Though Pokémon GO has always been a social game, you’re essentially playing it solo. Whether you’re with your friends on a community day or battling in raids, you’re still on your lonesome in the game itself. Not for long though!
In a highly desired update, Niantic Labs have announced that they’re finally bringing Trading and Friends to Pokémon GO. The update will roll out later this week, here’s what to expect and how it’s going to work:
Connect with your real life friends with the Friends feature. You’ll add friends via a Trainer Code that your friends must share with you and vice versa. Simply enter a Trainer Code to send an invitation and, once it’s accepted, you’ll see the Trainer on your Friends List.
In-game friendships will also come with Friendship Levels, with certain Friends Features reserved for your besties. Build your friendship level by sending gifts, battling together at Gyms and in Raids and trading Pokémon. The higher your friendship level, the better the bonuses you get. You will be able to increase your friendship level once per day per friend.
Spinning a Photo Disc at a PokéStop or Gym now gives you the chance of getting a special Gift, in amongst the usual drops. You can’t open the Gifts yourself, but you can send them to a friend on your Friends list. The Gift contains items and a postcard of where you picked the gift up. They also might contain a special Egg that will hatch into an Alolan Pokémon. Sending the gifts to friends will increase your friendship level with that Trainer.
Another way of increasing your Friendship Level with other Trainers is by trading. You’ll need to be Level 10 or higher, and nearby said friend, in order to trade. Trading Pokémon will earn bonus Candies for the Pokémon you’ve traded away, and the number of bonus Candies will be determined by distance. The further away the two Pokémon were caught, the more Candy you get!
Trades require Stardust to complete, and the amount varies by the trade, though the amount needed will drop as your Friendship Level increases. If you’re trading a Legendary, a Shiny Pokémon or a Pokémon that’s not registered in your Pokédex, you’ll be doing a Special Trade, which needs much more Stardust than usual. Special Trades can also only happen once per day with a Great Friend or Best Friend, so you’ll need to start coordinating your friendship group.
You can also build your Friendship Level by trading Pokémon with a friend. If you’re near a friend and have a Trainer Level of 10 or higher, you can trade Pokémon you’ve caught with that friend. Completing a trade earns a bonus Candy for the Pokémon you’ve traded away, and that bonus can increase if the Pokémon you traded were caught in locations far apart from each other! All trades are powered by Stardust, and some trades require more Stardust than others. As you build your Friendship Level with the friend you are trading with, you’ll find that you can complete the trade with much less Stardust.
So, for those dedicated Trainers out there that kept playing when all your pals dropped out, now’s the time to drag them back in! Or, if you’re looking to get started, join team Mystic and hit me up!
Last Updated: June 19, 2018