While the core of Pokemon is in trading with other real-world players either in person or through online trading and multiplayer, every game in the series also features some offline in-game trades with NPC characters. These act as a sort of tutorial of sorts for how trading works, but also offer some unique Pokemon.
Pokemon Sword and Shield is no different, of course - and there's a range of NPC trades that you can undertake right across the Galar Region to get your hands on some rarer Pokemon - or in some cases, some Pokemon that don't show up in the Galar region at all.This is a great way to fill out your Pokedex and pick up both old and new Pokemon, and good practice for trading with other real-world players in order to get all of the Starter Pokemon and Fossil Pokemon, as well as the version exclusives - things you won't be able to get easily in full without trading.
NPC Trades in Pokemon Sword and Shield: all in-game trades
Here's all of the in-game trades with NPC characters in Pokemon Sword and Shield, including what they'll want and details about the Pokemon they trade over:
Skwovet for Bunnelby in Motostoke
Head to the Motostoke Pokemon Center. On the right hand side there's a girl who wants a Bunnelby (which is common out in the Wild Area). She'll trade you a Skwovet for it.
The Skwovet is a male called Cheekers, it's level 10, has a Mild Nature, and arrives to you holding an Oran Berry.
Kantoian Meowth for Galarian Meowth in Turffield
Inside the lobby of the grass-type Turffield Gym, you'll find a trainer who is visiting Galar all the way from Kanto. Japan to the UK - that's a long way! They have a Meowth - the original, Kanto version - and they want to swap it for a Galarian Meowth form, which you can catch in a number of places including on Route 4. Aside from an early buyer bonus, this is one of the only ways to get a Kanto type Meowth in Sword and Shield.
The Meowth you'll recieve is a male called Cash. It'll come to you at level 18. It has a Timid Nature and comes holding a Sitrus Berry.
Cottonee for Minccino in Hulbury
In the Hulbury market area you'll find an NPC trainer who is desperate for a Minccino. They'll offer up a Cottonee in trade. If you need a Minccino, you can catch one on Route 5, as well as out in the wild area.
The Cottonee is level 23, and is a girl called Candyfloss. It has a Modest Nature.
Togepi for Toxel in Hammerlocke
In Hammerlocke there's a small Pokemon Battle pithc that some trainers and Pokemon are out on. In the corner near that pitch is a trainer looking for a Toxel, offering up a Togepi in exchange. Toxel is a medium-rarity spawn on Route 7.
The Togepi you get in the trade is a girl called Snips with a Timid Nature. It's level 25.
Hatenna (Sword) or Impidimp (Shield) for Maractus in Stow-on-Side
Here's a version-exclusive trade! Or, well, it's not quite version exclusive - but it varies depending on your version. The trainer is the same, however - they're atop a building roof in Stow-on-Side
- In Sword, they'll offer up a female Hatenna called Fringe that's at Level 30. The trainer will want a Maractus in trade.
- In Shield, instead the same trainer will want to trade away an Impidimp, also at Level 30. Again, you'll need a Maractus.
If you need a Maractus, it's a rare spawn on Route 6.
Unovan Yamask for Galarian Mask in Ballonlea
Ballonlea has a somewhat eerie thing going on in terms of its look and feel, and that makes it an appropriate place to trade this ghostly Pokemon. The trainer is inside the gym, and will want to trade an Unova region Yamask for the Galarian region equivalent. You can catch a Galarian Yamask on Route 6.
The Unova Yamask you recieve in the trade will be Level 36 and have a Bold Nature. Notably, this is the only way to 'naturally' get an Unova Yamask in Sword and Shield - and it's significantly different, as it lakcs the Ground/Ghost dual typing of the Galarian version - it's pure Ghost.
Throh (Sword) or Sawk (Shield) for Vanillish in Circhester
This is an exciting one, as this is the only way to get these two Pokemon naturally in your game of choice. In Sword you have the chance to get Throh, who only appears in the wild in Shield, while in Shield you can catch Sawk, who appears in the wild in Sword. You follow?
Regardless of game, both of these pair are Level 37 with an Adamant Nature. To trade you'll need a Vanillish, which can be found quite readily on Route 8, Route 10 and in various zones of the wild area.
Kanto Mr. Mime for Obstagoon in Spikemuth
If you're playing Pokemon Sword and Shield without any export from other games, this trade is the only way to legally get an original-style Mr. Mime, as debuted in the Kanto region in Pokemon Red and Blue.
The trainer is right at the end of Spikemuth, sitting behind a stall. The trainer wants aon Obstagoon for the Level 40 Kanto Mr. Mime. The easiest way to get an Obstagoon is to catch a Galarian Zigzagoon on Route 2 or 3 and then evolve it into Galarian Linoone at Level 20 and Obstagoon by hitting Level 35 at night.
Duraludon for Frosmoth in Wyndon
Good old Wyndon Town. Inside one of the houses there's a man who wants a Frosmoth in exchange for his Duraludon. This Duraludon has a Dynamax Level of 3, which is a great early boost. It comes in at level 50 and with an Adamant Nature.
If a bug-type for dragon-type trade sounds good to you, you need a Frosmoth. Catch a Snom on Route 8, 10 or at the wild area's Lake of Outrage, then evolve it through leveling up at night while Snom has a high happiness value.