From video games, to movies, to trading cards, Pokémon is undeniably the most successful media franchise in the world.
Short for Pocket Monsters, Pokémon was inspired by creator Satoshi Tajiri’s love of collecting insects as a child. From these humble beginnings, Pokémon captured the hearts and minds of millions that wanted to “catch ‘em all”. However, catching every single Pokémon — 800+ if you don’t include hundreds of variations — has become an incredibly monumental task.
Fortunately, The Pokémon Company hopes to lower the difficultly with the release of Pokémon HOME.
What is Pokémon HOME?
One of the biggest selling points for the Pokémon games is collecting every creature available. In order to accomplish this, players must trade Pokémon between games. From slotting the GBA games into the bottom slot of the DS, to using the Pokémon Bank app, the process for transferring Pokémon to a new generation of systems is always different.
The Pokémon Company’s solution to these differing processes is Pokémon HOME, a cloud service that connects with all Pokémon games going forward. Currently available for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices, this service allows users to manage their Pokémon storage across multiple games.
While Pokémon HOME is free to download, Pokémon Company offers a premium subscription plan. This premium plan grants subscribers greater access to features. For instance, those who opt for the free version of HOME will only be able to deposit up to 30 Pokémon, while the premium users are able to deposit up to 6,000.
Nintendo eShop Pricing
|Subscription Length||Price (including tax)|
|One Month (30 Days)||$2.99|
|Three Months (90 Days)||$4.99|
|One Year (365 Days)||$15.99|
|Subscription Length||Price (including tax)|
|One Month (30 Days)||$3.99|
|Three Months (90 Days)||$6.99|
|One Year (365 Days)||$19.99|
How Does It Work?
In order to transfer Pokémon to Pokémon HOME, users must first link their Nintendo Account to both the Nintendo Switch and mobile app. After linking your Nintendo Account, users are free to move Pokémon between HOME and compatible games and apps.
Currently, Pokémon HOME is compatible with:
- Pokémon Sword and Shield;
- Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Let’s Go, Pikachu!, and;
- Pokémon Bank.
The Pokémon Company plans for Pokémon HOME to be compatible with Pokémon GO in the future. However, there is no date set for said compatibility.
Moving Pokémon From the Switch
Transferring Pokémon from Sword, Shield, Let’s Go, Eevee!, and Let’s Go, Pikachu! can only be done through the Switch app of Pokémon HOME.
After opening the app, select the “POKÉMON” option. This will bring up all the Pokémon games you own on the system. Select the games you would like to transfer to and from. From here, simply select the Pokémon you want to transfer and place them in the box of your choice.
It’s important to note that once you move a Pokémon originally from Let’s Go, Eevee! or Let’s Go, Pikachu! to Sword and Shield, you cannot transfer it back to the Let’s Go games. Having said that, you can use HOME to move Pokémon between the Let’s Go games with no issues.
Moving Pokémon From Pokémon Bank
Pokémon Bank is the predecessor to Pokémon HOME available on Nintendo 3DS. It allowed users to transfer and store their Pokémon from the DS and 3DS games.
Forewarning: transferring from Bank is one way. So, there’s no way to move your Pokémon back to Bank once adding them to HOME.
There are a few more steps when transferring from the 3DS app to Pokémon HOME. First and foremost, the only way to receive Pokémon from Bank is to enroll in HOME’s Premium Plan.
In Bank, select the “Move Pokémon to Pokémon HOME” option from the main menu. From here, select which boxes to move. Following the selection, Bank will ask you to input a code from HOME to finalize the move.
In the Switch app of HOME, select the image of the 3DS on the main menu. Then select “Begin Move”. Following this selection, HOME will give you the code to input in Bank. Once the code is entered into Bank, the transfer process will begin.
Currently, Pokémon Bank is available at no cost to users until March 12, 2020. After this trial period, Bank will cost $4.99 a year. Best to transfer your DS and 3DS Pokémon before time runs out.
Between the Switch and mobile app, Pokémon HOME has plenty of features for users to take their collecting and battling to the next level.
For those disappointed that Sword and Shield cut back on trading options, HOME’s mobile app includes fan-favorite trading features without being tethered to a game.
There are four ways to trade Pokémon in HOME. They are:
- Wonder Box: Pokémon placed in this box will be traded with a random user from around the world. Free users can store up to three Pokémon at once, while premium users can store up to 10.
- GTS: Short for Global Trade System. It allows users to specify the Pokémon they wish to receive based on specific requirements. Free users can put one Pokémon up for trade, while premium users can put up to three.
- Room Trade: Create or join a room to trade Pokémon among random users. Rooms can hold a maximum of 20 users. Only premium users can create rooms.
- Friend Trade: Trade Pokémon between users you’ve registered as a friend.
Considering adding every Pokémon to each individual game has become such a monumental task, the National Pokédex will live in Pokémon HOME going forward. As such, Pokémon Company is compiling as much information as possible into this Pokédex, including descriptions from multiple Regional Pokédexes, models and artwork for every Pokémon variation, and full move and ability lists.
In order to register your Pokémon deposited in the National Pokédex, you must transfer them to Pokémon HOME. At this point in time, there is no way to import your Pokédex entries to HOME without transferring your Pokémon.
Mystery Gift has been a feature of the Pokémon games ever since Gold and Silver. It allows users to receive gifts, such as Pokémon and special items, through wireless communication and codes.
Through the mobile app, Mystery Gifts will give users gifts for either Pokémon HOME or Pokémon Sword and Shield via event check-in, code, or QR code.
Pokémon HOME’s judge feature allows users to get a breakdown of a Pokémon’s stats, abilities, and nature. This feature is beneficial for competitive players looking to put together the best parts for tournaments.
However, the ability to judge Pokémon is only available for premium users.
Sometime after launch, the Pokémon HOME mobile will allow users to view Battle Data. Battle Data will include:
- Updates on Sword and Shield Ranked Battles and Online Competitions;
- Battle rankings for other users, and;
- Statistics on most used Pokémon and most popular moves.
Pokémon HOME Points
As users transfer Pokémon to HOME, they earn Pokémon HOME Points. Currently, you can only transfer these points to Sword and Shield for Battle Points. The conversion rate is one Battle Point equals 30 Pokémon HOME Points.