How to trade in Pokémon Go: The step by step guide

The definitive guide to trading in Pokemon Go

Trading has long been a staple of the Pokémon series. From obtaining Pokémon not native to one’s version of a game to evolving certain Pokémon, trading emphasizes interactivity between trainers. This feature is also available within the mobile title Pokémon Go, allowing players to trade with one another using just their mobile device. But like with other features within the game, there are some restrictions regarding the feature that limit the types of players that you can trade with.

Trading does allow you to exchange your extra Pokémon’s with other players for Pokémon you need or simply want. Keep in mind that to trade a Pokémon in Pokémon go you need to be in level 10 or more than that and this is the same for your partner too (with whom you are going to trade).

Step by step guide to trade Pokémon in Pokémon go

  1. Become “Friends” with the person you want to trade with. (Ask for their Trainer Code and use it to send them a Friend request. Once they accept, your friends.)
  2. Meet up with the Friend you want to trade with. (You have to be within 100 meters of each other for trading to become available.)
  3. Select the Pokémon you want to trade and have your Friend select the Pokémon they want to trade for it.
  4. Review the Trade Details and make sure you’re happy with them, including the CP and HP ranges. (IV is re-rolled when you trade, so it’s better to trade low IV Pokémon in hopes of improving them, and never trade a 100% Pokémon because you’ll almost certainly lose those stats.)
  5. Tap Next.
  6. Review the Trade one last time.
  7. Tap Confirm.
pokemon go trade
Pokemon Go Trade (image via Niantic)

When you tap a friend’s portrait in your friends list and you have met the distance requirements, you will find the option to trade. You’ll quickly notice that depending on the Pokémon you wish to trade with one another, however, the amount of Stardust you’ll be using to do so may be large.

To maintain the number of trades and what Pokémon are sent between players, Pokémon Go requires a certain amount of Stardust for each trade depending on the type of Pokémon, as well as the friendship between the players. If both Pokémon being traded are in both players’ Pokédex, the trade will only cost 100 Stardust regardless of the friendship level.

Pokemon go trade
Pokemon Go Trade (Image via Niantic)

What is special trade

There are also Special Trades that further limit how much players may trade with one another, as well as exponentially increase the Stardust cost. These types of trades can only be done once per day.

How much stardust does it cost for special trade

If both Pokémon are Legendary or Shiny and, in both players’, Pokédex, or neither normal Pokémon is in either players’ Pokédex, the trade will cost 20,000 Stardust for Good Friends, 16,000 for Great Friends, 1,600 for Ultra Friends, or 800 for Best Friends.

And if both Pokémon are Legendary or Shiny and are not in either player’s Pokédex, Good Friends will be set back a whopping 1,000,000 Stardust; Great Friends 800,000; Ultra Friends 80,000; and Best Friends 40,000.

Friendship Level is fundamental to Trading as each increase to your level gets you a discount.

  • Good Friend 0% Stardust discount
  • Great Friend 20% Stardust discount
  • Ultra-Friend 92% Stardust discount
  • Best Friend 96% Stardust discount

It is worth noting that you can only make one Special Trade a day. Not one per Friend. One total.

What is Trade Evolution

There have always been certain species of Pokémon that require Trading to evolve. In January 2020, Pokémon Go incorporated a Trade Evolution mechanic into the game. Now, a select few species will benefit from being Trades. While you can still evolve these species without Trading, by Trading them first, you can evolve them for free. These species include:

  • Kadabra
  • Machoke
  • Graveler
  • Haunter
  • Boldore
  • Gurdurr
  • Karrablast
  • Shelmet

Hope this detailed guide will be useful for trading in Pokemon Go! If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below!

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