How to get all three Pokemon Sword & Shield starters without trading

Ava Thompson-Powell
Pokemon Sword Shield Starters TradingThe Pokemon Company / Dexerto

Having all three Pokemon starters fighting side by side on your team in Pokemon Sword and Shield is an exciting possibility, but working out how to get all of them without trading in the game can take some time, so we’ve compiled a guide for players to utilize. Just follow the steps below and you’ll have all three Sword & Shield starters on your team in no time. 

There are plenty of Pokemon Trainers out there who have the adorable Galarian starter Pokemon ready to trade. However, trading isn’t always a viable option for those who aren’t able or don’t want to play online with others.

Our handy guide will provide a rundown of how to get all three starters in Sword and Shield without trading, which is a perfect method for trainers who prefer to play offline.


Contents


Shiny variants of starters Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble in Pokemon Sword and ShieldPokemon Company
Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble in their shiny forms.

All starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield

As in all of the Pokemon games, there are three different starters in Sword & Shield — Grookey, Sobble, and Scorbunny.

Each one provides a slightly different start to your adventure in the Galar region due to the order of the gym leaders you’ll face in battle. Each starter’s types are as follows:

How to get all three Pokemon Sword and Shield starters

Without having to rely on anyone else at all, in Pokemon Sword and Shield you can easily get all three starters relatively early in your journey. You’ll just need a single copy of Pokemon Sword or Shield, The Pokemon Home app, and an internet connection.

To start collecting your three starters, follow these steps:

  1. Load up a fresh save of either Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield and choose your starter.
  2. Rush through the game as fast as you can until you battle against Hop outside Professor Magnolia‘s house. This is just before you reach the Wild Area.
  3. From here, the Y-comm icon should show at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. With this icon visible, you’re now able to trade.
  4. Send over your chosen starter Pokemon to the Pokemon Home app.
  5. Delete the game file from your Nintendo Switch.
  6. Repeat this process again for the second starter.

Once you have two starters stored safely in Pokemon Home, your third playthrough will be your final one.

This time though, when trading becomes available, you’ll be transferring the other two starters back into the game from Pokemon Home.

Starters Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble posing in Sword and ShieldThe Pokemon Company
You’ll need to know your type effectiveness to become the very best.

Pokemon Sword and Shield starters method in 2022

When Sword and Shield first came out, there were questions as to whether this method works, as it was previously thought this could only be done with other people. However, Redditor thekasafist confirmed in early 2020 that this works on their own system, and it still seems to work in 2022, too.

“I have confirmed it works with the same account just as long as you delete the game file off of the Switch. I have all three starters and did it alone with my one Switch, one copy of either Sword or Shield, and the Pokemon Home app.”

YouTube channel ‘Pokemon tips and tricks’ also shared a video in December 2020 that confirmed the method, too – showing the process on their Nintendo Switch.

Unless Nintendo patch this method from the game — and we don’t see why they would — all three Pokemon Sword and Shield starters are just a couple of hours of playtime away!

Can you catch the starters?

No, the three starter Pokemon in Sword and Shield cannot be caught out in the wild – meaning you’ll need to use the above method or trade them with other Trainers if you want to add them to your Pokedex.

Scorbunny, the best starter in Sword and ShieldPokemon / Nintendo
The best all-around starter is Scorbunny, and it will be yours before you know it using the above method!

The best starter in Pokemon Sword and Shield

When you’ve managed to get hold of all three starters using the above method, the next step is deciding which one is the best to use in Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Of course, either Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble are viable, but when it comes down to effectiveness, there are two clear outliers:

  • In terms of early-game effectiveness, and primarily regarding the first and second gyms, grass-type Grookey is your best shot at an easier time because of its type advantages over many of the ‘mon you’ll be presented within those gyms.
  • Overall, however, fire-type Scorbunny is the best starter to choose if you’re looking to have an all-around advantage, both in the earlier game and towards the late game.
  • Sobble, the water-type ‘mon, is the least viable of the three and will have a harder time earlier on in the game.

That’s everything you need to know about getting all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield.

For more content to utilize on your journey throughout Galar, make sure to check out our guides:

Full list of trade codesHow to claim mystery gifts | List of all missing Pokemon | Sword & Shield ‘mon location guide | Type chart: strengths and weaknesses | Pokemon Max Raid event | What is Pokemon Home? | How to get free Ash’s Dragonite code for Pokemon Sword & Shield

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