An important part of any Pokémon playthrough is leveling up your team and taking on tougher and tougher opponents. There are a variety of ways to level up Pokémon in every game, with some being better than others. In each generation, new methods are introduced and older methods are expanded upon.
In Generation VIII, there are a ton of new methods for gaining experience points. Some are quick, some are long, but all will have your Pokémon in tip-top shape for the toughest battles in the game. Here are some of the ways you can level up your Pokémon with ease in Sword and Shield.
10 Battling Strong Wild Area Pokémon
The Wild Area is a new feature introduced in Sword and Shield. In it, you’ll find a ton of very strong and intimidating Pokémon wandering around the overworld. When battled, these are the toughest wild Pokémon you’ll probably face.
Some of these Pokémon will grant a ton of EXP when defeated, especially pseudo-legendaries like Tyranitar and Kommo-o. Other strong Pokémon that can be found in the Wild Area will drop lots of EXP as well, like Vanilluxe, Dusknoir, Klinklang, Gardevoir, and Roserade. Seek these out and take them down for a ton of easy EXP.
9 Traded Pokémon
This is often news to some players who don’t already know: Pokémon received in trades earn EXP at a much higher rate than Pokémon you’ve caught yourself. A Pokémon traded to you by another player will actually early experience points at a rate of 1.5 times something you caught.
If the Pokémon is from a player whose game is in another language, the rate goes up to an incredible 1.7 times. If you’re looking to level up a certain Pokémon and still need to catch it, consider finding someone to trade you one instead.
Starting in Generation VI, the Pokémon on your team will have an affection level. This can be increased with various methods, most notably by playing with them while camping and battling with them often. You can also catch them in a Friend Ball or Luxury Ball, or give them a Soothe Bell to hold.
A high affection level comes with numerous bonuses, including positive effects in battle like landing more critical hits. Most importantly, however, Pokémon with a high enough affection level will earn experience points at a higher rate.
New to the Pokémon world in Generation VIII is PokéJobs. These small tasks are a great way to boost your Pokémon’s EXP yield. After unlocking them, head to a PC in a Pokémon Center and select PokéJobs from the menu.
Here, you’ll find a list of available jobs. They’ll each ask for a specific type of Pokémon, and if you send that type, the Pokémon sent will receive more experience points. These are an easy, passive way to level up and cost nothing to complete.
6 Rare Candies
A staple item since the original generation, Rare Candies are a powerful tool for leveling up a Pokémon. When given to one of your team members, its level will raise by 1. They’re a little hard to come by, but worth looking for.
Luckily, these items can now be found in Max Raid Battles, making them more readily available than any previous generation. They’re probably the most straightforward way to level up a Pokémon, with the least effort involved. Since Generation III, they also increase friendship slightly.
Sword and Shield also introduced the camping mechanic. With it, you can spend some quality time with your team. During your time camping, you can play some small little games like fetch with your Pokémon. These games will increase their affection toward you while also providing EXP.
The most notable aspect of camping, though, is cooking curry. With hundreds of available curry recipes, there is a ton of different ways to go about making this dish. Pokémon seem to love it, and it’ll provide them with a ton of EXP.
4 Lucky Egg
Another staple item for leveling up Pokémon is the Lucky Egg. This item increases the EXP yield when held by a Pokémon to 150 percent. This can be a huge gain for a Pokémon that needs to level up, basically reducing the amount of battles you need to win by a significant amount.
The Lucky Egg can be found in Hullbury by completing a round of quests for a Seafood Restaurant. Inside the restaurant, the chef will give you some delivery quests to complete. After finishing the third one, you’ll be rewarded with this great item.
3 Game Freak Morimoto
Once a day, you can battle Game Freak Morimoto in Circhester City. Find him in the city’s hotel, where he’ll challenge you to a double battle. This can be repeated daily for a ton of EXP, since his Pokémon are very strong.
Be prepared to deal with his Dynamaxed Snorlax, which can be a hard one to take down. He also uses a Cursola, Coalossal, Dragapult, Stonjourner, and Grapploct. A Fairy- or Fighting-type Pokémon is useful for defeating him. As a bonus, he’ll give you an Oval Charm the first time you defeat him.
2 Championship Matches
After becoming Galar’s Champion, you can participate in the Champion’s Cup to defend your title as many times as you like. Like the first time, you’ll have to go through three rounds of battles. This time, however, you’ll be defending your title instead of earning it.
You can invite certain opponents to participate if you’re looking for an easy win (or a challenge). Milo, Nessa, Marnie, Hop, Leon, and many others can all be invited (some of them have to be unlocked by defeating them in the Battle Tower). There are about 15 other non-invite trainers that can participate as well.
1 EXP Candy
The most overpowered way to level up your Pokémon is arguably the EXP candies that were introduced in Sword and Shield. These are items earned at the end of a Max Raid Battle if you defeat the raid boss. They come in five sizes from XS to XL.
Each size of these candies will give a higher amount of EXP than the one below it, with XL candies giving a whopping 30,000 experience points. This can bring some level one Pokémon to level 31 with a single item. They’re by far the most efficient way of leveling up your team and can be earned in almost infinite amounts, so long as you participate in enough Max Raid Battles.
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