Pokemon Go Trading: A SuperParent Guide

Here's everything you need to know about swapping Pokemon with friends.

Earlier this year, Pokemon Go received a major social update, introducing friends, trading, and gift features. For the first time in Pokemon Go, excited Pokemon trainers can now trade creatures with their in-game friends, but the process is a bit more complicated than it initially seems.

Here’s everything you need to know about trading Pokemon with friends in Pokemon Go.

First things first: make some friends

Players can only trade Pokemon with their in-game friends. You can add someone as a friend by entering the other player’s unique trainer code in the game’s friends menu.

Next, level up

Players need to be at least Level 10 in Pokemon Go to have access to the trading feature. If you’re not quite there yet, go out and capture some Pokemon, visit some PokeStops, or participate in Gym and Raid battles to earn the experience points you need to reach level 10.

Now, get close

Players can only trade with users who are within 100 meters (around 328 feet) of their current location. Unfortunately, this means trading Pokemon with players in other countries -- or even other towns -- isn’t an option.

What’s next?

Ok, you’ve made a friend, you’re both at least level 10, you’re in the same spot, and you want to swap Pokemon. Here’s what you need to do next.

  1. Tap your friend’s name on your in-game friends list
  2. Tap “Trade”
  3. Once both players have started the trade, tap the Pokemon you want to give to your friend (keep in mind, you can’t trade “favorited” Pokemon, so you’ll need to remove the Pokemon as a favorite before beginning the trade)
  4. Tap “Next”
  5. If you both agree with the Pokemon you’ve selected (and you have the required Stardust, or in-game currency, to afford the trade), tap “Confirm” to send your Pokemon on its way

Here are some things to keep in mind

  • Trades cost Stardust to complete. If both players already own the Pokemon they’re receiving in a trade, the cost to trade is a bargain -- 100 Stardust at most. However, if you’re trying to trade a shiny or Legendary Pokemon, or if you’re receiving a Pokemon you’ve never captured before, the cost can go way up. In these cases, the trade is considered a “Special Trade,” and you can only do one Special Trade per day.
  • Your friendship level impacts the cost of a trade. The higher your friendship level, the less Stardust you’ll have to pay. You can raise your friendship level by interacting with your friend in Pokemon Go (for instance, by sending them gifts that can be collected at PokeStops). At the initial “Friend” level, you can only trade Pokemon that you and your trading partner already own. You’ll need to be at least a “Good Friend” with a player before you can do Special Trades with them. The “Good Friend” level is reached after interacting with someone for one day.
  • When a trade is completed, each player will receive bonus Pokemon Candy for the Pokemon they just traded away. The amount of candy received will be greater if the two Pokemon in the trade were captured in locations far away from each other. The farther away the two capture locations are (“up to around 100 km”), the more candy each player will receive.
  • A Pokemon’s CP and HP stats will change when it’s traded. Before you confirm a trade, you can see the range representing how much CP and HP the Pokemon will have after it’s traded. The range is affected by your friend’s level, and your current friendship level.
  • When traded, a Pokemon has a chance to become a sparkly “Lucky” Pokemon. The longer a Pokemon is owned before it’s traded away, the greater the chance it will become a Lucky Pokemon when it’s traded. Lucky Pokemon require less Stardust to power up.
  • You can’t trade mythical Pokemon (currently only Mew and Celebi are in the game).
  • A Pokemon can only be traded once.