Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Wild Area is heavily dependent on the weather.
Finding Pokémon to complete your Pokédex can be a pain depending on what weather you have that day, but you can change the weather if you’re trying to catch something specific.
What does weather do in Pokémon Sword and Shield?
Weather can do two things in Pokémon Sword and Shield. It will directly influence what spawns in the area. That means you’ll mostly find ice-type Pokémon in snow and fire-types in hot, sunny weather.
It also has effects in battle that may deal damage or boost the power of specific move types. For example, sunny weather will increase the power of fire-type moves and decrease the power of water-types moves, whereas rainy weather will do the opposite. For a full explanation on what weather does in battles, Bulbapedia has detailed articles for each weather condition.
How do I change the weather in Pokémon Sword and Shield?
The weather in the Wild Area changes every day exactly at midnight on your Nintendo Switch’s clock, so you can just change the day in your Switch settings until you get the weather you want. To do this, open your system settings, scroll down to the System tab, and select Date and Time.
If you are having a hard time getting the weather you need in the right zone of the Wild Area, YouTuber AustinJohnPlays figured out dates that will make the entire Wild Area the same one weather:
- Normal: May 1, 2020
- Cloudy: March 1, 2020
- Raining: Oct. 1, 2020
- Thunderstorms: Nov. 1, 2020
- Snow: Dec. 1, 2020
- Hail: Feb. 1, 2020
- Sunny: July 1, 2020
- Sandstorm: April 1, 2020
- Fog: June 1, 2020
Note that hail and sandstorm weather appears to be locked behind getting some specific badges. AustinJohnPlays notes that it could be anywhere between badges three through eight. He also says that to get foggy weather, you’ll have to beat Leon in the Pokémon League.
Note that this will have an effect on other things in game, like berries growing back on trees and the date it says your Pokémon was caught.