Pokemon fans scramble hours before 3DS eShop shutdown

Cassidy Stephenson
Pokemon Bank logo with Dawn in the front

Pokemon players rush to download Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter before the Nintendo 3DS eShop shuts down on March 27.

On March 27, 3DS and Wii U users will lose the ability to purchase digital games and redownload demos/freeware. The lost applications include the 3DS Pokemon transfer services Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter.

For the 3DS titles, Game Freak created Pokemon Bank for trainers to store mons after their in-game storage boxes filled up. However, the Generation V DS games needed Poke Transporter for players to transfer their Pokemon to later mainline entries.

Pokemon players should download two applications before the 3DS shutdown

Pokemon Home transfer to Pokemon Bank screenshot.
Pokemon players could lose access to transferring older titles.

On the Pokemon subreddit, Reddit user qtg addressed the confusion on downloading Poke Transporter. To access the Poke Transporter software, most players must purchase the $5 subscription for Pokemon Bank.

“Yes, Pokemon Bank will be free after the 3DS eShop shuts down, but it’s currently unknown if you will be able to download Transporter,” qtg wrote. “Why risk it? Pay the $5!”

To buy the Pokemon Bank subscription, users must connect their Nintendo Network ID on their 3DS to their Nintendo Account on their Switch. They then need to add their credit card or eShop code onto the Switch since Nintendo eliminated the payment methods on 3DS.

However, some players have managed to get out of paying the $5 fee.

“I somehow managed to download it without putting in any funds or having an active subscription. I was able to cancel out of the ‘buy a Subscription’ menu, and it let me do it,” GhalanSmokescale said.

Apparently, the method only works if people previously had a Bank Pass or a free trial for Pokemon Bank.

While 3DS users needed Pokemon Bank to keep their unused pocket monsters safe, the Nintendo Switch required the storage service Pokemon Home. The convenient application will receive integration with Scarlet & Violet sometime in Spring 2023.