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Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Multiplayer: How to trade and battle with friends

Roam Paldea in the company of your friends.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is here, and as per usual, many of us have been scrambling to work out just how multiplayer works and what we can do with it. I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I wanted to know was whether I could finally roam the overworld and battle Pokemon with my close friends.

Here's our thoughts on Paldean starters.

If you also wanted to do that, then you’re in luck, as Pokemon Scarlet and Violet allow for it. In multiplayer, you can even take on Tera Raids together to catch unique Tera-Type Pokemon, or you can do things the old-fashioned way, and simply battle and trade with each other.

So, without further ado, here’s how to play multiplayer and how to trade in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

How to play multiplayer with friends in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Multiplayer in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet functions using the Union Circle. You can access the Union Circle from any Pokemon Center, which is the large yellow area shown below.

A player faces the Union Center at a Pokemon Center in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Alternatively, you can open your menu with ‘X’, and select the ‘Poke Portal’. In the next menu, you’ll be able to select the Union Circle option.

After this, you’ll then need to form a group or join one. If you form a group, you’ll be given a four digit Link Code to give out to your friends who want to join. If you want to join a group or friends are trying to join yours, all anyone needs to do is select ‘Join a group’ and input their Link Code.

The 'Form Group' loading screen in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's Union Center

Following this, you and your friends will be able to roam Paldea freely together, and can even picnic together or take on Tera Raids. You’ll also be able to battle and trade with anyone in your group!

How to trade in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

While you can trade within your group using the Union Circle, there are two more ways you can trade Pokemon too.

First, access the Poke Portal again. Below the Union Circle and Tera Raid options, you’ll have the choice of ‘Surprise Trade’ and ‘Link Trade’.

A Link Trade functions similarly to how you’d set up a multiplayer group in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet; you’ll receive a Link Code to give to who you want to trade with, or will need to input a link code given to you.

On the other hand, a Surprise Trade is exactly as it sounds. You’ll be whisked away to select a Pokemon from your party or boxes, and that Pokemon will be sent off to a complete stranger in return for whatever they may have picked. It’s risky, but you never know what you may get, and that’s part of the fun!

How to battle online in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

If you fancy a battle with another Pokemon Trainer outside of Union Circle multiplayer, you’ll find two more options in the Poke Portal, under the trading options outlined above.

There is ‘Link Battle’ which functions just like a Link Trade. Either you or another player will have a code to share, and then battle can commence! Alternatively, there’s the ‘Battle Stadium’ option, which will allow you to battle players globally.

The Battle Stadium in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

In the Battle Stadium, you can choose between casual and ranked play, and can even rent another players team for battle. Ranked and online competitions aren’t available at the time of writing, but I’m excited to see how that plays out!

That’s all there is to multiplayer in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Be sure to check out where to find every evolution stone, and how to redeem your Mystery Gifts while you’re at it.

About the Author

Kelsey Raynor avatar

Kelsey Raynor

Guides Writer

Kelsey's passion for gaming began with Resident Evil, and it's been rather difficult to get her to shut up about horror games since. When she's not scoping out new ways to scare herself silly or commiserating the cancellation of Silent Hills, she can often be found fawning over cute Pokémon and Kirby, or being very average at FPS games.

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