New code shows a lack of any reference to feature.
I think it’s fair to say there’s some mixed feelings about the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield. While it’s great to finally have a mainline console Pokemon title, it’s come with some significant cuts. The National Pokedex has been basically cut in half, which has left some fans disappointed. There’s also lots of small changes to gameplay that fans aren’t too happy about either. Well, here’s more bad news for you. It seems as if the GTS (Global Trading Station) may also not be in the game.
The games have actually been datamined due to copies that have been obtained before embargo. While there isn’t a lot of information from direct play, the code for most of it has been released (which you can see via github here). One thing many noticed is there’s no mention of the GTS in anything outside what appears to be left over code from the Let’s Go games that ended up not using the system due to the limited nature of its roster. We always put datamining under rumor due to its nature, but it’s definitely not looking good.
If you’re not aware, the GTS allowed people to put up Pokemon for trade with strangers. It’s actually been part of the games for over a decade, evolving as the technical aspects of the systems did. That’s what makes it so shocking to see it potentially taken out here. Whether or not this has something to do with the National Pokedex issue is anyone’s guess, or if there’s a new feature that is the same as GTS with a new name (Wonder Trade was changed to Surprise Trade, for instance). Hopefully, if it is in fact completely removed from the game, it’s something that can be added later.