How to get starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield without trading - Dexerto

How to get all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield without trading

Published: 6/Aug/2021 6:30 Updated: 6/Oct/2021 15:58

by Ava Thompson-Powell


With each new Pokemon game, Trainers want to know how they can get hold of all three Pokemon starters, and Sword and Shield is no different with the likes of the iconic Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble.


Of course, you can just find a trainer online in the game who has them ready to trade. After all, with so many trainers shiny hunting the starters, plenty of players have them to spare.

However, what if you want to get hold of them yourself and aren’t willing to go online and arrange to get them?


Well, you can get them all yourself. Our handy guide will teach you how to get all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield without trading.


Sword Shield Starters Shiny
Pokemon Company
Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble in their shiny forms.

How to get all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Can you get all three Sword and Shield starters relatively early in your journey? Yes! Without having to rely on anyone else at all, you’ll just need a single copy of Pokemon Sword or Shield, The Pokemon Home app, and an internet connection.

To start collecting your three starters, follow this guide below:

  1. Load up a fresh save of either Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield and choose your starter (the order doesn’t matter here, so choose any of grass-type Grookey, fire-type Scorbunny, or Sobble, the water-type).
  2. Rush through the game as fast as you can until you battle against Hop outside Professor Magnolia‘s house. This is just before you reach the Wild Area.
  3. From here, the Y-comm icon should show at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. This is roughly an hour into the game. The Y-comm icon means you can now trade.
  4. Send over your chosen starter Pokemon to the Pokemon Home app.
  5. Delete the game file from your Nintendo Switch.
  6. Repeat this process again for the second starter.

Once you have two starters stored safely in Pokemon Home, your third playthrough will be your final one. This time though, when trading becomes available, you’ll be transferring the other two starters back into the game from Pokemon Home.


Pokemon Sword and Shield starters method in 2021

Sword and Shield Starters
The Pokemon Company
You’ll need to know your type effectiveness to become the very best.

Back when Sword and Shield first came out, there were questions as to whether this method works, as it was previously thought this could only be done with other people. However, Redditor thekasafist confirmed back in early 2020 that this works on their own system, and it still seems to work in 2021, too.

“I have confirmed it works with the same account just as long as you delete the game file off of the Switch. I have all three starters and did it alone with my one Switch, one copy of either Sword or Shield, and the Pokemon Home app.”

YouTube channel ‘Pokemon tips and tricks’ also shared a video in December 2020 that confirmed the method, too – showing the process on their Nintendo Switch.


Unless Nintendo patch this method from the game, and we don’t see why they would, all three Pokemon Sword and Shield starters are just a couple of hours of playtime away!

The best starter in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Scorbunny, the best starter in Sword and Shield
Pokemon / Nintendo
The best all-around starter is Scorbunny, and it will be yours before you know it using the above method!

When you’ve managed to get hold of all three starters using the above method, the next step is deciding which one is the best to use in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Of course, either of Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble are viable, but when it comes down to effectiveness, there are two clear outliers.

In terms of early-game effectiveness, and primarily regarding the first and second gyms, grass-type Grookey is your best shot at an easier time because of its type advantages over many of the ‘mon you’ll be presented within those gyms.


Overall, however, fire-type Scorbunny is the best starter to choose if you’re looking to have an all-around advantage, both in the earlier game and towards the late game.

Sobble, the water-type ‘mon, is the least viable of the three and will have a harder time earlier on in the game.

That’s everything you need to know about getting all three starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Check out our other super helpful ‘mon guides:

Full list of trade codesHow to claim mystery gifts | List of all missing Pokemon | Sword & Shield ‘mon location guide | Type chart: strengths and weaknesses |