Pokémon’s long-awaited official storage and transfer service, Pokémon Home, has finally been fully detailed, and we now know that its premium features cost up to £15 a year. There’s also a free Basic version too, but that’s, well, basic. Pokémon Home – available on Switch and as an app for mobile devices – will take the form of a cloud-based National Pokédex, growing as Pokémon from compatible titles are placed in its Boxes. At launch, Pokémon from Sword and Shield, both Let’s Go games, and Pokémon Bank can be transferred to Home. Pokémon Go compatibility is “coming soon”. The Pokémon Company notes the Pokédex will register Mega Evolve and Gigantamax forms, and that users can obtain in-app stickers by completing challenges or Battle Points for use in core Pokémon games on Switch simply by using Home.
Those making use of the mobile app will also have access to a number of additional features, such as Mystery Gifts for Home, Sword, and Shield. There’s also a news feed, the option to search the Pokédex based on abilities and moves, and the means to track progress for Ranked Battles and Online Competitions in Sword and Shield, including battle records for participating trainers and popular moves. Elsewhere, Pokémon Home provides access to a range of new mobile-only trading features. Room Trade, for instance, enables players to create a room for up to 20 people, with all those present in the room able to trade Pokémon. The Global Trade System (GTS) lets players specify the Pokémon they want to trade and receive, and players can also place Pokémon in a Wonder Box for trade around the world, with trades able to occur even when Home isn’t in use. Lastly, Pokémon Home permits trading directly with users added to its Friend List. Access to these features will come in two flavours; there’s an extremely limited Basic version, which will be free to use, and a Premium paid version.
The basic version will enable players to deposit and store a maximum of 30 Pokémon (compared to 6000 in the Premium version), and will allow up to three Pokémon to be placed in the Wonder Box at once. In contrast, Premium users can place 10. Elsewhere, Basic users can put one Pokémon in the GTS at once, versus 3 for Premium users. In terms of other functionality, Premium users can check how strong their stored Pokémon are using the Judge function and can both set up and participate in Room Trades (Basic users can only participate). Lastly – and perhaps crucially for some Pokémon fans – only the Premium plan will allow users to transfers their Pokémon over from the 3DS’ similar Pokémon Bank. More details can be found on the Pokémon Home website. As for how much all this will cost, a 1 month (30 day) plan is priced at £2.69, 3 months (90 days) is £4.49, and a full year (365 days) comes in at £14.39. The one big question still outstanding, then, is a launch date for the service. All we know on that front is that Pokémon Home is still expected to arrive some time in February.