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: 31/May/2021 16:48

by Paul Cot


With each new game, trainers want to know how they can get hold of all three Pokemon starters, and Pokemon Sword and Shield is no different with the likes of the iconic Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble. 

Of course, you can just find a trainer online in the game who has them ready to trade. After all, with so many trainers shiny hunting the starters, plenty of players have them to spare.

However, what if you want to get hold of them yourself and aren’t willing to go online and arrange to get them?

Well, you can get them all yourself. Our handy guide will teach you how to get all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield without trading.


Sword Shield Starters Shiny
Pokemon Company
Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble in their shiny forms.

How to get all three starters

If you’re willing to spend a bit of time, you can have all three Sword and Shield starters relatively early in your journey without having to rely on anyone else at all.

Before you start, you’ll need three things:

  • A single copy of Pokemon Sword or Shield.
  • The Pokemon Home app.
  • An internet connection.

To start collecting your starters, follow this guide below:

  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. This is roughly an hour into the game. The Y-comm icon means you can now 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.

Scorbunny, the best starter in Sword and Shield
Pokemon / Nintendo
The best overall starter, Scorbunny, and the gang will be yours before you know it!

Pokemon starter method in 2021

Back 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 3 starters and did it alone with my 1 Switch, 1 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!


That’s everything you need to know about getting all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Check out our other super helpful ‘mon guides: How to claim mystery gifts | List of all missing Pokemon | Sword & Shield ‘mon location guide | Type chart: strengths and weaknesses