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Pokémon Legends Arceus guide: How to trade Pokémon

Here’s how to use a Link Code and a Linking Cord

a trainer standing next to the trading booth with an npc called simona Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company via Polygon
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Trading Pokémon is an integral part to the Pokémon franchise, and it’s no surprise you can do it in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, too, thanks to the Link Code.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus, unlike other Pokémon games in the mainline franchise, doesn’t have a second game paired alongside it, like with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Having these two different versions encouraged players to trade creatures: Some Pokémon were exclusive to one game in the duo and not the other. That’s no the case in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, but trading is still a key part of the franchise — whether it’s gifting your friend a rare, shiny Pokémon or blessing someone with a troll gift. (Does anyone want a Bidoof?)

Pokémon Legends: Arceus trading

Trading is accessible relatively early, by visiting Simona in Jubilife Village. (If you don’t see it, play a few mainline missions and it will show up very soon.) Her exchange booth is where players can trade Pokémon with friends and buy rare items using Merit Points. When you exit Galaxy Hall, take a right, and you’ll see Simona and her booth.

map showing where the trading booth is Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company via Polygon

From there, she’ll ask you what you want to do. Tell Simona you want to trade, and she’ll prompt you to choose whether you’re trading locally or with someone far away. The process is similar regardless of which you choose: You’ll be asked to enter a Link Code.

Simply type in eight numbers of your choosing, give those numbers to your trading partner for them to enter, and the trade should begin if you’re both active with Nintendo Switch Online memberships. (Locally, of course, you don’t need one.)

In earlier Pokémon games, there were some special Pokémon that could only evolve via trades. In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, there’s an item called Linking Cord used in place of needing to trade. Polygon has evolution guides available here, listing out which Pokémon can benefit from this item.