Niantic announced today that Pokémon Go will soon be getting two big features: Pokémon trading and a friends list. These have been requests from the community since the AR title app launched in July 2016. The features will roll out later this week, according to a studio blog post.
Pokémon Go is a huge mobile hit that earned over $1.2 billion in revenue in its first year. While it’s not the giant phenomena it was during that first summer, it still has millions of players and is one of the most popular mobile games in the world. New content still keeps its players engaged and can bring back lapsed fans.
With friends lists, you can trade Trainer Codes to add someone to Pokémon Go’s in-game social feature. Once you have a friend, you can fight in gyms together, trade items, and (most important) swap Pokémon. Trading has been a staple of the main Pokémon series since its launch — both in the role-playing games and the trading card game — but it has not been in Pokémon Go. With its upcoming release, Niantic is addressing one of its game’s largest criticisms.
But you can’t just trade with anyone around the world. You’ll need to be near them. Pokémon Go is location-based game that encourages its players to walk around and interact with other players in person, so this restriction makes sense.
Trading is coming ahead of Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee launches on the Nintendo Switch on November 16. You will be able to transfer your Pokémon Go creatures to them. Now that Go will have trading, it’ll be easier to get the exact Pokémon you want in the mobile game and then take them over to the Switch.