It was rumoured for the longest time, but trading has finally arrived in Pokémon GO. That duplicate regional you caught can now be given to a friend, and you can receive Pokémon you need from them.
The system appears to have been carefully thought out, with each trade being effectively a swap, but also costing both Trainers a certain amount of Stardust.
Crucially, the Pokémon’s stats will change randomly when you make the trade, so you can’t promise them a certain CP or IV level. These stats are also affected by each Trainer’s level and your friendship level as well.
You must be within 100 metres of the other person to make a trade, which prevents players from trading between countries, or even towns. You’ll have to meet in person, basically. There’s another restriction, although it won’t affect many Trainers at all: you must be higher than level 10 to trade.
As a bonus, trading will earn you candies for the Pokémon you’ve just traded and you’ll get more if the two Pokémon were caught further apart, up to 100km.
If you’re flush with Legendary Pokémon or shinies, you can trade these as well, but such rare creatures must be dealt with using Special Trades. There can be only one Special Trade per day, and only with a Great or Best Friend.
If your friendship level is low, trading Legendaries could cost as much as 1 million Stardust, but a high friendship level brings this cost way down to 40,000.
Pokémon GO Friendship Levels
In order to make a trade, you both need to be ‘friends’ in game. This is another new feature, which requires the other person to give you their special Trainer Code before you can send them a friend request.
Once you’re friends you can increase your friendship level, through Good to Great, Ultra and Best Friend.
Each level offers its own bonuses, such as stardust discounts when trading and extra balls and items when you participate in a Raid together.
Better still, you can both benefit from extra balls when you successfully complete a Raid, giving you more chance of catching the Raid Boss.
When you tap on your Trainer icon (bottom left) you’ll see two new tabs at the top: Me and Friends. In the Friends tab you’ll see the option to Add Friend and a journal of their recent activity.
Gifting in Pokémon GO
There’s more: Gifting is yet another new mechanic in the game. When you spin PokéStops you might get a Gift.
You can’t open this yourself: you must give it away to a friend. This will include various items, a ‘postcard’ showing the Stop where the Gift is from, and it might include an egg which hatches an Alolan form of a Pokémon.
The new features will appear in the game by the end of the week.