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Pokémon Sword and Shield Crown Tundra Dynamax Adventure guide

Squad up and explore some Max Lairs

A trainer readies their Dynamax ball in Pokémon Sword and Shield Image: Nintendo/Gamefreak, The Pokémon Company via Polygon

The latest expansion for Pokémon Sword and Shield, The Crown Tundra, has a brand new game mode called Dynamax Adventure. Together with three other trainers, players explore a randomly generated dungeon with branching paths to fight Dynamax Pokémon.

In this Pokémon Sword and Shield guide for The Crown Tundra expansion, we’ll explain what the Dynamax Adventure is, how to explore Max Lairs, and strategies for getting through each run of this maze-like mode.

What is a Dynamax Adventure?

After meeting Peony and Nia after you start The Crown Tundra expansion, you’ll learn about Max Lairs. Your first goal in this new area is to go on a Dynamax Adventure on your own.

After finding Peony once he splits up with his daughter, a scientist will explain the basics of exploring Max Lairs in the Dynamax Adventure mode.

During a Dynamax Adventure, four trainers explore an underground Max Lair which branches out in multiple directions. Max Lairs contain several Dynamax Pokémon with an especially powerful monster waiting at the end. Unlike other game modes where players roam freely and fight creatures they encounter on the map, Dynamax Adventures feel more like moving puzzle pieces on a game board.

The creature selection screen in Dynamax Adventure mode in Pokémon Sword and Shield
Try to make a well-rounded team
Image: Nintendo/Gamefreak, The Pokémon Company via Polygon

When you first go on a Dynamax Adventure, you can play alone with three computer-controlled characters or you go online to play with others.

Before you begin a Dynamax Adventure, you have to borrow a Pokémon from a randomly generated batch of three. You cannot use your own Pokémon in this mode. After one player selects a creature, another takes it place giving each player the chance to always choose from one of three random monsters.

You won’t have an idea of what creatures you’ll be fighting when you start a Dynamax Adventure, so it’s up to you and your teammates to pick a well-rounded team. As you select Pokémon, you’ll see what their types are, what moves they have, and what special ability they know.

A look at the maze-like structure of Dynamax Adventures in Pokémon Sword and Shield
At each branch, your party decides which creature to fight next
Image: Nintendo/Gamefreak, The Pokémon Company via Polygon

Once your adventure begins, you’ll be shown the layout of the Max Lair. A random assortment of Pokémon will split up the path leading to the most powerful creature awaiting at the end. As a team, you and your companions need to choose which monster to fight as you approach each fork in the path. When making your selections, you won’t know which Pokémon you’ll be fighting, just what their main type is.

If you’re not sure how to choose which creature to fight, it’s best to refer to our Pokémon Sword and Shield type strength and weakness chart. This guide details each types’ strength and weakness. Use this guide to determine which path to take based on the creatures you already have.

As you move through the split paths, you might find berries which can restore your health or friendly scientists who can offer to trade your current Pokémon with one they are holding.

After you defeat a Dynamax Pokémon, you have the opportunity to catch it. Any caught creatures can then be swapped out with the current monster you borrowed. You can use caught Pokémon strategically as you move farther into the Max Lair. You might want to catch a certain type of creature early in the adventure so you have the perfectly matched creature to fight the potentially legendary Pokémon awaiting you at the end of the lair.

Only one player can swap out a caught Pokémon at a time, so as a team you have to decide who takes any caught creatures as you move through the Max Lair.

A screen detailing caught Pokémon
You can keep only one caught Pokémon at the end
Image: Nintendo/Gamefreak, The Pokémon Company via Polygon

At the end of the Dynamax Adventure, you have the opportunity to keep only one of the Pokémon you caught through your run. In most cases, you’ll likely want to keep the Pokémon you caught at the very end since there’s a chance it’ll be a very powerful or legendary creature. Keep in mind that you can only catch one of each Legendary Pokémon through Dynamax Adventures. If you keep Suicune, you won’t be able to catch another Suicune in the future.

Dynamax Adventures also reward Dynite Ore depending on your performance. You can trade in this currency with the vendor who is standing to the right of the Max Lair entrance with her Sableye.