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- This article is about the generic process of sending Pokémon to another game. For the specific Generation V feature, see Poké Transfer.
- If you were looking for the mechanic in Pokémon GO and Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, see Released Pokémon.
Transferring is a process in which Pokémon are sent from one game to another without trading. The recipient game does not send a Pokémon back. Most commonly, transfers are one-way from a game in one generation to a game in a later generation. The exact process usually differs for different generations.
Transfers did not yet exist in Generation I or Generation II. Instead, these are the only generations to support trading between them.
The Time Capsule allows Pokémon to be traded between Generation I and Generation II, conceptually acting as a time machine bridging the three years between events in each generation. As with all Generation I/II trades, it requires two systems connected by a Game Link Cable, or via local wireless in the Virtual Console releases. It does not allow trading of any Generation II Pokémon or any Pokémon that know moves introduced in Generation II.
Generation III is the only generation where there is no method to receive Pokémon from past generation games.
Transferring was introduced in Generation IV and has remained in all generations afterward. Therefore, it is possible to transfer a Pokémon from Generation III to any future generation through a chain of transfers. With the Virtual Console releases of Generation I and II games and an update to Poké Transporter in Generation VII, it became possible for the first time since Generation II to have Pokémon from all generations in a single game (though Generation I and II Pokémon still cannot be transferred to a generation between III and VI).
Pokémon that cannot be traded for technical or plot reasons also cannot be transferred, including Spiky-eared Pichu; the fused versions of Kyurem, Necrozma, and Calyrex; and the partner Pikachu and partner Eevee.
To Generation IV
The Nintendo DS's dual-slot mode allows Pokémon to be transferred from Generation III games to Generation IV games. When a Generation IV game is started with a Generation III game in the console's Game Pak Slot, if Pal Park has been visited in the game, the option to "Migrate from [game]" will be available on the main menu. (Due to the removal of the Game Pak Slot for the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon cannot be transferred to Generation IV on DSi or 3DS consoles.)
Six Pokémon can be migrated at a time and, in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, Pokémon can only be migrated once every 24 hours. In the destination game, the migrated Pokémon will be available at Pal Park for the player to catch in a Catching Show. The Park Balls used in Catching Shows always capture a Pokémon when thrown; however, Pokémon captured during the Catching Show retain the kind of Poké Ball they were caught in in a Generation III game.
This is the only generation where transferred Pokémon retain their held items.
To Generation V
In Generation V, there are two methods of transferring Pokémon from Generation IV: Poké Transfer and the Relocator. Poké Transfer is the general transfer method, while the Relocator is a special method of transferring a few specific event Pokémon. Either method requires two systems and uses the system's built-in wireless communication.
Poké Transfer is used by visiting the Poké Transfer Lab on Route 15 in a Generation V game. A Scientist at the back of the lab will allow the player to start Poké Transfer on their game, at which point a system with a Generation IV game must be started and the Poké Transfer application must be selected from the system's DS Download Play option. Six Pokémon can be sent to the Generation V game from the Generation IV game via the downloaded application. These Pokémon must then be captured in a time-limited slingshot minigame; any Pokémon that are not caught will remain in the Generation IV game.
The Relocator is only available in Pokémon Black and White. Only the Celebi, Raikou, Entei, and Suicune distributed to commemorate the thirteenth movie can be transferred with the Relocator. The Relocator can be found in Castelia City and must be unlocked with the correct keywords.
To Generations VI and VII (excluding Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!)
Pokémon Bank and its companion application Poké Transporter are used for transfer to the Generation VI games and the Generation VII games excluding Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. Transfer from multiple generations is possible:
- Pokémon from the Virtual Console releases of Generations I and II can be sent to Pokémon Bank through Poké Transporter, and may be withdrawn in Generation VII games.
- Pokémon from Generation V can be sent to Pokémon Bank through Poké Transporter, and may be withdrawn in Generation VI or VII games.
- Pokémon from Generation VI can use two-way transfer with Pokémon Bank. This also applies to Pokémon that originated from Pokémon Bank distribution events during Generation VI. However, once a Pokémon has been withdrawn once in a Generation VII game, it cannot be transferred back into Generation VI.
- Pokémon from Generation VII can use two-way transfer with Pokémon Bank.
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! are incompatible with Bank and other Generation VII games under all circumstances.
|VC Gen I
VC Gen II
|→||Transporter → Bank||→||Gen VII (excluding Let's Go)|
|Gen V||→||Transporter → Bank||→||Gen VI|
Gen VII (excluding Let's Go)
|Gen VI||→||Bank||→||Gen VII (excluding Let's Go)|
- Cosplay Pikachu cannot be deposited into Pokémon Bank (but may be traded with other copies of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire).
- Totem-sized Marowak, Ribombee, Araquanid, and Togedemaru cannot be deposited into Pokémon Bank (but may be traded with other copies of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon).
To Generation VIII (as well as Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!)
The following transfers are possible:
- Pokémon from Pokémon Bank can be sent to Pokémon HOME, and may be withdrawn in Generation VIII.
- Pokémon from Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! can use two-way transfer with Pokémon HOME. However, once a Pokémon has been in a Generation VIII game, it cannot be transferred back into Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!.
- Pokémon from Pokémon GO can be transferred to Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! through the GO Park, and to Pokémon HOME through the GO Transporter. Pokémon from the GO Transporter can be withdrawn in Generation VIII.
- Pokémon from Generation VIII can use two-way transfer with Pokémon HOME. This also applies to Pokémon that originated from Pokémon HOME distribution events during Generation VIII.
|Let's Go||→||HOME||→||Gen VIII|
|GO||→||GO Park||→||Let's Go|
|GO||→||GO Transporter → HOME||→||Gen VIII|
In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! and Generation VIII, not all Pokémon and forms exist in the coding of each game, and HOME will only permit a Pokémon to be withdrawn if both the Pokémon and the specific form exists in the coding of the destination game. Compatible Pokémon for a particular game may be expanded with updates over time.
The following 69 Pokémon that lack a compatible game in Generation VIII cannot be withdrawn into Generation VIII at all:
- ↑ Spinda can be natively caught in BDSP, but cannot be transferred into or out of those games.
Additional transfer restrictions:
- Gigantamax Factor Meowth, Pikachu and Eevee cannot be transferred to Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl or Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
- Spinda cannot be transferred in either direction between HOME and Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl.
- Nincada originally from Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl cannot be withdrawn in any game other than (another copy of) Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl, and Nincada originally from outside of Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl cannot be withdrawn in Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl.
- If one Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl save file has two of a Pokémon species that is normally only catchable once per save file (such as Dialga or Palkia), and neither has been deposited into HOME before, only one may be deposited, even if the two have different OTs.
These restrictions occur for a variety of technical and glitch-prevention reasons (see the Limitations section of the Pokémon HOME article for details).
Similar to the situation between Sun/Moon/Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon and Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!, the three paired releases of Generation VIII have significant coding differences, and thus cannot trade with each other (direct trade is only possible with another copy of the same game or its paired counterpart). In this sense, the generation is split into three "game environments": Sword/Shield, Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl, and Legends: Arceus.
Different game environments also have different move lists. To allow Pokémon to be transferred between them despite these differences, Pokémon HOME tracks the game-specific data of each Pokémon, and assigns appropriate movesets whenever the Pokémon's game environment changes.
- If a Pokémon enters a game environment that it has never been in before, it will be assigned a moveset of its 4 most recent level-up moves in the destination game.
- Example: a level 20 Pikachu caught in Sword is transferred to Brilliant Diamond. Upon arrival in Brilliant Diamond, the Pikachu will have a moveset of Spark, Feint, Electro Ball, and Double Team.
- If the Pokémon returns to a game environment that it has previously been in before, it will regain its previous moveset data for that environment.
- Example: if the Pikachu from the previous example is transferred back into Sword or Shield, its moveset from the last time it was in Sword or Shield will be restored. If it is transferred into Brilliant Diamond again, its moveset from the last time it was in Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl will be restored.