As expected, Pokémon Sword and Shield DLC (downloadable content) has been announced during the January Pokémon Direct presentation. Here’s what you need to know about the Expansion Pass including release date, price and all the new content it brings.

You can watch the official Expansion Pass trailer above and we've got all the details for the DLC below.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass release date

The Sword and Shield DLC pack is split into two parts, which will be released on the Nintendo Switch cover the course of 2020.

Part 1 is called The Isle of Armor, which will arrive by the end of June 2020. Then Part 2 is The Crown Tundra and will be released ‘Fall 2020’, or autumn for us Brits, placing it around September/October.

There will also be free updates so new content is on the way even if you don’t buy the Expansion pass. The first is available today, 9 Jan, and adds either Klara or Avery depending on which version you have along with Galarian Slowpoke - head to Wedgehurst Station once you’ve installed the update.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass release date

Free updates will coincide with the The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra adding over 100 new Pokémon each time. However, you will only be able to get them in the base game via trading if you don’t get the Expansion Pass.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass price

Viewers watching the Pokémon Direct presentation were clearly confused about the price of the Sword and Shield Expansion Pass going by the chat window, with many thinking each new section required a separate purchase.

However, the Expansion Pass is a single price and includes both releases. In the UK it’s £26.99 and the US price is $29.99 - you can pre-order it now.

If you do pre-order, you’ll get a Pikachu Uniform and an Eevee Uniform.

The Isle of Armor

Arriving first is The Isle of Armor and unlike previous expansions of existing games like Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, you’ll be able to jump into this with your existing saved game data. It’s essentially an add-on area of the Galar region where you’ll find new places to explore, newly discoverable Pokémon, clothing items, handy features and more.

You can head here even if you haven’t completed the base game, the only requirement is that you’ve reached the Wild Area.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass The Isle of Armor

“The Isle of Armor is a giant island full of environments not seen in Galar before. There players will find wave-swept beaches, forests, bogs, caves, and sand dunes. There are also plenty of Pokémon that make this island their home, living freely amid the lush natural surroundings. There’s even a dojo here that specializes in some very particular training styles. Trainers and their Pokémon will take up an apprenticeship under the master of this dojo and train hard to become even stronger,” said The Pokémon Company.

A man called Mustard will appear in The Isle of Armor and will be responsible for the player’s training. A legendary trainer who was Champion for 18 years, before Dynamaxing was a thing.

You’ll also face Klara (Sword) and Avery (Shield) who are trainers of Poison-type Pokémon and Psychic-type Pokémon respectively. They hope to have their own gym.

The Crown Tundra

As per Part 1, The Crown Tundra will be a totally new area to explore with new people to meet, new Pokémon and the other usual bits and pieces.

“The Crown Tundra features a beautiful shining, silvery landscape. In this frigid area, with its jagged winter mountains, people live in small communities where they support and rely on one another. A certain person will appoint the player as the leader of their exploration team in the Crown Tundra, where Trainers will be tasked with investigating the reaches of this frozen land. Here, Trainers will be able to explore the full depth of Pokémon Dens, which they’ve so far only been able to glimpse in Max Raid Battles,” said The Pokémon Company.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass The Crown Tundra

New Pokémon

As you might expect, the Expansion Pass will see new Pokémon added to the Galar region. Ones you’ve never seen before alongside many old favourites that weren’t in the base game.

As mentioned earlier, you can get them in the free update but only via trade. Players will also be able to bring over past Pokémon to their games from the cloud service Pokémon Home, which is set to launch in February 2020.

In The Isle of Armor, Kubfu will make an appearance, a fighting Pokémon who can then evolve into either Urshifu (dark/single strike style) or Urshifu (water/rapid strike style). They also have Gigantamax forms.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass Kubfu

Calyrex will be found in The Crown Tundra, a Pokémon that ruled all of Galar in ancient times.

“Though it appears delicate and slight, its every move is filled with grace and dignity. It also has extremely high intelligence, and it’s said to see every past, present, and future event.”

This is a ‘King Pokémon’ who is grass/psychic type and we’re keen to find out more.

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass Calyrex

Gigantamax starters

Although we’re looking forward to Gigantamax Urshifu, the three Sword and Shield starters in final evolution form - Rillaboom, Cinderace and Inteleon - will get Gigantamax forms in the Expansion Pass.

Gigantamax Rillaboom

  • Category: Drummer Pokémon
  • Type: Grass
  • Height: 91'10"+
  • Weight: ??? lbs.
  • Ability: Overgrow

Gigantamax Cinderace

  • Category: Striker Pokémon
  • Type: Fire
  • Height: 88'7"+
  • Weight: ??? lbs.
  • Ability: Blaze

Gigantamax Inteleon

  • Category: Secret Agent Pokémon
  • Type: Water
  • Height: 131'3"+
  • Weight: ??? lbs.
  • Ability: Torrent

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass Gigantamax Rillaboom