Latest Pokémon Go Update Brings Long-Awaited Features

Friends! Trading! Gifting! More!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 07/05/2018 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Pokémon Go has been a huge hit for Nintendo and Game Freak ever since its launch back in July of 2016. In the two years since its release on Android and iOS, the game has garnered millions of users. That’s no exaggeration, either: as of this past May, Pokémon Go has seen a spike in users and profits greater than anything previously seen. That would be 147 million users and $104 million in revenue. Crazy!

What’s even crazier is that developer Niantic is just now getting around to incorporating some of the features that users have been wanting since day one. With the latest update to the game, Pokémon Go is finally allowing Trainers to “Friend” one another. As is often the case with a Nintendo product and adding pals, there’s a required Trainer Code that must be exchanged in order to link up. The code is easy to find, however; simply tap your player icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen and touch the new “Friends” tab. From there, hit “Add Friend” and it will allow you to see your Trainer Code as well as exchange the information with whomever you’d like.

Having Friends brings with it perks. You can send Gifts that you receive at PokéStops and Gyms to anyone who you’ve registered as a Friend. This is a great way to share and build up resources like Poké Balls, but it also brings some unique goodies like a postcard showing where the Gift originated from and even the occasional Egg that will eventually hatch into the Alolan form of a Pokémon! There’s a point to sharing beyond the Gifts themselves, however, as it will also raise your Friendship Level.

There are four attainable Friendship Levels in Pokémon Go:

  1. Good Friend
  2. Great Friend
  3. Ultra Friend
  4. Best Friend

It might seem superfluous, but as your Trainer Friendship Level goes up, you’ll be granted increasingly greater advantages. For instance, one way to raise a Friendship Level is via participation in Gym and Raid Battles together, but taking on battles with a Trainer that’s a Great Friend will result in an Attack bonus. Be aware that Friendship Levels can only rise once per day. Between sharing and Friendship Levels there’s quite a bit to be gained from engaging in these new social features, but Niantic didn’t stop there: trading has also finally been added to Pokémon Go!

Here’s where things get slightly complicated. You can only trade with Friends, but both of your Trainer Levels have to be at 10. Trades can’t be completed, however, unless you have enough Stardust in reserve. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate how much Stardust is required for a given trade. One factor that impacts this is how far apart the Pokémon you’re trading were initially caught. Another is your Friendship Level with that particular Trainer; the higher the level, the lower the amount of Stardust needed.

Now, this all applies to trades of garden variety Pocket Monsters. For Legendaries, Shiny, and Pokémon that aren’t in a Trainer’s Pokédex, there’s a one-trade-per-day maximum. These trades also require a lot more Stardust than a normal trade. It’s kind of lame that the special Pokémon are more restricted, but overall trades seem fairly easy to pull off, albeit with quite a few caveats to take into consideration. Feel free to hit up this link to see a more detailed overview of these changes and let us know in the comments if you’re one of the 147 million people still playing Pokémon Go!

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