Trading is at the very center of Pokémon’s communal experience, and that is once again true of Pokémon Sword and Shield. Sword and Shield give you two ways to trade Pokémon with your friends all around the world.
How to Trade Pokemon in Pokémon Sword and Shield
The first thing you need to do is unlock the Comm Link. You need to play through the story and will know it has been unlocked when a blue Comm Links icon appears in the bottom left corner of the screen. Hit Y to open the Comm Links menu to begin trading Pokemon. You can do this either offline or online.
Link Trade will allow you to trade Pokemon with anyone on your Friends List or in the local area. If your friends are not near you, using the + button in the Trade Menu to connect to the internet and trade with them that way.
Surprise Trade allows you to send a random Pokemon to someone, and get a random Pokemon from them in return. Unfortunately, these are the only two trading methods in the game, as the GTS and other features from previous games in the series are gone from these newer titles.
Which method you choose to use is up to you, although we much prefer the idea of Link Trade. Remember, you will need to trade with people to get version exclusive Pokemon that only appear in either Sword or Shield.