Pokémon GO Trading Guide and Cost Chart

When Pokémon GO was first released internationally on Android and iOS devices, one of the main aspects of the franchise was missing. And then we asked ourselves, “Will trading become a feature in Pokémon GO?” And with that, Niantic answered that question with an update that allowed friends to trade Pokémon with each other. With trading becoming a reality, players can complete the Pokédex while receiving benefits from trading, not just the Pokémon. Here is what you need to know about trading in Pokémon GO!

Pokémon GO Trading Guide and Cost Chart

Trading requirements

In Pokémon GO, the trading requirements are what you’d expect from the main series games, but there are specific requirements. To initiate a trade in the mobile game, you must have the following requirements:

  1. Be friends with the person you’re trading with
  2. Be within 100 meters near the person
  3. Both you and your friend must be at level 10

Once you have all of the required steps, pick the friend you want and tap on “Trade.” You can choose a Pokemon to trade with them, while they’ll send one back. Unfortunately, it is still not possible to trade with friends regardless of distance, but there is a possibility that Niantic might implement something to make trading easier in the future.

Which Pokemon can be traded?

You can trade everything but Mythical Pokémon, and those are Mewtwo, Mew, and Celebi. Instead, they can only be obtained through the completion of Special Research missions. Mewtwo is the only exception as it can be obtained from EX Raid Boss Battles. Also, keep in mind that once you traded that Pokémon, you cannot receive the one you traded-in.

Each trade will cost Stardust, and there will be 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 need their Trainer Code or vice versa. 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, 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. Select the Pokémon you wish to trade, and it’ll be on its way soon enough! There is a limit to trading, as you can trade up to 100 Pokémon per day, so, unfortunately, you won’t be able to grind for Candies to evolve your Pokémon.

Features of the trading screen

There are important features to note on the trading screen. 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. 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 will 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 Friend92% Stardust discount
Best Friend96% Stardust discount
Image via Niantic Labs, Inc.

As you can see, once you raise Friendship Level to Ultra and Best Friends, the discounts are noticeably different. 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 LevelGood FriendGreat FriendUltra FriendBest Friend
Unowned Pokemon
Shiny / Legendary10000008000008000040000
Regional / Regular 20000 2000016000 800
Owned Pokemon
Shiny / Legendary20000160001600800
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.

Gamepur freelance writer Rebekah McPherson contributed to this story.