Pokémon Go Trading Guide and Cost Chart


Remember that incredible Pokémon Go trailer that basically changed our geeky little lives forever? You may also remember that it detailed a ton of features that were notably absent at Pokémon Go’s launch, and for much of the two years that followed.

One of the most desired of these features was the ability to trade Pokémon. This has finally been added to Pokémon Go, offering trainers the ability to swap Pokémon to complete their Pokédex. Here’s everything you need to know about trading in Pokémon Go!

Trading requirements

Pokémon Go’s trading requirements are relatively simple. To initialize a trade with another player:

  1. You must be friends with the person
  2. You must be within 100m of the person
  3. Both players must be at least Trainer Level 10

Trading does not require a specific Friendship level, however there are significant trading benefits earned by increasing your Friendship with a player (more on that below). It’s also important to note that you have to be in a physical proximity to each other—which means no trading with online friends. Finally, you must both be Trainer Level 10.

Which Pokemon can be traded?

You can trade everything but Mythical Pokémon. These Pokémon—Currently limited to Mew and Celebi—Can only be obtained through completion of Special Research missions. Each trade costs Stardust, with substantially higher costs for Legendary and Shiny Pokémon. You can trade regular Pokémon at any Friendship Level, but you'll have to reach Good Friends before trading Legendary, Shiny, Regional, Alolan or Event Pokémon. Thankfully, this requires only one interaction with the other player, so it's hardly a limitation.

How to add a friend

To add someone to friends in Pokémon Go, you’ll just need their Trainer Code (or they’ll need yours). You can view your own 12-digit Trainer Code by tapping your trainer’s portrait, then “Friends,” then tap the “Add Friend” button. Friendships are mutual, as expected, so only one of you will need to send a friend request.

How to trade Pokémon

Once you and a friend meet the requirements outlined above, you’ll be able to trade Pokémon. To initiate a trade, navigate again to the “Friends” tab and click on the player you wish to trade with. On their profile, you’ll find two available options: Send Gift and Trade. Both players will need to select the “Trade” option for the trade to begin. Simply select the Pokémon you wish to trade and it’ll be on its way soon enough! It may be worth noting that you can trade only 100 Pokémon per day, so you won’t be able to non-stop churn trades for Candies.

Features of the trading screen

There are important features to note on the trading screen. Obviously, you’ll be able to see which Pokémon are up for trade. Once you reach Good Friends with another Trainer, you’ll be able to trade any Pokémon except Mythical ones (Mew or Celebi). It's important to note the Stardust cost, which can be reduced by raising your Friendship Level with the other person. You’ll also receive Candy for the Pokémon you’re trading away, and may receive bonus candy depending on the distance between which the two Pokémon were caught (up to a maximum of three Candy).

Image via Niantic Labs, Inc.

Perhaps the most important feature of trading is the effect the trade will have on the involved Pokémon stats. A Pokémon's Individual Values (IV) will change when trading. Before you confirm a trade, you’ll be able to see the range of potential CP and HP the Pokémon may have after being traded. This range is based on your Friendship Level with the other person, and can result in an increase or decrease to your Pokémon’s stats. It’s important to note that an individual Pokémon can be traded only once, so you won’t be able to keep trading a Pokémon over and over in an attempt to increase its stats.

Obtaining Lucky Pokémon

When two Pokémon are traded, they both have a chance to become Lucky Pokémon. Lucky Pokémon feature a new background on their entry and benefit from decreased Stardust costs for Powering Up. The Stardust cost is reduced by 50%, though the Candy cost, typically the real challenge in leveling a Pokémon, remains unchanged.

Lucky Pokémon do not gain any special stat changes aside from any obtained based on Friendship Level, nor are there any visual changes to the actual Pokémon. The chance for a Pokémon to become Lucky upon trading is random, but the longer it's been since a Pokémon was originally encountered, the higher its chance of becoming Lucky. Time to lure back all of your friends who stopped playing long ago!

Decrease Stardust cost by increasing Friendship Level

Each trade costs a certain number of Stardust, determined by the rarity of the Pokémon as well as your Friendship Level with the other Trainer. Legendary and Shiny Pokémon have a higher Stardust cost. Remember, Mythical Pokémon cannot be traded at all. These are the discounts you’ll receive at each Friendship Level:

Good Friend 0% Stardust discount
Great Friend 20% Stardust discount
Ultra Friend 92% Stardust discount
Best Friend 96% Stardust discount
Image via Niantic Labs, Inc.

As you can see, once you raise Friendship Level to Ultra and Best Friends, the discounts are HUGE. It’ll take a minimum of 30 days of interactions with a Trainer to reach Ultra Friends, but it’s certainly worth it.

With those discounts in mind, here are the Stardust cost for all kinds of Pokémon trades:

Friendship Level Good Friend Great Friend Ultra Friend Best Friend
Unowned Pokemon
Shiny / Legendary 1000000 800000 80000 40000
Regional / Regular 20000 20000 16000 800
Owned Pokemon
Shiny / Legendary 20000 16000 1600 800
Regional / Regular 100 80 8 4

How to raise Friendship Level

If you plan on doing a lot of trading, it’s important to raise your Friendship Level with other Trainers. As noted above, the Stardust cost reduction is extremely substantial, and you’ll have a better chance of getting higher stat rolls in trades. You can increase your Friendship Level with another Trainer by participating in at least one interaction per day with that Trainer. Here’s what counts:

  • Participation in a Gym battle or Raid
  • Giving or receiving gifts
  • Trading with a friend
Image via Niantic Labs, Inc.

To learn more about raising Friendship Level, check out our complete Pokémon Go Friendship guide. Happy trading!

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