Leading into Pokémon Go‘s second anniversary, Niantic has announced trading is finally coming to the mobile game. The entire process will be filtered through a new social system called Friends, which will arrive later this week.
According to the developer’s latest blog post, trainers will soon have the ability to connect with their fellow players through the Friends feature to trade Pokémon, send items, see each other’s progress, and earn bonuses that can be used in battle. The system has a lot of aspects to it, so we’ve broken down Friends into three sections: increasing friendship level, trading, and gifts.
The developer explained that when Friends launches, trainers will be limited to 200 friends, with the possibility of the cap increasing down the line. Each player will have a unique Friend code that others can use to add them to their list of buddies. Once friends, the two trainers can increase their Friendship Level by battling together in a Gym or raid, trading Pokémon, or sending and receiving items. Trainers can increase the level once per day per friend. As seen in the image below, there are four Friendship Levels—Good, Great, Ultra, and Best Friend—that offer special bonuses to both players.
For example, two trainers with an Ultra Friendship won’t have to pay as much Stardust to trade, both will receive an attack bonus when battling in Gym and raids together, and they’ll be awarded two extra Premier Balls at the end of a raid. Reaching the different Friendship Levels will take time, with Good Friend only taking one day and Best Friend needing 90 days.
One of the main uses of Friends will be trading, which will be available to trainers with a Friendship Level of 10 or higher. There are a few catches players will have to understand before trying to give away an extra Ho-Oh, though. Players will need to be within 100 meters of one another to initiate a trade, and once it starts, the person sending a Pokémon will have to pay a certain amount of Stardust. As seen in the image below, Special Trades, which include shinies, Legendaries, and new Pokédex entries for the other trainer, will start with a cost as high as one million Stardust. However, reaching Best Friend level will significantly reduce the amount needed.
While these Special Trades can only be done once per day, all other Pokémon can be traded whenever desired, as long as the trainers have enough Stardust. Interestingly, every Pokémon traded will have its stats reset, which means it won’t be a good idea to trade a 100 percent IV Pokémon. However, sending over a weaker creature to a trainer you share a high Friendship level with could make it more viable in battle. Also, if the two Pokémon traded were caught far away from each other, both trainers will receive extra candy for the Pokémon they receive.
Another helpful feature in Friends is the new gift item. Trainers will be able to find these colorful bundles by spinning a PokéStop or Gym, which can then be sent to a trainer on a player’s Friends list. As you can see in the image below, the opened gift will include a postcard that tells them where the giver found the item, as well as several other bonuses.
In addition to the “stash of helpful items,” the gift could also include a new 7km egg that houses an Alolan form. According to Niantic, some of the island-themed Kanto Pokémon will be exclusive to the eggs, but there will be a chance of receiving ones that are available in the wild, such as Alolan Exeggutor. As previously stated, sending and receiving gifts will also increase the Friendship Level between trainers, so players should take full advantage of this new system and share the items with as many Friends as possible.
Pokémon Go is available for iOS and Android.
Source: Pokémon Go Live