There are many reasons why you’d want to nickname a Pokémon. Some people enjoy doing so for contests and other appearance reasons. Others want to memorialize how they caught their favorite Pokémon. Still, others just want to name their Bulbasaur “Butthead.”
If you’ve ever wanted to nickname a Pokémon after you caught it, you probably know about the Name Rater, an NPC in main-series games who allows you to change a Pokémon’s name. In Pokémon Sword and Shield, nicknames are no longer permanent for the first time. You can even change the nickname of a Pokémon you received from another trainer in a trade, but only once.
If you want to give your teammate a new moniker, here’s how you can change a Pokémon’s nickname in Sword and Shield.
- Step one: Enter a Pokémon Center and you’ll notice a counter to the left side of the room. Walk toward it and hit the “A” button.
- Step two: You’ll see a list of options, including remembering a move and forgetting a move. Select “Rate a Nickname” and then pick the Pokémon whose nickname you want to change.
- Step three: The man will eventually ask if you want to give it a better nickname. Hit “Yes” and you can then enter a new nickname of your choosing.
There’s no cost to doing this and you can do it as many times as you want as long as it’s a Pokémon that you caught. Pokémon received in a trade that don’t already have a nickname can have their name changed once, so give it some thought before you hit Enter.