During today's Pokémon Direct presentation, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company announced two new expansions that add new areas to explore and new Pokémon to catch. However, as a part of these big updates, Pokémon Sword & Shield will add several Pokémon from past games that did not initially appear in the games when they launched last November.
Across the two new areas, the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra, several Pokémon that do not appear in Galar are available to encounter and catch. While each new area has its own Pokédex to complete, you can bring these returning Pokémon back to Galar with you to expand your Galar Pokédex. In addition, players will also encounter Galarian forms of familiar Pokémon including Galarian Slowpoke and its different evolutions. Players can even encounter Legendary Pokémon from previous mainline games deep inside Pokémon Dens in The Crown Tundra expansion.
If you don't want to buy the expansions but still want to get your hands on these returning creatures, a free title update is scheduled in conjunction with the launch of each expansion. These title updates make the added Pokémon compatible with Sword & Shield, allowing you to obtain them without owning the expansion through methods like trades and Pokémon Home's cloud service. Players who use Pokémon Home to import Pokémon from past games can bring them into Sword & Shield as long as those Pokémon appear in the base games or expansions.
The first expansion, The Isle of Armor, is set to launch in June, while the second expansion, The Crown Tundra, is scheduled for a fall release. Both expansions are a part of the Expansion Pass, which costs $29.99.