We were promised a February 2020 launch and the Pokemon Company delivered. The brand new Pokemon Home app can be downloaded on the Nintendo Switch, iPhone and Android mobile devices right now.
The long awaited cloud-based Pokemon storage service launched out of the blue, finally giving trainers the ability to transfer species to and from Pokemon Sword and Shield. Pokemon Home will act as a place to store and manage all your Pokemon from past games, meaning that shiny your particularly fond of from one of yesteryear's games can be played with in the latest generation.
Although Pokemon Home will act as the central point for all your Pokemon, there are a few rules of sorts that you need to be aware of. It isn't as simple as transferring Pokemon to and from all the past games as there are restrictions.
— asher (@sidefury) February 12, 2020
Only Pokemon from Sword and Shield can be transferred to and from the game. So, your Galarian Ponyta can be sent to Pokemon Home and then sent back to Sword or Shield at a later date.
That isn't how it works with other games, though. Your 'mons from the popular Pokemon Let's Go can only be sent from the game – once sent they cannot be put back there.
Games from previous Nintendo consoles work under the same principle but it is a little different as they must go through Pokemon Bank. This was the old Pokemon storage system for the virtual remakes of the first two generations through to Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
Your Pokemon from these games need to be sent to Pokemon Bank first, before they can be transferred over to Pokemon Home. Elsewhere, you will also be able to send species from Pokemon Go to Pokemon Home but this feature is yet to be made available.
Using the premium version of Pokemon Home will cost you a minimum of $2.99. That will gain you access to the service for one month, but if you choose to subscribe for longer than that it will come at a cheaper rate per month.
Three months will cost less than double price at $4.99. You can also get 12 months for less than the price of 6 ($15.99).
Difference between basic and premium
Unfortunately for trainers relying on Pokemon Bank to bring their old Pokemon into the current generation, you will have to pay to do so. "Moving Pokemon from Pokemon Bank" isn't part of the basic (and free) version of Pokemon Home. Instead, it is only available in the paid for premium service.
The other major difference between the two services is that there's a 30 Pokemon storage limit with the free version, in comparison to 6,000 that can be deposited if using premium.
Other differences between the two versions can be seen in the table below.
Free Pokemon bonus for the mobile apps
Downloading Pokemon Home on iOS or Android is like going back in time as you will be given either Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle to kick off your 'adventure'. You can only choose one of them and it will be at level 5.
A level 5 Pikachu will also be awaiting you in the storage box as well. It's like meeting Professor Oak all over again, and not the new 'cool' one in the image above.
The mobile version of the app features Wonder Box, GTS, Room Trade and Friend Trade features. Here are the differences between the Nintendo Switch version and the mobile ones.
Missing Pokemon added
A curious find was found in the Pokemon Sword and Shield code ahead of its release. The existence of 35 species, not included in the Sword Shield Pokedex, was datamined leading to question as to when they will be added.
That question has finally been answered with the likes of Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Mewtwo finally being allowed into the Galar region. Those 35 Pokemon are as follows:
It's been a long wait but Pokemon Home will be a game changer for long-term trainers. The ability to store and transfer Pokemon to (and sometimes between) games means trainers won't have to worry about losing their favorite Pokemon when a new game comes out.