How to Use Pokemon Home

Yesterday, The Pokemon Company surprise released Pokemon Home on Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. For Pokemon fans, the app is a nice way to finally bring 17 years worth of pocket monsters into one single home (hence the name). That said, bringing Pokemon over from so many different games in the series takes a few steps, and for those who aren't especially familiar with Pokemon Bank, it could easily start to get a little bit confusing! Of course, once gamers know exactly how to do so, it's not all that difficult getting everyone into one place, and it's certainly worth it for fans of the franchise!

Step 1: Bringing in Pokemon From Nintendo Switch Games

Nintendo Switch has played host to four main Pokemon titles: Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu!, Pokemon: Let's Go Eevee!, and Pokemon Sword and Shield. Unsurprisingly, it's incredibly easy to transfer Pokemon from these four titles into Pokemon Home. Once the app has been downloaded on Nintendo Switch, players can access a section that reads "Pokemon" on the main menu. Once there, Pokemon Home will show each of the games that have save data on the Switch unit. Players don't even need to switch cartridges to access and transfer their Pokemon data. Players can easily transfer Pokemon from each of the Switch games to Home, and then back over to compatible titles.

As of this writing, this is the only way to bring Pokemon from Pokemon Go into Pokemon Home. The Pokemon Company has stated that this will change in a future update, but that means that the only Pokemon that can be brought over from Pokemon Go are the original 151 Pokemon, alongside Alolan forms, and Meltan and Melmetal.

Step 2: Bringing in Pokemon From Nintendo 3DS Games

The Nintendo 3DS played host to a number of Pokemon games including Pokemon X and Y, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon Sun and Moon, and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. To transfer Pokemon from these games, players must have the premium version of Pokemon Home, and will have to access an app called Pokemon Bank. Pokemon Bank is a 3DS app that essentially acted as a predecessor to Pokemon Home. Unlike the Nintendo Switch games, data is saved on to the 3DS cartridges, so transferring Pokemon from the 3DS to Bank will require having the cartridge in the unit. Once players have moved their Pokemon from the 3DS game to Bank, those Pokemon can easily be transferred to Pokemon Home, though it does take a little bit of time. Warning: unlike Pokemon transferred from the Switch games to Pokemon Home, Pokemon that have been transferred from Pokemon Bank to Pokemon Home cannot be sent back to their original 3DS games. Once they've left Pokemon Bank, they can only be accessed through Home, or compatible Nintendo Switch titles!

Like the premium version of Pokemon Home, Pokemon Bank is a paid service, but Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have made the app free for the next 30 days, allowing players a little bit of time to bring Pokemon over without paying for an additional subscription. After the free trial, players will have to pay if they want to bring in Pokemon from earlier games!

Pokemon Home

Step 3: Bringing in Older Pokemon

Here's where things start to get a little bit dicey. Pokemon caught prior to 2003's Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire cannot be brought into Pokemon Home. That means any Pokemon obtained from Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, or Crystal is off limits. However, there is somewhat of a work around. All six of those games were re-released on Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. If you have save data from any of those games, those Pokemon can be moved over; unfortunately, players with the old Game Boy cartridges are out of luck. In addition to Pokemon Bank, the 3DS also has an app called Poke Transporter. Poke Transporter allows players to move the contents of Box 1 on the PC of any 3DS Virtual Console release to Pokemon Bank, and then over to Pokemon Home. This also works for the DS Pokemon games Pokemon Black and White, and Pokemon Black 2 and White 2.

That leaves fans with some leftovers: Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, Pokemon Emerald, Pokemon Colosseum, Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness, Pokemon Ranger, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, Pokemon Platinum, and Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. Technically, Pokemon can be brought over from all of these games, but not directly. To do so, players will have to use some archaic transfer methods to get them over to Pokemon Black and White so they can be brought over through Poke Transporter. Diehard fans likely made those transfers years ago, but more casual fans might want to look at other ways of catching those particular Pokemon. It might not be worth the effort, in some cases!

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