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The Wild Area in Pokémon Sword and Shield has a feature called Wild Area News where on certain weekends special Pokémon can spawn as dynamax raids in the Wild Area.

Being late to the party, I missed almost all of these events when they were live but I would love to try and catch some of the featured Pokémon.

Many features of the game such as the weather in different parts of the Wild Area are based on the console's date and can be manipulated by changing the date. Is it possible to encounter these special dynamax raids by changing one's console's date and then going hunting in the Wild Area?

If so, are there any limitations, i.e. would I have to have downloaded the Wild Area News when it was new to access a specific weekend's raid library?

Side note: changing the date in the Switch's settings is possible and will result in different weather patterns across the Wild Area depending on the date you set it to. I have seen a friend of mine live stream where he chose certain weather patterns for certain parts of the Wild Area as part of his super-Nuzlocke and frequently jumped to the settings to re-set the date and force specific weather, so manipulating the date for in-game effects is possible.

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    Since the dynamax raids are, if I remember right, online connected, I would guess that what is in the raid is server dependent and not 'date on your switch' dependent. But I'm doing some big guessing here.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 13:53
  • I mean, that's essentially the question, yeah.
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 14:02
  • @Fredy31 Dynamax raids be can done offline. Outside raid events, each raid den has a general pool of Pokemon that it will spawn whether it be online or offline Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 17:00
  • @Wondercricket then that gives water to the theory you could change your switch date and get different content, like with Animal Crossing.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 17:02

2 Answers 2

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I can confirm that the game keeps "memory" of at least the last "wild area news" you updated to.

Apparently, in the past that meant that if you played online and the game downloaded a specific event news data, you could keep that event active indefinitely by simply never letting the game connect to internet again. I can't personally confirm this info but posts like this one on reddit point in that direction. I don't think this is the case anymore - the game seems to check the event close date too.

Either way the real issue with your idea is that while currently the game does indeed seem to remember the last event you download (after all, it has too) it also seems to remember ONLY the last Wild Area News you downloaded. Take this as an example:

  • October 1 to 3, 2021 - Alolan starter Pokémon
  • September 17 to 19, 2021 - Lunatone/Solrock

If you downloaded the September 17-19 news, you can change the console date to that range and the event will be available.Yet, if you downloaded the October 1-3 event, you lost access to the previous one.

Also, please notice that I don't know what adverse effects time travel could have on your game. If you play on October and then change the date to some time before the last play date the game may detect that and/or not behave correctly. I wouldn't also exclude the possibility that simply accessing the game on a date past the currently stored event had the side effect to clear the event. So, the only safe use of this technique is for example to be able to play an event if you downloaded it and then couldn't play on Saturday/Sunday.

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  • Ah so its not like Animal Crossing. If we think of it as a table, in AC you always have all events in that table. Like on October 25th, its halloween. When that table got updated over time, it added things to it, without deleting existing things. In Pokemon's case, when they add things to that table, they also remove the other events from said table, making them unavailable.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 17:04
  • @Fredy31 so it seems. The main difference is that while AC event are seasonal event, Pokemon events are limited time events. I am pretty sure you can only download the info for the currently running event. Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 17:07
  • I tested this these last few days and it indeed seems that I overwrote the Alolan starter event by having downloaded Wild Area News after the event. Well, I caught a couple of other nice ones while throwing all my Wishing Pieces into nests ^^'. Thanks for pointing me in the correct direction! (It seems that changing the date has no other adverse effects at least up to now.)
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 18:06
  • @Jan on previous handled Gameboy games, switching the date had the side effect to lock daily even out for 24 hours if I recall correctly, and it could also negatively affect berry growth. I have no info on the last game, so please take care. Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 7:43
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I have done some playtesting recently.

I had downloaded Wild Area News at some point after the conclusion of the Alola starters event SPArcheon mentions (I didn't get around to downloading the news while the event itself was active). Even with setting the date to 1st October and waiting 24 hours, I was unable to join any Alolan starter dynamax raid be it my walking up to nests already lit up or by throwing Wishing Piece into the nest. Only Pokémon from the standard pools spawned.

Starting on the 29th October, a new Wild Area News (Hallowe'en) event began, which I downloaded.

After the event's official end date (31st October), I did not download any Wild Area News. During this period, I was still able to find event raids (5-star raids being Sableye, Dusknoir, Corviknight, Thievul, Zoroark and shiny Zoroark) despite it being officially over and me not touching my Switch's date/time settings. Zoroark appearing in Galar's Wild Area rather than on the Isle of Armour is a dead give-away as it wasn't part of the original Galardex.

Thus, my conclusion: when downloading Wild Area News, the game will actively remove any event that has passed, keeping only a current event active if one exists. However, if the latest event remains in cache and Wild Area News have not been downloaded since, the event raid pool will remain active even outside its designated date range.

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