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Your biggest Pokémon Home questions, answered

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A FAQ for the online Pokémon storage system

Image: Game Freak

Pokémon Home is finally here, and with it come questions.

The new application to help trainers organize their Pokémon and bring them up to the current generation of games is available on multiple platforms, including Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS devices. But with so much going on, it can be a little scary. In this Pokémon Home guide, we‘ll answer your biggest questions below.

What is Pokémon Home?

Pokémon Home is an online storage and trading system for the Pokémon games. The Pokémon Bank app previously served a similar function for the Nintendo 3DS games, but now that Pokémon has expanded to the Nintendo Switch, there’s a new way to transfer and trade Pokémon.

Where I download Pokémon Home?

It’s an app for the Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android, though the mobile functionality is different than the Nintendo Switch functionality.

What games can I transfer Pokémon from?

As of this writing, you can only transfer Pokémon from Pokémon Bank, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee and Pikachu, and Pokémon Sword and Shield to Pokémon Home. Eventually, you’ll be able to transfer from Pokémon Go, but that feature is not available yet.

Note that moving Pokémon from Pokémon Bank and Pokémon Go to Pokémon Home is a one-way trip: After transferring to Pokémon Home, they cannot go back.

If you transfer Pokémon from Let’s Go, Eevee and Pikachu to Sword and Shield, they can’t go back to their original games, either. But you can move Pokémon from Let’s Go, Eevee and Pikachu to Pokémon Home and then back to their original games.

What games can transfer to and from Pokémon Home Image: Game Freak

How do I transfer Pokémon from older games?

Many older games like Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond, and Pearl have methods of transfer between them. Using a Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS and the in-game methods (which vary from game-to-game), you can move your Pokémon to Pokémon Bank. From there, you can transfer them to Pokémon Home.

Transferring from Pokémon Bank to Home also requires a premium subscription. (More on that in the next section.)

After selecting the transfer button, Pokémon Home will give you a code. Input the code on your Nintendo 3DS’ Pokémon Bank, and you’ll be able to freely move Pokémon from Bank to Home. After making the transfer, the app will tell you that you can’t use Home while it’s moving Pokémon, so just hang tight for a little bit and check back in to see if the transfer completes.

A green menu screen displays the Pokémon Home and Pokémon Bank logos Image: The Pokémon Company via Polygon

What does a Pokémon Home premium subscription do?

For $2.99 a month, $4.99 for three months, and $15.99 for 12 months, a premium Pokémon Home subscription lets you do the following:

  • Store up to 6,000 Pokémon (up from 30 Pokémon in the free version)
  • Deposit three Pokémon into the global trade system (up from one Pokémon)
  • Deposit 10 Pokémon into the Wonder Box (up from 10 Pokémon)
  • Host Room Trades (basic users can still join Room Trades, but they can’t host them)
  • Transfer Pokémon from Pokémon Bank
  • Use the IV Judge tool

How do I trade Pokémon with other people?

You can only trade Pokémon from the mobile app, but there are multiple ways to trade:

  • Wonder Box: Place up to three (or 10, if you have a premium subscription) Pokémon in the box and have them randomly traded with another player. This is similar to the Wonder Trade system in Pokémon games.
  • Global Trade System (GTS): Put a Pokémon up for trade while requesting a specific Pokémon in return. You can also search for a Pokémon you’re looking for, see what others are asking for, and trade with them.
  • Room Trade: Trade with a small room of other players. Your Pokémon will randomly be traded among the players in the room. Only premium players can host a Room Trade, though basic subscription players can join them.
  • Friend Trade: Trade locally with somebody on your friends list.

How do I register Pokémon in my Pokédex?

Importing Pokémon from Pokémon Bank to Home will import the Pokédex data with it. It’ll also show all of the different Pokémon forms for Pokémon like Rotom.

Linking to the Nintendo Switch games will not take the Pokédex data from the game, but it will after you import the Pokémon. It will not register Gigantamax variants unless you send a Gigantamax-able Pokémon to Home.

At the time of writing, it seems like the mobile version registers the Pokémon into the Pokédex slowly, so you might have to wait before all the entries fill in on your phone.

A green serpent-like Pokémon, Rayquaza, sits in the middle of the screen with many descriptors surrounding it, including its height, weight, and type Image: The Pokémon Company via Polygon

What’s difference between the mobile app and the Nintendo Switch app?

The mobile app is mainly for trading, while the Switch app is for storage and organization.

Here’s what you can do differently between them:

  • Mobile (Android and iOS ): Trade Pokémon, complete Challenges (more in the next section), and use your sticker book.
  • Switch: Organize your Home boxes, complete Research Tasks, transfer points to Pokémon Sword and Shield, Sword and Shield, and Let’s Go, Eevee and Pikachu.

What are Challenges?

Challenges require you to trade and obtain Pokémon. They’re exclusive to the mobile app.

Challenges ask you to register different forms of Pokémon, Pokémon in specific balls, or Pokémon with specific natures, to name a few examples. In return, you’ll get stickers to decorate your profile with.

What are Research Tasks?

Research Tasks are exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version and require you to deposit specific Pokémon from Sword and Shield and Let’s Go, Eevee and Pikachu. For example, the Dusty Bowl Research Task asks for a Eldegoss, Hattrem, and Frillish.

Note that the Pokémon required to complete the tasks need to be from the respective region. Importing a Frillish from Pokémon Bank will not fulfill the task for the Galar region.

A purple menu screen displaying a Grookey, Scorbunny, and the silhouette of a Sobble Image: The Pokémon Company via Polygon

What do Home Points do?

As you put more Pokémon in Pokémon Home, you accumulate Home Points. You can transfer these to Pokémon Sword and Shield as Battle Points at a rate of 30 Home Points for one BP.

What do stickers do?

A screen with stickers that show Legendary Pokémon, along with symbols to represent Pokémon types Image: The Pokémon Company via Polygon

These are just sweet to decorate your profile card with in the Pokémon Home mobile app. You can place up to 10 stickers, and you unlock them through completing Challenges. Some Challenges have tiers and will reward you with the same sticker, which gets larger as you complete the Challenge more.

How does Pokémon Home benefit Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Using Pokémon Home, you can transfer Pokémon that were previously unavailable in the Switch game into to Sword and Shield. Those include Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Litten, Rowlet, and Popplio — as well as their evolutions— plus Mewtwo, Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Keldeo, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Solgaleo, Lunala, Necrozma, Marshadow, Zeraora, Meltan, and Melmeta, as well.

You can also transfer Alolan and Kantonian forms of existing Pokémon (ike Alolan Vulpix or Kantonian Ponyta) to Sword and Shield now.

Is there any point in me using this if I’ve only played the Nintendo Switch Pokémon games?

Yes, but probably not in its full premium form. You can use this to transfer any Kantonian versions of Pokémon that normally have Galarian forms — like Kantonian Farfetch’d — to Sword and Shield from Let’s Go, Eevee and Pikachu.

The mobile app is also the only way to access the global trade system, so you should definitely use that if you’re trying to trade specific Pokémon.