A new pair of Pokémon games is out which means players will once again need to trade in order to complete each game’s full Pokédex. Fortunately, some in the community are pushing a unified list of trade codes and good manners to make it easier for players to exchange Pokémon between Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Yesterday, Austin John published the list over on his YouTube channel and explained some of the logic behind it. In most cases, the first half of the code is the Pokédex number for the Pokémon you’re trading, while the last half is the number for the one you want. The idea is that players can visit the Union Room and use these common Link codes to meet up and complete pre-planned trades without having to be friends or coordinate beforehand. Players have done this in the past with games like Sword and Shield and it’s a nice workaround for the series’ otherwise barebones online matchmaking.
The big areas of trading are starters, evolutions, and version-specific Pokémon. When it comes to starters, you’ll probably want to breed extras of whoever you pick so that you can trade for, and keep, the other three. There’s a breeding center in Solaceon Town, which you can get to after completing the second gym in Eterna City. If you have a female version of your preferred starter, you can breed more and use those to trade, so if you’re just starting out you might want to keep resetting until you get one.
Here are all of the trade codes:
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Things get tricky when it comes to evolutions because you’ll need to have the right held item in many instances to get the right outcome. These trade codes all assume you’re trading like for like to keep things as simple as possible, but as John notes you’ll want to be extra careful to check the held items prior to completing the trade to make sure everything lines up.
In many cases you’ll also probably want the Pokémon you traded back. This is especially true for Legendaries. If, for instance, you’re playing Brilliant Diamond and have a Dialga, you’ll need a Palkia from Shining Pearl to complete your Pokédex, but then you might want your Dialga back. (After all, you probably chose to buy Diamond over Pearl for a reason.)
To that end, players using these trade codes are being asked to hang around for trade-backs in case that’s what the other player is expecting. It’s the kind thing to do, and it also helps keep this entire bootleg system from descending into chaos.