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Pokemon Sword & Shield: EXP share gone, Pokemon in party now get equal experience automatically


In previous Pokemon games you were eventually given the EXP Share item to level up all your Pokemon in your party which made things quite a bit easier. Speaking to Game Informer magazine, Pokemon Sword & Shield director Shigeru Ohmori revealed that EXP Share is no more and that Pokemon in your party will now level up automatically. There’s no word on whether this can be turned off for those who want the extra challenge.


31 thoughts on “Pokemon Sword & Shield: EXP share gone, Pokemon in party now get equal experience automatically”

    1. Mr.Krabs with a mustache

      Not me. I wanted a challenge, the past games were so easy because I used exp share and I swore to play without exp share this game. Guess not, guess it’ll be another easy game I guess.

      1. Exp share didn’t make the games easier, it made them less tedious. Nobody likes grinding. There are plenty of RPGs that have shared exp that are difficult. Most importantly it doesn’t lead to the problem where you end up only using the smae characters throughout the whole game as it’s too bothersome to level up the party members (pokemon) to match your current party.

      2. “Exp share didn’t make the games easier, it made them less tedious.”

        Its a turn based rpg. Leveling up faster with less effort makes the game easier, objectively.

        ” Nobody likes grinding.”

        Obviously ridiculous. Lots of people like grinding. What you meant is that you don’t like grinding, but you’re aware that’s a really bad argument.

        ” There are plenty of RPGs that have shared exp that are difficult. ”

        True. Also irrelevant unless there’s some reason to think that they have otherwise increased the difficulty in the game we’re actually talking about.

        “Most importantly it doesn’t lead to the problem where you end up only using the smae characters throughout the whole game as it’s too bothersome to level up the party members (pokemon) to match your current party.”

        Irrational complaint. For a start, using a small number of pokemon is not a “problem”, its a viable choice people can make or not make based on their own preferences. You don’t like it. That’s fine. It doesn’t mean its a problem. Secondly, and importantly, you could just as easily argue the opposite. That always on exp share means that you don’t get the chance to train all your pokemon yourself if you want to, as many people do. Turning off exp share was (and hopefully still will be) a popular option for that very reason.

        While we don’t have confirmation that you can’t turn off xp sharing, I see absolutely no reason why anyone would want to deny the option to the people who want it.

  1. Hmm I’ve been thinking for ages that leveling up is an outdated mechanic in all RPGs. It’s nice to have progressing strength and abilities, but level locking throughout the game would make segments have a much more stable difficulty (no more being able to be under or over leveled for a situation).

    Instead, shifting the focus on EVs and IVs to get strong enough to get strong enough to beat a part you’re struggling with, as well as finding hold items that help you and teaching new moves encourages a lot more thinking and strategy than “duh I can’t beat guy, meh I’ll just level up a few times then win”.

    I really hope this is the case cause I’d love it.

    1. I don’t necessarily think it would be a good move for Pokémon, due to the nature of wanting to be able to catch and train so many different characters, but in general, it’s an interesting approach. You can thematically still keep the experience points and leveling up system, but by making the exp. points a finite resource, it makes it far easier to tie the character’s power to the player’s progression in the game. However, I’d say it makes the game go from a proper RPG to more of an adventure game, since that’s one of the biggest differences between the genres. Sure, you still have a system of wanting to increase your stats, to become more powerful in battles, but you change the pacing and flow into that of an adventure game.

      I like the idea of level caps, but it takes some mystery out of an RPG. Part of the classic RPG experience is to never be quite sure what level you should be at for a particular part of the game (except for more modern cases of “recommended levels”). Then you also have to recognize the beauty of the classic level up system, since it provides such a natural system of dynamic difficulty adjustment. You can choose to never grind to give yourself a challenge, or you can invest some more time if you’re a beginner to make the game easier for you.

    2. You state how you can be over or under leveled for a situation as though that’s a problem. Its a feature, working as intended. For the entire history of turn based rpg’s, there have been people who find great fun in either ridiculously overleveling their characters, or imposing extra difficulty on themselves by intentionally underleveling.

      While I can appreciate your desire for a game that focuses on the more strategic aspects of the series, this can be achieved without removing leveling itself simply by reconfiguring how stats work and scale. Pokemon has an unusually fast stat progression for an RPG. This means going up 5-10 levels makes a much larger difference than the same amount of progression in another game. Make it so that going up +10 levels gets you +15 physical power rather than +60, and you have the game you want without removing a cherished and core mechanic.

    3. That’s kinda what RPGs are all about. I wouldn’t mind a stat progression without numbered levels (some RPGs do that, e.g. Final Fantasy X), but level locking is a lazy way to balance a game. Final Fantasy XIII did that. RPGs have always been about stats the player can influence. If that wasn’t the case, you might as well remove the RPG mechanics and make it a game where the player has a fixed set of options to solve a challenge. There’s Battle Tower for that, with a strong RNG component, though.

      Grinding requires time, a strategy requires thinking. And the more challenging enemies in RPGs (not Pokémon) typically require both. One of the biggest appeal of RPGs is that battles lead to progression. This is not the case in games like Zelda (or only in limited ways) which is why it never felt rewarding to me to defeat normal enemies in Zelda.

      I understand the appeal of a hard mode that forces you to think and employ different techniques, but it’s all a matter of balancing, not introducing level caps.

      1. +Nephstinus
        There’s something in this article that intrigues me, it’s when Masuda says “We’re really designing it as the place for all of your Pokémon together, so it’s really important for the future of the franchise, and it’ll be more than even Pokémon Bank as a place to gather all your Pokémon together in one spot”.

        I admit this is a stretch but could Pokemon Home have a battling system and that’s where all the competitive battling will be held?

        1. I feel like it’s just a place where you can store pokémon like bank nothing more – However it might be neat-o of them if you could train their Lvl and EV’s there – maybe even breed some since it’s not sure yet if we have a region with no breeding system

      2. Hopefully they are gonna go with the plan that I was hoping they’d pursue where future games will not only bring back Pokemon missing from the last entry but also bring back the Pokemon that were already in the previous entry.

        Hopefully Christopher is right & Pokemon Home will be more than just a place to store Pokemon. I’m inclined to agree with him, though, since if it was just gonna be a place to store Pokemon, Pokemon Bank was more than sufficient & they could have simply just made it available on Switch. Of course, at the same time, this wouldn’t be the first time Nintendo replaced something instead of just upgrading the old. After all, Nintendo Account was created to replace the NNID instead of simply upgrading the NNID system.

        1. Oh your plan seems to align with theirs let’s just hope that they go along with it – Also I really have no idea what to expect from Pokémon Home but I’ll stay positive as long as I don’t need to pay 15 Euros per year for it and I really hope that I don’t need to buy another license to use Pokémon Bank and send them to Pokémon Home or else I might have to start anew in Pokémon

          1. I’m gonna have to sacrifice 5 bucks to reactivate my Pokemon Bank as I took my Pokemon out of it & never put them back in there before the subscription ran out. I didn’t know they would keep my Pokemon in there if I didn’t renew the sub, so I took them out & put them on my Ultra Sun card for safe keeping. If I knew what I know now, I would have put them back in. Oh well. 5 bucks isn’t gonna sink me.

  2. That sounds like it’s gonna make the game unavoidably easy for people looking for a challenge. Then again, at the very least you can avoid fights a bit easier too.

    1. +dhhcgg
      Honestly, I don’t get why people are saying this now, Pokemon has never been known for challenging, by RPG standards they are probably baby-level of difficulty. Sure there’s the odd thing like Ultra Necrozma but in the grand scheme of things, Pokemon games have always been easy.

      1. That doesn’t mean there aren’t degrees of difficulty amongst easier games. Games before X/Y and games after X/Y are of dramatically different difficulty and the exp share is one of the primary reasons for it. The developers suddenly deciding that even late game opponents should only have 1 or 2 pokemon would be the other.

      2. Oh, I absolutely agree the games before generation 6 were harder, I jumped onto the Pokemon Train in generation 3 and I can totally back that those games were harder.
        But the thing is; I also grew up on Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, & Golden Sun and to me, those games offer tons more challenge than any Pokemon game has, especially when it came to the difficult but optional content found in the games.
        I dunno, I’ve just never seen Pokemon as challenging, to me the difficulty lower in generation 6 is akin to going from easy to easiest in a fighting game.

      1. I would, because A) I like having to rotate my party, and B) I like to be able to keep them all at the same level. If you introduce a new one to your team, and you can’t turn off the shared experience, you’d have to store all others and only keep that one underleveled Pokémon in your party so it can match the others. You can’t keep them at even levels with automatic exp share in general, since Pokémon level at different rates. Would be a terrible idea to force the exp share on the player.

    1. Normally I find myself disagreeing with comments from you but for once, I actually 100% agree with this comment.

      1. Given that Lugia is actually my favourite Pokemon, I have to say I definitely agree with your comments on Pokemon Soulsilver.

  3. So is EXP Share gonna be in the settings of the game now..? I don’t care either way as I’d like to spend less time grinding, anyway, as I’ve always cared more about the overall story & the lore surrounding all of the Pokemon & collecting all of said Pokemon, but others will care and rather have a challenge. Pokemon isn’t a franchise I look to for a challenge so I’m good either way.

  4. Cool it will be more challenging because I always used EXP share because I had a hard time getting all Pokemon I caught up to par because I only can battle a component once and going further ahead the levels increase so the Pokemon I catch never had a time to get to the levels I need them to go up to without EXP Share. But it may be easier in a bad way. I dont want everyone in my party to be equal. I want them to be different based on level.

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