From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Trade machine is an in-game device introduced in Generation I that players can use to trade Pokémon between game cartridges.
In the games
In the core series games
In Generations I, II, and III, local trades are conducted inside rooms in Pokémon Centers called Cable Clubs (Japanese: つうしん ケーブル クラブ Communication Cable Club), where two linked players can gather at opposite ends of a trade machine to start the trading process. In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, an alternative for wirelessly linked players, the Union Room, was introduced, which involves no such machine. In Generations IV and V, the Union Room is used for trading instead, and local trading no longer involves an in-universe machine. They have since been conducted through in-universe applications such as the C-Gear, PSS, Poké Pelago, and the Y-Comm.
- Main article: Time Capsule
The Time Capsule is a special type of trade machine found in Generation II that allows for back-and-forth trading with Generation I games, on the condition that the Pokémon being sent back is a Generation I Pokémon that does not know any Generation II moves.
In the side series games
In Pokémon Stadium and Stadium 2, a trade machine can be found and used at Professor Oak's laboratory.
In Pokémon Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness, a trade machine is located at the bottom floor of the Phenac City Pokémon Center and can be used to trade non-Shadow Pokémon in between the two games and the core series games once the player has completed the main game.
In the anime
A trade machine in the anime
The first trade machine was seen aboard the St. Anne in Battle Aboard the St. Anne, where Ash traded his Butterfree for a Gentleman's Raticate. However, he soon came to regret the trade, and it was reversed by the end of the episode.
In Tricks of the Trade, a trade machine appeared at Palmpona's Pokémon Swap Meet, overseen by an official to ensure the trades were made properly. It was first seen being used by two Trainers to trade their Marill and Ledyba. Later, Jessie was accidentally sent flying into the machine, where Benny had already placed his Wobbuffet's Poké Ball in preparation for a trade that had been cancelled at the last second. As such, when Jessie's Lickitung's Poké Ball slipped out of her pocket and fell into the machine, it was traded for Wobbuffet behind her back, leaving her unaware of the trade until later.
In Tricks of the Trade, Team Rocket used a fake trade machine as a part of their scheme to steal Pokémon by claiming their machine increased the levels of the traded Pokémon, when in reality, Meowth was hiding inside the machine, swapping the inserted Poké Balls with empty ones. This same fake trade machine reappeared in The Dunsparce Deception, where it was used as a part of similar theft scheme, with the trio claiming that they were giving out Moltres in exchange for the local Dunsparce.
In Here's Lookin' at You, Elekid, the Magikarp salesman was revealed to be in possession of a portable trade machine. He offered to trade Team Rocket his Weepinbell, and after a process of elimination, Jessie and Meowth forced James to trade his beloved Victreebel for it.
Another trade machine appeared in Throwing the Track Switch, where two Trainers were seen trading their Ponyta and Munchlax. Later, Ash and Dawn used the machine to trade their Aipom and Buizel, since Aipom preferred Pokémon Contests and Buizel preferred traditional Pokémon battles.
A trade machine belonging to Professor Juniper appeared in Evolution Exchange Excitement! at Chargestone Cave, where she and Bianca traded their Karrablast and Shelmet, respectively, in order to evolve them.
A trade machine belonging to Count Pumpka appeared in A Festival Trade! A Festival Farewell?. He wanted Jessie to trade him her Pumpkaboo so that she could marry his Prince Pumpkaboo. Jessie refused at first, but eventually accepted when Count Pumpka offered her a Mawile, a Pokémon capable of Mega Evolution. However, Jessie's Pumpkaboo ended up evolving into Gourgeist as a result of the trade, causing Prince Pumkaboo to lose interest in her. As such, the trade was reversed immediately afterwards.
Yet another trade machine appeared in the Vermilion City Pokémon Center in Trade, Borrow, and Steal!, during a Pokémon Trade Event. It was first used by a Gentleman and a girl to trade their Farfetch'd and Spearow. Later, Goh used the same machine to trade his newly caught second Pinsir with Kricketina Kylie's Heracross.
In JN056, Wikstrom used a trade machine to help Goh evolve his Scyther into Scizor.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, trading doesn't require machinery to complete, as seen in A Tale of Ninetales, where Red and Blue dropped some of their Poké Balls and unintentionally traded their Pokémon, and in You Know...Articuno!, where Misty traded her Gyarados for Red's Krabby by simply leaving her Gyarados with him and taking Krabby's Poké Ball from his belt. Trading has also been shown to be possible through Pokédexes, as first seen in Ampharos Amore, although this form of trading is exclusive between Pokédex holders.
In other languages