Pokémon Sword and Shield: Ranked Battle Series 4 is live
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It’s a new month, which means a new Ranked Battle season is starting in Pokémon Sword and Shield. In addition to the new season, a new Ranked Battle Series rule set is live as well. Here’s what you need to know.

All Gigantamax Pokémon are legal

The most significant rule change in Ranked Battle Series 4 is the legalization of all Gigantamax forms. Up until now, only certain Gigantamax forms were allowed in Ranked Battles; now they are all legal for use. These, along with almost every other Pokémon in the game, are legal.

Some Pokémon are still illegal, however, such as all Mythical and Legendary Pokémon. This means players won’t be able to use Zacian, Zamazenta, Eternatus, or any others from Pokémon Home.

How to play Ranked Battles

To play Ranked Battles in Pokémon Sword and Shield, you want a party of six legal Pokémon. You cannot have duplicate held items or Pokémon. Once you have your desired party, you will need a Nintendo Switch Online membership. You can sign up for one on their official site or via your Switch if you don’t already have one.

Once you have everything set up correctly, go to your menu to open the VS menu. Choose the Battle Stadium option, and then you will be able to choose between casual battles and ranked battles. Casual battles are a great place to start to test out your teams because they won’t impact your rating. Ranked battles will impact your rating, so be sure you’re ready before joining! (If you’ve played ranked battles in the past, you will need to collect your rewards before playing again.)

The fourth Ranked Battle Series will go from now until the end of June. By the time it ends, we will likely have new Pokémon from the DLC, which should be legal in the fifth Ranked Battle Series.