It's been nearly two years since Pokémon GO made its debut, and developer Niantic has slowly been rolling out new features ever since. The ability to trade Pokémon with fellow trainers has been a staple since the beginning of the franchise, but it hasn't yet made its way to GO. Thankfully that's all changing soon!
In Niantic's latest blog update, they've revealed that a new Friends feature is coming to Pokémon GO, and you'll be able to send your friends items, earn bonuses, and even trade Pokémon! Players can befriend others by exchanging Trainer Codes and accepting each other's request. Once you've done this, you'll appear on each other's Friends List.
Once this update hits, spinning a Photo Disc at a PokéStop or Gym may earn the player a Gift. These Gifts, which contain multiple useful items, cannot be opened directly by the player. Instead, you can send them to anyone on your Friends List to brighten up their day. It may even contain an egg that will hatch into an Alolan Form Pokémon!
By interacting with people on your Friends List, you'll increase your Friendship Level. When playing together (such as working together on a Raid), your friendship can impact the gameplay by unlocking bonuses. Your Pokémon can even receive stat bonuses from battling alongside a Great Friend.
If you're near a friend and have a Trainer Level of 10 or higher, you can trade Pokémon you've caught with that friend. Completing a trade earns a bonus Candy for the Pokémon you've traded away, and that bonus can increase if the Pokémon you traded were caught in locations far apart from each other! All trades are powered by Stardust, and some trades require more Stardust than others. As you build your Friendship Level with the friend you are trading with, you'll find that you can complete the trade with much less Stardust.
Certain Pokémon, such as a Legendary Pokémon, a Shiny Pokémon, or a Pokémon not currently in your Pokédex, require a Special Trade to complete, so keep that in mind before trading away that golden Magikarp! Special Trades can only occur once per day with a Great Friend or Best Friend, and it often requires a lot of Stardust to complete a Special Trade. Special Trades are a great way to show a friend how much you care!