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Pokémon: Sword & Shield

Breeding Basics

Ben Chard
Vincent Lau

Pokémon breeding can be very simple or very complicated depending on what you want to achieve. Firstly, breeding lets you create more of the same Pokémon. Handy if you want to share your starter Pokémon or version-exclusive Pokémon with other people. Secondly, it can be used to create truly exceptional Pokémon.

How it Works

No matter the weather, the Pokémon Nursery is here for all you Pokémon Breeders!

Breeding can be done once you reach the Pokémon Nursery found in Route 3 or the one in Bridge Field, within the Wild Area. They both function the same, so use either (or both). When you speak to the nursery worker, you can leave up to two Pokémon in the nursery’s care, at the cost of 500 Poké Dollars per Pokémon.

These two Pokémon will breed if the following critera are met:

  1. Both Pokémon are capable of breeding. This might seem obvious, but some Pokémon cannot breed, full stop. This includes virtually all Legendary Pokémon, as well as baby Pokémon (like "Toxel" IconToxel or "Togepi" IconTogepi).

  2. One of the Pokémon is male and the other is female. There is a valuable loophole: "Ditto" IconDitto, the Pokémon, can be substituted for any male or female Pokémon. However, you cannot breed two Ditto together.

  3. The two Pokémon belong to compatible egg groups. This one’s a bit harder to figure out. Every Pokémon belongs to one or more egg groups–and they can only breed with Pokémon from the same group(s). Eg. "Grookey" IconGrookey is in the “Field” and “Grass” groups.

Pokémon Eggs

(1 of 2) Make sure not to press the B Button or you’ll lose your egg forever!

Make sure not to press the B Button or you’ll lose your egg forever! (left), By default, eggs will be sent to your party. Otherwise, they’ll go in your boxes. (right)

After dropping off your Pokémon, run around for a while. Eventually, if you speak to the nursery owner again (when she’s got her hand on her chin), she’ll ask if you want to receive a Pokémon Egg from her. Answer “yes”, unless you’ve changed your mind.

To increase the rate of getting eggs, you can breed two Pokémon of the same species and/or Pokémon with different trainer ID numbers. You can also obtain the Oval Charm from Morimoto in the hotel in Circhester after beating the game.

Once you’ve got an egg, simply keep it in your party and travel around. After a certain number of steps–the number of which depends on the Pokémon species–the egg will hatch. You can speed up the process if you have a party Pokémon with Flame Body, Magma Armor or Steam Engine.


When breeding with a Ditto, the offspring will always be the non-Ditto species. Which begs the question: how do Ditto spawn?

The Pokémon that hatches from the egg will have the following properties:

  1. It will be the same species as the female, but unevolved (or the male, if you bred it with a Ditto). Note that some Pokémon may require a specific Incense item to be held, in order to hatch the unevolved form.

  2. By default, it will have a completely random Nature, just like a Pokémon met in the wild. However, if one of the parents is holding an Everstone item, the child will inherit that parent’s Nature 100% of the time.

  3. There’s a 60% chance it will have the female’s Ability (or the male’s, if you bred it with a Ditto). This is also true for Hidden Abilities. The other 40% of the time, it will have one of its normally available Abilities (with a 20/20 split if it has two).

  4. Certain moves that the parents have, which the child cannot learn by leveling up, may be inherited–these are called Egg Moves. Brilliant Pokémon or Pokémon from raids may also have Egg Moves. Moves currently shared by both parents may be inherited as well.

  5. A total of 3 IVs will be inherited from the parents. Which stats and which parent to inherit from are randomly assigned. If one of the parents is holding a Destiny Knot item, a total of 5 IVs will be inherited instead! The remaining IV(s) will be random.

  6. Lastly, the child will inherit the Poké Ball that the parents were caught with. If the parents have different balls, the chance will be split 50/50. If Ditto is a parent, it will be in the non-Ditto parent’s ball. Master and Cherish Balls will not pass down.

What is not affected by breeding:

  1. Shininess (but any hatched Pokémon has the potential to be shiny).

  2. The ability to Gigantamax.

  3. TMs and TRs learned by the parents.

  4. The parents’ EVs.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    15 November 2019
  • Last Updated
    21 March 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Pokémon: Sword and Shield, the latest entries in the Pokémon video game franchise. Our guide also incorporates all the DLC, including the Isle of Armor and brand new Crown Tundra DLC.

In Sword and Shield, you explore the Galar region, based on the United Kingdom, alongside rivals Hop, Bede and Marnie, with the aim to dethrone the Pokémon League Champion.

The games introduce several new features such as Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, functions that increase size and change forms of certain Pokémon; the Wild Area, a large open world with free camera movement; and raids with co-op battling. They also reintroduce features previously seen in Sun and Moon and Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, such as regional variants and roaming Pokémon depicted in the overworld.

Brand New October 2020:

Version 1.2

  • A Complete Walkthrough of the Isle of Armor.
  • Details of all 16 new Wild Areas, including Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All the new Max Raid Dens: Locations and Featured Pokémon.
  • Images and Locations of All 150 of the Missing Diglett.
  • The Isle of Armor Pokédex (featuring 100 Returning Pokémon).
  • Recipes for the Cram-o-matic.
  • A Full Walkthrough featuring Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All Gym Encounters and Strategies.
  • New Items: Mints & Natures Explained.
  • Post Game content including Champion Cup.
  • Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing.
  • The Galar Region Pokédex (featuring 400 Pokemon).

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