How to Trade With Friends in Pokémon Sword

Like the previous Pokémon titles, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield let you trade your Pokémon with other trainers to complete your Pokédex. Some Pokémon evolve only after trading. Some Pokémon are only available in one version. Hence, trading is essential to catch them all. This guide is for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, as both games are one side of the same coin.

How to Trade With Friends in Pokémon Sword

How to Trade Pokémon With Friends in Pokémon Sword

Check out the following steps to access the trading features. You can skip Step 1 if you already have access to the Y-Comm menu when you press the Y button.

Step 1 – Get Access to the Y-Comm Menu

To be able to trade, first, you need to have access to the Y-Comm menu. You can’t access the Y-Comm screen right away, but it’s possible to access it during early-game. After progressing through the first stages, you will receive the Dynamax Band after meeting with Professor Magnolia at her house located on Route 2. Doing this will give you access to the Y-Comm.

If you just started, check out these steps to unlock the Y-Comm menu:

  1. After finishing the game’s intro, get the bag in your room and leave your house.
  2. Go to Hop’s house. Then, leave and go to “Wedgehurst” using Route 1.
  3. Pick a starter Pokémon and reply with a “yes.”
  4. Win your battle against Hop.
  5. As an extra handy step, head towards your house. Then go to “Slumbering Weald.”
  6. Once there, battle with “???” and return home to speak with “Mum” to get your free 5 Pokeballs.
  7. Now you should meet Professor Magnolia. Finish her dialogue.
  8. Go to Hop and talk to him for battle.
  9. You’ll obtain the Dynamax Band. The band unlocks the Y-Comm menu.

After receiving the Y-Comm, new icons about trading requests, invitations, events, and more will appear on the left side.

Step 2 – Trade Using the Y-Comm Menu

The Y-Comm has different trading options. Check out these instructions to access them:

  1. To access the Y-Comm, press the Y button of the controller.
  2. Press the + button if you want to connect to the internet. You don’t need the internet to use the “Local Connection.”
  3. Select your preferred trade feature.

The Y-Comm menu lets you use features like trading, exchanging “League Cards,” and battling locally and even online. Specifically, the available trading features are the Link Trade, Surprise Trade, and the Swap Cards.

You need a Nintendo Switch Online account to access Y-Comm online only, so doing trades using the internet requires a paid Nintendo membership. You don’t need the Nintendo membership for trading via Local Connection.

Trade Pokémon Using the Link Trade

Link Trade lets you trade your Pokémon with other trainers. You can trade with a random trainer or through inviting a specific player via a Link Code. Check out these steps to trade:

  1. Open the Y-Comm menu by pressing the Y button.
  2. Press + to connect to the internet and select Link Trade.
  3. Pick “Start trading” to trade with anyone or “Set Link Code” to exchange Pokémon with friends.
  4. If you tap “Set Link Code,” you must enter the same code as your partner.
  5. Once connected, select a Pokémon for trading.
  6. After viewing your trade partner offered Pokémon, you can accept or reject the trade.
  7. The trade will be successful after both parties’ press “accept.” If not, you can retry.

You are free to roam around while the game searches for a trade partner, as the game will inform you once it finds a partner. Note that traded Pokémon are immediately available for use.

Additionally, you can switch between the Internet and Local Communication by using the + button.

Trade Pokémon Using Surprise Trades

As the name implies, a Surprise Trade is non-standard trade that exchanges your chosen Pokémon with the chosen Pokémon of a random player. Neither party knows what they will receive. Note that you will need an active Nintendo Switch Online service.

Check out these steps to make Surprise Trades:

  1. Press the Y button to open the Y-Comm menu.
  2. Select Surprise Trades.
  3. Choose a Pokémon for trading.
  4. Press Start to begin searching for a trading partner.

Since it’s a Surprise trade, it can be automatically completed in the background because you don’t need to confirm it by press accept. The game will notify you with “Trade Completed” after a successful trade.

Swap the League Cards

League Cards are used as profile introductions for players. You can obtain them from Gym Leaders and other trainers after defeating them. It’s possible to create your own as well.

You can swap your customized League Cards with other trainers. Follow these steps to trade cards:

  1. Open the Y-Comm screen by pressing Y.
  2. Unless you want to trade locally, press + to connect to the internet.
  3. Choose “Swap Cards.”
  4. Select between “Link Trade” or “Set Link Code” to trade with friends.

Play Link Battles

Additionally, you can battle against a random trainer or a friend using Link Battle. To do so, select link battle in the Y-Comm menu and play either locally or online.

Trade to Catch ‘Em All!

If you are a completionist, trading is a must for completing your Pokédex. Trading allows you to get exclusive Pokémon from the other version of the game. In other words, it is possible and necessary to trade between the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield versions to sometimes evolve and capture all 400 Pokémon available in the games.

As a bonus tip for your journey to catch them all, note that you can get all three starters by trading locally for free. To do so, you need two Nintendo Switches and two copies of either Pokémon Sword or Shield. To obtain the starters on your main account, keep restarting the game from scratch on the Nintendo that will be sending the starter Pokémon to your main account via trading.

What’s your ideal Pokémon trade? What Pokémon did you receive after a Surprise Trade? Let us know in the comment section below.

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