Nintendo's first official competition for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield has been announced. The "Galar Beginnings" competition will challenge Pokemon trainers to capture and train a team in a surprisingly quick amount of time, as registration will start at Pokemon Sword and Shield's launch and will close less than 3 weeks later. The only requirements are a copy of Pokemon Sword or Shield, a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and online access. And love for competitive Pokemon battling, of course.

Gala Beginnings, the first official Pokemon Sword and Shield competition, will begin on December 6 and will last through December 8. The battle format will be single Pokemon and players will be able to register between 3 and 6 of their captures to make up their Battle Team. All Pokemon will be temporarily leveled (or de-leveled, as necessary) to 50 for the duration of each match so as to make the competition fair. Note that certain special Pokemon will not be allowed, though the list of ineligible Pokemon hasn't been made available. Otherwise, all Pokemon found in Pokemon Sword and Shield are included.

Signing up for a competition is easier than ever in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Sign-ups will open on November 15, Pokemon Sword and Shield's launch day, and will last until December 5, the day before the competition begins. Players simply need to open the menu in-game and then select VS, go into Pokemon Sword and Shield's multiplayer Battle Stadium, and then Online Competitions. According to Nintendo, further details regarding competition regulations will be provided in the days and weeks ahead.

What is confirmed, at the very least, is that Pokemon Sword and Shield's biggest new feature, Dynamaxing, will be entirely allowed during the Galar Beginnings competition. Dynamaxing allows any Pokemon to change their form and grow enormous, an effect that only lasts 3 turns per battle. Dynamax being acceptable of course means that Gigantamaxing will also be allowed, for capable trainers able to capture the rare Pokemon that can Gigantamax in the first place.

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For those who love to battle Pokemon, online competitions are one of the best ways to up your experience level. They may not be as competitive as say, a real-life tournament, but they allow Pokemon players to pick up the game and compete against capable other players with the press of a button. And Pokemon Sword and Shield are making it easier than ever for new battlers to jump in, even removing the previously required Pokemon Global Link registration. There's no better way to become the very best.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield release November 15 exclusively on Nintendo Switch.