How to Trade Pokemon in Sword and Shield – Pokemon Sword and Shield Wiki Guide

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This pages covers how to trade Pokemon in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for the Nintendo Switch. Use this as a hub to learn how to trade locally, how to trade online, and more.

See How to Transfer Old Pokemon to Sword and Shield to see how to to trade Pokemon from Pokemon Let’s Go, Pokemon Go, Pokemon Sun and Moon, and more, to Pokemon Sword and Shield using Pokemon HOME

How to Trade Pokemon Between Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield[edit]

In most Pokemon games, you can trade both locally and online easily between both versions.

You must first get the Pokedex before you can trade.

How to do Local Trades in Pokemon Sword and Shield[edit]

To Trade Locally:

  1. Open the Y-Comm by pressing Y.
  2. To trade locally, both people who want to trade must choose Link Trade.
  3. Close the menu. You will then be connected automatically.

To trade locally with a specific person:

  • Both trade partners must “Set Link Code” and put in the same code.
  • Close the menu to be connected. Setting a code will often connect partners faster, but it isn’t necessary if there are only you and your trade partner are trading nearby

How to Connect Online and Trade in Pokemon Sword and Shield[edit]


To trade online:

  1. Press Y to open the Y-Comm menu.
  2. Press + while in the Y-Comm menu to connect Online.
  3. Choose “Start Trading” to be paired with a random person.
  4. Choose “Set Link Code” to connect with someone specific, who also must choose the same Link Code.
  5. Close the menu to be connected.

Surprise Trades[edit]

Surprise Trades is a unique type of trade that is a feature of the Y-Comm. Initiating a Surprise Trade initiates you to choose any Pokemon from any Box, and put it up for trade. If online, a random partner will be chosen, and the trade will occur – so you’ll end up with a random Pokemon. A surprise!

Surprise trades also work locally!

You need to close the menu to be connected, so initiate the Surprise trade and go about your business while a connection is made.

Trading Tips and Things You Should Know[edit]

Here are some things you should know about trading in Pokemon:

  • If a Pokemon is nicknamed, you won’t be able to change it once it’s traded to you.
  • If a Pokemon is overleveled when it’s traded to you, it may not listen to you until you earn enough Gym Badges.
  • Pokemon that are traded to you earn bonus EXP!

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