Ever since Niantic launched Pokemon Go two summers ago, players have been wondering when they would be able to trade with their friends. Trading and doing battle with other players have been hallmarks of the franchise since Red and Blue arrived in 1996, so it was something of a surprise for Pokemon Go launch without either feature. It’s been a long time coming, but the wait will finally be over this week when the Friends feature emerges.
In a blog post on Monday, Niantic announced that the Friends feature will begin rolling out to players later this week, allowing players to connect with their friends, send each other items, help each other earn bonuses, and even trade Pokemon with one another. Filling up your Pokedex is about to be a much less daunting task.
Here’s how it works: If you want to become friends with someone, you’ll need someone to share their Trainer Code with you. Head to your profile, tap on the Friends section, tap the “Add Friends” button, and enter the code. If they accept your request, they will be added to your Friends List, which is capped at 200 friends for now.
Whenever you participate in a gym battle or a raid battle with a friend, you will increase your friendship level, which will unlock bonuses when you play together going forward. You can increase your friendship level once per day per friend, starting at Good Friend and going all the way up to Best Friend.
You can also trade Pokemon with a friend as long as you have a Trainer Level of 10 or higher and are physically close to one another. You’ll earn bonus candy for the Pokemon you trade, and the amount of candy will increase depending on how far away you were when you caught it. The only catch is that you have to spend stardust to complete a trade, but the cost will decrease with close friends. Also, if you want a Legendary Pokemon, Shiny Pokemon, or Pokemon not in your Pokedex, you’ll have to participate in a Special Trade, which can only occur once per day with a Great or Best Friend and cost significantly more stardust than a normal trade would.
Finally, you will also find new gifts when spinning Photo Discs once the Friends feature roll outs. You can’t actually open the gifts yourself, but you can send them to a friend on your Friends List. The gifts will contain a stash of items as well as a postcard showing off the location of the PokeStop or Gym where you received the gift.