Building a Friend list not only allows you to track the progress of how your Friends are doing, but also provides an array of bonuses when using Gyms and Raids when playing alongside them.
The Friends feature continues to change over time - including a doubling of the friend list to 400 in April 2021.
On this page:
- What does being Friends allow you to do in Pokémon Go?
- How to add Friends in Pokémon Go and where to find your Trainer Code
- How to increase Pokémon Go Friendship Levels
- Pokémon Go Friendship bonuses and how to get Good, Great, Ultra and Best Friend Levels
- What else you need to know about the Friends feature in Pokémon Go
What does being Friends allow you to do in Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go Friends features a Friends system that introduces a number of benefits. It allows you to:
- Track the progress of Friends, from their Trainer Level to Pokémon caught and distance walked
- Trade Pokémon
- Send and receive Gifts, which include 7km Eggs
- With higher Friendship Levels, receive a higher attack bonus during Gym / Raid attacks, spend less Stardust when Trading, undergo Special Trades
There's plenty of systems and benefits in play, but let's start with the basics - how to add a friend in Pokémon Go.
How to add Friends in Pokémon Go and where to find your Trainer Code
First, you need to be the right Trainer Level to access the feature. Right now, the Trainer level limit is Level 10. This has decreased rapidly - it dropped from 40 to 30 within a handful of hours of the feature's launch, then became Level 10 the morning after - so if you're not in it yet, just wait a few more days and it could be available at the lower levels.
Friends and social features are now available for all Trainer levels, now is the time to send your first #PokemonGOfriend Request! Trading is now available for Trainers level 10 and above. pic.twitter.com/bTTLPkzLcq— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) June 22, 2018
When you are high enough Trainer level, to start adding Friends in Pokémon Go, go to your Trainer screen by hitting the icon in the bottom left corner of the main screen, then tap the 'Friends' tab in the upper right corner.
Next, tap 'Add Friend'. Here you can enter a Trainer Code of a Friend. You will need this to be Friends with someone - there is no way to simply use their Trainer nickname. Think of Trainer Codes like 'Friend Codes' on Nintendo consoles, which require you to actually know the person before you can send a friend request, to prevent players from interacting with strangers.
Your own Trainer Code is also listed here to send to others. To make it simple, you can copy your Trainer Code to your phone's clipboard, so you can easily message it them directly through another app.
It should be noted that Trainers who "require parental approval and registration through the Pokémon Trainer Club to play Pokémon Go will be unable to trade with other Trainers in the game", according to developer Niantic.
Once you have your friend's Trainer Code, enter it into the field then send them a request. Once they accept, you are now Friends - there's no need for you both to send Trainer Codes to each other.
How to increase Pokémon Go Friendship Levels
You can improve your Friendship Level with a friend in two ways:
Note you can only progress your Friendship once per day, so once you have performed one of the above activities, you have to wait until the next day to increase it further.
Pokémon Go Friendship bonuses and how to get Good, Great, Ultra and Best Friend Levels
Since you can only progress your Friendship once per day per friend, though it'll require multiple days to unlock Levels. There are total of four Friendship Levels to unlock:
|Friendship Level||No of days to unlock||Bonuses|
|Good Friend||1||Ability to Trade and send / receive Gifts|
|Great Friend||7||3,000 XP, Small (0.2x) Stardust discount on Trading|
Small (1.05x) Gym and Raid attack bonus
+1 Raid capture balls
|Ultra Friend||30||50,000 XP, Medium (0.92x) Stardust discount on Trading|
Medium (1.07x) Gym and Raid attack bonus
+2 Raid capture balls
Participating in Trainer Battles at any distance
|Best Friend||90||100,000 XP, Large (0.96x) Stardust discount on Trading|
Large (1.1x) Gym and Raid attack bonus
+4 Raid capture balls
Chance to become Lucky Friends
Thanks to Bbbarna and Charales on The Silph Road for the specific stats in the above table.
There are plenty of worthy benefits. In short better Friendship Level is, the higher the Stardust discount and better the Raid and Gym perks will be.
To see the exact progress remaining, go to your Friend in your Friend feed, tap on their avatar, and then the Hearts. It'll then tell you how many days are remaining until you can become a Great, Ultra or Best Friend.
The Season of Legends is here! Current activities include the Luminous Legends X event, which introduces Gloomy, Spritzee and Swirlix, Xerneas and the Rainly Lure. We've also recently seen a level cap increase - including the addition of XL Candy, boosts to some XP sources and the addition of Platinum Medals.
What else you need to know about the Friends feature in Pokémon Go
There are many quirks to the Friends feature you should know about:
- There is a Friends List cap of 400 in Pokémon Go - up from 200 at launch - which is more then enough to start building Friendship Levels with both close friends and several Raid groups.
- If you copy the Trainer Code message received from a Friend and paste it into the Trainer Code box, it'll just post the code itself. Handy!
- A red dot will appear in the home screen, above the Trainer icon in the bottom left of the screen, to notify you a Gift or Friend request is pending. Notifications for Friends and Gifts can be turned off in the settings, if you don't want them showing up.
- The Friend feed takes a random recent activity and sends it to your friends. There's no way to 'push' a specific update to your Friend feed at present.
- There are no leaderboards available in the Friend feed, so if you want to compare stats - such as level, distance walked and creatures caught, then you must enter each Friend entry manually.
- As of the July 2018 Lucky Pokémon update, it is however possible to assign nicknames to friends, and filter and sort them by Name, Nickname, Friendship Level and Gift.
- There is currently no way to 'opt out' of your Friend feed being updated, or the information you share. Select your Friends carefully if this is a concern!
- Similarly, unlike Gyms, the chosen nickname of your Buddy Pokémon will appear for your Friends, as opposed to the Pokémon's actual name. In short, this is a custom text field that Friends can see, so again, choose your Friends carefully as you might see something possibly unsavory.
- There is a Medal associated with being Best Friends - the highest tier of Friendship. One Best Friend is Bronze, two is Silver, and three is Gold.
- Removing then re-adding a Friend will reinstate the Friendship Level and bonuses you had accumulated before.
- There used to be a 1,000 XP reward for being Good Friends with someone (the lowest level of Friendship), but it was rumoured to be removed to stop players getting masses of XP easily, by adding new Friends and sending and opening gifts.
- Changing your Trainer nickname after adding someone as a Friend can affect the bonuses being applied. Niantic recommends you remove and add your Friend again to help relieve this issue.
- There's also the tease of some interface changes when you increase Friendship Levels. "In the game, you'll notice the interface shows the growth of a friendship, building incrementally and deliberately as it unlocks rewards that are even more meaningful," says Niantic.