The Pokémon Company
There are a lot of activities you can do with friends in Pokémon Sword and Shield for Nintendo Switch. We’ll show you how to add friends, start trades, fight each other, and more!
Find Friends in Pokémon Sword and Shield
The Pokémon Sword and Shield Friend Console uses the native Nintendo Switch Friend List. Friends will automatically appear in the new multiplayer hub in the in-game menu, Y-Comm. To access it, press the Y button on your right Joy-Con controller. Then you can do just about anything, including trading Pokémon, trading league cards, fighting friends, and more.
Most importantly, there is a feed on the right that provides information about what other people are doing online. This also gives you the opportunity to join them. People you’ve added to your Nintendo Switch Friends List will appear here with a purple smiley face next to their character name.
You can add a friend on Nintendo Switch in one of the following ways:
Submit a friend request using someone’s friend code.
Accept a friend request sent to you.
You can also search for friends locally using Bluetooth on your Nintendo Switch console.
Once you’ve added a friend on Nintendo Switch, you should both have a Nintendo Online Membership to play online games.
Where to find your friend code
After going through the Nintendo Switch setup process, you will automatically receive a 12-digit Friend Code. Friend codes start with “SW” and you will see yours on your main profile page or at the bottom right of the “Add a friend” page.
To access your profile page, use your left Joy-Con to navigate to your avatar at the top left of the Home screen, then press the A Button on the right Joy-Con.
Then select “Add friend”. At the bottom right, you will see “Your Friend Code:” followed by “SW” and 12 digits.
Here, you can also manage the friend requests you have received, search for local users, use your friend code to send a friend invitation, or check the requests you sent previously.
Manage friend requests
You can manage your friends list in the following ways:
Accept a friend request: All friend requests you receive appear in the “Friend requests received” menu, where you can accept or decline them.
Send a friend request: If you have received a person’s friend code, you can select “Search with friend code” in the “Add friend” menu, and then enter the code. A friend request will then be sent to that person. All the requests you have sent can be managed in the “Sent friend requests” menu under “Search with friend code”.
Add friends locally: This option allows you to exchange friend requests with people who are in the same room. You don’t even need an internet connection – it searches for local consoles via Bluetooth. However, to add friends locally, you must be connected to a Wi-Fi network. Otherwise, the request will be saved to the console and then sent automatically the next time the console connects to the internet.
Friends in “Pokémon Sword and Shield”
Once you’ve added friends to your Nintendo Switch profile, you can communicate with them and invite them to play Pokémon Sword and Shield through Y-Comm. To open it, simply press the Y button on your right Joy-Con controller in-game.
You can participate in several activities with friends, including trading or fighting Pokémon, going on raids together, trading Pokémon League cards, and more.
By default, the Y-Comm menu does not distinguish your friends from other players. To change this, select the magnifying glass next to “Search stamps” at the bottom, then select “Friends only”.
Now, your feed will only show activity from friends that you added through your Nintendo Switch profile.
You can also join your friends using link codes. These four-digit PIN numbers link up to four people participating in the same activity. Just make sure everyone is typing the same code.
To connect locally or through an Internet connection with friends who are not nearby, you can set a link code. To do this, open Pokémon Sword and Shield, then press the Y button on your right Joy-Con controller to open Y-Comm. Select “Link Trade” at the top, then choose “Set Link Code”.
You and your friends will all need to type in the same eight-digit code to connect and chat with each other. It can be anything you want or completely random. After choosing a code, enter it, then press the A button on your Joy-Con to confirm.
Close the menu and wait to be connected.
You will be taken to the Y-Comm menu, where you can share the code with your friends to start the trading process. If you ever wish to void a transaction, you can do so at any time by selecting another option from the Y-Comm menu.