Game Freak loves to update and refine how trainers trade Pokemon and transfer them between generations. Pokemon Home is the next evolution —pun possibly intended— since it will let players transfer their Pokemon between games, including Pokemon GO, Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee, Sword/Shield, and Bank. However, all that glitters is not gold(uck) since the hotly anticipated service isn’t completely free.
Earlier today, Game Freak launched the official Pokemon Home website, which details the service’s, um, services. But, the big takeaway is many of these features are limited, if not off limits, if you don’t have the right plan or version.
Yes, you read correctly: Pokemon Home will come with two subscription plans: basic and premium, and by premium, I mean paid. While the basic subscription will be free, premium plans will include $2.99 for one month, $4.99 for three months, and $15.99 for a year’s worth of Pokemon Home.
With the basic plan, you can only deposit 30 Pokemon in Home, but with a premium plan, the limit soars to 6,000.
Want to trade Pokemon? You can always trade with a friend, but if you want to roll the dice, you can use the Wonder Box (basically the Wonder Trade which exchanges random Pokemon with random trainers). Home also comes with GTS, an automatic service that trades your Pokemon with another trainer who meets your requested criteria —which is the antithesis of a Wonder Box.
While friend trading functions as normal regardless of subscription, Wonder Box and GTS are hit with some limitations if you don’t pay for premium. Normally, you can only store 3 Pokemon in the Wonder Box and 1 in the GTS, but with a subscription, you can place 10 in the Wonder Box and 3 in the GTS.
Trainers are also locked out of specific features if they don’t have a subscription. If you want to create a room to trade random Pokemon with random trainers —because the only thing better than one version of Wonder Trade is two— you need a subscription. You can join any trade room for free, though.
However, the icing on the Gigantimaxed Alcremie is that you can’t judge stored Pokemon (i.e., check their stats) or transfer Pokemon from Pokemon Bank without a Premium plan.
On the bright side, Pokemon Home will come with a national Pokedex (a welcome addition after the infamous dexit), as well as the ability to receive Mystery Gifts and trick out your trainer profile with stickers. Plus, those features will be free for everyone.
The confusion won’t end with subscriptions, however. Pokemon Home will also come in two version flavors: Nintendo Switch and mobile. You can’t access your Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee or Sword/Shield collections in the mobile version, and you can’t trade, receive mystery gifts, or even check the latest Pokemon news or Ranked Battle data in the Switch version.
Pokemon Home will release on February of this year.