Purchase Game

Pokémon: Sword & Shield

Surprise Trade

Ben Chard
Vincent Lau

This is “Wonder Trade” from Pokémon X, Y, Sun and Moon but under a new name. Here, you can offer one of your Pokémon to trade and receive a mystery Pokémon from a completely random person.

How to Trade

There’s a different between a nice surprise and a not-so-nice one.

Starting a Surprise Trade works similarly to starting a regular trade (or a battle). First, you need to open the Y-Comm by pressing the Y Button while on the field. Next, you should decide whether to communicate locally (the default setting) or via the Internet. To toggle between the two communication modes, press the + or - Button while in the Y-Comm menu.

When you’re ready, press the “Surprise Trade” button near the top of the menu. You’ll be asked to choose a Pokémon from your boxes to trade. After selecting a Pokémon, you must save your game. The game will then issue a stamp for your trade request. Afterwards, it will automatically look for other stamps requesting for a Surprise Trade, to try and match you up.

While the game’s attempting to hook you up, “Searching…” will appear in the bottom-left corner of the screen, next to the Y-Comm prompt. Once you’ve been matched up, that text will be replaced with “Trade completed!” Now open up the Y-Comm again and you’ll be shown the results of your Surprise Trade. Hopefully it’s a good ’un and not a stinker!

In Reality…

Audrey is a good person, for sending something decent, like a version exclusive!

You’ve probably heard amazing stories about Wonder/Surprise Trade, where people get sent shiny, flawless IV Pokémon. That can happen, but the chances are strikingly low (and if it does happen, it’s probably hacked or a clone). Most of the time, you’re going to get other people’s junk. Because there’s no benefit to giving strangers actually good Pokémon.

Still, even if it’s junk, occasionally, it can be useful junk. Perhaps it’s a Pokémon you don’t have, which you can add to your Pokédex. Or maybe it’s a leftover Pokémon from somebody’s breeding programme, which you can incorporate into your own. Before trashing a Pokémon you receive, check if it has a useful Ability, move or even the Poké Ball it’s been caught with!

On the flip side, we strongly encourage sending Pokémon that you don’t need, but could be useful for other people. Please don’t send yet another bog standard Rookidee or Skwovet! Instead, try to send Pokémon exclusive to your version, starter Pokémon that you’ve bred, etc. There’s no benefit to yourself of course, but–like we try to do with our guides–it feels nice to help others, right?


User profile pic
Welcome Guest

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    15 November 2019
  • Last Updated
    31 August 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author

Share this free guide:

Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Pokémon: Sword and Shield, the latest entries in the Pokémon video game franchise. Our guide also incorporates all the DLC, including the Isle of Armor and brand new Crown Tundra DLC.

In Sword and Shield, you explore the Galar region, based on the United Kingdom, alongside rivals Hop, Bede and Marnie, with the aim to dethrone the Pokémon League Champion.

The games introduce several new features such as Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, functions that increase size and change forms of certain Pokémon; the Wild Area, a large open world with free camera movement; and raids with co-op battling. They also reintroduce features previously seen in Sun and Moon and Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, such as regional variants and roaming Pokémon depicted in the overworld.

Brand New October 2020:

Version 1.2

  • A Complete Walkthrough of the Isle of Armor.
  • Details of all 16 new Wild Areas, including Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All the new Max Raid Dens: Locations and Featured Pokémon.
  • Images and Locations of All 150 of the Missing Diglett.
  • The Isle of Armor Pokédex (featuring 100 Returning Pokémon).
  • Recipes for the Cram-o-matic.
  • A Full Walkthrough featuring Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All Gym Encounters and Strategies.
  • New Items: Mints & Natures Explained.
  • Post Game content including Champion Cup.
  • Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing.
  • The Galar Region Pokédex (featuring 400 Pokemon).

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account: