Recently, players in Pokémon Sword and Shield have been exploiting a bug to climb the online ladder. By disconnecting from the match at the right time, players can alter the results of the battle to avoid losing. The Pokémon Company addressed this in a statement today, stating that players who abuse this could be banned from playing online and at live events in the future.
The bug in Pokémon Sword and Shield
To battle online, both players have to connect to the internet. Players found that by disconnecting at a certain time at the end of the battle, they can avoid losing ranking. The other player will not receive the win for the battle, nullifying the match. This means that players can abuse this to rank up by never receiving losses from battling.
This exploit is clearly an issue that The Pokémon Company wants to squash as quickly as they can. Something like this completely ruins the integrity of competitive battling.
Be sure to have a secure internet connection when battling online
It looks like players will be banned from online battles in Pokémon Sword and Shield for repeatedly disconnecting, so make sure that you have a stable internet connection when battling. It’s unlikely that you will get banned if you disconnect once or twice, but if it happens multiple times there’s a solid chance you will. This could happen even if you aren’t trying to abuse the exploit.
Make sure to always finish out battles or click “run” if you want to quit. Don’t just shut off the Nintendo Switch, because this looks like a disconnect. Even if you don’t wish to continue the battle, make sure to stay connected until it’s safe to disconnect.
Attention, Trainers! Please ensure you play on a stable internet connection when engaging in any #PokemonSwordShield online competitions! Frequently disconnecting before a match concludes could result in penalties or restriction from future online events.
— Play Pokémon (@playpokemon) April 8, 2020
Hopefully, the threat of punishment will be enough to get players to stop abusing this exploit. We will likely see the first wave of bans in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for this and more Pokémon news.