Earlier this week, Game Informer had reported in its interview with Game Freak that Pokemon Sword/Shield would feature 18 gyms. This generated quite a bit of confusion amongst fans, regarding whether players would get to fight in all of them. Well, The Pokemon Company has finally stepped in to clear the air.
As it turns out, Game Freak’s comments were taken out of context by many. The Galar region does indeed feature 18 rotating gyms as part of its world – but only 8 gyms will actually be playable in either Sword or Shield’s main story. Of course, the 8 gyms in either version will still differ slightly (i.e. Bea’s Fighting gym in Sword, and Allister’s Ghost gym in Shield).
The exact statement from The Pokemon Company reads as follows:
In the Galar region, Pokémon Gym Battles are popular sporting events, and the 18 different types of Gyms that exist in Galar contribute to the background setting of the story in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. In each game, Trainers must collect eight Gym Badges to complete the Gym Challenge and earn the opportunity to participate in the Champion Cup.
Over the course of the main story, Trainers will challenge eight Gyms, which are all in the Major League. Which Gyms appear in the Major League and Minor League will differ between Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. For example, depending on the version of the game, Trainers will be able to challenge different Gym Leaders, such as Bea or Allister.
Each version will have eight Gyms and eight Gym Leaders that Trainers can battle for a traditional Gym Challenge experience that fans have enjoyed throughout the Pokémon video game series.
Hopefully this clears up things. We’ll report back when we hear more about Pokemon Sword/Shield. Stay tuned!