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Pokémon Home: Can You Trade Evolve In The App?

When They Pokémon Company announced Pokémon Home, it laid out the framework of the service and what users could do with it. It turns out, however, that some obscure aspects of Pokémon management went unexplained. Pokémon fans are finding that trading in particular contains quite a few mysteries. Some Pokémon need to be traded in order to evolve. But how does that work with Pokémon Home, which is more cloud storage than actual Pokémon game? The answer is simply that it doesn’t.

Pokémon Home released this week as a smartphone and Nintendo Switch app. Its basic function is to hold Pokémon from all GBA, DS, and Switch games. The Pokémon can then move to and from Pokémon Sword & Shield (provided they’re on the list of eligible Pokémon). Home can also facilitate in-app trades. Users can trade with friends, offer up Pokémon to a randomized Wonder Trade, or put in specific requests to the world at large via the GTS.

It all works pretty much exactly like it does in the main series Pokémon games. In fact, the GTS concept was taken from the DS games. So users could be forgiven for expecting Home trades to act like Sword & Shield trades, or even Red & Blue trades. But trades done by our own TheGamer editors confirm that the trade evolution mechanic does not work in Home. Twitter users have also reported that Pokémon like Haunter will not evolve post-trade like they’re supposed to.

Disappointed is definitely a good word for it, as it means extra work for Pokémon collectors. The effort won’t be too much for Pokémon allowed in Sword & Shield. As the current games, they have an active community. It should be easy to find someone willing to trade Haunter to evolve them. For Pokémon exclusive to older games, however, things will get complicated. Players will have to find friends that still keep their DS or GBA, with accompanying Pokémon games, on hand. Or have two systems and games to trade with themselves.

Catching ’em all was never supposed to be easy, though, even if some people already had complete Pokémon Home collections mere days after launch. That said, the lack of trade evolution in Pokémon Home probably has less to do with challenge and more to do with logistics. Perhaps recognizing trade evolutions  – or animating them – was too much to ask of the app. Maybe the function is intended for later release like the promised ability to do Pokémon GO transfers. Whatever the case, think twice before sending your Haunter and Karrablast into Pokémon Home.

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