After a bit of delay, you can now register for the second of Pokemon Sword & Shield’s official online competitions. Called Galar Newcomers, the competition will only allow Pokemon new to the Galar region and Galarian forms of existing Pokemon, like Weezing. And like the previous online competition, Galar Beginnings, you’ll get 50 Battle Points just for participating, so there’s no reason not to sign up and give it a shot.
Registration for Galar Newcomers will stay open until Thursday, January 23 at 3:59 PM PT / 6:59 PM ET, and then the battles themselves will take place from January 23 at 4 PM PT / 7 PM ET to January 26 at 3:59 PM PT / 6:59 PM ET. This is a slight change from the dates and times that were initially announced; the competition was first slated for January 30, and registration was supposed to be open for several days before it finally did go live at 10 PM PT on January 15.
To sign up:
- Open up the menu in either Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield
- Select VS to go to the Victory Station menu
- Select Battle Stadium (this will connect you to the internet)
- Select Online Competitions
- Select Search Official Competitions
From there, you’ll be guided through the registration process. Note that you need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to participate.
To get the reward of 50 Battle Points–a very valuable currency used to purchase all sorts of battle-related items–you only have to battle once during the competition window. Win or lose, you’ll get the BP just for participating. That’s a huge chunk of BP to get all at once, so don’t miss the opportunity.
Unlike Galar Beginnings, which used the single battle format, Galar Newcomers will be fought in double battles. All Pokemon will be auto-leveled to 50, and Legendary Pokemon, including Zacian and Zamazenta, will not be allowed. However, Gigantamax will be allowed. You can battle a maximum of 15 times per day that the competition is active.
To get prepared, make sure you get the current free gift of 40 total Battle Points and try catching some Gigantamax Pokemon. Right now, Pokemon Sword players have a greater chance of encountering Gigantamax Coalossal and Gigantamax Flapple in Max Raids, while Pokemon Shield players can find Gigantamax Lapras and Gigantamax Appletun. Both games are also seeing an increase in Gigantamax Alcremie, which looks like a giant cake. All but Lapras are eligible for Galar Newcomers, so now’s as good a time as ever to Raid. For tips, see our Max Raid guide.
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