How to trade Pokémon with friends online in Sword and Shield

It's not ideal, but it's all we got.

Pokémon Sword and Shield
Image via The Pokémon Company

The Pokémon series is known for its focus on trading and battling, but that’s been made increasingly difficult to do with online friends in Sword and Shield.

Trading with friends is not only tedious, but also annoying, and relies on you getting lucky for it to work. There is no way to directly connect to the player that you want in trades and battles, but we are here at least to give you advice on what to do to make the process a little bit easier.

First things first, if you are trading with friends online, you need to open the Y-Comm menu by pressing Y in the overworld. You then need to press the + button to connect online.

After doing this, both players need to head into Link Trade and select the “Set Link Code” option. Work with your friend to decide a four-digit combination you both will use in hopes of linking each other in a trade.

When you select your four-digit number, the game should match you up online pretty swiftly. Be wary though, other trainers using the same code could be linked up with you, so it might take a couple of tries to finally connect to each other.

Once you have done this, however, you can continue with your trade as normal. Just remember, you need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to be able to trade online, without it, you are stuck using local trades only.