In the base version of Sword and Shield, the Wild Area is a vast landscape that occupies most of southern Galar, accessible after leaving the town of Wedgehurst. Unlike the traditional routes and dungeons, the Wild Area is open-world in design and players have more freedom to explore. The Wild Area itself is divided into multiple seamless zones and is home to a large variety of Pokémon.
The Wild Area makes a return in the Isle of Armor DLC, but with a twist. Whereas in the base game, the Wild Area was just one part of the game, the Isle of Armor is more or less one giant Wild Area. So there are no routes or dungeons in the traditional sense, but some zones fulfil the same role. Also, exploration is completely seamless, although there are buildings with loading zones.
Here are some features of the Wild Area:
Similar to real life, the weather in the Wild Area is ever-changing. At the start of each new day, the weather in each of the individual zones may change. Possible weather conditions include: Clear, Overcast, Rain, Thunder, Sunny, Sandstorm and Fog. The weather can affect battles and also the wild Pokémon that you encounter in that zone.
Every now and again, you may spot wild Pokémon roaming around the middle of nowhere, who seem different from the rest of the crowd. For instance, there could be a Lopunny hanging around by itself, overlooking the sea. These Pokémon are usually higher Level than others in the same zone and, depending on your progress, may be too high Level to catch. We call these “Strong Pokémon”.
Scattered all over the Wild Area are these odd, hexagonal rock structures on the ground or in the sea. Usually, they’re glowing orange and some of them may have an orange or, rarely, purple beam coming from within. These are Pokémon Dens, where extremely powerful Pokémon lurk. When there’s a beam present, you can challenge the Pokémon in a Max Raid Battle.
Similarly, you’re likely to find these cartoonish trees, with berries among their leaves. If you give them a good shake, you can obtain all sorts of useful berries–and also Apricorns that can be combined using the Cram-o-matic. But be wary, because if you shake them too much, you may get ambushed by a Pokémon! Each new day, it’ll be possible to shake the trees again.
When to Stop?
Getting annoyed with Pokémon interrupting your tree shaking, causing your items to be stolen? There’s actually an easy trick to know when to stop. After shaking a tree, pause for a few moments and feel the vibration of your controller.
If there are noticeable gaps in the vibration, you can continue shaking. But once the vibration becomes constant and stronger than before, that’s your cue to stop. Or if you have a Switch Lite without rumble, look at the leaves shaking instead–stop when the leaves are shaking without pause.