Trading and Friends in Pokémon GO - What do we know?

Niantic officially announced new Friends, Trading, and Gifting features coming to Pokémon GO later this week.

Here’s what we know about these new features.


Before we can talk about trading we need to talk about the new Friends feature.

Starting later this week, you can add friends in the game to trade and receive gifts among other bonuses. You can send friend requests using another trainer’s unique trainer code. After a trainer has accepted your request, they’ll begin showing up in the new Friends tab. You’ll be able see a news feed of your friend’s recent activity, see their player profile and send them gifts.

At launch you’ll be able to have 200 friends but that could be increased in the future.


Player Profile with new Friends Tab, Friends News Feed, Friend Profile

Friendship Levels

Friendship comes with four different levels: Good Friend. Great Friend, Ultra Friend and Best Friend. Achieving a certain level of friendship unlocks the following benefits:

Good Friend:

  • Trade all Pokémon except Mythical Pokémon (eg. Mew)

Great Friend:

  • Stardust discount for trading
  • Attack Bonus for gym battles and raid battles with that friend
  • One additional Premier Ball in Raid Battles with that friend

Ultra Friend:

  • A greater Stardust discount for trading
  • A greater Attack Bonus for gym battles and raid battles with that friend
  • Two additional Premier Ball in Raid Battles with that friend

Best Friend:

  • A major Stardust discount for trading
  • The largest Attack Bonus for gym battles and raid battles with that friend
  • Four additional Premier Ball in Raid Battles with that friend

You can raise your friendship level through sending gifts and battling alongside each other in Gyms and Raid Battle. However, your friendship level can only be raised once per day with another trainer. The following is the minimum number of days you’ll need to achieve each level (Taken from IGN):

Good Friend: 1 day
Great Friend: 7 days
Ultra Friend: 30 days
Best Friend: 90 days


Left: Good Friends. Right: Best Friends


Trading will only be possible between two friends who are within 100m of each other. It will cost Stardust to conduct the trade and both players must pay the cost. According to the screenshots provided by Niantic, the cost to trade a Articuno for a Moltres is 1 million Stardust. This amount decreases to 40k Stardust if the two trainers are “Best Friends”.

Trading Legendary Pokémon, Shiny Pokémon, or Pokémon that are not in your Pokédex will require a Special Trade. You can only conduct one Special Trade a day but this resets at midnight much like Daily Streaks or Research Stamps.

A Pokémon received in a trade will have its CP and HP changed within the indicated range. (In other words IVs will be rerolled). The range of stats will depend on your friendship level with the other player. The better your friendship, the increased likelihood the stats could be even stronger than it was originally.

You will also receive candy for the Pokémon you just got based on the distance between the caught locations of the two Pokémon.


A normal trade, A Special Trade, and A Special Trade with a Best Friend

Send Gifts to Friends

No, this isn’t going to be like sending lives to your friends on Candy Crush. (Maybe a little bit.)

After the update, you will be able to pick up Gifts from PokéStops to send to your friends. The Gift will include a Postcard from the PokéStop or Gym you got the gift from. Upon opening it, the recipient will get a rare item such as Hyper Potions and Max Revives. Gifts won’t include items that are found as Raid/Research Rewards like Rare Candy or TMs.


Gift Box Screenshots

The recipient will also have a chance of getting the new 7 km egg containing an Alolan Pokémon. We don’t know what that pool of Pokémon is yet but you can find possibilities here:

Alola Pokémon


How do bonus Premier Ball work with Friends?

You will only receive bonus Premier balls from the highest level friend at a raid. eg. If you have two friends, and one of them is a ‘Great Friend’ and the other is a “Best Friend”, you will only get the 4 bonus Premier balls from your “Best Friend”. It should also be noted that Premier balls have previously been capped at 14 balls.

What are the damage bonuses for battling with a friend?

We don’t know but we should hope it’ll allow more smaller raid numbers. For more enthusiastic players, it’ll let them take down tougher Raid Bosses with only 1 other player.

Why does it cost so much to trade Legendary Pokémon?

Ideally, you will trade with only people you know well or interacted with often. The cost will go down dramatically once you become ‘Best Friends’.

Am I going to have to pay a million Stardust to complete my Pokédex?

We don’t know how much it will cost for a Special Trade involving non-legendary Pokémon yet. I hope it is not as dramatic as 1 million stardust. Remember this can get discounted.

Can you tell me more about the Stat Rerolling?

Stats appear to reroll with in a range of possibilities. If you and your trading partner are only ‘Good Friends’ the range is 1/1/1 to the current Pokémon’s IVs. We can reasonably guess that minimum and maximum will increase based on your Friendship levels.

Closing Remarks

I hope these new features make the game more social and personal in the long run. I’m excited to see new features added on to this. Also trade me your Krabby.

Leek Duck

Leek Duck

Hey, I'm LeekDuck. I create Pokémon GO graphics and share Pokémon GO news. You can find them on my Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook Page. You can also find me on YouTube but I haven't gotten around to that.