Pokémon GO Trading: Ultimate GO Hub Guide

One of the most useful features of Pokémon GO is the ability to trade Pokémon with other players, adding a social and collaborative element to the experience. If you’re new to trading in Pokémon GO, here’s a comprehensive guide to get you started!

Requirements for Trading

Before you can start trading Pokémon with your friends, there are a few prerequisites you need to meet:

  • Trainer Level: You must be at least level 10 to unlock the trading feature.
  • Proximity: You and the player you want to trade with need to be physically close to each other, usually within 100 meters.
  • Friendship Levels: There are different Friendship Levels (Good Friends, Great Friends, Ultra Friends, and Best Friends) that offer trading benefits, such as reduced Stardust costs and increased chances for Lucky Trades (more on that later). You need to be at least Good Friends to initiate a trade.

How to Trade

Steps on how to make a trade

Trading in Pokémon GO is a relatively straightforward process:

  • Tap on the friend’s avatar: Go to your Friends List, select the friend you want to trade with, and tap on their avatar.
  • Initiate a trade: Once you’re on your friend’s profile screen, tap the “Trade” button.
  • Select the Pokémon: Both you and your friend will need to choose the Pokémon you want to trade. You can either select from your current Pokémon storage or use the search function to find specific Pokémon.
  • Confirm the trade: Once both players have selected their Pokémon, you’ll see a summary of the trade, including the Stardust cost. Confirm the trade to initiate the exchange.

Trade Costs

Trades in Pokémon GO require Stardust, a valuable in-game resource. The amount of Stardust required for a trade depends on several factors, such as your Friendship Level, and whether it’s a Special Trade. Higher Friendship Levels reduce the Stardust cost.

Level Trading Discount
Caught New Caught New
Good Friends

(1 Day)

0% 100 Stardust 20,000 Stardust 20,000 Stardust 1,000,000 Stardust
Great Friends

(7 Days)

20% 100 Stardust 16,000 Stardust 16,000 Stardust 800,000 Stardust
Ultra Friends

(30 Days)

92% 100 Stardust 1,600 Stardust 1,600 Stardust 80,000 Stardust
Best Friends

(90 Days)

96% 100 Stardust 800 Stardust 800 Stardust 40,000 Stardust

Evolution Trades

Trade Evolutions can be evolved as usual, but are expensive, requiring 100 candies. If you receive these Pokémon in a trade from another trainer, it won’t cost you anything to evolve them. Remember, you can only trade a Pokémon once, so it is best to hold onto these mon until your friend has one too, so you can trade and both benefit from the free evolution.

Pokémon with trade evolutions include:

Special Trades

Special Trades are trades involving Legendary, Shiny, or Pokémon not yet registered in your Pokédex. These trades have a higher Stardust cost, even with high Friendship Levels. You can only perform one Special Trade per day (unless noted otherwise during an event), so choose wisely.

Lucky Trades and Lucky Friends

When you become Best Friends with another player in Pokémon GO, any interaction that would typically increase your friendship levels (i.e. the first interaction each day that gives your friend the blue halo), has a chance to trigger Lucky Friends. This means that your next trade with that player will result in both traded Pokémon becoming Lucky Pokémon. Niantic hasn’t released the odds of achieving Lucky Friends on each interaction, but data from The Silph Road subreddit note that the Lucky Friends odds is a little bit below 2% per exchange.

After making a trade in Pokémon GO, there’s a possibility that the Pokémon you receive is Lucky. This type of trade costs the same amount of stardust and looks identical to a regular trade. However, you’ll notice that you’ve received a Lucky Pokémon only when you see the summary of the received Pokémon. When a Lucky Trade happens, both the players involved in the trade receive Lucky Pokémon.

If you have had a Pokémon for an extended period, you’re more likely to get a Lucky. The age of the oldest Pokémon participating in a trade is the only factor that the game considers. Therefore, trading two old Pokémon does not provide any tangible benefit compared to trading one old and one freshly caught Pokémon.

Niantic hasn’t confirmed the odds, but these are what the players have observed:

When Pokémon was caught Chance of Lucky Trade
Less than 1 year ago 5%
1-2 years ago 10%
More than 2 years ago 25%

A Lucky Pokémon requires half the Stardust to power up and has an IV floor of 12/12/12. This is a fantastic way to get powerful Pokémon with less Stardust investment.

Guaranteed Lucky Trade without Lucky Friends trick

In 2018, Niantic announced a major update for the Lucky Pokémon system! According to the official blog post – If you trade a Pokemon that was caught between July 2016 – August 2016, it is guaranteed to become a Lucky Pokémon.

Every account has a hidden counter of the number of guaranteed lucky trades they participated in.

Note, this is NOT the number of lucky trades you have had in total. Lucky friend trades and random lucky trades do not affect the counter.

If you trade a Pokémon caught before 31st December 2018, the trade will go lucky if your ‘hidden counter’ of guaranteed lucky trades is less than 25. Both Trainers in the trade will then have their counter increase by 1.

Only one of the Pokémon in the trade has to be caught before 31st December 2018. This Pokémon is the ‘trigger’. The trainer with the ‘trigger’ Pokémon must not have more than 25 guaranteed trades on their hidden counter.

Check out this article for a more in-depth explanation.

Trade Restrictions

There are a few important restrictions to keep in mind:

  • Mythical Pokémon: You can’t trade Mythical Pokémon (like Mew, Celebi, etc.)
  • Previously Traded Pokémon: Pokémon that you have received through a trade before cannot be traded again. You can search for previously traded Pokémon using the search string ‘traded’.
  • Shadow Pokémon: You can’t trade Shadow ‘mons
  • Trainers that log in using Niantic Kids or Pokémon Trainer Club may need to enable social features in the Niantic Kids Parent Portal or Pokémon Trainer Club website. Learn more here.

In Conclusion

Trading in Pokémon GO is a fantastic way to connect with friends, expand your Pokédex, and even obtain powerful Lucky Pokémon. Make sure to meet the requirements, consider the costs, and take advantage of Friendship Levels to make the most out of your trades. Happy trading!

Author & tags

Hey! I'm phrixu, a Pokémon GO player from the UK. I am dedicated to making Pokémon GO as accessible as possible, to the whole community!

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