A separate in-game purchase option.
While perfectly playable without, the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games look set to be best played alongside a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Having a membership will grant you access to online features such as Link Battles and Link Trades (where you’ll be able to connect to other players from around the world to bulk out your Pokédex and see who’s the very best).
As it happens, though, it would appear that a workaround has been designed for those who don’t have a membership. The official website for the games mentions a separate “in-game purchase option” which will let anyone without a membership get in on the fun. Here’s how it’s all worded:
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