Today Nintendo lifted the veil on the first hour of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, allowing various media outlets and content creators to share their experiences with the new games. Several new details about Pokemon Sword and Shield have been shared, including the name of the player's starter town, Wedgehurst. But much has also been kept secret, including all of the new Pokemon players met. One really interesting new feature did get revealed, however. Players can now skip Pokemon Sword and Shield's Pokemon-catching tutorial.
During GameSpot's hands-on time with Pokemon Sword and Shield, it sounds like the feature was stumbled upon completely by accident. Experienced Pokemon players may recall that each game features a brief conversation with an NPC that involves guidance on how to throw a PokeBall, how to catch a Pokemon. Given that there are a lot of Pokemon-catching veterans, this tutorial can be somewhat of a time-waster. Players can reportedly skip this tutorial now by, intuitively, displaying their familiarity with catching Pokemon.
According to GameSpot's description, after choosing their Pokemon they're tasked with returning to their mother's house. Mom will give the player some cash and PokeBalls before sending the player on their journey. Here's where the clever skip comes into play. If the player doesn't catch any Pokemon between Mom's house and their destination, they'll apparently be given the tutorial from NPC Leon, the Galar Champion. However, if the player does catch Pokemon during this trip, Leon will acknowledge the player's familiarity with Pokemon-catching and skip the tutorial.
Compared to previous Pokemon games, this introductory sequence in Pokemon Sword and Shield is said to be rather quick. Due in part to intuitive tutorializing like the example provided, as well as what sounds like a surprisingly streamlined opening sequence, players are pushed into exploring and catching Pokemon as fast as ever.
It will interesting to see if Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield include further intuitive tutorial-skipping features beyond just for catching Pokemon. Pokemon games are typically filled with small tutorials teaching players how virtually every feature works, from how Pokemon gyms are structured to how to buy new clothes. If players are able to skip these short tutorials just by showing familiarity with them, it should make for a much faster and enjoyable experience for veterans.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield release November 15 exclusively on Nintendo Switch.