Ahead of Pokemon Home (opens in new tab)'s launch in February 2020, Nintendo have explained how the free and Premium versions of the Switch and mobile app work and how they interact with other systems like Pokemon Bank.
The short version is that Pokemon Home lets you link Pokemon games using your Nintendo account. Once you're linked up, you can use Home to move Pokemon between games. Games supported at launch include Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee as well as Pokemon Sword and Shield (opens in new tab), with Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) support due in the future. It's worth noting that once a Pokemon is moved from Let's Go to Sword or Shield, it cannot be sent back.
Pokemon Home Premium, the paid version of the app, also lets players transfer Pokemon from DS games like Sun and Moon using Pokemon Bank. Again, once a Pokemon is transferred from your Bank via Pokemon Home, it cannot be sent back to the Bank. Pokemon Home Premium also adds the "Judge" ability, allowing you to quickly judge the strength of your Pokemon, and increases the number of Pokemon that can be deposited and traded at once. Free users can only deposit 30 Pokemon, for instance, while Premium users can hold a whopping 6,000.
Pokemon Bank and Poke Transport, the transfer app used on 3DS, will be free to all users for one month following the launch of Pokemon Home. This will give everyone a grace period to move Pokemon to their Bank and Home. However, Pokemon Home Premium will be tied to paid subscriptions. Curiously, the mobile and Switch app subscriptions are priced slightly differently. Note that these prices are subject to change.
Pokemon Home Premium iOS/Android
- 1 month - £2.99 / approx. $3.99
- 3 months - £4.99 / approx. $6.99
- 12 months - £15.99 / approx. $19.99
Pokemon Home Premium Switch
- 1 month - £2.69 / $2.99
- 3 months - £4.49 / $4.99
- 12 months - £14.39 / $15.99
Prices aside, Nintendo also outlined the various ways Pokemon Home can be used to trade Pokemon. Those are:
- Wonder Box: Pokemon placed here will be traded with players around the world, even when you're not actively using Pokemon Home.
- Global Trade System (GTS): trainers specify what Pokemon they want to trade for and what they're offering, and are then matched based on their preferences.
- Room Trade: up to 20 trainers join a room and trade with one another. Only Premium users can create rooms, but anyone can join one.
- Friend Trade: trade directly with your friends using your Pokemon Home friends list. It's unclear whether Nintendo friends lists will carry over to Pokemon Home.
Pokemon Home will come in mighty handy once the Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion pass (opens in new tab) is out.