Pokemon Sword & Shield is finally here, marking a new generation of Pokemon on the Nintendo Switch for the first time ever. With so many changes to the game from handheld consoles to the Switch, you might be asking if Pokemon Sword & Shield is open world? We have the answers for you.
Is Pokemon Sword & Shield Open World? Answered
To put it simply, Pokemon Sword & Shield is not a fully open world in the same vein as Breath of The Wild or Horizon Zero Dawn.
However, there are many elements of the game that are open world adjacent and attempt to give the player a sense that the game is more open than its predecessors.
The design of the game remains very linear, much like the previous games in the franchise. All parts of the Galar region are connected via routes that can be traversed by the player to go where they like, however, there are various skill check blocks put in place to ensure that a player does not access an area before they are meant to.
What Parts Of Pokemon Sword & Shield Are Open World?
The open world aspects of Pokemon Sword & Shield remain limited to the newly introduced Wild Areas in the game. These are sectioned off areas of the map that allow the player full control of the camera and allow them to explore and catch Pokemon as they wish.
Although these areas can be classified as open world, they remain limited to certain sections of the game and thus, limit how “open” the game really is. Players are free to roam these areas as much as they like, but in order to progress the story and explore new areas, they must follow the linear story path that the game provides.
How Linear is Pokemon Sword & Shield?
Pokemon Sword & Shield is linear in the sense that there is a main path to follow that will progress the story. By ignoring or not completing the intended main path, the player will be limited as to how much they can do and where they can go.
By following the main story path, the player will unlock new open world Wild Areas that allow for more freedom, but without following the main story, they will be extremely limited.
Once a player gets to new areas, they have the ability to explore freely, but eventually, they will run into roadblocks that force them to either complete the next gym or story beat, or remain stuck in that current area.
Pokemon Sword & Shield is not fully open world, but contains certain open world elements such as the Wild Areas that give the player full camera control and allow for more exploration than its predecessors.
For more information regarding Pokemon Sword & Shield, be sure to check out or extensive Pokemon Sword & Shield Guide Wiki or read up on some of the other guides released so far: