Pokémon Sword and Shield has a ton of new features. The multiplayer aspects alone are varied and extremely complex. And with all the new people hopping into the franchise with this Switch release, there’s a ton of people who are confused by what to do and how local multiplayer in Pokémon Sword and Shield works.
Y-Comm is a new feature introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield that serves as the place where you can trade Pokémon, have Link Battles and communication with one another. The Y-Comm is simply another way for players to network together. All connected players in your local game will show up here. By pressing the Y button on your Nintendo Switch, you can open the menu at any time. To find things to do, use the Search Stamps function on the screen to find requests for everything from other players. You can also use Stamps to post your own requests.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the ways to play local multiplayer in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Link Trade (Y-Comm)
This is one of the easiest ways to have fun with your friends in Pokémon Sword and Shield. The Y-Comm menu can offer the option to choose any local player who is active in the game and trade them from your party of PC. This is a good way to get a hold of the exclusives in each version. Sirfetch’d and Stonjourner are the two mainline exclusive entries in Sword. And Cursola and Galarian Ponyta are some of the exclusives in Shield.
Link Battle (Y-Comm)
Link Battling is the typical link battle old school fans of the franchise remember. You can choose between Single, Double, and Multi style battles, with a variety of other options too. Assemble your team of six and do battle to see who is the best trainer. One good option is to normalize levels of chosen Pokemon to level 50, making competition a bit more fair.
Exploring (Wild Area)
This is one of the new options in this entry. The Wild Area is an online-connected system that allows players to explore around and endlessly respawning route that lets players collect Pokémon and berries to their heart’s content. A group of friends can join the Wild Area together, then going exploring in the same lobby.
Camping (Wild Area)
Camping in the Wild Area is a bit of an alteration on the core Wild Area idea. If you place your Pokémon camp down in the wild area, your friends can see it. If they stand on it and press A, they visit your camp. You can talk to/play with both your own and your friends’ Pokémon and you can make food together. You can also contribute resources to the cooking and other crafting to distribute the burden.
Max Raid Battle (Wild Area + Y-Comm)
This is the end-game of the Wild Area. Players who want to take on these battle together can either choose them via the Y-Comm or find them randomly spawned inside the Wild Area. The dens you see scattered around have a chance to be active or inactive. Inactive dens give you 50 watts, while active dens give you 300 watts and a chance to fight the Dynamax Pokémon inside in a raid. Those Watt counts increase once you beat the game’s story. Once you become Champion, the values are 300 and 2,000 Watts respectively. You will
If you’re a solo player, you can also take these raids on solo with NPCs backing you up. If you win, everyone gets a chance to catch the raid Pokémon and a random bundle of loot. Expect Candies and Berries to be pretty common. Players will also earn TRs, single-use TMs, for the type moves for that Raid target. So a Grass-type will give a handful of Grass-type TRs.
While not technically a form of direct multiplayer, it’s worth mentioning that there are two kinds of trades to talk about in the game. For Pokedex completion, both will be kind of important. There’s Link Trade where players looking to trade specific mons can come together and exchange. Players also have the option of using Surprise Trade, where players select a Pokémon from their boxes to randomly trade with another Trainer. This can be done via WiFi or the Internet.