Pokémon Go Trading is one of the game's most requested features and a cornerstone of Pokémon since the very beginning.

It works a little differently in Pokémon Go than the main games, with some caveats and restrictions on how and what Pokémon transfer from one account to the other, but if you finally want your hands on that elusive Shiny or region exclusive, there's finally a way to do so.

Trading comes alongside a few other useful features worth knowing about - specifically Friends and Gifts.

On this page:

How to Trade in Pokémon Go and Trading requirements

Before you can start trading, you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be Pokémon Go Friends with the person you are trading with
  • Have a Trainer Level of 10 or above
  • Be within close physical proximity (around 100m)

From there, go to your Friends feed, and select the Friend you want to Trade with. The option to Trade will be next to 'Send Gift', below the XP bar.

Provided you are within 100m, you can then select a Pokémon to trade, check the Pokémon you'll receive and the Stardust cost before confirming. Then, you trade, with the process taking just a few seconds.

The following also needs to be taken into consideration when it comes to trading:

  • Trades will give each player additional Candy, with more Candy rewarded if the two Pokémon were caught far away from another. According to Reddit, this is 1 Candy for below 30km, 2 Candy for 30-100km, 3 Candy for above 100km.
  • The HP and CP of each Pokémon will vary once the Trade is completed - it could be higher or lower. The better the Friendship Level, the less variation will be. You'll be able to see this before the trade, and there will be safeguards in place to stop powerful Pokémon going to players with a much lower Trainer level.
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enUS_TradeTutorial5
  • Pokémon cannot be traded more than once. This is due to the HP and CP changing feature, to stop players "re-rolling a Pokémon's stats through trade" over and over.
  • Though HP and CP of a Pokemon when traded changes, other aspects - such as size and moves - do not.
  • Mythical creatures - such as Mew - cannot be traded at all.
  • Not all trades are equal, with some Pokémon classed as 'Special Trades', dictating the amount of Trades you can do and the Stardust cost - all of which is detailed below.

Pokémon Go Special Trades explained

In trading, not all Pokémon are weighted equally. They are classed under two types:

Standard Pokémon Trades:

Special Trades:

It should be reiterated that Mythical Pokémon - such as Mew - cannot be traded under any circumstances.

Standard and Special Trade differences

There are two main differences with Standard and Special Trades. For one, you can only do one Special Trade per day, with anyone. This resets at the same time PokéStops and Research quests do (around midnight UK time).

The other is the Stardust cost. This is where things get a little more complicated. If you are trading Legendaries and Shinies you both own, the cost is the same as a Standard Pokémon you don't own, such as a regional or a Unown form. But if one of you don't have a Legendary or Shiny in a trade, then the cost jumps up massively.

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A Legendary or Shiny you own costs the same as a standard Pokémon you don't - even if it's a regional exclusive.

Three new features have recently arrived - Friends in Pokémon Go, Gifts and Trading, as well as new July Field Research, Legendary Pokémon Registeel, Alolan Pokémon Forms and 7km Eggs. We also have regional exclusives, Stardust and Buddy distances pages to help you complete your Gen 3 Pokémon collection. You can also read up on Pokémon Go Zapdos Day and Birthday event Pikachu, as well as the next Community Day and when it's happening. Want to look even further into the future? Our Pokémon Go Gen 4 Pokémon list and Celebi explains which new creatures are coming to the game one day.


Pokémon Go Trading costs list

For each Friendship Level, the amount of Stardust required for a Trade reduces as follows (thanks to AshmedaiHel from Reddit):

PokémonGood Friend (1 Day)Great Friend (7 Days)Ultra Friend (30 Days)Best Friend (90 Days)
Standard Pokémon 100 80 8 4
Shiny or Legendary (Owned) 20,000 16,000 1,600 800
Shiny or Legendary (Unowned) 1,000,000 800,000 80,000 40,000

It appears the biggest drop comes between Ultra and Best Friend, reducing the Unowned cost of Shiny or Legendaries by a huge amount - 800k to 80k. Though Best Friends see a drop that's half again to 40k, 80k is very reasonable if you can't wait until then.

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The Stardust cost for Legendaries or Shinies you don't own between Good and Best Friends are huge.

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About the author

Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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