Pokemon Go Trading. You’ve wait for it and now it’s here.

Nearly two years into its existence, the biggest change to Pokemon Go has happened. That’s right, friends and trading have changed the game, quite literally.

Players who are level 10 and higher can now add other players as “friends” in the game.  Once done, they can send each other gifts and trade Pokemon between them. Now, before you think about sending off one of those Mythical Mews you stockpiled, you should know a few things about the mechanics.

Having carefully thought about how this would work, and factoring in the propensity for people to want to game or cheat the system, Niantic has set up a few rules and stipulations.


Friends are just that, people you want to keep in touch with or take down gyms together. Or, if you like to get together in groups and go on raids, these are the people who will see the most benefit.

There are four levels of friendship which can be raised over time with regular cooperation and tasks. After entering in a unique code (Trainer Code) you’ll be able to see what your buddies are up to, including seeing the recent catches.

To rank up your friendship level you can send your friends gifts; more on that in a moment. The higher the friendship level, the more benefit you get when it comes to other game mechanics. Indeed, they will work on top of weather boosting and other bonuses.

Why Rank Up?

Once you boost your friendship levels you’ll find that you get discounts on trading between one another. Moreover, you also get raid and gym battle bonuses, too.

Good Friend

  • Trade all Pokemon except Mythicals

Great Friend

  • Trade all Pokemon except Mythicals
  • 1X discount on Trades
  • 1X Attack Bonus in Raiding and Battles
  • +1 Premiere Ball in Raids after defeating boss

Ultra Friend

  • Trade all Pokemon except Mythicals
  • 2X discount on Trades
  • 2X Attack Bonus in Raiding and Battles
  • +2 Premiere Balls in Raids after defeating boss

Best Friend

  • Trade all Pokemon except Mythicals
  • 3X discount on Trades
  • 3X Attack Bonus in Raiding and Battles
  • +4 Premiere Balls in Raids after defeating boss

How to Rank Up

You can increase your friend levels once per day with a cap of 200 friends in total. More friends may be available in the future, but that’s where it’s capped as of today. Simply send your friend a gift one day and then you’re considered “Good”. Do this seven days and you’ll be “Great”. And so on…

  • Good: 1 day
  • Great: 7 days
  • Ultra: 30 days
  • Best: 90 days

Note that the bonuses you receive, such as Premiere Ball, cannot be stacked. In other words, you can’t roll up to a Raid with five Best Friends hoping to score 20 extra balls to catch that legendary Pokemon. You are limited to the highest friendship level of the person raiding with you at the time.


Spinning a PokeStop will give you a special gift. These gifts cannot be opened by you and will only benefit the person who receives it. The items can be any number of things, including rare items such as an egg that hatches an Alolan form of a Pokemon.

Things to Know

  • You cannot use the gift
  • The gift will include a postcard which highlights where it was picked up
  • Gifts will be a random assortment of items, including a special 7km egg which could be an Alolan form Pokemon


Trading is perhaps the biggest thing players have asked for since the game started in 2016. It arrives not a moment to soon, and really looks to change the way players interact with each other.

Not only does the game allow you to trade between players from around the community, but it encourages and benefits you, too. In fact, there’s even something set up to reward you for trading Pokemon that you’ve picked up from your vacation or road trip.

Trading Requirements

In order to qualify for trading, your Pokemon GO Level must be 10 or higher. Moreover, it will cost you Stardust to trade Pokemon so make sure that you’re keeping some back instead of using it to power up and evolve.

Things to Know

  • You will need to be within 100 meters of your friend in order to conduct the trade
  • A regular trade will run you 100 Stardust
  • Individual Values (IV) are randomly re-determined when you transfer from one player to another.
  • Candy Bonus will depend on how much distance is/was between the two Pokemon locations when they were caught or hatched. Pokemon who were caught 100KM apart (or higher) will earn the maximum bonus.

Knowing exactly how players would try to build up a perfect arsenal of Pokemon, Niantic was smart in making trades automatically and randomly generate CP and HP. All of those guys who were using multiple accounts hoping to move them all to one are going to be out of luck.

When trading between friends occurs, the game will show a range of CP and HP. This range adjusts based on your friendship levels as well as the level of the player, too. It’s not known whether the moves that your Pokemon picks up will remain the same or if they’ll learn a new set.

Special Trading

If you want to trade for Legendary, Shiny, Regional, or one not currently in your Pokedex, it will cost you more Stardust. These “Special Trades” can require up to 1M Stardust, depending on your friendship level. What’s more, you are limited to one Special Trade per day.

If you thought you would just coordinate a meetup where everyone walks away with a full Pokedex, you’re wrong. The system will reward players who largely play together or spend time near one another. Families and friends are going to benefit the most.

This is not to say that you won’t meet up with someone at the next Community Day and leave with a Mr. Mime. You’ll pay more for it, of course, and you’ll have to figure out if that’s the Special Trade you want to make that day.

Keeping in mind that you have to be within 100 meters of your friend to trade, it rules out the possibility of someone harvesting a regional player and trading with others in another country. Niantic wants you to trade, but it doesn’t want to make so easy to fill out your Pokedex.

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