Pokemon Sword / Shield Won't Use The Pokemon Global Link Service

The upcoming Pokemon Switch games won't support the online battling website.


Since Pokemon Black and White on the DS, competitive Pokemon players have been able to join online competitions and view their rankings via the Pokemon Global Link. The website has served as the online battling hub for all subsequent DS and 3DS Pokemon games, but The Pokemon Company has confirmed that the upcoming Sword and Shield for Switch will be bucking this tradition and moving away from the service.

According to a statement posted during Gamescom 2019, Sword and Shield will not support the Pokemon Global Link website. This is because most of Global Link's functionality is being folded into the games' themselves via the Battle Stadium, which will allow players to participate in regular online competitions and take part in Ranked battles.

"For Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, services equivalent to the current Rating Battle and Online Competitions are planned to be supported. However, PGL will not support Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield," the statement reads. "These battles and Online Competitions can be enjoyed in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield using just the connectivity features of Nintendo Switch."

Other Global Link functions, like the ability to view your ranking, will also be implemented in Pokemon Home, an upcoming cloud storage service that will allow players to store monsters from Pokemon Bank, Pokemon Go, Pokemon Let's Go, and Pokemon Sword and Shield. Pokemon Home is expected to launch for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices in early 2020.

Pokemon Sword and Shield, meanwhile, release for the hybrid console on November 15. Players will need to have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription in order to make use of the aforementioned online features. The Pokemon Home service will presumably also require a subscription, although it hasn't yet been announced if this will be included as part of NSO or will be offered separately.

In addition to the Global Link news, The Pokemon Company shared a new gameplay clip of Pokemon Sword and Shield. The video shows off one of the quaint towns players will visit on their adventure across the Galar region. We also recently learned about some new Pokemon Abilities and held items being introduced in the titles.

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