You can change a Pokemon’s nickname in Pokemon Sword & Shield, should you give them one you regret or if you want to provide them with something other than their default name. There are some limitations to this, and there are some Pokemon that cannot have their name changed, no matter how you try.
It’s possible to change a Pokemon’s nickname in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet at any time, as it’s all done through the player menu. This isn’t the case in Pokemon Sword & Shield, as it involves visiting a Pokemon Center, but at least this is a step up from the older games, where you need to track down the Name Rater somewhere in the world, rather being able to use multiple locations.
Where You Can Change Your Pokemon’s Nickname In Pokemon Sword & Shield
Once you have caught a Pokemon and given it a name in Pokemon Sword & Shield, you can only change a Pokemon’s nickname in a Pokemon Center. You must enter any Pokemon Center and go to the counter to the left of Nurse Joy, where you’ll see a man standing to the left of the computer with the Rotom on it. Talk to this man and select “Rate a nickname”, then select a Pokemon.
If your Pokemon’s name can be changed, he will say, “That is quite a fine nickname. But I think we could give it something even better. What do you think?” If you select “Yes,” you will be taken to a name selection screen, where you can give the Pokemon a new nickname.
If the Pokemon cannot have its nickname changed, he will say, “That is a truly impeccable nickname! I can’t say anything bad about it!” and you won’t be taken to the name selection screen. This is because some Pokemon cannot have their names changed, such as Pokemon received via Trades or through a Mystery Gift. As such, you’ll be stuck with that Pokemon’s nickname.
You’re free to change a Pokemon’s nickname as many times as you like, and there’s no cost for doing so. Just be aware that some nicknames are banned and will be blocked by the Switch’s in-system filter, and you won’t be allowed to select them within the game. There are also lots of Pokemon that cannot be given nicknames, especially the ones distributed by The Pokemon Company via online events, so you’re stuck with whatever name they’re given.