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What is Pokémon Home and how does it work?

Almost caught them all? You can now trade, transfer and move Pokémon between games with the help of Pokémon Home.

Published onFebruary 16, 2020

What is Pokémon home featured image

Every Pokémon fan has dreamt of a place where they can gather all of the Pokémon they have discovered. With Pokémon Home, a new cloud service from Nintendo, this is finally possible. This new app allows you to transfer Pokémon from older generation games to Sword and Shield, trade with people from around the world and more! Here is everything you need to know about Pokémon Home.

What is Pokémon Home and how does it work?

Pokémon Home is a cloud-based service which works as a hub for all your Pokémon. You can store, trade and transfer them to and from recent Pokémon games with some restrictions. The app is now available for Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch. You can download it for free, but it has some premium features which can only be unlocked with a monthly subscription.

Pokemon Home sections

To get the most out of Pokémon Home, you need to link it to your Nintendo account, and you will be prompted to do so when setting up the app. That will allow you to transfer Pokémon to and from Sword and Shield, as well as Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee! and Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu!, and to add Pokémon from older 3DS games through Pokémon Bank. In the future, you will also be able to add your Pokémon Go collection to the cloud service.

But these aren’t the only perks. Here are some other cool features that Pokémon Home offers:

  • Trading with friends and strangers
  • Mystery gifts for Pokémon Sword and Shield
  • A Pokédex with detailed information for all of your entries, including what games Pokémon can travel to and type matchups
  • Searching for Pokémon by type and ability
  • Access to ranked battle data from Pokémon Sword and Shield

Trading Pokémon

Pokemon Home trading

Trading is an essential part of the Pokémon experience it has been available since the first Pokémon game when you had to connect two Gameboys with a cable to swap Pokémon with a friend or evolve your Haunter into a Gengar. Nowadays, things are much easier, especially with the help of Pokémon Home. The service offers four ways to trade Pokémon. Here is a quick explanation of how they all work.

Wonder Box trading

Wonder Box trading is basically blind trading. You put a Pokémon you want to get rid of in your Wonder Box and it will be replaced with another random player’s Pokémon. You don’t need to be interacting with the app for the trade to take place. With a free plan, you can trade up to three Pokémon at the same time using this method.

Global Trade System (GTS) trading

GTS trading allows you to specify what Pokémon you want to receive in a trade. For example, if you want to trade your Venomoth for a Gengar, the app will try to match you with a trainer whose trade requests meet your criteria. Don’t expect to get rare Pokémon in exchange for your Ratata, though!

Related: Get cookin’ with this Pokemon Quest recipe guide!

Room Trade

Trading is always better with more people! This is exactly what Room Trade offers, as its name implies. With a premium plan, you can create a room which holds up to 20 people and exchange Pokémon to your heart’s content. Be careful though you don’t know what you will get until the trade is complete.

Friends Trade

This is the most self-explanatory trading method. Simply add Pokémon Home friends through the app and swap some Pokémon!

Games compatible with Pokémon Home

Transferring Pokémon between the Home app and multiple games in the franchise is one of the main perks the cloud service offers. Here are all the compatible titles:

  • Pokémon Sword
  • Pokémon Shield
  • Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu!
  • Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee!
  • Pokémon Bank
  • Pokémon Go (at a later date)

However, moving Pokémon is a bit more complicated than it might seem on the surface. At the moment, the games which offer the greatest freedom of movement are Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield you can add and receive Pokémon via the Pokémon Home app on both games.

Pokémon Masters tips, tricks, and beginner's guide
Pokemon Masters start screen

The same doesn’t apply to other titles on the list. You can move Pokémon between Let’s Go Eevee! and Let’s Go Pikachu!, but if you place any of them in Sword and Shield, they are there to stay and can’t be transferred back to their original game. Moving Pokémon from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon Home is also a one-way transfer.

It’s also important to note that you can only transfer supported Pokémon no Gen 2 or higher Pokémon can make it onto Let’s Go Eevee! and Let’s Go Pikachu!, for example.

Related: Can’t catch ‘em all in Pokémon Sword and Shield? Pokémon Go has the answer

Pokémon Home price and premium features

As previously mentioned, Pokémon Home can be downloaded for free on all three available platforms. However, if you want to make the most of it, the service has a paid Premium Plan. It costs $3 per month or $16 a year. Here are the features subscribing to Pokémon Home will net you:

  • Moving Pokémon from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon Home
  • Storage for up to 6000 Pokémon (only 30 available with Basic free plan)
  • Placing up to 10 Pokémon in Wonder Boxes at once
  • Placing up to 3 Pokémon in GTS at once
  • Create and host Trade Rooms (you can only participate with a free plan)
  • Judge function which reveals how strong a Pokémon can become

These are our essential Pokémon Home facts and tips. Got any questions? Let us know in the comments.

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