Pokémon HOME launched in February 2020, and since going live it’s become an indispensable resource for players of Pokémon Sword and Shield. However, the service has a lot more to offer than just storage.
Ultimately, Pokémon HOME is most useful as a companion to Pokémon Sword and Shield, but players of Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu can also enjoy the platform.
If you’ve played Pokémon Go or some of the classic Pokémon games on Nintendo 3DS, you can even bring Pokémon from those games over to Pokémon HOME and all the way into Pokémon Sword and Shield.
In this comprehensive complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Pokémon HOME and how to get the most out of Pokémon’s massive storage system.
Do you need Nintendo Switch Online to use Pokémon HOME?
While Nintendo Switch Online provides plenty of important benefits within Pokémon Sword and Shield, players will be happy to know that a subscription to the service is not needed to make use of Pokémon HOME.
You will need a reliable internet connection, but you can freely connect to the Pokémon HOME database and transfer Pokémon in and out of games without ever having to purchase Nintendo Switch Online.
However, you will need to make a Nintendo Account and pair it with your profile on Nintendo Switch. This is free to do, and will be key in pairing with the Pokémon HOME mobile app.
Should you decide to sign up for Nintendo Switch Online to get more out of Pokémon Sword and Shield, you can get a one-year subscription for £17.99 (€19.99/$19.99), a three-month subscription for £6.99 (€7.99/$7.99), or a one-month subscription for £3.49 (€3.99/$3.99).
How to connect Pokémon HOME Mobile to Nintendo Switch
While Pokémon HOME is indeed an application on Nintendo Switch, you’ll want to get the app for your mobile phone in order to get the most out of the platform.
Pokémon HOME is free to download on the App Store and Google Play. Whether you’re using an Apple or Android device, you’ll be able to pair up with your Nintendo Switch and connect to Pokémon HOME.
Connecting the services isn’t difficult, but it’s very important to ensure you’re using the same Nintendo login for each of them. Once you’ve got Pokémon HOME running on your Nintendo Switch and are setting up the app, it’ll prompt you to login to your Nintendo Account to link them.
Once you’ve logged in to your Nintendo Account, you’ll notice a Support ID that the app will display. To make sure you’re using the right Nintendo Account, you can check that Support ID against the Pokémon HOME version on your Nintendo Switch.
You’ll notice the Support ID at the top left corner of the title screen when you’re loading up Pokémon HOME, but it can also be found under Options once you’re past the title screen.
If the Support ID on your Nintendo Switch matches the one shown on your phone, it will confirm you’re connecting both of them to the same Nintendo Account. Tap “YES” on the app to continue setup, and you’ll be fully connected.
What can you do with the Free Plan?
Just about all of the services available on Pokémon HOME can be used with the Free Plan. You can store up to 30 Pokémon in your Basic Box.
You’ll be granted access to Wonder Box, where you can place up to three Pokémon at a time to be traded off at random. You’ll also gain access to the GTS (Global Trading System).
However, one key thing you are not able to do with the Free Plan is move anything from Pokémon Bank. If you have Pokémon in Pokémon Bank from playing Nintendo 3DS titles in the past, you’ll need to get the Premium Plan to bring them over.
You can participate in Room Trade on Pokémon HOME with the Free Plan, but you won’t be able to host and setup a room yourself. That can only be done with the Premium Plan.
Other than that, the main benefits of the Premium Plan come in ease of use and being able to do things on a much larger scale, but don’t feel like you absolutely have to buy the plan to use Pokémon HOME.
Why should you be using Wonder Box?
One of the most handy features in Pokémon HOME is the introduction of Wonder Box, which can only be accessed on the mobile app. You’ll be able to place a Pokémon you no longer want in the Wonder Box, and after a short amount of time (sometimes as little as a few hours) you’ll get something else in return.
The Pokémon you receive will be something that another user has placed in their Wonder Box, and it’s chosen at random. You could get lucky and wind up with rare Pokémon, shiny Pokémon, or very powerful Pokémon just through Wonder Box.
Should you get something you don’t want, you can always drop it back into Wonder Box and see if your next try results in a Pokémon you do want. Keep it up until you get something you do want, you’d be surprised by some of the amazing Pokémon that can arrive via Wonder Box.
If you want to get some stock to toss into Wonder Box in hopes of getting something good in return, you can always catch or breed extra Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield to be sent to Pokémon HOME as Wonder Box fodder.
What can the GTS (Global Trading System) do for you?
The other extremely useful feature of Pokémon HOME is the GTS (Global Trading System). This will allow you to deposit Pokémon to be traded, but provide specific parameters for what you want in return.
Once you select a Pokémon to put up for a trade, you’ll be able to decide exactly what Pokémon you want in return, what gender it needs to be, what level it needs to be, and what games it can travel to.
That final option will be important if you’re wanting Pokémon to use in Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee or Let’s Go Pikachu. Once a Pokémon from those games has been moved to Pokémon Sword and Shield, they can’t return to Let’s Go Eevee or Let’s Go Pikachu.
If there’s a specific Pokémon you want and you’d rather go searching, you can simply do that. Tell the GTS which Pokémon you want, and it’ll show you all the possible trades available.
This service is crucial for anyone looking to complete a Pokédex or acquire Pokémon that aren’t available in their version of the game.
What are the benefits of Pokémon HOME’s Premium Plan?
As mentioned above, the Premium Plan isn’t needed for Pokémon HOME, but for some users it will be well worth the investment. The biggest upgrade will be the option to move Pokémon from Pokémon Bank into Pokémon HOME.
You’ll see a massive leap forward in the amount of Pokémon you’ll be able to store in Pokémon HOME, going from the Free Plan’s meager 30 to getting space for a total of 6,000 Pokémon with the Premium Plan.
Wonder Box will see an upgrade, giving you access to place 10 Pokémon in Wonder Box at one time, rather than only three. You’ll see a similar upgrade on the GTS, allowing you to place 3 Pokémon in the GTS at once instead of only one.
With the Premium Plan, you’ll also be able to host Room Trade, which can be very useful in setting up trades on Pokémon HOME with friends or online acquaintances.
The final benefit of the Premium Plan is the addition of the Judge function, which can be used within Pokémon HOME to check whether your Pokémon have the best stats. This is critical for anyone planning to maximize their Pokémon’s potential and acquire Max IV Pokémon.
If you decide the benefits are worthwhile for you, the Pokémon HOME Premium Plan comes at an affordable price. You can get a one-year subscription for £14.39 (€15.99/$15.99), a three-month subscription for £4.49 (€4.99/$4.99), or a one-month subscription for £2.69 (€2.99/$2.99).
Pokémon HOME and new challenging Research Tasks
One fun new feature introduced in Pokémon HOME is the challenge of completing Research Tasks. Before you get too excited, there is currently no reward for completing all the Research Tasks.
Instead, it seems to just be a fun way to challenge yourself and track your progress as you continue to fill out the Pokédex. There may be rewards added in the future, but that hasn’t been the case so far.
Currently, there are 40 Research Tasks in Pokémon HOME, and they’re only accessible through the Nintendo Switch version, not on the mobile app. You’ll find 20 Kanto Region Tasks and 20 Galar Region Tasks.
Put simply, the Research Tasks are simply goals to capture and move into Pokémon HOME specific Pokémon from specific versions of the game. To do the Kanto Region Tasks, you’ll need to have Pokémon for each task that were originally captured in the Pokémon Let’s Go games.
This is a key point if you’ve brought Pokémon over from Pokémon Bank, Pokémon Go, or Pokémon Sword and Shield. In order for them to count for a Kanto Region Task, they must have originally been caught in a Pokémon Let’s Go game.
In the same vein, the Galar Region Tasks only are completed with Pokémon that were captured in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Anything from Let’s Go, Pokémon Go, or Pokémon Bank won’t complete the task.
Every Pokémon HOME Mystery Gift Pokémon Currently Available
One of the great benefits of using Pokémon HOME is gaining access to new Mystery Gift Pokémon that you wouldn’t be able to acquire without it. You’ll need to use the mobile version, as Mystery Gift Pokémon aren’t accessible on Pokémon HOME using the Nintendo Switch version.
While they will surely add more in the future, the following Mystery Gift Pokémon are currently available through Pokémon HOME.
Pikachu – Gift for using Pokémon HOME
Just for using the app, you’ll be gifted a Pikachu that will be waiting for you in your free box. It’s only Level 5, and specified to be from the Japanese version of the game, which makes it handy for breeding if you want to try and hatch a Shiny Pikachu.
Hidden Ability Kanto Starter – Gift for using Mobile version
When you launch the mobile version of Pokémon HOME, you’ll be greeted by Grand Oak who will offer you a choice between the three original Starter Pokémon. Choose from Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, and you’ll get a Level 5 version of your choice that also has that Pokémon’s Hidden Ability.
Pichu – Gift for completing your first challenge
In the mobile version of the game, you’ll notice various challenges that come from expanding the Pokédex or depositing Pokémon with specific parameters, like which kind of Poké Ball they were caught with. After completing your first challenge, you’ll be gifted a Level 5 Pichu.
Rotom – Gift for using the GTS
In the mobile version of the game, using the GTS can net you a Pokémon. Deposit any Pokémon into the GTS, and once someone else has accepted your trade and taken it, you’ll be gifted a Level 5 Rotom.
Eevee – Gift for using Wonder Box
The Wonder Box can be a great way to get new Pokémon, and fortunately just using it for the first time will also earn you one. After your first deposited Wonder Box Pokémon is successfully traded, you’ll be gifted a Level 5 Eevee.
Original Color Magearna – Gift for completing the National Pokédex
If you want this rare event Pokémon, you’ll need to complete the National Pokédex, including every legendary, rare, and event Pokémon from every generation. If you can pull that off, you’ll be gifted a Level 50 Original Color Magearna.
Hidden Ability Galar Starters – Gift for transferring from Pokémon Sword and Shield
If you’re using Pokémon Sword and Shield with Pokémon HOME, you’ll get a fantastic trio of gifts after you deposit a Pokémon into Pokémon HOME from Pokémon Sword and Shield. After doing that, you’ll be gifted one of each Galar starter (Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble), and all three will be Level 5 and have their Hidden Ability.
Melmetal – Coming soon with Pokémon Go connectivity
While not available yet, Pokémon has revealed that a Gigantamax Melmetal will be available as a Mystery Gift Pokémon once they’ve launched connectivity between Pokémon HOME and Pokémon Go. It will be available after you first send a Pokémon from Pokémon Go to Pokémon HOME.
How to use multiple Nintendo Switch profiles on Pokémon HOME
One of the biggest benefits of Pokémon HOME can be the use of multiple Nintendo Switch profiles to move Pokémon between different save files. In the past, you needed to delete your first game to start a new game in Pokémon.
However, because Nintendo Switch allows you to create multiple profiles to be used on a single console, you can now start a new game by simply creating a new profile to launch the game with.
This is extremely useful when it comes to acquiring the other two starter Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield, or getting extra versions of the rare legendary Pokémon in Sword and Shield or Let’s Go.
It’s important to note that even though you’ll be using other profiles to play those games, you’ll always want to launch Pokémon HOME from your main profile and not from the new ones that you’ve created.
Once you’re in and able to select a game to connect to Pokémon HOME, you’ll notice a box just above the games you can choose that shows your profile photo and name. Simply move up to that box and press A to check a different user’s save data.
You’ll be able to pick any profile you’ve created and move Pokémon to and from that save data with Pokémon HOME. If you’ve got something on a secondary profile that you want in your original game, you first need to move it from that secondary save data into Pokémon HOME.
Once the Pokémon you want is in Pokémon HOME, simply exit out and load back up with your original profile save data. From there, you can move it into your main game.
How to move Pokémon from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon HOME
Moving Pokémon from your Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS games is possible, but it can be a bit of an elaborate process, and requires the Premium Plan. Anything you’ve got in Pokémon Bank can be moved to Pokémon HOME, but that could involve a previous step just getting them into Pokémon Bank.
If you’ve got Pokémon Ultra Sun, Ultra Moon, Sun, Moon, X, Y, Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire, every one of those games can directly link to Pokémon Bank on your Nintendo 3DS console. This allows you to move anything in those games directly to and from Pokémon Bank.
You can also use the Poké Transporter, another app on Nintendo 3DS, to move Pokémon from Pokémon Black, White, Black 2, and White 2, as well as the Virtual Console versions of Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal.
Once you’ve got your Pokémon Bank ready for the move, you can initiate the move with the Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon HOME or the mobile version. Either way, you’ll need to follow instructions closely and will be provided with a Moving Key.
You’ll need to input that Moving Key precisely on your Nintendo 3DS in Pokémon Bank. The Moving Key will only be valid for three minutes, and is long enough to take a minute or two to input, so be sure you’re ready to input it before you tap “Display Moving Key” on Pokémon HOME.
Once the key has been put in and the transfer has begun, you won’t be able to access Pokémon Bank or Pokémon HOME for a little while. This can be a short time or several hours, so keep that in mind before you start the transfer.
If you try to log in to Pokémon HOME during that time and the transfer isn’t complete yet, it won’t let you. Just give it some more time and eventually you’ll be able to go back in to Pokémon HOME when the transfer is done and see all your new Pokémon Bank retro additions in Pokémon HOME.
Also, if you do not have a Nintendo 3DS, but your Nintendo Account connected to Pokémon HOME and your Nintendo Switch is the same as the one connected to your original Pokémon Bank, you can attempt to make the move that way via the Nintendo Switch or mobile version of Pokémon HOME.
How to move Pokémon from Pokémon Go to Pokémon HOME
According to Pokémon, they are currently working on direct connectivity between Pokémon Go and Pokémon HOME. It’s expected to be up and running before the end of the year.
However, in the meantime, there is a workaround that allows you to transfer some Pokémon from Pokémon Go into Pokémon HOME with the useful middle step of Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu.
You can currently transfer Pokémon from Pokémon Go to the Let’s Go games. The catch is that you can only transfer the original 150 Pokémon, the Alolan regional variants of them, or Meltan and Melmetal.
You’ll also need to be a good ways in to Pokémon Let’s Go, as the transfer method utilizes the location once home to the Safari Zone in Fuchsia City. Once you send them from Pokémon Go, you’ll still have to catch them in Let’s Go.
Finally, once you’ve caught the Pokémon you transferred in Let’s Go, you can move it from your storage boxes in Let’s Go into Pokémon HOME, and subsequently to Pokémon Sword and Shield if you want.
There are some Pokémon that won’t be able to be used in Pokémon Sword and Shield, so keep that in mind before going through the trouble of getting them into Pokémon HOME.
Finally, it’s important to know that once a Pokémon has been moved to Pokémon Sword and Shield, it cannot return to Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee or Let’s Go Pikachu. Be sure you don’t need it back in those games before you make that transfer.
*Outsider Gaming may receive a small commission if you click a link from one of our articles onto a retail website and make a purchase. All prices listed were accurate at the time of publishing.