Pokemon Sword and Shield is bringing back XP Share again but in a new form... one that you can't turn off! We're taking a look at what you can do to kind of get around this feature if you don't want your Pokemon to potentially be over-leveled too early in the game.
This information is based off of leaked versions of the games. It's possible that some of this changes by the time it is officially released, but we're guessing that this will not be the case.
What is Exp. Share
It was originally an item that you could find and put on a Pokemon that would split experience across different Pokemon in your party. You had to use the Pokemon in the battle and then the experience you earned from that Pokemon would be distributed across your team. It was then changed into an item that you could put on a Pokemon that you didn't want to have enter the battle, but you wanted them to gain experience. If they were holding the item, they'd get a share of the experience that was earned in the battle.
In more recent Generations of Pokemon it became a Key Item. You'd get it early on in the game and it would split experience and EVs across all of your non-fainted Pokemon. This could be turned on or off in the Bag menu in the overworld.
Experience Share in Sword and Shield
Based on the leaks from the game, it looks like there's an automatically enabled experience share in Sword and Shield. You CANNOT turn this off like you were able to previously, so it's possible that your Pokemon will level up very quickly and you will steamroll the content.
The current idea on how-to get around this is to only have one Pokemon in your party at a time. This is a very clunky way to accomplish this, but it was a suggestion made by, director Shigeru Ohmori:
“When we researched Experience Share, we found that almost all players enabled the feature by default. Those who have it off, especially want to train one specific pokémon. We thought: is there a way to achieve that? And there is, simply by putting the rest of your pokémon in the PC Link Box.”
This is not a great fix, but there's not a lot of great options if you're looking to make the game a bit more difficult. Another thing you could employ would be to avoid too many wild encounters and focus mainly on the story at first. You can then save your leveling as an endgame activity. You could also attempt to rotate through many different Pokemon when they become too high leveled. Then switch back when they aren't too high for the content!
We'll update this post with any additional methods on how-to get around this new feature. We're slightly hopeful that it's possible to patch in the ability to turn it on and off, but that is likely a long shot.