How to Add Friends in ‘Pokémon Sword and Shield’

There are plenty of activities you can do with friends in Pokémon Sword and Shield for Nintendo Switch. We’ll show you how to add friends, initiate trades, battle each other, and more!

Finding Friends in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield’s friend system uses Nintendo Switch’s native friend list. Friends will automatically appear in the game’s new in-menu multiplayer hub, Y-Comm. To access it, press the Y button on your right Joy-Con controller. Then, you can do just about anything, including trade Pokémon, swap League Cards, battle friends, and more.

Most importantly, there’s a feed on the right that provides information about what other people online are up to. It also gives you the option to join them. People you’ve added to your Nintendo Switch friend’s list will appear here with a purple smiley-face next to their character name.

sword and shield friends y comm

You can add a friend on Nintendo Switch in either of the following ways:

  • Send a friend request using someone’s friend code.
  • Accept a friend request someone’s sent to you.

You can also search for friends locally using Bluetooth on your Nintendo Switch console.

Related: What’s Included with a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription?

Once you’ve added a friend on Nintendo Switch, both of you must have a Nintendo Online Subscription to play games online.

Where to Find Your Friend Code

After following the Nintendo Switch setup process, you’ll be assigned a 12-digit friend code automatically. Friend codes start with “SW,” and you’ll see yours on your main profile page or at the bottom-right of the “Add Friend” page.

To get to your profile page, use your left Joy-Con to navigate to your avatar at the top left of the home screen, and then press the A button on the right Joy-Con.

nintendo switch friend profile page

Next, select “Add Friend.” At the bottom right, you’ll see “Your Friend Code:” followed by “SW” and 12 digits.

nintendo switch friend request2

Here, you can also manage any friend requests you’ve received, search for local users, use your friend code to send a friend invite, or check on requests you’ve sent previously.

Related: How to Add Friends on the Nintendo Switch

Managing Friend Requests

You can manage your friends’ list in the following ways:

  • Accept a friend request: Any friend requests you receive appear in the “Received Friend Requests” menu, where you can accept or decline them.

Select "Received Friend Requests" to accept or decline.

  • Send a friend request: If you’ve received someone’s friend code, you can select “Search with Friend Code” from the “Add Friend” menu, and then input the code. A friend request will then be sent to that person. Any requests you’ve sent can be managed in the “Sent Friend Requests” menu under “Search with Friend Code.”

Nintendo Switch search 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. To add friends locally, though, you must be connected to a Wi-Fi network. If not, the request will be saved on the console, and then sent automatically the next time the console connects to the internet.

nintendo switch local friend

Friends in ‘Pokémon Sword and Shield’

Once you’ve added friends to your Nintendo Switch profile, you can communicate with and invite them to play Pokémon Sword and Shield via Y-Comm. To open it, just press the Y button on your right Joy-Con controller in-game.

There are several activities you can engage in with friends, including trading or battling Pokémon, participating in raids together, swapping Pokémon League Cards, and more.

By default, the Y-Comm menu doesn’t distinguish your friends from other players. To change this, select the magnifying glass next to “Search Stamps” at the bottom, and then select “Friends Only.”

Now, your feed will only display the activities of friends you’ve added via your Nintendo Switch profile.

sword and shield friends sort stamp

You can also join your friends using link codes. These four-digit pin numbers connect up to four people who are participating in the same activity. Just make sure everyone types the same code.

To connect locally or over an internet connection with friends who aren’t nearby, you can set a link code. To do so, open Pokémon Sword and Shield, and then press the Y button on your right Joy-Con controller to open Y-Comm. Select “Link Trade” at the top, and then choose “Set Link Code.”

trade set link code

You and your friends will all have to type the same eight-digit code to connect and trade with one another. It can be anything you want or entirely random. After you decide on a code, input it, and then press the A button on your Joy-Con to confirm.

Close the menu and wait to be connected.

trade set link code

You’ll be redirected to the Y-Comm menu, where you can share the code with your friends to start the trading process. If you ever want to cancel a trade, you can do so at any time by selecting another option from the Y-Comm menu.

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