Trading Pokemon with other players is one of the core features of the Pokémon series that has stuck around since Red & Blue, with it being the sole reason why the games are released in two different versions. Unfortunately for some players, they won't always have a friend to trade with or have access to Nintendo's online function to trade with strangers, though that doesn't mean they aren't allowed to trade at all.

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Since the first Pokemon games, there have been certain NPC trainers in the world that will trade with the player, usually for a Pokemon that is usually not obtainable at that point in the game or for a Pokemon that is entirely unobtainable in the game. Not all of these trades are worth losing a prized Pokemon for, however, though there are several that are definitely worth it.

Updated on April 28th, 2021 by Callum Archer: Between the eight generations of Pokemon titles, as well as their respective remakes, there are a huge number of in-game trades for players to choose from. With the full release of the Expansion Pass for Sword & Shield, this number has gone up even more, though there are still some from previous generations that shouldn't be ignored, either.

15 Jigglypuff/Clefairy for Mr. Mime (Red & Blue/Yellow)

While Mr. Mime is largely overshadowed by just about every other Psychic-type Pokemon in the series, as well as every other Fairy-type Pokemon once it gained the secondary type in Pokemon X & Y, it was a powerhouse Pokemon in the original games.

While its Special and Speed stats weren't as high as Alakazam or Mewtwo, it was much easier to obtain than either of those two Pokemon thanks to an in-game trade, which was also the only way to obtain one in Gen I. In Red & Blue, players can trade a Jigglypuff for one near where you can find the HM for Flash, while Pokemon Yellow players will have to trade a Clefairy instead, though the trainer is in the same location.


14 Poliwhirl for Jynx (FireRed & LeafGreen)

Jynx using its psychic powers from the Pokemon Anime

The Red & Blue remakes, FireRed & LeafGreen, added a large number of new mechanics and trainers to the game, including several new in-game trades for players to take advantage of. One such trade, found in Cerulean City, will grant the player an all-powerful Jynx in exchange for a simple Poliwhirl, since Poliwag can be found fairly easily with a Good Rod around Route 6, just north of Vermillion City.

However, the Good Rod can't be obtained until players reach Fuscia City. But, this makes Jynx available right before tackling Koga where its Psychic-typing will come in handy.

13 Jigglypuff for Bisharp (X & Y)

Bisharp landing from an explosion in the Pokemon anime

Apparently, the trainers in Pokemon really want a Jigglypuff, as there is another trainer in Pokemon X & Y that is looking for one to add to their collection. In Snowbelle City, in the house found in the most northwest location, players can obtain a Bisharp with the Defiant ability and a perfect Attack IV and all they need is a Jigglypuff to get it.

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This Pokemon is incredibly powerful and will be very useful for the Ice-type gym leader, Wulfric, as all three of his Pokemon are weak to Steel-type attacks and none of them have a Fire-, Ground-, or Fighting-type move to deal with them.

12 Bewear for Talonflame (Sun & Moon)

A sparkling Talonflame flying through the sky in the Pokemon Anime

Talonflame was a fairly common sight in online battles in the sixth generation, in no small part thanks to its hidden ability, Gale Wings, being downright ridiculous at the time. While Gale Wings has since been altered so that its priority status only activates when Talonflame is at full health, this doesn't make it any less useful.

In Pokemon Sun & Moon, players can obtain a Talonflame with the Gale Wings Ability in the Poni Island Gauntlet in exchange for a Bewear, which is fairly easy to obtain by that point in the game.

11 Kantonian Marowak for Alolan Marowak (Isle of Armor)

The base game of Sword & Shield has some decent in-game trades, but with the addition of the Isle of Armor DLC, players are able to get their hands on some of the better regional variants in the series. One such variant, which is easily one of the best alterations to come out of Alola, is Marowak, which has the potential to have the Lightning Rod ability when traded.

In order to obtain this Marowak, however, players not only need to have a Kantonian Marowak, which can be easily caught in the Isle of Armor region, but they also have to track down the roaming trader who appears in multiple locations in the region. Unfortunately, this trade takes some trial and error as not only is her location randomized, but the Pokemon she puts up for trade is also random.

10 Drowzee For Machop (Gold & Silver)

Many working Machop in the Pokemon anime

This trade is the sole reason why some people don't find Whitney's Miltank battle as hard as others. Found on one of the upper floors of the Goldenrod City shopping complex, there is a trainer who wants a Drowzee in return for a Machop holding a Macho Brace.

Drowzee are very easy to find in the area surrounding the Pokemon Daycare, making this trade worth the trouble even if players have no intention of using it against Whitney. The Macho Brace is also a very useful item, as it doubles all EV gains from Pokemon battles and can help immensely in both Whitney and Morty's gym battles, as well as more difficult late-game battles, such as Clair's.

9 Bellsprout For Onix (Gold & Silver)

Grant's Onix in the Pokemon anime

Another in-game trade from Generation Two, this one can be found in a house just south of the Pokemon Center in Violet City. In exchange for a Bellsprout, which can be found on every route surrounding the city, the player will receive an Onix that is very useful against Falkner and his Flying-type Pokemon.

This trade is particularly useful if players took Cyndaquil as a starter, as both the Pidgey and Pidgeotto know Mud-Slap, a super effective move that also lowers accuracy and can seriously hamper any attempts to defeat Falkner, even at higher levels.

8 Cubone For Machoke (Yellow)

Corina's Machoke in the Pokemon anime

There are some decent in-game trades in the first generation games, such as the Mr. Mime trade, as Mr. Mime is actually a half-decent Pokemon in Gen I. Easily the best in-game trade, and one that every player should take advantage of, is the Machoke trade in Pokemon Yellow.

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For most players, this trade can't be completed until after the Silph Scope has been obtained, since it can only be found in Pokemon Tower and the Safari Zone, but it is worth the wait as it means players can obtain a Machamp without having to trade with a friend.

7 Spearow For Hawlucha (Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon)

Hawlucha protecting itself with its wings in the Pokemon anime

The Alola games have some odd choices when it comes to in-game trades, as many just aren't worth the hassle, but the first available trade is so one-sided toward the player that you have to feel sorry for the NPC trainer.

For a Spearow, which can be found easily on Route 2 and 3 of Melemele Island, players can obtain a seriously strong Hawlucha whose stats easily outmatch anything else obtainable this early in the game, unless players are looking for that 1% Salamence encounter. As it is both Fighting- and Flying-type, it is a great counter to Kahuna Hala's Fighting-type Pokemon and worth getting, if only for this one battle.

6 Grimer For Alolan Grimer (Let's Go Pikachu)

Alolan Grimer in Pokemon anime

As the Let's Go games are remakes of the original Pokemon Yellow, there aren't any Dark-type Pokemon native to the region, which can make trainers like Sabrina quite difficult for players to overcome. To compensate for this, players are able to trade Kantonian forms of Ratatta, Meowth, and Grimer for their Alolan forms, all of which are Dark-type.

Some of these trades are version-exclusive though, with this one being exclusive to Let's Go Pikachu. The best of these Kantonian-for-Alolan trades, unfortunately for Let's Go Eevee players, is Alolan Grimer, as its Dark- and Poison-typing is one of the best defensive combinations in the game as it is only weak to Ground-type moves.

5 Slakoth For Makuhita (Ruby & Sapphire)

Makuhita in the Pokemon anime

The Generation III games, as well as their remakes, have some of the worst in-game trades in the series, as well as the fewest, at only three.

The only one of these that is actually worth doing is Slakoth for Makuhita, which performs much the same function as the Machop trade in Gold & Silver to allow the player access to a Fighting-type earlier than normal. Makuhita and its evolution, Hariyama, is a very good Fighting-type all around and is useful in several key battles, so it's worth getting if players were thinking of catching one later anyway. This trade can be found in Elyssa's house beside the gym in Rustboro City.

4 Haunter For Alolan Graveller (Sun & Moon)

Wild Alolan Geodude and Graveler in Pokemon anime

Like the Machamp trade in Pokemon Yellow, players are able to gain a trade evolution Pokemon in Sun & Moon that can save time and hassle for players who can't trade with a friend. Gastly can be found fairly early on in Hau'oli Cemetary or Memorial Hill, so catching and evolving it into a Haunter isn't very hard.

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In the Tapu Village Pokemon Center, there is a hiker who wants to test a theory by trading a Haunter for his Alolan Graveller, which will evolve both Pokemon upon the trade's completion.

3 Emolga For Gigalith (Black 2 & White 2)

Gigalith facing down Alder in the Pokemon anime

There are some strange trainers in the Unova region, though none are quite as odd as the hiker who wants to trade his Gigalith for an Emolga. Some Pikachu clones are quite good, but, unfortunately for Gen V, Emolga is not one of those Pokemon and a Gigalith is a much better option on the majority of teams.

On Route 7, north of Mistralton City, players can find a house among the tall grass where the hiker in question lives. Like with the Onix trade in Gold & Silver, this will make the local gym battle much easier if players haven't obtained a decent Electric-, Rock-, or Ice-type Pokemon yet.

2 Luvdisc For Steelix (X & Y)

Steelix in battle in the Pokemon anime

As a contender for the most one-sided in-game trade of all time, there is a trainer in Kalos who thinks that Luvdisc is the best Pokémon ever, and is willing to trade his Steelix for one. Aside from the fact that this means players don't have to mess around with Metal Coats and trading to evolve Onix, it's also a great way of getting a Steel-type Pokémon before the gym battle with Grant.

Luvdisc can be caught with an Old Rod while inside Cyllage City, where both the Rock-type gym and the in-game trade are located, making this one of the easier trades to pull off, as well.

1 Toxel For Togepi (Sword & Shield)

There are several decent trades in Sword and Shield, particularly for alternate forms of certain Pokemon, but the best one is definitely Toxel for Togepi. While Toxel might be seen as a rare Pokemon as it is a gift from one of the Pokemon Daycare workers, they are fairly easy to come across in the Wild Area, particularly in Bridge Field around the Wild Area Nursery.

Togepi, on the other hand, is found more often in Raid Dens than the wild, so this is a much easier way of obtaining one. The trainer can be found in Hammerlocke, on the battlefield just outside of the vault near a trainer and his Rhydon.

Next: 10 Pokemon Abilities That Are Overpowered

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