To add a Friend in Pokémon Go, all you have to do is go to your Trainer screen, swipe left to find your Friend list and tap “Add Friend”. From there you can either share your Trainer Code with another Trainer, or enter their Friend code. Once one of you does this the other will receive a friend request. Once accepted you will be ready to start exchanging gifts, trading Pokémon, and benefitting from the discounts & bonuses.

As you can see, making friends in Pokemon GO is easy, but understanding the intricate damage bonuses and trading discounts that come from leveling Friendships up, is not. Luckily, we have prepared a few tables to help you make sense of Pokemon GO Friendship level bonuses.

Tables included in this post:

  • Friendship level damage bonus and extra balls
  • Trade discounts per friendship level
  • Overview of all trading costs (Dust / Pokémon type / Friendship level)

Friendship level bonuses info graphic

Friendship bonuses in Pokemon GO
Friendship bonuses in Pokemon GO

Friendship level damage bonus and extra Premier balls

You get the damage bonus and extra Premier balls if you’re raiding with a friend. Only one bonus can be active, they do not stack and the game will use the highest one available. You earn XP reward only once when the level is unlocked.

Level Damage bonus Extra balls XP reward
Good friends
1 day
3% 0 3000
Great friends
7 days
5% 1 10,000
Ultra friends
30 days
7% 2 50,000
Best friends
90 days
10% 4 100,000

Friendship level Stardust cost discount

In addition to damage bonuses, each Friendship level reduces the amount of Stardust that is required to complete a trade. Although it starts slowly, it quickly ramps up and makes Normal trades almost free.

Each Pokemon GO friendship level unlocks a discount percentage that is then applied on all trades with that Trainer:

Level Trading discount
Good friends
1 day
0%
Great friends
7 days
20%
Ultra friends
30 days
92%
Best friends
90 days
96%

Discounts for Ultra and Best friends are massive, they make regular trades essentially free and they make Special Trades feasible. Special trades include Shiny and Legendary Pokemon.

The following tables shows all Pokemon GO trading costs with respect to the type of Pokemon you’re trading, Pokedex status and friendship level:

Level Regular and regional Shiny and Legendary
Caught New Caught New
Good friends
1 day
100 20,000 20,000 1,000,000
Great friends
7 days
100 16,000 16,000 800,000
Ultra friends
30 days
100 1,600 1,600 80,000
Best friends
90 days
100 800 800 40,000

As it stands now, the penalty for trading a Pokémon that you don’t already have in your Pokédex (ie. regionals) is 200x the regular trading price. That’s quite steep, but it’s still not too bad if you’re just trading Regionals (20k dust).

Tips and Tricks

Don’t slack until you reach Ultra Friend status with the people you play with. A month from now, paying minimal Stardust for a trade will become expected for everyone who was invested in the system. Also Trainers who receive an EX Raid pass are able to send an invitation to their Ultra and Best Friends… Try not to fall behind.

Remember that you can increase your Friendship level only once per day, which means that once per day you have to remember to open gifts, or battle/raid with your friends. It’s super easy to stay up to date, so make sure to do this every day.

If you ask us, paying more than 1,600 Stardust for a trade is not viable for local groups. 16,000 or 20,000 Stardust can be better spent elsewhere, especially with the re-rolling nature of Trade Pokemon IVs.