Game Freak’s Pokemon Home Pokemon storage service is set to launch in February 2020. A media preview event in Japan has unveiled more details and screenshots showing what you can expect from the service. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]
As previously revealed, Pokemon Home will come with a free plan and paid plan. Apart from the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Home will also be accessible via a dedicated app on smartphones. With the service, you’ll be able to move Pokemon to and from Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, Pokemon Sword and Shield, and eventually Pokemon GO. The Switch version allows you to trade to other games and manage boxes, while the smartphone version allows you to manage Wonder Boxes, which let you Wonder Trade Pokemon.
If you have the Premium plan for Pokemon Home, you’ll be able to trade Pokemon from the Nintendo 3DS’ Pokemon Bank on both the Switch and smartphone versions of the app. Essentially, you will choose a Box of Pokemon in Pokemon Bank that you want to move over, and then enter the password given in Pokemon Home, which allows the entire box of Pokemon to be sent over. According to official sources, those without working Nintendo 3DS systems will be able to use method of transferring over Pokemon Bank Pokemon by linking your Nintendo Network ID (NNID) with your Nintendo Account. However, once the Pokemon Bank Pokemon have transferred over to Pokemon Home, they will not be able to be transferred back to Pokemon Bank, so watch out.
Pokemon that have been moved to Pokemon Home will be able to be brought over to supported Nintendo Switch Pokemon games. That said, as you have probably heard by now, there will be restrictions on which Pokemon can be brought over for each software. Additionally, you can’t bring Pokemon caught in Pokemon Sword & Shield to Pokemon Let’s Go, even if the species of Pokemon exist in the Kanto Pokedex. (That said, Let’s Go Pokemon that exist in the Galar Dex can be brought over to Sword & Shield.)
Basically, you can freely move Pokemon between the Let’s Go games and Pokemon Home. Once you move them to Pokemon Sword & Shield, you won’t be able to trade them back into the Let’s Go games, even if they were caught there.
Furthermore, Pokemon added via the upcoming Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass will be made compatible with Pokemon Home via a free update.
Pokemon Home will be the new resting place of the National Pokedex, where you can view Pokemon from the first through eighth generations. This will be where the Galar Pokemon get their National Dex numbers for the first time.
The Pokedex descriptions across the many games in the series will all be collected here, and you can easily swap between Pokedex descriptions by clicking on the game’s symbol, as seen above. Mega Evolutions and Gigantamax forms will be logged into the National Dex.
With the Nintendo Switch, you can have up to eight player profiles on the system itself, each with their own save data for Pokemon games. With Pokemon Home, each of the eight users can access their boxes separately, but another way you can use the service is to share the account among several user profiles, with each player being able to freely store and retrieve Pokemon on the shared account. Essentially, even with just one Nintendo Switch, several user profiles can work together to fill up the National Dex and share Pokemon, such as with parents and kids sharing a single Switch.
The main draw of the smartphone version of Pokemon Home will be the ability to trade with others. There are going to be four trading methods, including the returning Global Trade Station (GTS) and a new Group Trade option where 20 players can trade at the same time.
Beginning with Pokemon X & Y, Wonder Trades allowed players trade their Pokemon with a stranger’s unknown Pokemon. The Wonder Box serves a similar function, where you can leave Pokemon inside to be traded at a moment’s notice. You’re able to add three Pokemon at once using the free plan and ten at once with the Premium plan.
Like previous games, you’re able to set up the Pokemon you want to trade and the requirements for the Pokemon that you want, so that trades can occur between players who want that Pokemon and can provide what you want in return. Options for requirements include gender and level. This will make it easier to collect things like version exclusives.
You could create a group of up to 20 players to trade with at once. You won’t know who receives which Pokemon, so it’s kind of like a Secret Santa event. While Group creation is limited to Premium users, any Pokemon Home user could join via entering the group ID or QR code.
You’ll be able to use the Friend Trade option if you have added the other player as a friend in Pokemon Home and are near each other. Essentially, it’s like trading Pokemon locally, except via a smartphone app. Players under 16 years old are not able to use the Friends feature, so they’ll have to use the other options or ask a parent to help out.
Pokemon Home will be released in February 2020 for the Nintendo Switch and compatible mobile devices. A 30-day subscription will end up costing $2.99 (370 yen), 90 days will be $4.99 (610 yen), and 365 days will cost $15.99 (1,960 yen). The U.S. prices exclude tax.