In the past (ha), Pokémon has made fossil acquirement fairly simple, but Sword & Shield is a little different. Instead of simply taking one fossil and reviving it, one must obtain two fossils and combine them to make one mix-and-match creature. Results depend entirely on the fossils one collects: bird, drake, fish, or dino. Fossilized drake and fish are much more common in Shield, while dino and bird are more common in Sword. Players may feel discouraged after only finding fossils for one pokémon, but allow me to lift your spirits: You can receive all of them in both games.
Methods vary, though this guide will highlight the quickest and simplest way to collect every fossil type. I’ll also note that this is based on personal experience, and is not a concrete methodology. All you need are two things: Lots of Watts and the location of the Digging Duo.
The Importance of Watts
Acquiring Watts is one of the easiest things to do in each game. Interacting with glowing dens in the Wild Area, fighting pokémon with glowing auras, and participating in events like the Rotom Rally all gift the player a decent amount of Watts. The most crucial advice for this guide is to save your Watts for a while. Resist spending them on TM/TRs or other assortments of goodies, as the more you have later on, the more likely the fossil items will fall into your lap.
Instead, you will want to spend your Watts on The Digging Duo. These two will be the key to obtaining the fossil pokémon in Sword & Shield. By talking to either person, they will offer to dig up treasures for 500 Watts. What they dig up tends to be random, though each has their own specialty.
Digging Duo Location
But this all doesn’t help if you don’t know where to find them! The Digging Duo can be found just outside the Pokémon Nursery, huddled in a corner of the Wild Area. To the right of Bridge Fields, one can find a pathway which leads down to a grassy crevice that holds little more than a building, some pokémon, and the Digging Duo up against the inner walls. If followed canonically, one cannot access this part of the Wild Area until beating the third gym leader.
The location of this specific spot can be found on the map below:
Can Left Be Right?
When interacting with the Digging Duo, the one on the right is more likely to last longer, but finds fairly common items. The one on the left does not last long at all, but is more likely to find rare items. I have only ever found uncommon fossils from the left person. With all context incorporated, the method becomes using one’s gargantuan amount of Watts to have the left-side digger search for the uncommon fossil types.
One could find a rare fossil in a single try, or maybe it’ll take twenty tries. However long it takes, one’s best bet is to have the left-side digger search, even if he’s only collecting few treasures at a time. A safe starting point for Watt quantity is between 10-15k, as it will allow plenty of room for error in case it takes a lot of A-mashing. If found, return to the scientist just outside of Stow-on-Side and provide her with the correct combination of fossils. The combination results are as follows:
- Fossilized Drake and Fish – Dracovish
- Fossilized Fish and Dino – Arctovish
- Fossilized Dino and Bird – Arctozolt
- Fossilized Drake and Bird – Dracozolt
Once I understood these conditions, I managed to get all four fossil pokémon from Sword & Shield in a single afternoon. Best of luck in your own campaign, and for more Pokémon-related guides, check out our article on evolving Galarian Yamask!