Playing Pokémon by yourself is fun, but you can’t really say you’ve properly played Pokémon until you’ve played with others! That said, if that’s not possible (because you live somewhere remote or you’re a bit of a social recluse; we’re not going to judge), feel free to skip this section–or keep reading, while dreaming of the possibilities.

Near or Far?

The Y-Comm is your window to playing with others.

It doesn’t matter if you want to trade or battle, the first thing you must do is open up the Y-Comm, by pressing the Y Button (hence the name) while on the field. This will be available after reaching Professor Magnolia’s abode on Route 2, roughly one hour into the game.

By default, your game will be communicating via Local Wireless. If the person you’re trading with is somewhere close to you, this is what you want. However, if the person is faraway and both of your Nintendo Switch consoles are connected to the Internet, press the “+ or - Button” to connect to the Internet.

Subscription Required!

To connect online, you must have a paid Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) subscription. If you don’t have a subscription, the game will bring up a window informing you about NSO. From here, you can directly access the Nintendo eShop to purchase or renew your subscription.

Initiating a Request

Next, if you want to trade, press the Link Trade button along the top of the Y-Comm menu. Choose “Start trading” if you want to trade with a random person. If you’re trading with a nearby person and you don’t believe there are other players around, you might be safe choosing this. Otherwise, pick “Set Link Code” to enter a private 4-digit code.

Battling with other players is a lot different than battling against the AI.

Or if you want to battle, press the Link Battle button near the middle. You can choose from three battle formats: Single Battle (1 Pokémon versus 1 Pokémon, like most battles in the story), Double Battle (2 Pokémon versus 2 Pokémon) or Multi Battle (a Double Battle between 2 teams of 2 players). Similarly, you can set a link code by pressing the + or - Button.

After this, you wait. Your trade or battle request will be issued as a stamp and, eventually, it should appear on the Y-Comm menu for other players. Other people can then click your stamp to accept the request. The reverse is also true–you can try to accept a request by selecting another person’s stamp. To speed things up, you can click “Search” to filter the stamps.

If a link code has been set, after selecting the stamp, the other person must input the correct code for the request to go through. There’s also a quicker and slightly less fussier way to arrange a trade or battle. When you and another player both set a link code and you both choose the same link code, the game will try to pair you two together.

Limitations of Link Codes

When setting a link code, if you’re aiming to play with a particular person, try to choose numbers that are hard to think of. Don’t pick something like “1111” or “1234”. Because with potentially thousands of people playing the game, there’s a very high chance that other people may be using the same link codes.

Requested Accepted!

With luck, your trade or battle request will be accepted. From here, everything should be self-explanatory. When trading Pokémon, you both have to wait for each other to respond. After the other person offers their Pokémon, you can agree to trade, check the summary of the Pokémon being offered, your Pokémon’s summary or cancel that particular request.

For battles, the game will randomly let you or the other player(s) decide the rules. This will determine things like the Level of your Pokémon and whether you can use certain “special” Pokémon or not (powerful Legendary Pokémon such as Zacian, Zamazenta and Eternatus and Mythicals like Mew). Afterwards, you can select your team, as well as the battle music.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms
    Switch
  • Genre
    RPG
  • Guide Release
    15 November 2019
  • Last Updated
    2 December 2020
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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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).

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