Pokemon Sword & Shield: How to get more Master Balls

As the world of Pokemon has expanded, so too has the number of Pokeball - massively so. However, one thing has remained the same ever since the first generation right through to generation 8's Pokemon Sword & Shield: the ultimate Pokeball is the Master Ball.

In earlier Pokemon games, the Master Ball was a one-shot type of Pokeball that was only available once. However, in modern games like Sword & Shield, you can finally get your hands on more Master Balls - you just need to know how, plus have a little luck.

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How to get more Master Balls in Pokemon Sword & Shield

So, first of all, the easiest Master Ball to obtain is the one that you're pretty much guaranteed: as you work your way through the game, Professor Magnolia will eventually hand you a Master Ball as part of the ongoing story.

Like in all Pokemon games, it's recommended that you hold on to this Master Ball to catch a legendary Pokemon such as Zacian or Zamazenta, depending on which is your game's exclusive - but there are two other ways you can get more Master Balls in Pokemon Sword & Shield...

We also want to note that contrary to some sources, you cannot get a Master Ball from the cram-o-matic. Every other type of Pokeball can be had this way - but not a Master Ball. For more on that, check our full Cram-o-Matic recipies page. 

An extra Master Ball in The Crown Tundra DLC

First of all, if you have the Crown Tundra DLC, which comes as part of the Sword & Shield expansion pass, you'll actually be handed another Master Ball by Peony as part of that DLC's story.

This is a rare occasion in Pokemon where you're actually given two story Master Balls - it doesn't happen very often at all! Like the main game's story Master Ball, you'll want to think carefully about how you spend this, and the pressure will be on to use it on Calyrex, The Crown Tundra's flagship legendary.

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It makes perfect sense for The Crown Tundra DLC, however - as much of that DLC is based around catching Legendary Pokemon, including finding classic legendary Pokemon in Dens, and new Galarian forms of Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres.

Getting more Master Balls through Loto ID

As well as the two above, you have a chance to get more Master Balls - and in theory, an unlimited number of Master Balls - through Loto ID.

Loto ID is pretty simple - it's a Lottery based on Trainer IDs. There are five different prizes - with the prize you get based on how many characters of the ID number you match. The prizes scale as follows:

  • 1 Number: Moomoo Milk
  • 2 Numbers: PP Up
  • 3 Numbers: PP Max
  • 4 Numbers: Rare Candy
  • 5 Numbers: 1 Master Ball

As you can see, the top tier of Loto ID prize, earned for matching 5 digits, is a Master Ball. Match 5 digits, and get a Master Ball! You can participate in Loto ID once a day from the PC inside any Pokemon Center - so that's 365 chances a year!

While the odds of having a 5-number Loto ID draw are vanishingly small, you can increase your odds slightly

Your Loto ID draw is checked not just against your personal trainer ID, but against all Pokemon in your party and boxes. When a Pokemon is caught, the ID number of the trainer who caught it is attached to that Pokemon.

What that means is that by trading for lots of Pokemon, you'll rack up a lot of Pokemon with different Trainer IDs - which then increases the odds of you getting a match in the Loto ID feature. 

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This makes the Surprise Trade feature especially useful, too. Trade and stack up lots of trainer IDs, then don't forget to do your daily draw! While it is possible to cheat the system further a bit by doing time skips to get around the daily limit, we don't recommend it - the chance of nailing a Master Ball will remain well under a 1% chance - so in real terms, you're ultimately best off getting familiar with other types of Pokeball while hoping and praying for that elusive Master Ball drop rather than min-maxing and spending valuable time trying to get more Master Balls.

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