Pokémon Sword and Shield Characters: Who’s the Most Memorable?

pokemon sword and shield characters

This post was last updated on September 1, 2023

Released in 2019 as the first Pokémon games for the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are the newest pair of Generation VIII. In the expansive open world of the Galar Region, Sword and Shield provide beautiful cityscapes, towering stadiums, and, most of all, new characters for players to love. Check out our review of Pokémon Sword and Shield for a breakdown of gameplay, mechanics, and the latest features available to players!

On your quest to become a Galar Pokémon League Champion, you encounter a new rival, eccentric gym leaders, and brand new starter Pokémon. With the expansion DLC, The Isle of Armor, the cast of major characters has grown even more. Here, we’ve listed the most memorable characters from Pokémon Shield and Sword that you’ll meet along your journey.

The Most Memorable Pokémon Characters From Sword and Shield

The Undefeated Champion, Leon

Having taken part in the gym challenge at age 10, Leon bears the title of “Greatest trainer in Galar.” You first encounter Leon’s younger brother, Hop, the main character’s childhood friend. Hop introduces you, the player, to his older brother so you can receive starter Pokémon from him.

A little goofy and slightly unaware, Leon is a loveable, friendly main character that provides some guidance at the start of the game. In The Isle of Armor, you learn that, beyond his reputation as a Pokémon trainer, Leon is also known for being exceptionally bad with directions, relying on his partner, Charizard, to find his way.

Hop, Your New Rival and Guide to Gym Leaders and Pokémon

As is standard in a Pokémon game, Hop is your introduction to the world of Pokémon Sword, Shield, and the Isle of Armor, traveling with you to meet different trainers and all kinds of legendary Pokémon. With the help of his older brother Leon, Hop earns both you and himself endorsements to participate in the Galar Region Gym Challenge.

Through many gym battles and obstacles, Hop remains a positive, peppy character who drives the plot of the games with his passion and desire to surpass his brother.

Professor Magnolia

You and Hop encounter Professor Magnolia early in the game, and she offers guidance throughout your journey. As a Pokémon professor, she researches the Dynamax phenomenon, a new game feature in Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield, and The Isle of Armor.

Despite only appearing in the game a few times, Magnolia remains one of the most memorable characters in Pokémon Sword and Shield for her role in the exploration of this new mechanic, as well as her influence on other characters.

Chairman Rose

First appearing at the Gym Challenge’s opening ceremony, Chairman Rose is introduced as the head of the Galar League and the president of his company, Macro Cosmos. Rose’s company is said to have developed the Dynamax Band.

Though ultimately an antagonist in the game, Rose’s sophisticated style and intricate plans make him one of the most interesting new characters.

Gym Leader Milo

Gym Leader Milo is one of the most lovable of all the gym leaders. With a muscular frame but a goofy, innocent face, he embodies the trope of a “gentle giant,” his kind heart often making it difficult for him to use his full talent when facing a weaker gym challenger.

Unlike Gym Leader Kabu, who specializes in fire-type Pokémon, Milo leans more into the gentler aspects of nature. Having grown up on a farm, Gym Leader Milo is closest to grass-type Pokémon and spent his youth training with them.

Gym Leader Bea

Though players don’t see too much of her in Pokémon Sword, to which she’s exclusive, Gym Leader Bea shines in the supplemental content, Pokémon: Twilight Wings. In this six-minute animation, we see elements of Bea’s character we don’t get to witness in Pokémon Sword, such as Bea’s training and her journey to accept the help of her friends.

Gym Challenger Marnie

A pleasant diversion from the endlessly cheerful and eccentric Gym Leaders, Marnie is a rival who specializes in dark-type Pokémon. At first, she appears to be stoic and mysterious, but throughout the game, players learn more about her family and hometown, and she ultimately serves as a great help to the main character on their journey.


With a name almost more memorable than the character himself, Mustard is the previous champion of the Galar Region and the owner of the Master Dojo. A kind but skilled trainer, Mustard creates several challenges for you to overcome and provides players with a little Easter egg: you can find Mustard playing Pokémon Quest within the dojo.

Sordward & Shielbert

You take on Sordward and Shielbert in the post-game. These two wacky-haired twins create mayhem across Galar, but their parody design keeps the game lighthearted and silly with their cheesy, over-the-top dialogue and dramatic personalities.

Check Out That VideoGame Blog for All Things Pokémon

At That VideoGame Blog, we have all the information you need on Pokémon Sword, Shield, and the DLCs. If you enjoyed our breakdown of the most memorable characters in Pokémon Sword and Shield, check out our other Pokémon-related articles, such as our most recent blog featuring a complete list of Pokémon that are cats!