Now that the expansion pass is complete, the Pokemon Sword & Shield Isle of Armor DLC represents the first of two major content patches for the mega-popular 2019 release. Whether you’re just now starting your adventure or missed a quirky little feature like the Restricted Sparring the first time around, here’s how to unlock every new feature in the Isle of Armor expansion zone.
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How to purchase expansion pass
To unlock the new DLC, you’ll need to purchase Pokémon Sword and Shield’s expansion pass. When you pause the game, you’ll see a link to the Nintendo eShop in the bottom right corner. Click on that and head to the eShop to purchase the DLC. The expansion pass is $30 and will give you access to Isle of Armor, as well as The Crown Tundra DLC when it launches in November.
How to visit the Isle of Armor
To start the DLC, head over to the train station in Wedgehurst. You’ll see a new non-player character to the right of the turnstile. Speak to him, and he’ll take you to the Isle of Armor — if you have the expansion pass. If you don’t, he’ll simply tell you that you don’t have a pass.
If you purchased the pass while the game was open, you may need to restart to make sure it activates.
Hunting down Alolan Digletts
When you arrive on the island, you’ll meet a new non-player character who wants you to find all of the Alolan Digletts hidden on the island. There are 150 scattered throughout the new location. You can find them by looking for their little hairs sticking out of the ground.
This isn’t just a busy collectathon; you’ll unlock Alolan Pokémon like Raichu and Marowak as you collect more. You’ll even get one of the starters from Pokémon Sun and Moon for finding 100, so make sure to keep an eye out for Digletts as you explore.
Obtaining the Exp. Charm
The Exp. Charm is a new item that boosts the amount of experience points your Pokémon will get per battle. To get this, you’ll need to head to the dojo on the Isle of Armor. The first time you enter, you’ll meet a few new characters who will give you the item. This is a key item that automatically activates once you have it, and cannot be turned off.
Activating the Cram-O-Matic
The Cram-O-Matic is a new machine in Isle of Armor that allows you to combine items to make new ones. To use this, go to the dojo and head into the room on your right. You’ll see a little robot that looks like a Cramorant.
You’ll need to use 500 Watts (the currency you gain from Pokémon dens) to fix the machine. Combining items is a matter of trial and error, but if you talk to the NPC next to the machine, he’ll give you recipes if you give him 100 Watts.
Learning special moves
The dojo features a move tutor who can teach your Pokémon new attacks. To learn a move, you’ll need five pieces of Armorite Ore, a new item in Isle of Armor.
These can be found scattered around the island. You can get even more by speaking to diggers, who will trade one piece of ore for the chance to dig up more. If the digger’s shovel breaks while mining, you’ll get nothing, so this is a gamble.
Armorite Ore can be used for a variety of purposes, including wiping your Pokémon’s base stats, so collect as much as you can.
Getting and evolving Kubfu
Kubfu is a new Pokémon, and the centerpiece of Isle of Armor. You’ll receive him after completing the first few tasks of the story.
To evolve this fighting Pokémon into Urshifu, you’ll need to max out your friendship with Kubfu through the story. Once that’s done, you’ll need to complete a trial at one of the island’s two towers. To complete the trial, you’ll have to remove everyone from your party except for Kubfu.
Each tower contains five one-on-one battles, culminating in a fight against Mustard’s own Kubfu. If you complete the trial, you’ll evolve Kubfu. However, you’ll want to get your Kubfu up to around level 70 to complete this, so use any Exp. Candy you have to level up fast.
If you choose the Tower of Water, you’ll receive Single Strike Style Urshifu, which is a fighting/water type. Choosing the Tower of Darkness gives Urshifu Rapid Strike Style and a fighting/dark typing.
Making Max Soup
Max Soup is a new item exclusive to Isle of Armor. It will upgrade compatible Pokémon from their Dynamax form to their Gigantamax form. This includes Rillaboom, Cinderace, and Inteleon, who have new Gigantamax forms in Isle of Armor.
To make Max Soup, you’ll need to find Master Mushrooms. These can be found in the various caves and other dark areas around the Isle of Armor. You’ll find a few during the story, but you can head to areas like Brawlers’ Cave to find more. Once you have enough, head to the kitchen in the left room in the Dojo, and talk to the non-player character at the stove.
You’ll need to take one extra step to Gigantamax Urshifu. If you’ve beaten the base game and its post-story content, Mustard will tell you that Urshifu needs a sweeter soup to Gigantamax once it evolves. Follow the story missions and you’ll eventually battle a Dynamax Vespiquen. Take the honey and more Master Mushrooms to the kitchen, and you’ll receive Urshifu’s Gigantamax form.
Unlocking Restricted Sparring
The final feature you can unlock in Isle of Armor is Restricted Sparring. This is a mode that functions similar to the Battle Tower, where you’ll choose a party and fight through as many floors of trainers as you can. The catch is that you can only take three Pokémon of the same type. To unlock the mode, you’ll need to complete the entire story of Isle of Armor. That means evolving Kubfu and beating the story’s final battle.
Once you complete the last battle and get a “The End” screen, head back to the dojo. Talk to the non-player character standing in front of the back doors and he’ll allow you to enter Restricted Sparring.