Welcome to Nintendo Support

Get support for your Nintendo systems, software and services

How to Set Up a Local or Online Multiplayer Game (Pokémon Sword / Pokémon Shield)

In this article, you'll learn how to trade or battle with another player in Pokémon: Sword and Pokémon: Shield.

Addtional Information:

  • 2-4 players can battle or trade with each other online or via a local wireless connection. Each player needs a copy of Pokémon: Sword or Pokémon: Shield and a Nintendo Switch console.
  • A Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to use the online multiplayer features.
  • The option to battle or trade Pokémon becomes available after you have received the Dynamax Band (after about one hour of gameplay).

Complete these steps

  1. Launch Pokémon: Sword or Pokémon: Shield from the Nintendo Switch HOME Menu.

What do you want to do?

  1. Press the Y Button at any point during gameplay to access the Y-Comm menu.
    • This menu becomes available after you receive the Dynamax Band in the game.
  2. Press the + Button to toggle between local and internet communication.
    • The current communication mode appears in the upper-right corner of the screen (“Local Communication” or “Internet”).
  3. Select Link Trade.

Do you want to trade with a friend or trade with anyone?

  1. Have both players select Set Link Code and enter the same 4-digit code, then OK.
  2. Have both players select Yes to trade using the Link Code.
    • Check the upper-right corner to make sure that you’re each set to the same communication type – “Local Communication” or “Internet.”
  3. The system will search for another local player that has entered the same code while you continue with your adventure. When another player is found, the trade menu will open.
  4. Choose the Pokémon you want to trade, then select Trade it.
  5. The other player’s Pokémon will appear on the screen. Each player must select Trade it for the trade to complete.
  1. Select Start trading.
  2. The system will search for another player to trade with as you continue your adventure. When another player is found, the trade menu will open.
  3. Choose the Pokémon you want to trade, then select Trade it.
  4. The other player’s Pokémon will appear on the screen. Each player must select Trade it for the trade to complete.
  1. Press the Y Button at any point during gameplay to access the Y-Comm menu.
    • This menu becomes available after you receive the Dynamax Band in the game.
  2. Press the + Button to toggle between local and internet communication.
  3. The current communication mode appears in the upper-right corner of the screen (“Local Communication” or “Internet”).
  4. Select Link Battle.

Do you want to battle a friend or battle with anyone?

  1. Have all players press the + Button to select Set Link Code.
  2. Have each player enter the same 4-digit code, then select OK.
  3. Check the upper-right corner to make sure that you’re each set to the same communication type – “Local Communication” or “Internet”.
  4. Have each player choose the same type of battle (Single Battle, Double Battle, Multi Battle.)
    • Single Battle and Double Battle are 2-player battles; Multi Battle is a 4-player battle.
  5. The console will search for other local players that have entered the same code as you continue your adventure. When the players are found, the battle will begin.
  1. Choose the type of battle you want to play (Single Battle, Double Battle, Multi Battle).
    • Single Battle and Double Battle are 2-player battles; Multi Battle is a 4-player battle.
  2. The console will search for other local players as you continue your adventure. When the players are found, the battle will begin.
  1. Press the X Button during gameplay to access the in-game menu, then select VS.
    • This option becomes available after you receive the Dynamax Band in the game.
  2. Select Battle Stadium.
    • A Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to use this mode.
  3. Choose the type of battle you want to play:
    • Casual – Battle other trainers around the world for fun
    • Ranked Battle – Compete in serious battles to for a high ranking
    • Online Competitions – Participate in ongoing competitions
  4. Read through the information about the type of battle you’ve chosen, then follow the onscreen directions to begin.