Pokémon Go Friendship Guide | Friendship Levels, Gifts, and Benefits


In June, Niantic added significant new features to Pokémon Go. Players can now add friends, send them gifts, and trade Pokémon/

Of course, there are a few limitations to these features, but there are also helpful game benefits to be obtained by raising your Friendship Level with other Trainers. These benefits will increase the closer you become with your friend through regular, daily interactions (more on that below). This is everything you need to know to make friends in Pokémon Go!

How to add a Trainer to friends

Adding a friend in Pokémon Go is easy! Pokémon Go assigns each Trainer a 12 digit Friend Code, which is used to add friends. You cannot befriend someone using only their Trainer name. You can view your own Trainer Code by tapping your Trainer portrait, then selecting the “Friends” tab.

Once you’re in the Friends menu, tapping “Add friend” takes you to a field to enter a friend’s Trainer Code. You can also view, copy and share your own Friend code. Simply enter the other player’s code and it will send a request. Once they accept, you’ll become friends!

It’s important to note that in order to add friends in Pokémon Go, you must reach Trainer Level 10 and be over 13 years of age. You can have a maximum of 200 friends, and you’ll have an individual Friendship Level with each Trainer. Raising your friendship level will grant you and your friend significant benefits when playing together.

How to raise Friendship Levels

You’ll want to start increasing your friendship with a player immediately, as Friendship Levels are determined by the number of days you’ve interacted with them. You can only raise Friendship Level with a Trainer once per day, so you only have to participate in one activity with that person. There are multiple ways to raise Friendship Levels with another Trainer:

Participate in a Gym battle or Raid

If you’re within close proximity of your friend, you can party together to challenge Gym battles or Raids. Even if you’re unsuccessful in your battle, the interaction with the other Trainer will still count for the day.

Giving or receiving gifts

The easiest way to increase Friendship Level is by giving another Trainer a Gift each day. You have a chance to obtain a Gift whenever you spin a Photo Disc at a PokéStop or Gym. Gifts can be sent to any player on your Friend List and contain numerous helpful items, including Super Potions, Poké Balls, Pinap Berries, and more. They can even contain a 7km Egg that contains an Alolan Pokémon! You can’t open Gifts you receive from PokéStop or Gyms, only those received from Friends, so get to giving! Your Friendship Level will also increase by receiving and opening gifts from other Trainers.

Trading with a friend

You can also raise your Friendship Level by trading Pokémon with a friend. It doesn’t matter what Pokémon you trade, but it’s important to note that trading will cost a significant amount of Stardust, especially in the earlier Friendship Levels, so this isn’t an optimal means of increasing Friendship Level. It’s helpful for completing the Pokédex, though!

Friendship levels and benefits

There are numerous gameplay benefits to adding friends and raising friendship ranks in Pokémon Go. As you become better friends with someone, your Pokémon will gain an attack bonus during any raids and gyms you participate with that player. You’ll also earn more Premier Balls from successful raids. Finally, you’ll get a substantial discount on the Stardust cost of trading (more on that below).

Image via Niantic, Inc.

Good Friends (1 day)

Trading discount 0%
Gym and Raid Battle Attack increase 3%
Extra Premier Balls from Raids 0

Great Friends (7 days)

Trading discount 20%
Gym and Raid Battle Attack increase 5%
Extra Premier Balls from Raids 1

Ultra Friends (30 days)

Trading discount 92%
Gym and Raid Battle Attack increase 7%
Extra Premier Balls from Raids 2

Best Friends (90 days)

Trading discount 96%
Gym and Raid Battle Attack increase 10%
Extra Premier Balls from Raids 4

You’ll also gain some decent chunks of experience upon reaching each Friendship Level milestone:

    • Good Friends (1 day): 3000 xp
    • Great Friends (7 days): 10000 xp
    • Ultra Friends (30 days): 50000 xp
    • Best Friends (90 days): 100000 xp

You can earn this experience reward once per Level, per friend. If you add a lot of trainers and stick to interacting at least once a day, it’s a nice bonus!

How to send Gifts to your friends

As mentioned before, you’ll have a chance to obtain a Gift every time you spin a Photo Disc at a PokéStop or Gym. You can hold a maximum of 10 gifts at a time, and can open a total of 20 gifts received from other Trainers per day.

To give a friend a Gift, simply navigate to your Friends list and click on the friend who will receive the Gift. Tap on “Send Gift” and you’ll be able to choose one of your available Gifts. The Gift will be accompanied by a postcard displaying a photo and information about the Poke Stop at which you received it, which is a neat little added feature!

Image via Niantic, Inc.

Gifts can contain helpful items including Potions, Poké Balls, Berries and more. They won’t contain rare or Raid drop items, such as Rare Candy or TMs. They even have a chance to contain a 7km Egg that, when hatched, contains an Alolan Pokémon! These Pokémon are exclusive to Gifts and cannot be caught in the wild. The following Alolan Pokémon can be obtained from Gifts:

    • Alolan Grimer
    • Alolan Meowth
    • Alolan Rattata
    • Alolan Sandshrew
    • Alolan Vulpix

Trading with your friends

You can trade Pokémon with other Trainers on the very first day you become friends. However, you must be physically located within 100km of the player--which (unfortunately) means no online Pokémon trading. You won’t be able to trade anything but regular Pokémon until you reach Good Friends with a Trainer, but that requires just one interaction. You can simply make a cheap trade (see costs below) and you’ll instantly become Good Friends!

Trading with another Trainer costs a substantial amount of Stardust. Thankfully, the amount required decreases drastically as your Friend Level increases. The cost will also depend on whether or not the Pokémon being received is already owned. If you’re receiving a Pokémon that you don’t already have, your required Stardust cost will be substantially higher. If the person you’re trading with would be receiving a Pokémon they already own, they would pay the lower Stardust amount. If both players are receiving new Pokedex entries, they’ll both pay the high cost.

Image via Niantic, Inc.

Stardust cost is also determined on the type of Pokémon. Legendary and Shiny Pokémon cost more to trade. Regional Pokémon, which are only available in different parts of the real world (such as Tauros, available only in parts of North America at this time), also have an increased trading cost. Mythical Pokémon (such as Mew or Celebi) cannot be traded at all. Here’s how much Stardust is required for 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

When a Pokémon is traded, its Individual Values (IV) will change, resulting in an increase or decrease to your Pokémon’s stats. Before you complete a trade, you will be shown the range of CP and HP that the Pokémon may potentially have once it is traded. These values are determined based on your Friendship Level with the other Trainer as well as your Trainer Levels, to ensure you don’t receive values that are far too high. You can only trade a Pokémon once, so you won’t be able to keep trading Pokémon back and forth until you get perfect IV rolls.

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