How to trade in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Trading Pokemon guide

Philip Trahan
pokemon scarlet violet trading headerThe Pokemon Company

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet players wanting to complete their Pokedex will need to trade with others to do so. Here’s everything to know about trading with other Pokemon trainers in Generation 9.

Ever since Pokemon Red & Blue on the Game Boy, trading has been an essential part of the Pokemon experience. Especially if trainers want to completely fill out their Pokedex In Scarlet & Violet to obtain version-exclusive Pokemon, trading will be something that must be done to complete the region.

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However, as Pokemon has improved its online features, trading with other players locally and over the internet has never been easier. This has become an even more seamless process with Gen 9.

Here’s everything players need to know about trading with other trainers in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet on Nintendo Switch.

How to trade in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

Trading has been streamlined a bit in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, which requires a bit of coordination with the friend you want to trade with.

If players want to trade locally, all they have to do is open the Poke Portal and search for a “Link Trade” partner who is sitting in the same room.

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However, those who want to trade with players online have two options: Link Trade and Surprise Trade. Link Trade is a standard Pokemon trade initiated with a specific Link Code, while Surprise Trades involve random trainers who will give random Pokemon.

Here’s how to access both Link Trades and Surprise Trades in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet:

  1. Load up Pokemon Scarlet or Violet on Switch.
  2. Open the game menu by pressing X, then select ‘Poke Portal‘ on the right side menu and hit the left bumper to connect to the internet.
  3. Select either ‘Link Trade‘ or ‘Surprise Trade‘ depending on the type of trading you want to do.
  4. If Link Trading, players simply need to coordinate with a friend to have a matching 8-digit Link Code.
  5. Select ‘Begin Searching‘ and, provided the Link Codes match, you should connect.
  6. If Surprise Trading, simply choose the Pokemon you want to trade and wait.
  7. Receive your new Pokemon!
pokemon scarlet violet trading screenThe Pokemon Company
The screen for Link Trades is simple and straightforward.

It’s important to note that trading will require a Nintendo Online Subscription, so local trading is the only option if you don’t have access to online play.

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When can you trade in Scarlet & Violet

Luckily, the ability to trade with other players is unlocked fairly early in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet. However, fans will have to get through the game’s tutorial section before they are able to do so.

pokemon scarlet violet pokeballs tradingThe Pokemon Company
When trading, a short animation will play that shows each player’s Pokeball flying through the air.

Specifically, players will unlock trading once they reach the first Pokemon Center in Los Platos while exploring with Nemona. After trainers talk to the two store clerks, players can access the Poke Portal menu and begin trading Pokemon.

And that’s everything players need to know about trading Pokemon in Generation 9! Those looking to find out more about Pokemon Scarlet & Violet can check out our other guides below:

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About The Author

Philip is a Staff Writer at Dexerto based in Louisiana, with expertise in Pokemon, Apex Legends, and general gaming industry news. His first job in the games industry was as a reviewer with while attending college. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication focusing on Multimedia Journalism, he worked with for nearly two years before joining Dexerto. When he's not writing he's usually tearing through some 80+ hour JRPG. You can contact him at