Hi there trainers! In of the recent APK teardowns, there was a very small mention of a “trade ball” and this got me thinking about (surprisingly) trading.
There has been absolutely no hint from Niantic or anywhere else that remote trading is being looked at or is in development, by the same token though, remote raiding could never have been even conceived of this time a year ago but here we are. It exists, it is popular, it is lucrative and it is here to stay.
So is remote trading a quality of life improvement desperately needed, especially now in these times of social distance and shielding?
(Please note the mentioned “trade ball” could actually turn out to be nothing to do with trading or just a random line of code, this whole article is purely hypothetical)
What are the current restrictions around trading?
- You must be physically near each other (within 100 metres)
- You can trade each Pokémon once only and the IV will be different for the recipient
- One special trade a day – Anything shiny, legendary or new to either Pokédex is a special trade
- A Pokémon will be levelled down if the Pokémon being traded is a higher level than the receiving trainer
- A complete ban on shadow and mythical Pokémon being traded at all
- Not a restriction as such but there is a stardust cost involved too, as below
What additional safeguards could Niantic put on remote trading to make it fair and sustainable?
• Limit remote trading to lucky or best friends only. Oh please yes! I have a lot of lucky friends and just for convenience reasons to be able to do these from anywhere would be a blessing. Remember, to be lucky friends you have to be best friends first which is 90 days of interactions, then you rely on, well luck, to go lucky so it’s not exactly something that can be done on a whim, it requires dedication.
• Restrict what species can be remotely traded. Whether you agree with them or not, regional Pokémon exist. I can understand Niantic wanting to keep an air of exclusivity around certain species so I would be happy with this condition to remain in place if it meant remote trading would be introduced.
• Remote trading cooldown period. Could this be something you are only allowed to do once per day, or per week? Although weekly would still take a while to clear some backlog, it would be a start!
• The introduction of a special item such as the mentioned above “trade ball” to remote trade. Special items are not new to Pokémon GO to allow certain actions (think Mystery box and evolution items) but there is a consideration on how you would get your hands on one or if it can only be bought with Pokecoins. That might not put every trainer off but it is a concern on bringing in an additional premium item.
Any combination of the above is possible solutions. The original safeguards introduced with trading were put in place to try combat an illegal trade in rare and high IV Pokémon and I would not want to compromise these fundamentals, with the exception of distance. If it is good enough for raids, why can’t it be possible for trading?
What is the worst that could happen if remote trading was introduced?
Pokémon GO has always at its core been about going outside, meeting people, exploring your environment, building and having a positive impact on your local community and finding that elusive Pokémon yourself.
It is a great feeling to find something new or highly prized yourself, and trading is a great fall back option and is itself a core value, nearly every main series has had exclusive Pokémon and before that trading cards. Taking away the need to go outside seems counterintuitive to this mission statement but is that what is necessary right now?
2020 has seen restrictions on peoples movement, who they can meet and sadly in some cases if they can go outside at all. This feels like a change that would be overwhelmingly positive for players with little to no impact on Niantic and I for one would welcome it even with all of the restrictions I have mentioned above.
What do you think the “trade ball” could be? Do you agree with remote trading or are you happy with the current system?
If trading is all new to you and you want any of these restrictions or mechanics explained in more detail, check out this article from 2018 when trading was first introduced –
Stay safe out there trainers!