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Pokémon Sword and Shield’s rare raid encounters have a schedule

Your game version also influences encounters

One of Pokémon Sword and Shield’s big new mechanics is the introduction of raids, where up to four players players can fight against enormous “Dynamax” Pokémon. But every once in a while, you can encounter special “Gigantamax” monsters, which look different and carry special moves. The Gigantamax creatures you find are somewhat dependent on when you’re playing, and what you’re playing.

From now until early January, all players are slightly more likely to encounter Gigantamax Butterfree in Max Raid Battles, which is pictured above. However, your game version can also determine what pops up in a Gigantamax battle. For those on Pokémon Sword, you’re more likely to come across Gigantamax Drednaw.

A Gigantamax encounter in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Game Freak

Fans enjoying Pokémon Shield, meanwhile, will run into Gigantamax Corvinight more often.

It’s worth noting that these encounter tendencies aren’t set in stone. The news blast states that Gigantamax encounters will change over time, so there’s reason to keep checking back.

And for those of you who are having trouble getting into these raids, period: Make sure you’ve actually told the game to connect online, otherwise you’ll be relegated to local searches.