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Pokémon Sword and Shield guide: How to breed Pokémon and hatch eggs

Get hatching

An egg hatches in Pokémon Sword and Shield Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

Breeding in Pokémon Sword and Shield is fairly simple. You leave two Pokémon of the opposite genders and the same egg groups in a nursery and an egg will be made.

In order to be compatible for breeding, the Pokémon have to be in the same egg group. Two Pokémon in the Field egg group will produce a Pokémon egg, but if one Pokémon is in Field and the other is in Water 1, then no egg will be made. You can see all Pokémon’s egg groups via Serebii’s Pokédex.

To make things way easier, everything (except Legendary and Mythical Pokémon) can be bred with a Ditto.

You can pick one up at the Lake of Outrage. Next, you’ll just drop off whatever Pokémon you’re breeding with the Ditto at one of the two nurseries. There’s one at the Bridge Field zone in the Wild Area and one on Route 5.

A map shows where the two Pokémon nurseries are in the Galar region Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

Once you give your Pokémon to the nursery worker, just ride around on your bike around the Wild Area or go do something else. When the nursery worker has an egg for you, she’ll change positions to have her arm up in a thinking pose.

A nursery worker stands with her arm crossed, signalling that she has an egg
Ding! Eggs are done!
Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

If you ask the nursery worker how the two Pokémon are doing, she’ll tell you how compatible they are. If they don’t get along as well, it will just take longer to produce an egg, but they’ll still make one, as long as they’re in the same egg group (or paired with a Ditto).

After beating Leon in the Pokémon League, players can also go take on Game Freak designer Shigeki Morimoto in Hotel Ionia in Circhester. After beating him, he’ll reward an Oval Charm, which will make it so Pokémon will lay more eggs.

A cop NPC, Morimoto, rewards the player with an Oval Charm Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

If you want one of the parent Pokémon’s natures to get passed down, you can give the parent of choice an Everstone. This guarantees that the child Pokémon will have the same nature, as long as it’s the same species.

To hatch eggs faster, you can carry a Pokémon with the Flame Body ability in your party with the eggs. Sizzlipede, Centiskorch, Carkol, Coalossal, Litwick, Lampent, and Chandelure all have a chance to have Flame Body.

Some Pokémon will need a specific hold item in order to produce a certain baby Pokémon. You can see a complete list of these below.

Incense Breeding Pokémon in Sword and Shield

Parent Pokémon Baby Pokémon Held item
Parent Pokémon Baby Pokémon Held item
Wobbuffet Wynaut Lax Incense
Roselia/Roserade Budew Rose Incense
Sudowoodo Bonsly Rock Incense
Mr. Mime/Mr. Rime Mime Jr. Odd Incense
Mantine Mantyke Wave Incense
Snorlax Munchlax Full Incense