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How to transfer old Pokémon from Bank to Pokémon Home

You can move Pokémon to Home from as far back as Ruby and Sapphire — if you still have the hardware for it.

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
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Pokémon Home is finally here, which means you can pluck all your old beloved Pokémon off your older games. Doing so can be complicated, especially if you’re moving them from a game from several Pokémon generations ago.

Depending on where you’re trying to transfer Pokémon from, you might be in for a lot of work that requires having some older consoles. We’ve broken down where to start and what you need to do below.

Update Pokémon Bank and get a Premium Plan

First, update your Nintendo 3DS and the Pokémon Bank app for Nintendo 3DS, which needs the latest update for Pokémon Home transfers.

Note that transferring Pokémon from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon Home requires a Pokémon Home Premium Plan, which costs $2.99 for one month (30 days), $4.99 for three months (90 days), and $15.99 for one year (365 days).

If you’re moving Pokémon from Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, or LeafGreen …

You’ll need a regular Nintendo DS and a fourth generation Pokémon game.

Stick the GameBoy Advanced game into the GBA slot, and insert the fourth generation game of choice (Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, SoulSilver, or HeartGold). You’ll need access to the Pal Park on Route 221 for Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, or access to the Pal Park in Fuchsia City for SoulSilver and HeartGold.

All five games require the National Pokedex to be unlocked to access the Pal Park. (You’ll have to see all 150 Sinnoh region Pokémon for the former and beat the Elite Four for the latter.)

From there, you can choose six Pokémon at a time to move from the GBA games to your newer game. Continue to follow the steps below to move the Pokémon to Home.

If you’re moving Pokémon from Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, SoulSilver, or HeartGold …

You’ll need two Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS systems to make this move.

After beating the Elite Four in Pokémon Black, White, Black 2, or White 2, you’ll get access to the PokéTransfer Lab on Route 15. Enter and talk to the scientist inside. On your second console, you’ll have to insert the game you’re trying to transfer from and select DS Download Play.

From there, you can move the Pokémon from fourth generation Pokémon games to fifth generation games by playing a quick minigame where you fire Pokéballs at the chosen Pokémon as they hop around.

If you’re moving Pokémon from Black, White, Black 2, or White 2 or Virtual Console versions of Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, or Crystal …

You’d typically need a Pokémon Bank subscription to use the app, which costs $4.99 a year, but the app is free for a month to allow players to move Pokémon to Home.

Download the Poké Transporter app for your Nintendo 3DS. Put any Pokémon you want to transfer in Box 1 of your desired game, and move any Pokémon you don’t want to transfer out of the box. Open up the Poké Transporter app and it will prompt you to move all the Pokémon to Pokémon Bank.

If you’re moving Pokémon from X, Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, Sun, Moon, Ultra Moon, or Ultra Sun ...

These games work natively with Pokémon Bank, so you should be able to download Pokémon Bank, put the desired cartridge in your 3DS, and add them to the Pokémon Bank boxes. You can press Start on your 3DS to select multiple Pokémon at once, too. Make sure all if the Pokémon you want to move to Home are in Bank.

Fire up Pokémon Home on your Nintendo Switch and select the “Move” option from the main menu. If you’re using the mobile app, open the menu, go to settings, and select “Move.” Select the option on the 3DS to move from Pokémon Bank to Home, and select all the boxes you want to move to Home.

After starting the moving process on your Switch, Pokémon Home will give you a code to input on your 3DS. Enter the code, and the transfer process will begin, moving your selected Pokémon to Home.

Home will say that it can’t be used while Pokémon are transferring, so check back in a couple minutes to make sure your Pokémon made it through safely.

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