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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet trade link codes make for easy trading

How you can get version-exclusive Pokémon without friends

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.

There are certain Pokémon that are exclusive to either Pokémon Scarlet or Pokémon Violet — Pokémon you can’t get unless you trade with someone who has the opposite version of the game. Getting version exclusives isn’t a huge pain if you’ve got friends who are willing to breed and trade their extra pocket monsters. But what if you don’t have friends playing Pokémon? That makes things tough.

Thankfully, industrious Pokémon fans have created a trade link code system for exclusive Pokémon or other creatures people can’t get from their own games, such as foreign Dittos, which are useful for breeding, and the starters. YouTuber Austin John Plays is behind most of the trade link codes. He’s posted a video online and has also published a handy chart that makes trading easy.

Here’s how it works: Open the Poké Portal and click the Link Trade option. From there, you’ll have the option to Set Link Code, which is where you’ll input the code associated with the Pokémon for which you’re looking to trade. You’ll get matched with someone who input that code, too.

The idea is that when these codes spread around, there will be enough people entering the numbers to make these trades happen. There’s a chance you’ll get matched with someone who has the same Pokémon that you’re trading, and in that case, you’ll just choose not to trade. So for example, if you have a Sprigatito and want a Fuecoco, you’ll enter 0001-0004. A person with a Fuecoco looking to trade for a Sprigatito will enter the same thing. You have the chance of being matched up with either a Fuecoco or a Sprigatito, because the codes are the same. You can just enter the code until you get the right one.

The numbers are aligned with each Pokémon’s regional Pokédex entry to make it easy. The process has worked multiple times in testing by Polygon. There are codes for all starters, version exclusives, Paradox Pokémon, and the legendary ride-on Pokémon.

You can see the full list of trade link codes on Austin John Plays’ Twitter.

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