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How to Rename Suprise Trade Pokémon in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

New Pokédex building opportunities
Image via Nintendo

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet brings back Pokémon trading via an online process. With its recent instalments reinventing trading from Pokémon cards to two DS devices being in close proximity to each other, to finally where we are now. Trading around the world with strangers. Players are given the option to trade with both people they know and invite them into their Scarlet or Violet version of the game. With the latest trading option, Surprise Trading, offering players a new experience in obtaining new Pokémon. Surprise Trading is a good way for players to build their Paldea Pokédex. Here is how to Surprise Trade and change the Pokémon nickname of those you received during this Trading experience.

What is Surprise Trade?

Surprise Trade is a specific method of trading with other Trainers online. The main difference of Surprise Trading to Link Trade is that you are connecting with a random player around the world. This means that you will not know which Pokémon you will be getting as a result to of the Trade. In this process, players send out a Pokémon of their choosing to go to another player. The other player will send out a Pokémon which goes into your Pokémon Box.

The Process of Surprise Trading in Scarlet and Violet

Players can Surprise Trade through the Poké Portal in the Main Menu, this is the fourth option in the Menu. In the Portal, players should select the ‘Surprise Trade’ option, this is the fourth option, underneath ‘Link Trade’. After clicking on ‘Surprise Trade’ a new screen will open showing the Pokémon in your Boxes. Here you select which Pokémon you wish to get rid of and send to another player. When sending the Pokémon, players must save the game to initiate the Surprise Trade. All you need to do now is wait for another Pokémon to come through to you.

When the Surprise Trade is completed, you will see a Green Tick icon in the top-right corner of the screen. Players should now go back into the Main Menu and click on the Poké Portal. Go back into ‘Surprise Trade’ where the game will save again. You will get a short cutscene showing your Pokémon switching with another. The game will display the Trainer’s name and the Pokémon they sent over.

How to Rename Traded Pokémon

There is one very important point to be said on renaming Traded Pokémon. Any Pokémon that has already received a nickname by its previous owner cannot be renamed. Because of this, players are limited on which Pokémon they can rename. There is no way around this fact and it likely will not be changed with a future update. However, if you were to Surprise Trade with someone who has not given a nickname to their Pokémon then you can give this Pokémon a nickname upon receiving them.

Players can give their Pokémon a nickname by going onto the Pokémon Status Summary and clicking the ‘Change Nickname’ button which is ‘X’. The Pokémon must first be placed into your Current Party as you cannot give a nickname to any Pokémon from inside the Pokémon Box. If the Surprise Trade Pokémon you received does not have a nickname, then go into your Pokémon Boxes, select the Pokémon and move into your Party. From here, go into the Summary of this Pokémon and select ‘Change Nickname’. Unlike having the ability to rename the nickname of the Pokémon that you have caught in your playthrough, those picked up through Surprise Trade cannot be renamed after.

To summarise:

  • You cannot rename a Pokémon if the Trainer you traded with has already given this Pokémon a nickname.
  • If the Surprise Traded Pokémon does not have a nickname, then whatever nickname you give them cannot be altered afterwards.

Related: How to Check Pokemon’s Stats, IVs, EVs, and Natures in Scarlet and Violet.

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