Pokemon Home: How to Transfer Your Pokemon Between Games

The cloud service lets you store and move Pokemon between compatible Nintendo Switch titles.

Kevin Knezevic Former staff writer
Kevin has been covering video games and tech since 2010, with a particular focus on Nintendo and Pokemon. Squirtle is the best starter and nothing will convince him otherwise.
Kevin Knezevic
4 min read
The Pokemon Company / GameSpot screenshot

Pokemon Home is more than just a storage tool. On top of being able to store all your Pokemon in one place, the service offers a convenient way to bring your old pocket monsters into the series' newest games. That includes Pokemon Sword and Shield and the upcoming Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

The moving process can be a little confusing, however, so here's a guide explaining how to transfer your Pokemon between games.

How to transfer Pokemon from 3DS

Pokemon Home offers two subscription plans: Free and premium. If you have the latter, you can bring Pokemon stored in the Pokemon Bank application on Nintendo 3DS over to Pokemon Home. 

Here's a step-by-step rundown of the process:

1. Open Pokemon Bank on 3DS and select "Move Pokemon to Pokemon Home" from the main menu 

2. Select which boxes you want to transfer and hit "Done" 

Be aware that every Pokemon in the boxes you select will be moved; you cannot individually choose which Pokemon to transfer over. The move is also permanent; any Pokemon you bring to Pokemon Home can no longer be transferred back to Pokemon Bank.

3. Open Pokemon Home and generate a Moving Key

The Pokemon Company/Screenshot by CNET

Depending on which version of Pokemon Home you're using, the way to generate a Moving Key will differ. On mobile, you'll need to open the Options menu and select "Move Pokemon." On Nintendo Switch, you'll instead need to select the 3DS icon from the bottom of the main menu.

4. Select "Begin Move" and enter your Moving Key in Pokemon Bank

The Pokemon Company/Screenshot by CNET

The Moving Key you generated will only be valid for three minutes, so you'll need to type it in Pokemon Bank before it expires to initiate the transfer.

Once you've entered the Moving Key, the transfer will begin. The move may take a few minutes to complete. Be sure not to shut off either Pokemon Bank or Pokemon Home while the transfer is in progress. Once the process is complete, you'll find your Pokemon waiting for you the next time you open Pokemon Home.

How to transfer Pokemon between Nintendo Switch games

The Nintendo Switch version of Pokemon Home lets you move Pokemon you have stored on the service between compatible games. Here's how:

1. Open Pokemon Home on Nintendo Switch

2. Choose which game you'd like to connect to

The Pokemon Company/Screenshot by CNET

Once you've opened Pokemon Home, it will present you with all the compatible Pokemon games you can use. Select the title you'd like to move Pokemon to or from. You can also select Pokemon Home to organize the Pokemon you have stored on the service.

3. Move Pokemon to the desired boxes

The Pokemon Company/Screenshot by CNET

Simply grab Pokemon you have stored in your Pokemon Home boxes (displayed on the left side of the screen) and move them over to your game boxes on the right. You can also move Pokemon from your game and place them into Pokemon Home.

There are a few caveats to keep in mind when transferring Pokemon. First, not all Pokemon can be moved into Pokemon Sword and Shield; only monsters that appear in the Galar, Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra Pokedex can be brought over. 

Second, if you move a Pokemon originally from one of the Let's Go games into Sword or Shield, you'll no longer be able to move them back into their original title. Similarly, Pokemon from Sword or Shield cannot be brought into Let's Go, even if they appear in the Kanto Pokedex.

4. Press the plus button to save and quit

How to transfer Pokemon from Pokemon Go

You can also move Pokemon you've caught in the Pokemon Go mobile game to Pokemon Home. This transfer process works a little differently, however. Here's what you need to do:

1. Connect your Nintendo Account

The Pokemon Company/Screenshot by CNET

Before you can transfer Pokemon, you must first connect Pokemon Go to the same Nintendo Account you have linked to Pokemon Home. Tap the Poke Ball icon at the bottom of the screen to open the menu, then select "Settings" at the top right corner. Scroll down and select "Pokemon Home," then log in with your Nintendo Account.

2. Select Pokemon to transfer

The Pokemon Company/Screenshot by CNET

Once your accounts are linked, you'll be able to move Pokemon to Pokemon Home. Tap "Send Pokemon" to see a list of all the monsters you can transfer. Select the Pokemon you wish to move and tap "Next." Once you're ready to transfer the Pokemon, tap "Transport" to begin the move.

Be aware that there are a few restrictions to the transfer process. First, the number of monsters you can transfer at a time depends on how much energy the Go Transporter has. Special Pokemon, such as legendaries and shinies, cost significantly more energy than standard ones to transfer. The Go Transporter will be fully charged the first time you use it, but afterward, you'll need to either wait several days for it to fully recharge or spend PokeCoins to charge it up quickly.

Like transfers from Pokemon Bank, each move is permanent; any Pokemon that you transfer to Pokemon Home can no longer be brought back to Pokemon Go. You also cannot transfer certain special event Pokemon, such as flower crown Togekiss and Armored Mewtwo.

3. Receive your Pokemon in Pokemon Home

The Pokemon Company/Screenshot by CNET

After you've finished step 2 within Pokemon Go, fire up Pokemon Home on your phone to complete the transfer. Upon opening the app, you'll be greeted with a message that one or more Pokemon have been transferred. Tap "Yes" to view the settings menu, then scroll down to the Pokemon Go Link section and tap "Receive." 

Pokemon Home is available on Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. The service will add support for more Pokemon games in the future, including the aforementioned Pokemon Scarlet and Violet versions, which are slated to launch for Nintendo Switch in late 2022.