Be careful when buying Pokemon Sword and Shield's expansion pass

Yesterday, the first expansion in the Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion pass launched. The Isle of Armor promises a slate of new Pokemon, a new region to explore, and even new clothes to wear, and while many probably pre-ordered the expansion pass, those who haven't already paid for it should proceed with caution. As it turns out, it's possible to buy the wrong version of the DLC, and if you do that, you're essentially flushing $30 down the drain.

The issue stems from the fact that there are separate expansion passes for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield; there isn't just one version you can buy that's compatible with both games. This means that you can buy the wrong version of the expansion pass if you aren't paying close attention, and if that happens, don't expect much in the way of help from Nintendo.

It seems that Nintendo actually anticipated this, as Nintendo of Japan's customer support tweeted out a message last week urging players to pay close attention to which expansion pass they're buying and noting the difference between the Sword and Shield passes. Should you buy the wrong pass, you probably won't be able to get a refund either, as Nintendo's customer support website here in North America distinctly says that the company won't issue refunds or exchanges for mistaken purchases.

So, what's the best way to ensure that you're getting the right expansion pass? Pop into your game, and from the menu, select the expansion pass banner you see in the lower right-hand corner. That will take you to the eShop page for the appropriate expansion pass, ensuring no mistaken purchases.

If, on the other hand, you decide to buy online from the eShop (either through a web browser or on the Switch), just be aware that there are separate pages for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield with links to their respective expansion passes. Finally, double check the name of the expansion when you're at check out to ensure that you're buying the right one, and you should be able to avoid this $30 mistake.