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Pokémon Sword and Shield is a dress-up game

There are more customization options than Pokémon in Sword and Shield

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My Pokemon Sword and Shield character and her Ninetails Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Let me be honest here: I may have spent more time customizing my character in Pokémon Sword and Shield than perfecting my Pokémon lineup. My mom — the in-game one — gave me a few hundred bucks at the start of the game. The first thing I did was buy clothes.

Sword and Shield has more than 400 Pokémon to catch, but it feels like there’s nearly the same number of customization options to hunt around for, too.

It’s the most extensive character customization system in a Pokémon game. Sword and Shield begins with a screen that allows players to choose a basic character model — skin tone, gender, and hair color. But once you begin the game, plenty more options open up. There are hundreds of different clothing options — shoes, socks, dresses, pants, glasses, and more — available to purchase from stores in the Galar region. There are salons where you can adjust makeup, hairstyle, eyebrows, and hair color. The only thing you can’t change after you start playing Pokémon is gender and skin tone; everything else can be changed as you play the game.

One Pokémon player, jkSam on Reddit, put together a spreadsheet that documents all the clothing items in Sword and Shield. Across the Galar region, you can pick up more than 1,000 items, split between the two gender options — there are 100 more clothing options for female characters. jkSam has labelled each of the clothing options by town, so if you’re looking for something specific, this will be a handy guide for shopping. It may also help you with budgeting. According to jkSam’s count, there’s ₱8,069,260 worth of clothing in Sword and Shield.

That’s not including stuff you can change at the salons around the Galar region, whether that’s changing eyebrow shape or hair color. Oh, and your eyes, too — do you want sparkling anime heart eyes? That’s a thing you can do. Do you want your eyes to match your cold, black heart? You can turn them into infinite voids, too.

All of these options, and the ability of show your character off via your League Card, means that there’s an art to creating the perfect character. I personally enjoy making an exact replica of myself in any game played; I spent an embarrassingly long time flying back and forth to shops and salons to get my character’s details just right. I knew I had it right when my husband glanced over at my Sword and Shield game and let out a sigh: Oh. You made you.

My Pokémon character in the Wild Area
She’s perfect
Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

There are others, of course, who want to create the worst possible option available. I’ve also seen tons of Marnie-styled goth girls. Sharply-dressed British trainers. Trainers who match their Pokémon. Trainers with statement hats. The options are endless, because as we all know, the real endgame is fashion.

After all, that’s when I had the most money left over to spend on the little details I needed to make my character complete: finding the perfect chunky platform Creepers I actually have in my closet and picking out the most suitable bag to store all my Poké Balls. Naturally, everything’s black except for my glasses — those are pink.

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