehurst Station, and we’ll get a chance to catch them. Galarian Slowpoke can evolve into Galarian Slowbro and Slowking from items found in the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.