TRADING Is Coming To Pokemon GO! And No, It Won’t Ruin the Game Economy.

We can barely believe what we’re saying – but it’s true!

Just ahead of Pokemon GO’s 2 year anniversary month the Silph Road’s longest awaited feature is coming to Pokemon GO: trading (and with it, an entirely new mechanic called friendship).

Read Niantic’s post here!

Won’t This Destroy the Game Economy?

From what we can foresee: actually, no!

It appears that Niantic has put great thought into how to avoid devaluing everything in the game – and placed restrictions on trading vs. the main series games. Here’s a summary of the restrictions on trading:

  • IVs Re-Roll: This is perhaps the most interesting restriction on trading. Doing this will prevent multi-accounters and those with an army of botted accounts transferring hoards of perfect Pokemon to their ‘main’ account. This has the side effect of making 100% IV Pokemon largely untradable, in our opinion. So these become personal trophies, rather than trading commodities. We can live with that for the good of the game economy – this cuts the legs out from under much of the illicit trading scene right off the bat!
  • 1 Special Trade Per Day: To apparently further restrict the shuttling of high-value Pokemon, a limit of one ‘special’ trade per day is in place. These are: Legendaries, shinies, and holes in the recipients dex. This will have limiting side effects at events like GO Fest – so you can’t simply attend a meetup and complete your entire dex in an hour. This is probably a good thing for the long-term health of the game. Otherwise, the fastest way to grind and complete your dex would be a giant ‘trading party’ meetup where everyone leaves “complete.” Niantic likely wished to avoid, in our opinion, undermining the exploration and ‘outdoor discovery’ nature of Pokemon GO. Trading with family or SOs will be largely unimpacted by this, and after the first few days of trading when folks have their dexes full, trades may likely be an infrequent occurrence anyway – further unimpacted by this ‘special trade’ limit. Time will tell!
  • Stardust Cost: Additionally, trading will cost Stardust – and by the looks of it, it’s costly! Fortunately, trading with loved ones can be made cost effective via the new “Friendship” mechanic:

    “As you build your Friendship Level with the friend you are trading with, you’ll find that you can complete the trade with much less Stardust.”

  • Geolocation / Proximity: You, of course, can only activate trades when within range of another trainer (though this will not deter some from GPS spoofing) but this will hopefully make trading more meaningful and memorable for the majority of travelers. We expected this fully.

Overall, trading in Pokemon GO is not quite like in the main series games – but we’re excited to see this surprise major feature addition heading our way so soon (later this week!!). Niantic appears to have done a great job mitigating the economy-ruining potential of such a dangerous feature – and we can now finally look forward to trading missed legendaries, duplicate shinies, and other special Pokemon to our SO’s, friends, family, and that 10 year old kid you met at the Raid who really wants a Miltank.

About ‘Friendship’

Friendship is an entirely new social mechanic coming to Pokemon GO later this week.

Spinning PokeStop will soon award a special Gift that cannot be opened – and can only be sent to Friends whom travelers have added via Friend Code. These Gifts contain:

  • Helpful Items
  • A Postcard
  • …And Alola Pokemon Eggs!

Friendship level can be increased to achieve additional bonuses for playing together in a variety of game mechanics!

The eloquent Andrew Goldfarb of IGN has created an in-depth analysis of the upcoming bonuses here: