We hate to say it, but the reality is that even with all of the wonderful games out there to enjoy these days, there's still plenty of stuff going on in the world that's sure to bring you down. Life's tough, but some dedicated Pokémon fans are currently gearing up to make some people's Christmases just that little bit brighter this year.
For the last few years, Poké-fans have been taking part in something dubbed 'Operation Delibird'. Our network neighbours over at Eurogamer have shared a piece on the spectacle today:
"Operation Delibird was named after Operation Zubat - an attempt to flood the Wonder Trade system with annoyingly common Zubats - and Delibird, a Father Christmas-cosplaying bird Pokémon with the signature move "Present". But, instead of annoying the recipient of your Pokémon, the intention is to trade something much more desirable as a Christmas gift".
As mentioned there, Operation Delibird is a movement where players aim to build up a number of rare, sought after Pokémon, all ready to send out to random new players - perhaps a child who's finally got their hands on their very first Pokémon game - to give them something special at Christmas. It's been going on for a few years now, and it appears the community is well on board once again.
As you can imagine, logging on to Pokémon Sword and Shield's Surprise Trade feature and receiving something like a version-exclusive Pokémon, a Shiny, or even a Starter Pokémon that you'd otherwise struggle to get could really make someone's day. We think it's a wonderful idea, so we'll leave some tips below which should help you to get involved:
What Is Surprise Trading And How Do I Do It?
A Surprise Trade allows you to send any of your Pokémon to a randomly selected player from around the world. You'll receive the Pokémon that your partner has selected for the trade.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield, you can do this by hitting 'Y' to access the Y-Comm menu and selecting 'Surprise Trade'. You'll be asked which Pokémon you'd like to send, and then all you need to do is sit back and wait for the trade to take place.
For more, the official Pokémon Sword and Shield website has an article on this very topic.
Which Pokémon Should I Send?
Any Pokémon could make someone happy, but the idea behind Operation Delibird is to send rare Pokémon. This could be a Shiny Pokémon, a Version-Exclusive Pokémon, or even one that can only be found near the end of the game.
You can easily save up lots of your chosen Pokémon by leaving one in a Day Care Center alongside a Ditto. By doing this, you'll receive Eggs which will hatch another version of the rare Pokémon you've chosen. Why not save up a whole computer box or two?
How Do I Know I'll Be Matched With A New Player?
Sadly, you don't. One trick Operation Delibird participants use is to wait until they partner with someone who sends a Pokémon that can be caught near the start of the game, hoping that the trainer might only have access to the first few Routes at that point. If you receive a rare Pokémon yourself, jump back into the Surprise Trade and send it away again - hopefully it'll end up with someone who wasn't expecting it.
Sure, it's just a digital monster, but you might just make someone you've never met have something to smile about. And let's face it, you'll feel good doing it, too. Merry Christmas!