Way back in 2016, an exciting trailer for a new Pokémon game hit the web. That game, Pokémon Go, was touted as an ambitious mobile title with augmented reality features that would let you catch, trade, and battle pocket monsters in the real world. Yet somehow, despite its incredible popularity and success, we only ever got two of those promised features, with trading left by the wayside… until now!
It’s taken two whole years, but Pokémon Go players will soon be able to trade Pokémon with friends. In a blog post released earlier today, Niantic revealed three new major systems debuting in Pokémon Go later this week: friends, gifting, and trading. Here’s what we know so far.
How to make Friends and increase Friendship Level
Let’s start with the feature that makes the whole thing tick. Once the update goes live, players will be assigned a Trainer Code. Once a friend shares a Trainer Code with you, all you need to do is input the code within the new Friends menu (in your profile) to add them to your Friends list.
Each player you add to your Friends list will have a Friendship Level. There are a few ways to increase this level, such as fighting alongside your friend in Gym or Raid battles, trading (I’m getting to that part!), or gifting.
The latter is a brand new mechanic which is a bit of a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” system. Following the update, when you spin a PokéStop, there’s a chance you’ll receive a Gift. These Gifts aren’t for you, however. Instead, you can send them to someone in your Friend list. As well as general items, these Gifts can also obtain exclusive goodies such as Eggs that will hatch into Alolan form Pokémon.
Read Next: How to hatch eggs in Pokemon Go
Players will also get attack boosts in Raids and Gyms when they have a higher Friendship Level, but the real benefit comes with the biggest addition — the long-awaited debut of Pokémon trading.
How to trade in Pokémon Go
To get started with trading, you’ll first need to be over Level 10. Once you’ve added another player to your Friend list that’s also over the required level, you’ll be able to exchange Pokémon with your pal as long as you’re both within 100 meters of each other. Long-distance trading isn’t in the works, according to a Niantic spokesperson (via The Verge), so you’ll have to make do with remote trades to fill out your Pokédex.
All trades result in a reward of bonus Candy for the traded Pokémon, with more Candy received for Pokémon that were caught a long way away from your current location.
Each trade also costs a certain amount of Stardust to complete. The total amount of Stardust required will depend on your Friendship Level and the rarity of the Pokémon.
There are also heavy restrictions on how you can trade Legendary or Shiny Pokémon, or any Pokémon not registered in your Pokédex. These rarer creatures can only be traded once per day and class as a Special Trade. A Special Trade can only be performed with a high Friendship Level (Great Friend or Best Friend).
They’re also mega expensive in Stardust terms unless you’re at max Friendship. Check out the example below to see how a Zapdos-Articuno trade goes from 1,000,000 Stardust to just 40,000 with an improved Friendship Level. Oof.
How trading affects Pokémon stats
Before you click that trade button, be mindful that the Pokémon you are sending/receiving won’t be the same when it arrives.
When trading, each Pokémon will be assigned a CP and HP range based on your Friendship Level with the other trainer and their overall Trainer Level. As an example, the Pikachu in the image below has a CP range of 343 – 427 and an HP range of 42 – 47. It’s not clear if this will also alter the Pokémon’s overall hidden values — HP, Attack, and Defence — but it seems likely considering the HP range.
In short, if you want the best Pokémon in a trade, be sure to max out your Friendship Level before swapping powerful monsters.
We’ll know more about trading in Pokémon Go when the feature goes live later this week and we’ll update this post with any other tips and tricks we find. For now, though, let us know if you’re excited about trading coming to Pokémon Go in the comments.