How to Breed Pokémon in Pokémon Sword/Shield


Randrew Mendrico

Writer and Storywriter

Drew is one of the game guide writers in PlayerAssist. He mixed his communications degree with his love for video games to help other gamers with different video game situations. Drew loves action-adventure, story or character driven role-playing games.


Tried battling in the Pokémon community’s competitive scene, and you still have not won a single battle? You may need stronger Pokémon! This can be achieved by breeding.

How to Breed Pokémon in Pokémon Sword/Shield

Pokémon breeding is a way to get a new Pokémon of the same species with different stats and nature by hatching an egg. This is important if you are trying to enter the competitive scene as successful trainers breed their Pokémon meticulously to get powerful Pokémon. In this guide, you will learn how to breed Pokémon in Pokémon: Sword and Shield.

Breeding Basics

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Here is the typical flow of breeding Pokémon:

  • Choose two Pokémon of the opposite sex or the species you want and a Ditto
  • Leave the Pokémon in the hands of the Pokémon Nursery (located in Bridge Field in the Wild Area and Route 5)
  • After some time, come back to the Pokémon Nursery and pick up the egg.
  • Put the egg on your party and walk a certain number of steps to hatch the egg.

With that laid out, it seems very easy to breed Pokémon. It IS easy, but there are a few things to note to breed Pokémon:

Compatible Pokémon

Two Pokémon can be bred if they are of the same species and are of opposite genders. You can also breed Pokémon of the same Egg Group, but the Pokémon hatched will be the same species as the female parent.

Another, arguably the easiest way of breeding Pokémon is by pairing a Pokémon, regardless of gender, with a Ditto. Pokémon with unknown genders like Rotom or Golurk can only be bred with a Ditto. 

The Ditto paired with a Pokémon is also important as the Ditto’s stats can also affect the resulting Pokémon’s stats. Unfortunately, Ditto cannot be bred with itself, but you can catch them at Lake Outrage.

It is also important to note that Pokémon in the Undiscovered egg group, like legendary Pokémon, cannot be bred even if paired with a Ditto.

The Egg is Ready!

When you come back, you will know when the Pokémon Nursery has an egg for you as she will change positions by folding her arms with her right hand under her chin, like a thinking pose. Talk to her, and she will give you the egg! You can still leave the parent Pokémon in the Pokémon Nursery if you want more eggs.

After receiving the egg, keep it in your party and do something else because it will hatch after some steps. When it hatches, you will receive a level 1 of the first evolution of the female parent or non-Ditto Pokémon.

It is also worth mentioning that if for some reason you do not want to get your egg yet, do not talk to the Nursery worker to “check” whether or not she already has an egg for you. Selecting no when she asks you if you want to take the egg will result in her keeping the egg, and you would have to wait again for your Pokémon to produce an egg. If you want to check, the telltale sign, as mentioned above, is her right hand will be in a thinking pose.

Hold Items

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Certain types of Pokémon may produce a different egg depending if the parent Pokémon is holding a certain type of Incense:

Type of IncenseParent PokémonHatched Egg
Wave IncenseMantineMantyke
Odd IncenseMr. Mime or Mr. RimeMime Jr.
Rose IncenseRoselia or RoseradeBudew
Full IncenseSnorlaxMunchlax
Rock IncenseSudowoodoBonsly
Lax IncenseWobbuffetWynaut

If the parent Pokémon is not holding a certain Incense, the resulting Pokémon would be the same species as the parent. For example, if you breed a Snorlax with a Ditto and the Snorlax isn’t holding the Full Incense, the Pokémon in the egg would still be a Snorlax. To obtain Munchlax, Snorlax must be holding a Full incense before handing him over to the Pokémon Nursery.

Passing Down Stats

A useful hold item is the Everstone. If you prefer a parent Pokémon’s Nature be passed down on the resulting Pokémon, let the parent Pokémon with your preferred Nature hold the Everstone.

Another useful hold item is the Oval Charm which can help Pokémon holding the item lay more eggs. The Oval Charm can be obtained after battling Shigeki Morimoto, one of Game Freak’s designers that can be found in the game, in Hotel Ionia in Circhester City. He is the NPC dressed like a Police Officer.

It is also possible to pass down the parent Pokémon’s IVs or Individual Values stats. Let the parent Pokémon hold the Power Weight to pass down the parent Pokémon’s HP IV, Power Bracer to pass down the parent Pokémon’s Attack IV, Power Belt to pass down the Defense IV, Power Anklet to pass down the Speed IV, Power Band to pass down the Sp. Def IV, Power Lens to pass down the Sp. Atk IV or Destiny Knot to pass down five random IVs (in contrast to only three without the Destiny Knot item). With this in mind, you can let one parent Pokémon hold the Destiny Knot if you like its stats, and the other parent Pokémon hold the Everstone if you like its Nature. This can result in a Pokémon (the same species as the female parent or non-ditto Pokémon) with five stats and the nature you like! 

Final Thoughts

Technically, yes, you can skip breeding Pokémon if you are a casual player. However, if you want to enter the competitive scene, it is considered a prerequisite. All the successful Pokémon players worldwide breed their Pokémon. There is no excuse to have weak Pokémon. So, if you want to be the very best like no one ever was, start breeding your Pokémon now!

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