Pokémon Go fans will finally see the implementation of two heavily requested features: trading and friendships. These two features have been requested since the release of the game, and trading was even teased to be in the game since the debut trailer. Now, these features will come in the biggest update that the game has received since launch.
As with any friendship system in any game, you will be able to add people as friends to your game with the use of personal friend codes. Once you have added another person they will show up on your friends list where you can see their stats, main profile and what their last in-game activity was.
Now that you are friends in the game you will be able to send your friends gifts, as well as level-up your friendship. Gifts can be found near Pokéstops and Pokémon Gyms and will include a large variety of different items, Pokémon eggs or a special yellow Pokémon egg. These special yellow eggs will hatch into the newly added Alola form Pokémon but require a whopping 7 kilometers of walking before they are hatched.
When adding friends you will start out as good friends and through various activities, you will be able to raise that friendship. There are four tiers, Good Friend, Great Friend, Best Friend, and Ultra Friend. Raising your friendship level will increase the benefits that you receive from your friendship. The friendship level can be raised by exchanging gifts, battling a gym together or doing raids together.
While adding friendships is fun and all, the real juice of the update is in the trading system. Pokémon was conceived to be a game where players catch creatures and trade these with their friends. Having no trade options in a Pokémon game seemed very counterintuitive, but finally, trading is being added.
The first thing to note is that trading will only work locally. This is not because Niantic doesn’t have the technology to implement global trading, but rather that they want the game to maintain its social aspect. Another trading requirement is that you have to be at least level 10 in the game and every trade will cost you a certain amount of stardust.
The stardust that you will be required to pay depends a lot on who you’re trading with and which Pokémon you are trading. Trading with someone you have a high friendship level with decreases the amount of stardust you will have to pay. There are also Pokémon that can’t be traded until you have reached the Great Friends level. These are legendary Pokémon, shiny Pokémon, and Pokémon you have yet to discover. These trades will also come with an inherently large stardust cost.
Once the trade has commenced you will be able to change the nickname of the Pokémon and the Pokémon will gain new stats. If you trade with someone that you have a high friendship level with you will increase the odds that the Pokémon will retain some of the high stats that it had under previous ownership.