Pokemon Sword and Shield Multiplayer: how to activate your internet connection for trades, battles, raids and more

Pokemon Sword and Shield is finally here, and this latest pair of entries to the mainline Pokemon series is finally on a machine that isn't shackled to the limitations of a handheld. That means one key thing - more integrated online multiplayer. If, that is, you know how to activate it.

You see, the strange thing is that even though Nintendo, The Pokemon Company and Game Freak have made a fairly big deal out of the online functionality such as seeing other players in real time out in the Wild Area of the Galar region in the pre-release phase, what most players might not realize is that the multiplayer aspect of the wild area - and Pokemon Sword and Shield in general - isn't turned on by default.

If you try to hop into a Max Raid battle without connecting, or try to take on a Surprise Trade, you'll either be stuck with AI or unable to do it - but with a few button presses you can take yourself online and open upm a wider world.


How to connect to online multiplayer in Pokemon Sword and Shield

In order to connect to online multiplayer, all you have to do is press the Y Button to open up what the game calls the Y-Comm menu. This menu has options for things like Link Trades, Surprirse Trades, Swapping Trainer Cards, opening up a Link Battle, reviewing your profile and seeing the profile posts from other nearby players. Before you're connected online, the profile post section will only contain posts by you.

From the Y-Conn menu, simply press the Plus button on your Switch controller of choice in order to connect to the internet. Once you're connected, you'll pretty quickly notice profile posts from other trainers in your feed - as well as the other trainers themselves actively walking about the Wild Area, which is a great place to grind out levels on your starter Pokemon or track down some of the all new Pokemon in Sword and Shield.

Once you're connected online, you'll be able to successfully look for a group on the raids, too - and find random online players to take down and catch those difficult Pokemon with. For that, you might want to check out our list of all Gigantimax Pokemon and pack your team out with a few who have Gigantimax forms. Good luck!