How to Avoid Combat in Pokémon Sword and Shield

A big part of playing Pokémon Sword and Shield is engaging in random battles as you explore the world – but can you avoid combat if you’d prefer?

Avoiding combat in Pokémon Sword and Shield isn’t always possible, but there are ways you can reduce the likelihood of getting caught in a fight.

There are two main types of battles you’ll come across while you’re exploring the world. There are random Pokémon, who are usually located in tall grass areas of the map, and there are other Pokémon trainers.


Random Pokémon are easier to avoid than trainers. To engage in battle with a random Pokémon, you need to make contact with it. They’re visible on the map, so as long as you’re careful where you walk, they’re easy enough to avoid. Sneaking through tall grass – by moving the left stick very gently – will make yourself harder to be detected by them, too.

Unfortunately, avoiding Pokémon trainers isn’t always so straightforward. Simply stepping into their line of sight will trigger a battle. Sometimes they move around, so if you’re careful where you stand you can avoid them, but often they’ll stand still – so simply walking past them will engage you in battle.

It’s not all bad, though: engaging in battles is the key to success in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Fighting trainers gains you XP and money, and fighting random Pokémon enables you to catch them and add to your collection.