How to get starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield without trading - Dexerto

How to get all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield without trading

Published: 3/Nov/2021 11:42 Updated: 3/Nov/2021 13:06

by Ava Thompson-Powell


Figuring out how to get all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield without trading can take a little bit of time, so make sure to utilize our guide and you’ll have Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble fighting side by side on your team in no time.

While there are plenty of Trainers online in the game who have these adorable Galarian Pokemon ready to trade, this isn’t always viable for those who aren’t able to play online with others (or simply don’t want to).

For those Trainers out there – you’re in luck. Our handy guide will teach you how to get all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield without trading.



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

How to get all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Without having to rely on anyone else at all, you can easily get all three Sword and Shield 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 (the order doesn’t matter here, so choose any of grass-type Grookey, fire-type Scorbunny, or Sobble, the water-type).
  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 Shield
The Pokemon Company
You’ll need to know your type effectiveness to become the very best.

Pokemon Sword and Shield starters method in 2021

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 back in early 2020 that this works on their own system, and it still seems to work in 2021, 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 starter Pokemon in Sword and Shield?

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 Shield
Pokemon / 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 | What is Pokemon Home?