How to Trade in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Wondering how to trade Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield? Here’s everything you need to know.

There are a few different ways to trade your Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield and, thankfully, the game allows you to trade both with friends and with strangers online. It’s easier than ever to get rid of the Pokémon you no longer need and (hopefully) get the ones you need to finish your collection.

Very early on in the game, you’ll unlock the Trading menu – or the ‘Y-Comm’ as it’s called in-game. To access it, simply press Y from anywhere in the game.


There are two main trading options: Link Trade, and Surprise Trade.

In Link Trade, you can trade with a a friend by selecting ‘Set Link Code’. You’ll choose a code to secure your trade: give this code to a friend and you’ll be able to connect to each other.

If you don’t set a link code, you can search for a random player to trade with. The game will search in the background while you continue to play. You’ll be notified when a match has been found.

As for Surprise Trade: this is pretty much what you’d expect – a trade for a surprise! If you like a lucky dip and don’t mind what you get, it’s a good way to get rid of some duplicate Pokémon. Simply select ‘Surprise Trade’, and choose the Pokémon you’d like to trade. Again, the trade will happen in the background while you continue to play. Once a trade has been found, you’ll be notified. Press Y to go back to the trade menu where you’ll find out what Pokémon you’ve been given.