The Pokémon series would be nothing without trading since the franchise is designed around collecting and trading creatures with friends.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield, this is no exception. There are actually two ways to trade your Pokémon with friends or strangers across the world after progressing through a small portion of the game.
You’ll first need to unlock Comm Links, and when you do, an icon will appear in the bottom left of your screen. Then, it’s a simple step of pressing Y to open the Comm menu.
Once you open it, you’ll notice that there are two ways to trade Pokémon with people either offline or online.
The first is through Link Trade, which allows you to trade with anyone on your friends list or in the local area. Just remember to connect to the Internet using the + Button in the Trade Menu to connect with friends elsewhere.
The other way is through Surprise Trade, which allows you to send a random Pokémon to someone and get a random Pokémon back. These are the only two methods of trading in Sword and Shield. The GTS and other features from previous Pokémon games are missing from the new titles.