Post-launch plans for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are already in place, as confirmed by several announcements made by Game Freak and Nintendo on Wednesday morning. One particularly big event, so to speak, will help Pokemon trainers acquire some of Pokemon Sword and Shield's most exciting new Pokemon. According to the announcement, players will be much more likely to encounter Gigantamax Pokemon within the games' Galar region for a limited time after the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Details regarding exactly how Game Freak will be increasing the encounter rate for Gigantamax Pokemon isn't clear, but some assumptions can be made. Up until now there's only one known way to catch Gigantamax Pokemon, and that's through Pokemon Sword and Shield's Max Raid Battles. Max Raid Battles are found in the Galar region's Wild Area — locations that shoot a spotlight into the air so they can be seen from a distance. These Max Raid Battles require multiple players to defeat, making them some of Pokemon Sword and Shield's hardest content.

It seems likely then that Game Freak will be increasing the rate that these Max Raid Battles spawn in Pokemon Sword and Shield for the duration of the event. It's possible these encounters could be made easier, or there could be some other change that increases the rate Pokemon trainers catch Gigantamax Pokemon. However, increasing the Max Raid Battle spawns makes the most sense.

Pokemon trainers looking to capitalize on Game Freak's special launch event for Gigantamax Pokemon don't need to stress over it or rush, though. According to Game Freak, the increased Gigantamax encounter rate will last from launch, November 15, through January 2020. That's a solid month and a half to catch as many Gigantamax Pokemon as possible, and considering it's during winter break for many Pokemon trainers, it's easy to imagine a lot of Gigantamax Pokemon being caught during this time frame.

Pokemon Sword and Shield players will be able to take those early Gigantamax Pokemon catches and put them to use right away. In addition to the increased Gigantamax encounter rate at launch, Game Freak also announced Pokemon Sword and Shield's first competition. Gigantamax Pokemon will be allowed to compete for players, which could provide the strategic edge a trainer needs to pull off a victory and come ahead in the competition.

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