Ads keep us online. Without them, we wouldn't exist. We don't have paywalls or sell mods - we never will. But every month we have large bills and running ads is our only way to cover them. Please consider unblocking us. Thank you from GameBanana <3

Challenge Mode

A Mod for Pokemon Sword & Shield

No ads for members. Membership is 100% free. Sign up!


Version 0.3 11d
  • Addition Added support for Pokemon Shield version
I realized when I made the mod that I had only done so for Sword version. This update changes the trainers in Allister's and Melony's gyms for Shield version. 

As noted in the previous update, if you were having issues with grass encounters, berry trees, and fishing spots not showing up, delete the "archive" folder located at:

Version 0.2 12d BugFix Tweak

A new difficulty for Pokemon Sword and Shield

Hot off the press, it's Challenge Mode for Pokemon Sword and Shield! Similar in vein to the Sacred Sword and King's Shield mod just released yesterday, this mod also aims to rebalance the game using pkNX to make for a more challenging, and hopefully fun, experience. Where Sacred Sword/King's Shield takes a more rapid ramp in difficulty, my mod increases it more gradually.

Some examples of what this mod does:

+ Hop now picks the starter that you are weak to, like rivals of old
+ Global level bump of enemy trainers by a factor of ~1.3-1.4× to compensate for EXP Share
+ Almost all enemy trainers are buffed in some way. This is done by a combination of evolving old Pokemon or adding new Pokemon, improving AI, and/or optimizing natures, moves, IVs/EVs, used items, and held items. 
  • This ramps in difficulty as the game progresses, with trainers later on having better AI and better Pokemon than those in the early game.
  • In general, regular trainers won't have more than 3/4 Pokemon, to prevent tedium. 
+ In general, there is a greater diversity of Pokemon used among the 400 available ones (and a few of the not available ones...).
+ Gym challenges are more difficult. Gym trainers have on average 3 Pokemon. Gym leaders have more as well, with Milo starting at 4, Nessa at 5, and ramping up to 6 later on. All gym trainers and leaders have improved AI, IVs/EVs, abilities, items, and moves. 
+ Improved rivals. Bede improves quicker than Hop or Marnie, being a self-proclaimed superior trainer. 
+ Some trainers have been changed to double battles with their teams being reworked for better synergy in doubles format. 

What this mod doesn't do:
- Affect post-game. The odd trainer might be reworked but in general I haven't worked on anything after the Champion battle. 
- Similarly, Battle Tower has not been touched.
- Affect wild Pokemon encounters. pkNX is still a work in progress for use with Sword/Shield and doesn't appear to support this function yet.
- Change base stats, abilities, and learn sets for Pokemon. 1 Pokemon had one of its abilities changed for better doubles synergy, but everyone else was untouched. 
- Adjust shiny rates. 
- In general, this mod has not been playtested. Key sections of the mod were tested by myself and one other person but we have not done a start to finish run with this mod yet. Feedback is appreciated on the perceived difficulty. 

What's coming up?
+ Post-game. I will eventually work on the teams for the Champion cup rematches and the short post-Champion story quest. 
+ As pkNX improves, I hope to adjust wild Pokemon spawns and levels. 
+ Incorporate snapped Pokemon back into the game, if possible in the future. 

Installation guide:
1. Download the archived file named ""
2. Unzip the archive and rename the resulting "titleID" folder to either "0100ABF008968000" for Pokemon Sword or "01008DB008C2C000" for Pokemon Shield. This folder should contain another one called RomFS. 
3. Put the folder you just named into atmosphere\titles or sxos\titles on your SD card, depending on which CFW you use. 
4. Load your CFW, boot Pokemon Sword or Shield. 
5. Enjoy and give me feedback. :)


Sign up to access this!
1-10 of 11
  • 1
  • 2
Go to page:
  • Cal_Wakerz avatar
    Cal_Wakerz Joined 11d ago
    access_time 3d
    Hey... Thanks for this. Currently playing Sword for the first time, and using this mod from the beginning. However, for some reason my character won't whistle... Is this related to the mod?
    URL to post:
  • Kiddles avatar
    Kiddles Joined 1y ago
    access_time 8d
    Thanks! I never like going over the top with Pokemon mods at the level that SS/KS aims to go. This mod does everything I want, which is just simply making the game more balanced in terms of difficulty, while keeping core Pokemon largely the same as vanilla. It makes replaying this game all the more pleasant knowing that I actually have to put some time and effort into training my pokemon and breeding them in the late-game. Can't wait for the finished product!
    URL to post:
  • sUwUcide avatar
    sUwUcide Joined 2mo ago
    access_time 9d
    Hop didn't choose Scorbunny when I picked Grookey. I also made sure that the folder with the mod was correct for Sword. Is this supposed to happen?
    URL to post:
  • TheBox avatar
    TheBox Joined 3y ago
    access_time 10d
    and once the snapped pokemon are back, what specific snapped pokemon would you add and use?

    and why?
    URL to post:
  • Ddeathscythe avatar
    Ddeathscythe Joined 11d ago
    access_time 11d
    How does this mod compare in difficulty to the Sacred Sword and Shield mod in the later stages of the game? Would I find the battles to be a similar experience in the late game such as AI and strategies of teams?
    URL to post:
  • access_time 12d
    hey, im still having trouble seeing wild pokemon in the grass - also i think this mod may disable battles from pokemon in berry bushes as if you shake too many times, nothing happens and you cant pick up the berries 
    URL to post:
  • Raimech avatar
    Raimech Joined 22d ago
    access_time 12d
    Hey, sorry if this wasn't what the mod was intended for, but could you update it so it works with this one? doing raids with the default trainers is nearly impossible at 4-5 stars. I'd do it myself but I don't seem to be able to get pkNX to work :/
    URL to post:
  • access_time 13d edit 13d
    i have seen that wild encounters doesnt have been touched, but now i can only see "overworld" pkmn, i cant get any pkmn hidden in grass. i have this mod and the HD textures mod...

    EDIT: i deleted the "data_table.gfpak" file, on >>titleid\0100ABF008968000\RomFS\bin\archive\field\resident<< and now the "hidden pkmn" appear again. Which info contains that file? Is it relevant for the mod? thx for your work!
    • Helpful x 1
    URL to post:
  • Ceee avatar
    Ceee Joined 19d ago
    access_time 15d
    work with this mod "200% Exp (Go Wild)" ?

    Or together any other modified file   personal_total.bin?

    URL to post:
  • Ceee avatar
    Ceee Joined 19d ago
    access_time 19d
    Can it be used with games already started?

      I'm at route 3
    URL to post:


Share banner
Image URL
HTML embed code
BB embed code
Markdown embed code


Key Authors


PossibleYam avatar
PossibleYam Joined 19d ago
451 points Ranked 46582nd
Sign up to access this!
Sign up to access this!
Sign up to access this!


Sign up to access this!





  • Share on Reddit
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Best of the Banana
    Featured on Nov 30 2019
  • Best of Yesterday
    Featured on Nov 29 2019
  • Today's Pick
    Featured on Nov 28 2019
  • 7
  • 328
  • 13.4k
  • 28
  • 19d
  • 11d
  • 11d

More Packs Game files