Pokemon Sword & Shield players claim Crown Tundra DLC “breaks” the game

Brent Koepp
crown tundra npc pokemon

A Pokemon player went viral when they claimed to have discovered a way that The Crown Tundra DLC breaks Sword & Shield. According to users, the October 22 expansion “ruins” the base game.

[jwplayer kKdiGy6V]

In a first for the franchise, Game Freak chose to skip a third game for their eighth generation release Sword & Shield in favor of an Expansion Pass. And on October 22, the RPG got its second set of DLC: The Crown Tundra.

The new add-on brought over a handful of the series’ most popular Legendaries. However a week after its release, players are reporting that the new content’s design has a major flaw that is actually game-breaking.

rayquaza battle in pokemon crown tundra
Players can catch high level Pokemon like Rayquaza early on in Crown Tundra.

Pokemon Crown Tundra is reportedly breaking Sword & Shield

The discovery was made on October 24. Reddit user ‘FoxJ100’ explained how they discovered the issue after creating a second profile on their Switch, and then starting the game over from the beginning with a new Sword & Shield save file.

According to the Trainer, you can go to the Crown Tundra region at the start of a new game, and it even lets you  progress the DLC even if you get stomped on by Peony’s tutorial battle. Despite having no Pokemon, the fan was then able to play the Dynamax Adventures mode, which has a 100% catch rate for Legendaries.

After catching a level 65 Rotom in the mode, they were able to take it over to the base game of Sword & Shield. Another Redditor backed this up with a similar experience, and caught Gen II Legendary Suicune before using it to destroy the first Gym in Turffield.

While The Crown Tundra was clearly intended to be late-game content, its design accidentally overpowers new players. Users on the forum criticized the game design, such as one player who said, “Well, Game Freak has become progressively lazier and more intellectually barren, so…no surprise here.”

pokemon reddit comment
Some Pokemon fans were critical of Game Freak’s implementation of The Crown Tundra DLC.

Hilariously, another Trainer explained that they accidentally stumbled upon the Crown Tundra when starting a new game, and was confused by it: “I thought it was strange. I found the DLC areas after restarting the game from scratch… I have a level 64 cinderace before the first gym, lol. I am steam rolling my way past route 3 as I type this, haha.”

pokemon reddit comment
Sword & Shield players are blasting through the main game with the DLC “exploit.”

Interestingly, users in the thread also stated that the issue of the ‘mon disobeying is not being flagged. Since it’s not an “outside” monster obtained from another Trainer, the incredibly powerful characters can now be obtained at the start of the game.

Sword & Shield’s DLC not only expanded the Galar region’s map, it gave players a chance to catch the series’ most popular Legendaries. Despite its praise, fans are also claiming that the expansion’s design inadvertently breaks the main campaign. 

While it won’t impact those who have long beat the game, it is a weird quirk for newcomers. And as many pointed out, it now makes the level restrictions in the Wild Area seem ridiculous. A Pokemon can be “too powerful to catch” while a new player already has a level 70 Lugia.

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