Sword and Shield introduce a ton of features to the series, including a new explorable environment called the Wild Area. Here, you can see Pokémon roaming freely as well as enter Dens to battle Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokémon. However, the kinds of Pokémon you’ll find depends on what are the current weather conditions like in the Wild Area. This can make completing your Pokédex a lot harder.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to alter the weather in the Wild Area using an exploit in your Switch’s system settings. We’re also including the dates you’ll need to enter to get a specific type of weather. If you would like more general tips and tricks for getting started in Sword and Shield, check out our Beginner’s Guide for everything you need to know about the Galar Region.

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How Weather Affects the Game

Pokémon Sword and Shield Guide How Weather Affects the Game

Besides directly affecting which Pokémon spawn, weather can determine the rate at which you’ll find different types. If it’s hailing, chances are you’ll see a lot more Ice-types wandering around; if it’s raining, more Water-types; This also applies to Max Raid Battles inside Pokémon Dens, with certain species requiring specific weather conditions.

Weather can also impact battling, either by dealing damage or increasing the power of certain moves.  Here is a list of every weather condition and its effects in battles:

Harsh Sunlight

  • Boosts Fire-type moves
  • Lowers Water-type moves
  • Prevents Pokémon from freezing
  • Reduces accuracy for Hurricane and Thunder
  • Boosts HP restored from Moonlight, Morning Sun and Synthesis

Rain

  • Boosts Water-type moves
  • Lowers Fire-type moves
  • 100% accuracy for Hurricane and Thunder.
  • Lowers HP restored from Moonlight, Morning Sun and Synthesis

Sandstorm

  • Damages all non-Ground, Rock or Steel-types
  • Boosts Special Defense for Rock-types
  • Lowers HP restored from Moonlight, Morning Sun and Synthesis
  • Boosts HP restored from Shore Up

Hailstorm

  • Damages all non-Ice-types each turn
  • 100% accuracy for Blizzard
  • Lowers HP restored from Moonlight, Morning Sun and Synthesis

How to Change the Weather

Pokémon Sword and Shield Guide How to Change the Weather

Since the Wild Area’s weather changes every day at midnight based on your Switch’s internal clock, the best way to get your desired weather is to change it. To do so, open the Switch’s system settings, scroll to the bottom until you reach the System tab, select Date and Time, and change it to one of the following dates:

  • Normal: May 1, 2020
  • Cloudy: March 1, 2020
  • Raining: Oct. 1, 2020
  • Thunderstorm: Nov. 1, 2020
  • Snow: Dec. 1, 2020
  • Hail: Feb. 1, 2020
  • Sunny: July 1, 2020
  • Sandstorm: April 1, 2020
  • Fog: June 1, 2020

Note:  Hail and Sandstorm are locked behind progression. To trigger any of them, you’ll have to have gathered at least three gym badges. Additionally, Fog can only be triggered after beating Leon in the Pokémon League.

There are side effects to changing your Switch’s internal clock. Berries will grow back on trees, the Stow on Side market will refresh, and Watts Traders will have different items.

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