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Is Pokémon DLC Free? Here‘s the Full Scoop on the Expansion Pass

Hey Pokémon pal! If you‘re like me, you‘ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to continue your adventure in the Galar region with some brand new content. And what better way to do that than with the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass DLC!

But before you grab your Switch and dive in, you might be wondering – is this highly anticipated additional content free? Let‘s take a deep dive and find out!

The Short Answer: Unfortunately, No

I‘ll get right to it – the Pokémon Expansion Pass and all its extra content are premium additions that must be purchased separately. There is no way to get the DLC packs for free.

The Expansion Pass costs $29.99 for EITHER Pokémon Sword or Shield. So if you want it for both games, you‘ll need to buy the pass twice at $59.98 total. Trust me though, every penny is worth it for true fans!

Now I know what you may be thinking: "That‘s a bummer! Can‘t I just trade or borrow to get those new Pokémon?" Don‘t worry, we‘ll cover all your options. But first, let‘s take a closer look at what this DLC actually offers.

Introducing the Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass

The Expansion Pass bundles up two HUGE DLC packs jam-packed with brand new content:

The Isle of Armor

  • Over 100 previously unavailable Pokémon
  • New island area with unique biomes to explore
  • Fresh story content and new rivals
  • Special training to learn new moves and abilities
  • New clothing items and other customizations

The Crown Tundra

  • 100+ more returning Pokémon, including Legendaries!
  • Wintery wild area with mountains, caves, and icy environments
  • Legendary Dynamax Pokémon to battle in Max Raid Dens
  • Galarian Star Tournament to take on gym leaders
  • An exciting adventure uncovering legendaries‘ secrets

I don‘t know about you, but after reading that I‘m even more excited to get my hands on these expansions! The Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra sound like they double the fun and content from the already massive base game.

And for only $30, it‘s a crazy good value compared to past Pokémon DLCs. Add them both up and you‘re looking at over 200 previously uncatchable Pokémon, tons of new lands and stories, and even more customization options!

Alternatives for Getting DLC Pokémon Without Paying

Now I get it – not everyone has the ability to drop $30 or $60 to score this amazing extra content. But that doesn‘t mean you have to miss out on all the new Pokémon! Here are some options:

Trading: If you have friends who purchased the Pass, trade with them! This allows you to obtain DLC-exclusive Pokémon.

Pokémon Home Transfers: Any Pokémon from past games can be brought into Sword/Shield via Pokémon Home. So if you caught some new additions already, transfer them over!

Max Raid Battles: Join raids hosted by Expansion Pass owners and you may have the chance to catch featured Pokémon!

However, you‘ll only be getting a handful of Pokémon this way. You‘ll miss out on the massive new areas, stories, features, and most of the returning Pokémon without buying the DLC. But it‘s definitely better than nothing if money is tight!

Accessing Paid DLC Content In-Game

Alright, let‘s say you took the plunge and bought the Expansion Pass for Pokémon Sword or Shield. Here‘s a quick guide on how to access all that glorious DLC content:

  1. Make sure the eShop purchase and DLC downloads have finished.

  2. Boot up Pokémon Sword/Shield and head to the train station in Wedgehurst.

  3. Speak to the new NPC character right next to the turnstiles.

  4. Choose which expansion area you want to visit first, Isle of Armor or Crown Tundra.

  5. Board the train and enjoy the ride to your new Galar adventures!

It really is that quick and seamless. The DLC integrates directly into the base game, so you can come and go between old and new areas at your leisure. Now let‘s do a deep dive on what each expansion pack provides.

Breaking Down Each DLC: Isle of Armor vs. Crown Tundra

There‘s a passionate debate amongst Pokémon fans – which expansion offers the better experience, Isle of Armor or Crown Tundra? Both have unique locations and features that make them compelling additions to the Galar story. But in my opinion, Crown Tundra edges out Isle of Armor.

The Isle of Armor: Growth Through Training

The Isle of Armor focuses on strengthening your Pokémon through specialized training programs. Here‘s what you can expect:

  • A brand new island area called the Isle of Armor, featuring unusual biomes like marshlands. It‘s teeming with Pokémon!
  • Over 100 previously unavailable Pokémon from past generations now catchable
  • New moves and abilities that can be taught to your Pokémon
  • Fun story content involving training under Mustard and challenging rivals
  • Towers of Two Fists – Take on this challenge location for rewards
  • New clothing items, hairstyles, and other character customizations

Overall this expansion is perfect for players who want more trainer customization and options for their Pokémon. I loved exploring the unique biomes and training up my Pokémon with new moves!

The Crown Tundra: Legendary Adventures in the Frozen Wilds

This expansion sends you to frigid new environments filled with Legendary Pokémon encounters. It includes:

  • Over 100 more previously uncatchable Pokémon added from past games
  • A snow-covered wilderness area called the Crown Tundra with mountains, caves, and frozen lakes
  • Exciting Dynamax Adventure raids battling Legendary Dynamax Pokémon
  • The Legendary Titans Regirock, Regice, and Registeel to awaken and catch
  • Galarian Star Tournament – Take on all gym leaders in intense battles
  • Uncovering the secrets of Legendary Pokémon through an engaging story

With its Legendary Pokémon battles, tournaments, and exploration mysteries, Crown Tundra feels more story-driven and memorable. I especially loved the Dynamax Adventure raids!

Weighing the Value: Is the Pokémon Expansion Pass Worth it?

In my opinion as a longtime Pokémon fan, the Expansion Pass is an absolute steal and totally worth the price. Here‘s a quick value breakdown:

  • $29.99 USD seems very fair when you consider the size and quality of both DLC packs
  • Earlier Pokémon DLCs like Ultra Sun/Moon were $20 for less content
  • Game Freak could have chopped up tiny updates as microtransactions, but instead delivered huge meaningful expansions
  • You get over 200 previously unobtainable Pokémon combined – catching them all is a massive undertaking!
  • Tons of new lands, stories, features, clothing, and other content additions
  • At least 20-30 hours of fresh Pokémon gameplay – all for under $30!

To me, this feels like one of the most generous and worthwhile DLC options in all of gaming. The Expansion Pass practically doubles the content while keeping that Pokémon charm we know and love!

Casual players can probably skip it. But for devoted Pokémon masters, the Expansion Pass is a must-have that elevates Sword and Shield to new heights.

Will Scarlet and Violet Continue the Trend?

Looking ahead, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are set to release Holiday 2022 on Nintendo Switch. As the first open world Pokémon games, they already look incredibly ambitious! But if tradition holds, Scarlet and Violet will also eventually receive paid DLC expansions.

Based on pricing for previous Pokémon DLC, we can expect 2-3 major expansions in the $30-$40 range. These could potentially add exciting new cities, regions, storylines, legendary encounters, Pokémon varieties, and online components!

I‘m hopeful Game Freak takes all they learned from the Sword/Shield Expansion Pass and makes the Scarlet/Violet DLC even bigger and better. The open world format lends itself perfectly to major content additions. As much as I‘m anticipating Scarlet/Violet already, quality DLC down the road would take these games to the next level!

The Verdict: An Absolute Must-Buy for Dedicated Pokémon Fans!

Alright friend, let‘s recap. The Pokémon Expansion Pass costs $29.99 for either Pokémon Sword or Shield. It bundles up two giant DLCs – Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra – which add tons of new lands, Pokémon, stories, battles, and adventure!

While not free, the Expansion Pass offers incredible value compared to previous Pokémon DLCs. If you‘re a devoted Pokémon master eager for more regions to explore, Pokémon to catch, and training to conquer, then I couldn‘t recommend this DLC strongly enough.

More casual players can safely pass on it. But if you‘re invested in the Pokémon universe and crave even more after finishing Sword/Shield, then the Expansion Pass is an absolute must-buy! Trust me, you won‘t regret it.

Now if you‘ll excuse me, I need to grab my Switch – I suddenly have an urge to visit the Crown Tundra and battle some Legendary Dynamax Pokémon! Let me know if you have any other Pokémon DLC questions. But for now, it‘s time for more adventures!



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