How to get all three Pokemon Sword & Shield starters without trading
Starter Pokemon are strong monsters that trainers can rely on in the toughest battles for their entire adventure, and the Sword & Shield starters are no exception. While players can only pick one starter at the beginning of their adventure, it is possible to gather them all with time.
Pokemon Sword & Shield offers trainers the choice between three different starter Pokemon. Fans can only pick one of these starters at the beginning of their journey, meaning the others must be traded if you want to fully register them to the Pokedex.
While there are plenty of Pokemon Trainers out there who have the other Galarian starter Pokemon ready to trade, it 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.
- All starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield
- How to get all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield
- Does this method work in 2022?
- Can you catch the Starters?
- The best starter to use in Pokemon Sword and Shield
As in all of the Pokemon games, there are three different starters in Sword & Shield: Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble.
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:
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:
- Load up a fresh save of either Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield and choose your starter.
- 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.
- 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.
- Send over your chosen starter Pokemon to the Pokemon Home app.
- Delete the game file from your Nintendo Switch.
- 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.
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!
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.
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 codes | How 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