Since Pokémon Black and White, trainers were able to connect their games to the internet for additional features through Pokémon Global Link. With this service, one could play games to win PokéMiles, exchange these Miles for rare items, view battle rankings, and more. The service saw resets with every new Pokémon generation since with unique features coming and going, so one might expect the same with Sword and Shield coming soon. Not so, unfortunately, as The Pokémon Company confirmed that the service will not return for the new games.

Pokémon Home is the future

Granted, it’s not all bad news. PGL support may not return, but its core features will be implemented in-game through Nintendo Switch Online. Additionally, it looks like the upcoming Pokémon Home will replace the service wholesale going forward:

Hello there, Trainers! Thank you for using our products and services. We have some information regarding Pokémon Global Link (PGL) and the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games, which will release for Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019.

For Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, services equivalent to the current Rating Battle and Online Competitions are planned to be supported. However, PGL will not support Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

These battles and Online Competitions can be enjoyed in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield using just the connectivity features of Nintendo Switch* Game Sync will not be required for these new games. For more information on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, visit the official site.

In addition, functionality from PGL to view services such as Rankings, Distribution Regulations, and the events calendar will be provided through Pokémon HOME, which is planned for release on iOS and Android devices in early 2020.

Please look forward to more details about Pokémon HOME coming soon!

*Nintendo Switch Online membership and Nintendo Account required for online play. Internet access required for online features. Terms and conditions apply. Visit for more information.

So long PGL?

pokémon global link

At the time of writing, The Pokémon Company has not announced the Global Link’s closure. However, I would recommend wrapping up any unfinished business you might have with the platform before November. In the past, Pokémon Global Link saw revamps right before each new Pokémon generation; with the service no longer being used going forward, it’s likely they will pull the plug with Sword and Shield‘s launch.

Personally, I never really bothered with PGL, at least not since its inaugural years with Black and White and its sequels. I fondly remember using it all the time for Dream Link, just to get rare Pokémon with Hidden Abilities I couldn’t get in Unova otherwise. Nonetheless, this is still the end of an era for traditional handheld Pokémon games. Sad as it is, I can’t deny how convenient it will be to have these same features from a dedicated mobile app through Pokémon Home.

Do you have any fond memories of Pokémon Global Link? What feature did you enjoy most from this bonus service over the years? Share your thoughts with us below.


Jeffrey McDonell
Rare import from Canada, lover of all things video game music and remixes, desk jockey by day, and Nintendo Enthusiast by night. I grew up on Nintendo consoles since the Game Boy Advance and GameCube, with standouts like Sonic, Mario, and Zelda defining my childhood.


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