Like all the best RPGs, the Pokémon series is alive with a wide range of NPCs. Granted, some of them will just repeat that same line of useless dialogue over and over, but a lot of them have a crucial purpose. From the merchants to the mighty Gym Leaders themselves, where would the adventure be without these people?
The franchise also makes a point of giving more obscure NPCs unique jobs and functionality, which the player may not even know they can do. With the Isle of Armor expansion, there are more of these characters than ever. Interestingly, though, some crucial NPCs like the Move Relearner are now easier to find than before. Let’s take a look at where he is, as well as the location of other important characters you’ll want to meet.
10 The Move Relearner: Coming To A Pokémon Center Near You
Previously, dealing with the Move Relearner could be a real chore. When you had a Pokémon that had mistakenly forgotten a move or you just didn’t have access to a certain move before, you’d have to find yourself a rare Heart Scale and take it to that one specific person who could help.
Now, that most crucial of move tutors, the Move Relearner, sits right there on the left of every Pokémon Center. These helpful gents not only offer their services for free, but they can change Pokémon nicknames and check Pokémon memories too. A huge quality of life change.
9 Nursery Worker: Twice The Egg-Hatching Fun
If you’re a competitive battler, you’ve almost certainly hatched your share of Pokémon eggs. Breeding these critters can be a complicated business, but it’s really the only way to build your serious battling team in-game.
As such, you’ll want to be sure to visit the Daycare Center. There are two in Pokémon Sword & Shield: one on Route 5 and the other in the Wild Area, between Motostoke and Hammerlocke. Though Bottle Caps and such have made certain things much easier, the classic breeding process is largely unchanged in Generation VIII and the Nursery Worker will probably be the most crucial NPC you’ll visit in the game.
8 Other Important Move Tutors: Travel Across The Land, Searching Far And Wide
Invaluable as the Move Relearner will surely be, he’s not the only NPC who can teach the player's Pokémon vital moves. Later in the game, tutors who can teach truly devastating and unique moves to specific Pokémon will become available.
For the tutor who can teach your Dragon-types the ever-destructive Draco Meteor, you’ll need to travel to Circhester City and speak to the man in the cap by the hot springs. To learn Fire Pledge, Grass Pledge or Water Pledge (available only to starters with the highest Friendship), you’ll need to speak to the distinctive NPC on a small platform down a flight of steps in Hammerlocke. Finally, for Blast Burn, Frenzy Plant and Hydro Cannon (much more useful than before thanks to the Dynamax mechanic, though only fully-evolved starters can learn them), the man in the cap standing in the grassy area in Wyndon is the tutor.
7 The Watt Traders: Don’t Go Wild Trying To Find Them
The Watt Traders can be a tricky bunch. If you’ve played a lot of Max Raid Battles, you’ll probably have accrued quite a lot of Watts. While these traders have some excellent items to exchange for them, including TRs and rare Poké Balls, you never quite know what they’ll have in stock.
These traders have a rotating stock, meaning that you may have to check between several of them or wait until the next day to get the specific item you’re looking for. You’ll also have to find them (these handy maps from GamesRadar will help with that), because they’re spread across the Wild Area.
6 The NPC Who Allows Certain Imported Pokémon To Compete In Ranked Battles: He IS The Law
The advent of Pokémon Home added a wide range of critters to the mix in Sword & Shield. Among them are competitive powerhouses such as Terrakion, as well as the rest of the Swords of Justice. The dilemma was, these Pokémon wouldn’t have been eligible for competitive play, so a workaround was needed.
On entering Wyndon’s Battle Tower in the post-game, you’ll find a new NPC right by the entrance to the arena. Speaking to him and showing him an applicable Pokémon will see him give them a mark in the status screen (such as the one that proves a Pokémon was born in Galar), which will mean they can compete. Note that Mythical Pokémon still can’t (in doubles), but you’ll be able to bust out that tiresome Beat Up strategy with your Swords of Justice like everybody else.
5 The Hyper Trainer: Get Hyped At The Battle Tower
As previously stated, the breeding process has been refined a bit in recent generations. Bottle Caps allow the player to instantly max out the IVs of a Pokémon (one stat each, or a Gold Bottle Cap to max them all out at once), providing that ‘mon is at level 100. How? By taking them to the Hyper Trainer, that’s how.
In Sword & Shield, this super enthusiastic guy is behind the desk at the Battle Tower, over on the right. While you’re here, you’ll also want to talk to the rest of the people at the desks, who offer vital competitive items (Nature Mints among them) for BP.
4 The EV Remover: More Like The Anti-Workout Sea, Really
At one point or another, a player is bound to gain a few unwanted EVs somewhere in the training process or miscalculate something and get their spread a bit wrong. Is it a cumbersome process to remove EVs? Well, it could be, but the Isle of Armor has added another vital NPC.
Cycle down from the Master Dojo into the Workout Sea and you’ll come across a series of small islands. On one of them stands the EV remover. For the cost of 10 Armorite Ore (which is quite a steep price), she will remove all EVs that Pokémon has gained. Very useful to keep in mind.
3 The Digging Duo, Digging Ma & Digging Pa: You’ll Dig These Wild Area NPCs
With Watts being the big new in-game currency of Sword & Shield, Game Freak wanted to push their importance. The Digging Duo also have a huge role to play. These brothers are located outside the Wild Area Nursery, and charge 500 Watts for their services: digging for various items, from evolution stones to fossils.
With the Isle of Armor came Digging Pa (always located right outside Warm-Up Tunnel’s entrance) and Digging Ma (found randomly across the island). Digging Pa will dig for Watts in exchange for 7 pieces of Armorite Ore, while Digging Ma will charge one piece of Armorite Ore for a chance to dig up more of this new Isle of Armor commodity.
2 Ball Guy: The Best Poké Balls In (Just About Every) Town
Sword & Shield features a lot of new fan-favorite NPCs, such as Marnie and Gym Leader Nessa. Of them all, though, few have struck a chord in quite the same way as Ball Guy has.
This mysterious character crops up many times throughout the game, generally at or in the vicinity of the various gym challenges. He can hardly be missed, and it’s always worth chatting with him: he’ll give the player a different Poké Ball (just one) in each new encounter with him.
1 Hyde: Don't Let Him Hyde Away In The Master Dojo
Hyde is the creator of many useful gadgets, including the Exp. Charm he gives you when you first meet at the Master Dojo. His greatest innovation is the Cram-o-Matic, a device that takes in a combination of four inventory items and spits out something new.
There’s a dizzying number of possible outcomes, but here’s a tip: Hyde sits at the desk next to the machine (in the room to the right in the Master Dojo). If you give him 100 Watts, he’ll give you a four-item recipe (one Iapapa Berry and three Dynamax Candies will give you a Wide Lens, for instance). This eliminates a lot of guesswork.
The student who acquired the drive has been given a life sentence and others who watched it will do five years hard labor.