Pokemon Sword and Shield: How-to Get All Starters

Our Pokemon Sword and Shield: How-to Get All Starters Guide will walk you through the process of obtaining the three starters you can pick from when you begin the game! This is a bit more clunky than you'd think, because you cannot obtain any of these three Pokemon in the wild. You will need to jump through a couple of hoops to make it happen, but it's really not that difficult of a process.

Breed Your Starter and Trade It

This is the most practical method on how-to get all of the starters. You will first need to catch yourself a Ditto. These can be found in the Lake of Outrage zone in the Wild Area. You can only get to this area after getting an upgrade to your bike on Route 9 that will allow you to travel across bodies of water.

Head to the Lake of Outrage which is on the left side of the Wild Area. Ditto will spawn as an Overworld Pokemon or as a random exclamation point spawn. When you battle a Ditto, it will take the form of your current Pokemon, so make sure not to use something that will destroy you too easily. Weaken it down as normal and catch it with a Pokeball. You can also just wing a Quick Ball at it which is my favorite option! Ditto is a fairly rare Pokemon, so you might need to run around quite a bit to get one to spawn.

You will now need to visit a Nursery! I recommend the one near Route 5 because it has a nice long path you can ride up and down. If you aren't aware, each movement you make will count towards whether or not your Pokemon have popped out an egg! Head back to the Nursery after wheeling around for a while and you should hopefully have an egg. Once you have an egg, put it into your party and ride around until it hatches. You will now have a brand new starter Pokemon. Get two new ones hatched and then you will want to jump into some Link Trades using the Y-Comm.

You will need to find someone who is willing to trade their starter for yours! This is obviously much easier if you have a friend with the game who can just breed their starter. You can also find someone to trade with on a place like the PokemonTrades Reddit!

Own Both Games and Trade Them to One Game

This method is kind of ridiculous, but if you have two copies of either game and two different Nintendo Switch devices then you can get all three starters yourself. You just need to run through the story on the version you plan to play, then pick one of the starters and reach the part in the story where you receive the Dynamax Band and the Y-Comm. Once you've done this on one device, you will do it again on the second game and device. Run through the story again, pick a different starter, and reach the part where you receive the Y-Comm. You can then connect to the device via local trading, or you can connect to the internet and connect via a four-digit Link Code!

Once you've traded over the starter to the game you plan on playing, you will need to delete the save data from the other game. Go to Home > Switch System Settings > Data Management > Delete Save Data. Then you will need to repeat the process to get the final starter.

Get Lucky With Surprise Trade

Surprise Trade is the new "Wonder Trade" for Pokemon Sword and Shield. If you aren't familiar with this, it allows you to put up one of your Pokemon to trade and you will receive a Pokemon that someone has put up as well. You are pretty much just rolling the dice and hoping to get something good. I wouldn't do this early on because most players won't be putting anything good up, but in a few days or a week after release you will start seeing some pretty good Pokemon via this method. A lot of people will breed their starters to try to get specific stats and they put their extras into the Surprise Trade. It isn't that unheard of to obtain them using this method.

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About the Author

Shaun aka Evident is a lifelong gamer and creator of websites. He mostly focuses on shooters, but has been known to dabble in the occasional card game as well. You can find him binge watching TV shows in his downtime.

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  1. The second one is what I planned on doing since I have a regular switch and a Z&Z Lite. Had sword, and shield will be arriving later today (hopefully they do not get discounted too much this friday lol) So will have a sword save (which I have already started and have saved on my OG switch, might start streaming eventually) then a shield save on my Lite. Figured this might be doable but will they have to be separate switch user accounts or its fine to use the same account on both at the same time since its different games ?
    Also was wondering if this will in anyway break the game at all ?

    1. I believe it should be fine as long as the profiles have two different friend codes.

  2. This info was really helpful because before I battle any gyms I would like to get all the starters and plus it is so hard to choose between which starter fire-type and grass-type are both my favorite. Peace out✌️

    1. Glad it helped!