Pokemon Sword and Shield offers something different when it comes to traversing water: rather than accessing Surf HMs, trainers will unlock an upgrade on their Rotom Bike that allows them to ride over it like an aircraft carrier.
Players will gain this bike upgrade on Route 9, after defeating Team Yell. For more information, check out our comprehensive guide of when can one ride on water Pokemon swords!
When it came to traversing water in Pokemon games, HM Surf used to be an invaluable asset for trainers. This ability would allow players to ride a Pokemon that learned this move and swiftly cross any bodies of water encountered in the Overworld.
Surf is one of the most useful Hidden Moves in Pokemon Sword and Shield’s roster; however, it will not return this time around. Instead, this new edition offers an alternative method of water travel using an upgrade for your Rotom Bike that lets you pedal across lakes and rivers.
To unlock an upgrade, it is necessary to meet some requirements. First of all, your Pokemon party should include one who knows Surf and then head off to Circhester where someone has blocked off a bridge on Route 9. Defeating this person allows access to Route 9, which includes a Nursery.
Players completing the main storyline of Pokemon Sword and Shield will unlock a special bike designed to traverse bodies of water as part of its main story. Known as a Surf HM replacement, this can be found by heading to Route 9. On this route, two Team Yell members are harassing a man whom you must save before meeting a scientist who offers an upgrade that allows your bike to float over water.
A Bicycle Upgrade mimicking Surf works similarly in other Pokemon games and allows you to travel across a variety of water areas within the game, including Route 9’s Lake of Outrage which houses many evolution stones as well as wild Eeveelutions like Gyarados.
Your upgrade can also be used on other bodies of water in the game, though it won’t work with icy surfaces like Ice Beam and Snowstorm.
Water Rotom Bike
Spending too much time traveling from one part of a map to the next can be both time consuming and tedious, which can take away from the experience of playing video games. Pokemon Sword and Shield offers players a fast travel option which makes traversing around Galar Region easier.
Your initial bike in the game, known as a Rotom Bike, can be upgraded so it can ride on water by visiting the man who gave you one after beating Rock Gym at Hammerlocke Stadium on Route 9. To do this, visit Route 9 where your Rotom Bike originated and visit him after you win it from Hammerlocke Stadium.
As soon as you interact with him, he will be bullied by Team Yell and in return he will give you the Water Rotom Bike upgrade. Once equipped with this bike upgrade, riding towards bodies of water will automatically activate Water Mode so you can ride across it easily.
Water-type Pokemon are immensely popular within the Pokemon universe. Their attacks can be particularly effective against Fire, Rock and Ground types while being vulnerable against Grass and Electric ones. Furthermore, Water types are known for having impressive HP and Defense statistics.
Previous Pokemon games used HM Surf to traverse water bodies. Game Freak have now removed this method of traveling across Galar, favoring instead other methods to get around Galar.
Rotom Bike upgrades allow trainers to float and ride water. To unlock this upgrade, players must defeat Team Yell and speak to Dr. Yell at the gym in Aroma Village; after speaking to him they will receive this upgrade. Alternatively, Lana uses her Lapras as transportation while Kiawe relies on his Charizard for deliveries.
Chris is a passionate learner and writer. When he’s not working on his blog or learning something new, he’s a full-time systems administrator and father of two beautiful girls. Chris loves spending time with his family, reading, writing, and playing hockey.