It’s possible to halve the time it takes to hatch eggs in Pokémon Sword and Shield, thanks to special Abilities possessed by certain Pokémon.
Hatching eggs is a time-consuming task in the Pokémon video games, but there is a method that cuts that time in half, and it involves seeking out specific Pokémon. The Pokémon breeding mechanic was introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver, where it became an important part of the competitive scene.
There are a lot of hoops players need to jump through in order to breed a competitively-viable Pokémon, so trainers who want specific Natures and stat spreads will become intimately familiar with the Day Care Center. Pokémon Sword and Shield made things easier, with items like the Bottle Cap allowing players to max out one of a single Pokémon’s IV stats, but there is still a lot of mindless running around that needs to be done.
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To hatch a successfully bred Pokémon egg, the player needs to run (or, preferably, cycle) around the game world, as each step lowers a hidden countdown towards the egg hatching. It can take many steps to hatch a Pokémon; a Bulbasaur egg, for example, takes more than 5,000 steps to hatch. In order to lower this count, players will need to acquire a Pokémon with one of a few specific Abilities.
Pokémon’s Egg-Incubating Abilities For Faster Hatching
There are two Abilities that can halve the time it takes to hatch an egg in Pokémon Sword and Shield. These are Flame Body and Steam Engine. In the older video games, there was an Ability called Magma Armor that also reduced egg hatching time, but none of the Pokémon with that Ability have made it into Pokémon Sword and Shield. The Pokémon that can possess Flame Body in Pokémon Sword and Shield are the Ponyta line, the Magmar line, Moltres, Heatran, the Litwick line, the Larvesta line, the Fletchinder line, the Carkoal line (except for Rolycoly), and the Sizzlipede line. The Pokémon that can possess Steam Engine, meanwhile, are Rolycoly, Carkoal, and Coalossal.
Once the player has acquired one of these, the Pokémon just needs to be in their party with the eggs for its Ability to work its magic, halving hatching time without requiring any manual activation. This makes things a lot easier for trainers who want to breed Shiny Pokémon; these have an astronomically low chance of hatching, so players need all the help they can get.
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