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How to Get the Pokémon Sword and Shield Isle of Armor DLC for Free

I know what you‘re thinking – the Isle of Armor DLC for Pokémon Sword and Shield looks amazing, but you don‘t want to fork out $30 for the Expansion Pass. You want all that new content – the island trials, returning Pokémon, and Legendary Urshifu – for free. I totally get it. But is it actually possible to get the Isle of Armor without paying?

Unfortunately, the hard truth is that there is no legitimate way to download the Isle of Armor expansion for free. Here‘s why:

Why You Have to Pay for Isle of Armor

The Isle of Armor DLC added a huge amount of new content to Pokémon Sword and Shield:

  • A brand new island area – the Isle of Armor itself
  • Over 100 returning Pokémon added back into the Galar Pokédex
  • New characters like Mustard, Avery, and Klara
  • The new Legendary Pokémon Kubfu that evolves into Urshifu
  • The Cram-o-matic to craft rare items out of unwanted ones
  • New regional forms like Galarian Slowbro
  • New Gigantamax forms like Venusaur, Blastoise, and Urshifu
  • Max Soup to give regular Pokémon Gigantamax forms
  • Exclusive TMs and Move Tutors

This was almost like getting a whole new Pokémon game added into Sword and Shield. Developing so much new content takes a huge amount of time, effort, and money on the part of Game Freak and The Pokémon Company.

As Isle of Armor added so much to the games, it‘s understandable that they charged $30 for access rather than giving it away for free. While it would be nice if it was free, the companies need to make back the costs of developing it somehow.

Breakdown of Isle of Armor‘s Sales Impact

To understand why Isle of Armor isn‘t free, let‘s look at some numbers:

  • Pokémon Sword and Shield have sold over 25.37 million copies worldwide as of September 2022.
  • The attach rate – or percentage of players who bought the Expansion Pass – is around 49% based on sales figures.
  • That means approximately 12.4 million Expansion Passes were sold.
  • At $29.99 each, that‘s revenue of $371.5 million from the Expansion Pass.

For context, that extra $371.5 million in revenue is almost as much as some entire video games make. So the Expansion Pass almost doubled the games‘ overall revenue.

Without the DLC sales, Pokémon Sword and Shield would have brought in around $845 million in revenue. But the Expansion Pass added a huge extra boost.

So from a business perspective, not charging for the DLC would have given up hundreds of millions in revenue – something no company would do!

Can You Get Isle of Armor Without Buying It?

Now you understand why Isle of Armor isn‘t free, you may be wondering if there are any legitimate ways to access it without paying yourself:

  • Game sharing – If someone you know has the Expansion Pass, you can access it on your Switch by setting theirs as the primary.
  • Borrowing – Borrow a physical or digital copy of the game with the Pass purchased.
  • Receiving – Have someone gift you a download code for the Expansion Pass.
  • Trading – Obtain exclusives like Kubfu, Urshifu, or new items through trading.

While these let you experience the DLC at no cost to yourself, they still require someone else to pay for the Expansion Pass.

There are no giveaways or free downloads from Nintendo. So getting permanent, full access to the Isle still requires purchasing it yourself. But the methods above are handy alternatives.

What About "Free" Download Codes Online?

You may have come across websites or videos offering free download codes for the Isle of Armor or Expansion Pass. But it‘s crucial to avoid these, as they are 100% illegal and fraudulent.

Here are the red flags indicating it‘s a scam:

  • Asks you to fill out surveys – This profits the scammers from your data and info.
  • Requires human verification – The final "verification" aims to trick you to sign up for offers.
  • Typos and poor grammar – These sites are hastily created and not professional.
  • Comments disabled on videos – Prevents people exposing the truth.
  • Too good to be true – Why would people give away $30 codes for free?

The "codes" on such sites do not actually work. The whole thing is designed to generate ad revenue, get your personal information, sign you up for subscriptions, or install malware on your device.

Stay away for the sake of your money, time, and privacy.

Should You Buy the Isle of Armor Expansion Pass?

Since getting the Isle for free isn‘t possible, you may be on the fence about whether buying it is worthwhile. Here are some key points to consider:

Pros of getting Isle of Armor

  • Massive amount of new content – new area, Pokémon, legendaries, items, gameplay etc.
  • Provides many extra hours of enjoyment from the games
  • Lets you obtain Urshifu, an incredibly strong new Pokémon
  • Makes completing the Pokédex much easier
  • Receiving a Kubfu is cool for collectors
  • Adds a lot more value to the Sword/Shield games

Potential cons

  • $30 may seem steep to some players
  • Some may not care for the Expansion Pass content
  • Completing the Isle isn‘t essential to finish Sword/Shield
  • You can trade for most exclusives if desperately wanted

Overall, I‘d strongly recommend getting the Expansion Pass if you enjoy Pokémon Sword/Shield. The Isle of Armor really enhances the games and provides so much extra content. But the choice is ultimately up to you!

In Summary

While we‘d all love to get the Isle for free, the reality is you need to buy the Expansion Pass to legally access it yourself. But I hope breaking down the sales figures gives perspective on why it isn‘t free. Game Freak put huge effort into developing the DLC, so charging for it makes business sense.

Avoid any offers of free downloads, as they are fraudulent. But game sharing, borrowing, trades, or gifts are legitimate alternatives if you‘re unable to purchase it. Overall, the Isle of Armor is a superb addition to Pokémon Sword and Shield, so I‘d say it‘s worth buying to get the most out of the games!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.