I Spent 4 Hours Surprise Trading in Pokémon Violet… Here's What Happened
Credit: Game Freak / The Pokemon Company (Screenshot by Prima Games)

I Spent Hours Surprise Trading in Pokémon Violet… Here’s What Happened

Some surprising results.

Last night, I was playing Pokémon Violet in the bath, you know, as you do, and I suddenly had the urge to try out Surprise Trades. I did a few in Pokémon Shield, but even after almost 100 hours of playtime in Gen 9, I still hadn’t touched the feature. Until now. And although much of what I got was predictable, I received some ‘mon that I wasn’t expecting during my four-hour stretch. Here’s what happened (and yes, I was in the bath for four hours. I did, in fact, turn into a human prune).

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If you don’t know what Surprise Trading is, it is essentially swapping a Pokémon with another Trainer without knowing what you will get in return. This means that, for the most part, there’s a lot of spam trades going on – a level 2 Lechonk for a level 3 Tarountula, for example. Though that’s not to say that you can’t get anything good from it because I actually did.

Surprise Trading in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.
A visual representation of how 90% of my trades went.
Credit: Game Freak / The Pokemon Company (Screenshot by Prima Games)

The most common Pokémon I saw during my night of Surprise Trading were level 1 Sprigatito, Eevee, Dratini, and Charmander, which, if you know anything about popular Shiny Pokémon at all, isn’t shocking. These were “breedjects” from players breeding their ‘mon in hopes of hatching a Shiny from an Egg. Charmander’s inclusion is because the 7-Star Charizard Raid event just started, and, of course, Trainers want that elusive Shiny black ‘Zard, so they’re picnicking like crazy since the Raid is Shiny-locked. Totally understandable.

Related: How to Get Eggs in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

I had hoped to receive the other two Gen 9 starters, Quaxly and Fuecoco, and not just the Grass Cat (which was mine) so that I could complete those Pokédex entries, but I never did. I guess we know which First Partner Pokémon is the most popular of the three in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Then, Something Unexpected Happened…

After receiving several Mareep, Fletchling, and, surprisingly, a level 53 Mismagius, I traded for something that caught me off guard: a Great Tusk. Though I knew you could sometimes get some cool ‘mon in Surprise Trades, I didn’t expect anyone to send Paradox Pokémon into the unknown with the high probability of getting a bargain bin Pokémon in return.

Great Tusk Surprise Trade in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.
Bearse, you’re a real one.
Credit: Game Freak / The Pokemon Company (Screenshot by Prima Games)

Sometime later, I was shocked again when I was given an Iron Hands and a level 100 Roaring Moon. Though I wasn’t so excited by the Roaring Moon in the end because it ended up being nicknamed a spam URL – a telltale sign of it being illegitimate. Seen a lot in Sword and Shield, dodgy Pokémon dealers use this method to promote the selling of hacked Pokémon. Like what we traded you? Well, there’s more where that came from; visit this totally above-board website, and you can get more by spending real money. Definitely not a scam, I promise. Trust me, bro.

Related: 10 Best Competitive Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet Ranked

The Great Tusk and Iron Hands seem legit, though, so I’m stoked about that. Thank you, mystery Trainers – hope you’re happy with the level 2 Lechonk and level 8 Fidough I sent back. I feel a little bad, but hey, you know the risk when participating in Surprise Trades.

The point of this article? Not much, honestly. I simply had a really fun experience and wanted to write about it. I expected to get nothing cool and instead ended up with a handful of Paradox Pokémon and some starters and filled a few Pokédex entries that I needed. So I’d say it was time well spent, though I wouldn’t advise spending four hours straight doing it, especially in the bath. Don’t be like me – go touch some grass instead. Thank me later.

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Image of Meg Bethany Koepp
Meg Bethany Koepp
Meg was Managing Editor at Prima Games until April 2024.