What is Pokémon Home?

Pokémon Home is the Pokémon Company’s cloud-based storage system for Nintendo Switch gamers.

The system essentially lets you store and transfer Pokémon from not only Pokémon Sword and Shield, but Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee too. And for those wondering about the Pokémon Bank from the 3DS era, yes, you’re also able to access your older Pokémon via Bank too. The Pokémon Company has said that Pokémon Home will eventually support Pokémon Go, but that feature isn't available right now.

Players are able to trade via Wonder Box, Global Trade System (otherwise known as GTS), Friend Trade and Room Trade, all accessible via Pokémon Home on the Nintendo Switch and via the dedicated Pokémon Home app for iOS and Android. Let’s break those trade options down:

  • Wonder Box: Pokémon placed in a Wonder Box can be traded with people around the world automatically, and you don’t need to be actively logged in to Pokémon Home for this to happen.
  • Global Trade System (GTS): Using the Global Trade System, players can specify not only the Pokémon they want to trade, but the Pokémon they want to receive too. Pokémon Home takes this data and automatically pairs you up with a Trainer that meets your criteria.
  • Friend Trade: Using the Add Friend feature in the Pokémon Home app, trainers can trade Pokémon with nearby friends and family members.
  • Room Trade: Allows players to create a room to freely trade Pokémon in, with a limit of 20 people.

It’s worth noting that there are some restrictions on transferring Pokémon between platforms; you can freely transfer Pokémon from Home between Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu and Sword and Shield, but once a Pokémon has been transferred to Sword or Shield from either Let’s Go title, you won’t be able to transfer it back.

Transfers aside, there are a bunch of other features that make Pokémon Home a must-have for any Pokémon fan. Firstly, Pokémon are registered to the National Pokédex when users deposit them in Boxes, and if you deposit a Pokémon that has Mega Evolve or Gigantamax capabilities, these forms will be registered too. The National Pokédex essentially allows trainers to see Pokémon entries from various games in the series in a single place.

You’ll also receive various Mystery Gifts as part of Pokémon Home, from items to boost your Pokémon’s stats to brand new Pokémon to add to your growing collection – it’s all randomly generated.

For those that want a deeper understanding of Pokémon performance, Battle Data provides insight into the battle records for each trainer as well as information on what moves are popular among the Pokémon taking place in the various Online Competitions in Sword and Shield. You can take that one step further with the Judge function, analysing your Pokémon to see how strong they are, but this feature is exclusive to the premium upgrade plan – something we detail below.

When is Pokémon Home being released?

After nine months of teasers, the Pokémon Company released Pokémon Home on Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android on 12 February 2020

How much does Pokémon Home cost?

And herein lies the rub; while Pokémon Home can be used for free, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription to not only increase the number of Pokémon that you can store, but to access key features of Pokémon Home like the Judge function.

The Premium Plan, as it’s known, is available in three options: one month for £2.69/$2.99, three months for £4.49/$4.99 and 12 months for £14.39/$15.99, although it’s worth noting that pricing may vary if you sign up via the iOS and Android app.

We break down the Premium plan below:

Features

Basic

Premium

Moving Pokémon from Pokémon Bank

No

Yes

Number of Pokémon that can be deposited

30

6000

Number of Pokémon that can be placed in GTS at once

1

3

Number of Pokémon that can be placed in the Wonder Box at once

3

10

Room trade

Participate

Host and participate

Judge function

No

Yes

For more on all things Pokémon, take a look at all we know about the Pokémon Sword and Shield expansion coming later this year.