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Pokémon: Let’s Go! could have fixed a big Pokémon Go problem

You can trade from Pokémon Go to Let’s Go! — but not the other way around

Pokémon Let’s Go! photograph Brandon Hill

Pokémon Go has steadily improved over the past two years, but it’s still missing a major pillar of the franchise — trading. Pokémon: Let’s Go!, available Nov. 16 for Nintendo Switch, will bring us a step closer to trading monsters within the mobile game, allowing for players to transfer their first-gen Pokémon Go collection over to the Switch games.

This sounds great to me, but there’s one glaring issue. The trade feature only works one way; we still don’t have any way of trading Pokémon back over to Pokémon Go.

Instead, compatible Pokémon from the mobile game can be sent to an area called the Go Park in the Switch games, which sounds a lot like transferring processes in a few of the recent mainline Pokémon games. Dump a Pokémon in there, then visit the Park; you’ll be able to capture it during a battle, which, if you win, you’ll be able to add it to your collection.

The whole one-way trade process is pretty much a simplified version of the similar cross-generation trading in the handheld Pokémon games. Pokémon: Let’s Go! only allowing for trading in one direction — from Pokémon Go to Let‘s Go!, but not back to Pokémon Go — is par for the course in that sense.

Nonetheless, this hammers home the fact that two years out, we still don’t have a way to trade Pokémon between our friends in the mobile game. Seeing how painless it is to get your Pokémon Go monsters into the Switch games is almost a cruel reminder of how mobile users are missing out. Niantic has repeatedly said that trading is on the way for the game ... eventually. Let’s Go!’s Go Park feature just isn’t quite it.