Game Guides

Pokemon Sword and Shield – How To Catch Higher Level Pokemon

Can't catch everyone immediately like in the past.

by Dean James


Levels have always played a bit part in the Pokemon series, with Pokemon being able to be raised up to level 99. To avoid players trading from other games with super high level Pokemon, the game implemented rules where Pokemon above a certain level wouldn’t obey you without certain badges. However, that never extended to the actual catching of Pokemon until the recent release of Pokemon Sword and Shield, where there are limits on the level of Pokemon you can catch. This guide will explain how you can raise that minimum in the game.

How To Catch Higher Level Pokemon

In past Pokemon games, you could catch any level Pokemon you wanted at anytime, though you were still typically gated to the point where they wouldn’t be too much higher. Pokemon Sword and Shield changes things up by specifically placing limits on which levels you can catch up to certain points.

When you first start your adventure in Pokemon Sword and Shield, you will only be coming across low level Pokemon up until you reach the Wild Area. This is where you will start coming across Pokemon that are even level 30 and above. At this point though, you are limited to Pokemon level 20 and below. This prevents you from capturing these higher level Pokemon, though likely you would struggle to capture them anyways at your current Pokemon levels.

If you want to start catching higher level Pokemon, you’re going to have to start challenging each gym and getting the new badge will raise the level. This starts with the first gym in Turffield against Milo, which raises your level to 25, with each subsequent gym raising it further.

You have to complete the gyms in a certain order in the game, so each one will continue to raise the level higher, to where eventually you can catch them up to any level. This is similar to how gyms used to raise the level of Pokemon that would listen to you, but now it affects the catching part of the game instead. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for you as long as you aren’t straying too far off the course between gyms, so save the exploring for after the fact.

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