If you've been a fan of the mainline Pokemon games for any significant stretch of time, then you've likely used one of the ever-changing methods to move your favorite monsters from one generation to the next. Pokemon Home, which is set to release next month for the Switch and smartphones, could turn out to be the series' best trading and storage tool yet—but, as new details on Home reveal, you'll need to pay a bit to get the most out of it.
While Pokemon Home will be a free download and provides limited trading and storage features, the paid premium plan will likely be the way to go for frequent traders and dedicated collectors. Priced at $2.99 per month, $4.99 for three months, or $15.99 for a year, the premium version of Pokemon Home unlocks two exclusive features: compatibility with Pokemon Bank, and a "judge" function that lets you see the stats and attacks of your Pokemon in the app.
Since Pokemon Bank compatibility is a premium feature, you will need to spend a bit of money in order to transfer any Pokemon from 3DS titles into Pokemon Home. For the first month of Pokemon Home's release, however, Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter (for moving Pokemon from older generations to the 3DS games and Bank) will be made available for free.
For the sake of storage and trading, the differences between the free and premium versions of Pokemon Home mostly come down to volume. Free users can deposit 30 Pokemon in Home, while Premium users can store up to 6,000. All the trading modes included in Home—Wonder Box, GTS, Friend Trades, and Room Trades—are accessible to free users, but they can put fewer Pokemon up for trade at a time in GTS and Wonder Box and will be unable to host Room Trades themselves. On top of the premium-exclusive features, Friend Trades and local event checks won't be available to users under the age of 16.
When Pokemon Home launches, restrictions on what can and can't be transferred across games will still come into play. At launch, Home won't support transfers from Pokemon Go. Pokemon from Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee can be transferred to Sword or Shield, but cannot be transferred back into their original titles via Home once they've been moved to the more recent releases. There's also still the matter of the Pokemon that aren't available in Sword and Shield—while more will be added with this year's DLC releases, any that aren't in the Galarian Pokedex can't be transferred from Home to Sword or Shield.
With Pokemon Bank, Home's predecessor, only costing $4.99 for a year of premium service, the jump in price here is quite significant. By working across mobile and Switch, adding other features like a detailed National Pokedex and Mystery Gift integration, and increasing the storage limits, there's a case to be made that Pokemon Home's service is worth the higher price. Folks will get to decide for themselves soon—Pokemon Home will launch in February.