What is Pokemon HOME and how does it work?

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Pokemon HOME, the promised central hub for all Poke-related stuff, is here!

Announced way back in early 2019, Pokemon HOME finally becomes reality. The cloud service serves as a central hub of Pokemon storage among the current titles available both on Switch and Mobile.

Plan Types

While it’s quite beautiful hearing a central cloud database for all our Pokemon storage needs and whatnot, it does come with a price. Pokemon HOME has two plan types — Basic and Premium. Basic, well is what it is, pretty basic allowing only a few features. Premium, on the other hand, unlocks several more options for its users. There are three subscription levels for Premium — 1 month ($2.99, ~ Php 151), 3 months ($4.99, ~Php 252), and 12 months ($15.99, ~Php 808).

So before jumping the gun and buying into premium, what does Pokemon HOME really do? Let’s get into the specifics. Before all that though, it’s important to know which features are available on the Switch only, Mobile only, and both.

Move Pokemon

Pokemon Home allows players to move around their pokemon from any of the supported devices. This includes connecting Sword and Shield with the Let’s Go titles. Both the Switch and mobile versions will also support connectivity with the 3DS Pokemon Bank app. As of now, Pokemon Go isn’t added in the mix but plans to support it will follow in the future. Do note, Pokemon transferred from Let’s Go to the Sword and Shield titles cannot be moved back.

So, that is a one-way ticket for your Let’s Go babies. However, transferring to and from Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu is possible. To transfer between the 3DS Pokemon Bank program and Pokemon HOME a premium subscription is required. Don’t fret though, to celebrate the launch of HOME, Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter will be available at no cost for 1 month.

Trade Pokemon

On mobile, Pokemon Home allows trading in various ways:

  • Wonder Box — Pokemon placed here are randomly traded to players around the world. It’s basically like a mystery box system, where you don’t know who you’ll get or who’ll get traded in your box. Pokemon here are also traded even when HOME is not active. With a premium plan, the box’s storage is increased.
  • GTS — In GTS, players have control over which Pokemon they’re going to send and receive. Although, trading is still done automatically as players are matched with trainers that meet their requirement criteria. As with Wonder Box, GTS storage is increased with a Premium Plan.
  • Room Trade — As the name implies, room trade allows players to create a hub where trainers can trade freely with those in the room. Each room can hold up to 20 people. As with Wonder Box, Pokemon traded here are random. Trading rooms have no cost but only those with a premium plan can host.
  • Friend Trade — Friend trade is a specific feature allowing players to trade between friends they’ve registered on Pokemon HOME. This is the conventional trading we’ve seen in past Pokemon titles.

Other Features

National Pokedex

Pokemon stored in Home will immediately be registered in the National Pokedex. Mega and Gigantamax forms of Pokemon are also registered alongside their normal version. It’s basically your overall glossary for Pokemon. The mobile version of HOME will feature more than just Pokedex entires. Players will also be able to check each Pokemon’s abilities and learnable moves.

Mystery Gifts

Pokemon home

Mystery Gifts make an appearance in the Mobile version of HOME as well. Players can receive gifts for Sword and Shield and specifically for Pokemon Home. Pokemon you receive in Home via these gifts can be deposited in the box directly. Pokemon are not the only contents of these gifts as items are part of it as well via code. However, item codes received in Home are used in Pokemon Sword or Shield.

Judge Pokemon

Pokemon home

As the name implies you are literally judging your Pokemon with this feature. Be gentle with your mons though, they have feelings too! Anyway, Judging Pokemon in HOME works similarly to the appraisal system of Pokemon Go. Basically, players will be able to check specific stats and abilities of their Pokemon. However, the feature requires a premium subscription.

Personal Room

Pokemon home

Players are given a personal room in Pokemon HOME, where all sorts of information are available. Such as ongoing events or anything pertaining to linked games. Of course, with a personal room comes customization. Players can edit their profile here using stickers earned from performing tasks dubbed as challenges in HOME.

Battle Data and HOME Points

Pokemon home

In the mobile version of HOME, players will be able to check Battle Data. These are stats pertaining to how ranked battles and various online competitions are going on in Pokemon Sword and Shield. It includes rankings of Pokemon based on use, battle records of each trainer, and popular Pokemon moves. In the Switch version, on the other hand, Points accumulated in the HOME by storing Pokemon can be exchanged for Battle Points (BP) for use in the core Pokemon games.

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