Why You Should Find (Most Of) The Diglett In Pokémon Sword And Shield’s New Expansion

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Screenshot: Nintendo, Kotaku
Screenshot: Nintendo, Kotaku

What do you get if you take the original 151 Pokémon and replace them with carbon copies of an eighth generation reimagining of one the more forgettable ones? The Isle of Armour expansion for Pokémon Sword and Shield, out last week for Nintendo Switch, answers that head-scratcher. Kinda.

Early on in the DLC, as you try to cross a bridge in the Fields of Honour, you’re briefly stopped by an Alolan Diglett. Once you dig it up, a trainer from Alola (the setting for Pokémon Sun and Moon) shows up. His name is Diglett Trainer and — you’ll never guess — the wayward Diglett is his. Turns out, he has a lot of Diglett, actually. They’re just all missing.

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This being a Pokémon game, Diglett Trainer asks you to track down all of them. Not counting the one you first unearth, that means you’ll need to find 150 Alolan Diglett on your adventure through the Isle of Armour. How he’s able to travel with 151 Pokémon — when, traditionally, trainers can only carry six — is beyond me. Nevertheless, rounding up the little fellas is well worth your time, at least up to a point.

As you dig up Diglett, be sure to return to Diglett Trainer. He’ll give you rare Pokémon as rewards for certain milestones. Find five Diglett, for example, and you’ll get an Alolan Meowth (a dark-type Pokémon, compared to the standard normal-type). Ten Diglett will get you a standard water-psychic-type Slowpoke, a notable departure from the yellow-fringed, purely psychic-type Galarian Slowpoke you get in Sword and Shield. Turning in 20 Diglett will earn you an Alolan Vulpix (ice-type, rather than fire), while 30 will add an Alolan Sandshrew (ice-steel, not ground-type) to your team.

The big prize comes when you turn in 100 Diglett. Hit that milestone, and Diglett Trainer will reward you with one of the three Alolan starters: the water-type Popplio, the grass-type Rowlet, and, cutest for last, the fire-type Litten. Which starter you receive depends on who you chose at the start of Sword and Shield, matched by type. Yet again, fire starters come out on top.

If you find all 150, Diglett Trainer will graciously give you an Alolan Diglett. To put it in financial terms, that’s a 0.66% fee for your efforts. In Pokémon terms, the payoff is even worse than that. Thanks to a terrible type pairing — steel and ground — Alolan Diglett has four type weaknesses, all of which are fairly common. Its evolution, Alolan Dugtrio, is fast and has a decent attack stat, but c’mon, look at this mane:

Screenshot: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

You seriously want to front your team with the guitarists from Ratt? No, the starters are a far more valuable prize. Rather than aiming to find each and every Diglett, set your sights on finding 100, then throw in the towel.

Finding stray Diglett isn’t a walk in the park. Unlike standard Diglett, the Alolan iteration has a three-string tuft of hair, kind of like Eddy from Ed, Edd, and Eddy. In the wild, it looks less like a bad hairdo and more like a natural part of the environment. Can you spot the Diglett in this screenshot, for instance?

Screenshot: Nintendo, Kotaku

Computer, enhance!

Screenshot: Nintendo, Kotaku

Things become even more difficult when you venture into the Isle’s desert areas.

Screenshot: Nintendo, Kotaku

Hey, there it is!

Screenshot: Nintendo, Kotaku

Rather than tell you the precise coordinates of every Diglett (where’s the fun in that?), here’s some advice for tracking them down.

First, rather than search aimlessly, check the chalkboard next to Diglett Trainer. There, you’ll be able to see how many Diglett are remaining for each of the Isle’s subregions. That way, you can see which regions deserve more scrutiny.

Brawler’s Cave and Warm-Up Tunnel are gimme putts. They’re little more than straight passageways, so searching is just a matter of walking and rotating the camera 360 degrees as you go. You’ll get 10 Diglett total for clearing both areas, a task that shouldn’t take you more than a matter of minutes.

The Potbottom Desert is also ripe with Diglett, despite any sandy obfuscation. Spotting the tufts isn’t easy, but at least you don’t have to contend with vast swathes of tall grass. Conversely, the oceanic regions — Workout Sea, Stepping-Stone Sea, Honeycalm Sea, and Insular Sea — are also good places to search. In general, just comb over the small cays that litter the coast. A Diglett can’t dig underwater, right? So if you want to find any, you’ll need to make landfall.

For all of the other regions, hunting them is more of an art than a science. Sometimes, they’ll “hide” in the centre of a field or pathway. Every now and then, you’ll find one next to a Power Spot, or at the end of a dead-end road. But more often than not, they’re next to natural structures: trees, boulders, clumps of flowers. Happy searching! Once you’re done, you’ll get one new entry in your Pokédex.

More from the Isle of Armour:

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Pokémon Sword And Shield’s DLC Brings Back Exquisitely Rude Rivals

Meet Klara and Avery, the stars of Pokémon Sword and Shield’s new Isle of Armour DLC. They’re your rivals in the expansion. They absolutely hate your guts, and it’s wonderful.

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