In the first hour of Pokémon Sword and Shield, you’ll find yourself exploring the Slumbering Weald. In this mysterious forest you will find a Pokémon identified only as ???.
You won’t be able to harm it, you won’t be able to catch it, and you won’t even be able to escape from this strange encounter. Some Pokémon rarities are definitely afoot…
Be careful: this guide contains spoilers for the Pokémon Sword and Shield story. The first section of this guide covers the opening hour of both games, while the second section focuses on the end of the story.
Read at your own risk!
In this page:
Your first meeting with ??? in Pokémon Sword and Shield explained
You will first enter Slumbering Weald after receiving your starter Pokémon. It turns out that a Wooloo has broken down the door to Weald, and while you shouldn’t go in, you can’t let a Pokémon get hurt.
Your friend Hop will accompany you to the Slumbering Weald.
As you explore the Slumbering Weald, the fog that fills the forest will grow thicker and thicker, until you and Hop find yourself completely lost.
Is it at this time that the mysterious??? Pokémon will appear from the fog.
You will instantly enter a Pokémon battle with ???. Your attacks, however, will not deal any damage. You cannot attack him or flee from the encounter either.
All you can do is uselessly attack ???, while he stares at you, eventually the fog will become denser and ??? will disappear.
You will wake up the ground, with ??? out of sight. When Hop tells Leon, the Champion of Galar, he comments that he believes the strong Pokémon in Slumbering Weld are illusions.
So that’s all ??? – a simple illusion. No wonder your Pokémon can’t deal any damage.
Or it is although…
Now that it’s finally available, here’s how to start the Crown Tundra DLC and our full Pokémon Crown Tundra walkthrough. Also, here’s how to capture Calyrex, Glastrier and Spectrier, Regieleki and Regidrago puzzle solution and Regirock, Regice and Registeel locations, details on how to capture the legendary birds Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres in Crown Tundra, the adventure Ultra Beasts and Necrozma. Dynamax Adventures, including the legends you can see in these adventures, and the new Crown Tundra Pokédex and returning Pokémon explained. For Isle of Armor players, here’s how to find Slowpoke, where to find Max Mushroom locations, and how to get Kubfu, become best friends, and evolve it, plus all the Diglett locations too! For the base game, here’s information on the ability to transfer Pokémon to Pokémon Home, the Wild Area, lists of all TM and TR locations, all forms of Galar, and finally, our main Pokémon Sword and Shield walkthrough for whole set.
What really is the??? Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield?
In this your final spoiler warning; If you don’t want this Pokémon mystery solved, don’t read on.
It is not difficult to know that the ??? The Pokémon you enter in Slumbering Weald are a less powerful form of the legendary Pokémon assigned to your version of the game.
??? It will be Zacian if you are playing Pokémon Sword and Zamazenta if you are playing Pokémon Sword.
Will you meet him??? illusion again when you return to the Slumbering Weald in an attempt to stop the Darkest Day.
When you and Hop fight Eternatus, both Zacain and Zamazenta will appear to fight alongside you and will disappear once the battle is complete.
If you want to capture Zacain or Zamazenta, you will need to return to Slumbering Weald after completing the game’s main story for the post-game chapter.