How to import Pokemon to Nintendo Switch from Pokemon GO, 3DS

By Steven Rondina


Jun 20, 2021

Reading time: 6 min

Since the creation of Pokemon Box on the Nintendo Gamecube, The Pokemon Company has been creating unique ways for players to manage their collections of Pokemon and swap them between games without needing another handheld or console.

The latest version of this is Pokemon Home, an app for the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices that allows players to move around Pokemon from a wide variety of Pokemon titles onto Pokemon Sword and Shield. 

Though it’s a great idea and a useful tool for Pokemon diehards, it’s a bit unwieldy and confusing how to connect everything to Pokemon Home and how everything goes from there. Here’s how to use Pokemon Home, and everything you need to know about the app.

Does Pokemon Home cost money?

Pokemon Home can be used for free, but some features cost money. Players have access to one box for free, which they can use to import Pokemon from Pokemon GO or use for transferring Pokemon between games. Players can also take part in the various event giveaways that take place in Pokemon Home.

While players can use Pokemon Home in this way for free, they will need to subscribe to the Pokemon Home Premium Plan in order to use Pokemon Home for depositing and storing more than 30 Pokemon. Pokemon Home Premium Plan also offers players the ability to place more Pokemon in the GTS and Wonder Box.

Can I transfer Pokemon from 3DS to Switch?

Yes, it is possible to transfer Pokemon from 3DS to Switch. This is done by moving boxes of Pokemon from Pokemon Bank on the 3DS into Pokemon Home on the Switch. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Subscribe to Pokemon Home Premium Plan
  2. Subscribe to Pokemon Bank
  3. Open Pokemon Home on Nintendo Switch
  4. Select “Move” to receive a “Moving Key” code
  5. Open Pokemon Bank app on 3DS without a cartridge inserted in 3DS
  6. Agree to rules of transferring Pokemon to Pokemon Home
  7. Select the Pokemon Bank boxes to move to Pokemon Home
  8. Enter Moving Key

After entering the Moving Key is entered, the boxes will be transferred onto Pokemon Home. Once the Pokemon have arrived in Pokemon Home, compatible Pokemon can then be moved back and forth between Pokemon Home and Pokemon Sword and Shield. It is important to note that imported Pokemon cannot be moved back to the 3DS or to Pokemon GO.

How much does a Pokemon Home subscription cost?

A subscription to Pokemon Home Premium Plan costs $3 for a single month, $5 for three months, or $16 for one year. Subscriptions can be purchased through the Nintendo eShop.

How much does a Pokemon Bank subscription cost?

A Pokemon Bank subscription costs $5 for one year. Unlike Pokemon Home, there is only an annual subscription plan. This means players are unable to subscribe for just one month or shorter as they can with Pokemon Bank.

Is Pokemon Home worth getting?

Pokemon Home is a very useful tool for all sorts of Pokemon fans, but a prolonged Pokemon Home Premium Plan subscription isn’t necessary for anyone outside of very active Pokemon players that are either trading for shinies or looking to complete their Pokedex. 

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Players have access to a “Basic Box” for free that has 30 slots to work with. This is completely suitable for transferring Pokemon from Pokemon GO to Sword and Shield, or moving Pokemon between Nintendo Switch titles including Sword, Shield, and the Let’s Go games. Though players will have to navigate menus extensively, Pokemon Home’s primary features can be used for free.

The Pokemon Home Premium Plan comes into play for those who are looking to transfer Pokemon from the 3DS to the Nintendo Switch. Players who are looking to do a mass migration of Pokemon from the 3DS titles to the Nintendo Switch can do so with a one-month subscription, which costs $3.

However, once a subscription expires any Pokemon outside the Basic Box are effectively held for ransom until the subscription is renewed. Pokemon outside the Basic Box will not be deleted, but cannot be moved or transferred into a game unless there is an active subscription. Because of this, players need to be somewhat selective regarding how many Pokemon they migrate into Pokemon Home that aren’t compatible with Sword and Shield.

How to connect Pokemon GO to Let’s Go

  1. Start Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu or Eevee on Nintendo Switch
  2. Navigate to Options menu
  3. Open Pokemon GO settings
  4. Hit “Yes” to begin pairing Let’s Go Pikachu or Eevee
  5. Enable bluetooth on mobile device with Pokemon GO
  6. Open Pokemon GO app
  7. Navigate to settings menu
  8. Select “Nintendo Switch” option
  9. Pair Nintendo Switch and mobile device
  10. In Pokemon Let’s Go game, travel to Fuschia City’s GO Park complex
  11. Select “Bring Pokemon” and choose a GO Park. Select “Start Communication”
  12. Open Pokemon menu in Pokemon GO and select the Nintendo Switch icon near the top of the screen
  13. Select the Pokemon to transfer and confirm
  14. In Pokemon Let’s Go, select “Enter a GO Park”
  15. Find transferred Pokemon in GO Park, talk to them, and select “Catch”

The process of transferring Pokemon from Pokemon GO to Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu or Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee is a lengthy one to get started on, but once players have done it once, it’s easy to do so and can be done freely at any time. It also does not have the same GO Transfer Energy limitations that transferring Pokemon from Pokemon GO to Pokemon Home does.

The hangup is that Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee only support importing the original 151 Pokemon, Alolan variants, Meltan, and Melmetal. No other Pokemon can be imported into the game.

How to transfer Pokemon from Pokemon GO to Pokemon Home

  1. Open Pokemon GO settings and select “Pokemon Home” to begin setup
  2. Sign in to Nintendo account
  3. Return to Pokemon GO settings, navigate to Pokemon Home, select “Send Pokemon”
  4. Select the Pokemon to send

Sending Pokemon from Pokemon GO to Pokemon Home takes up a currency called Transfer Energy. Transfer Energy replenishes itself over time, with players receiving 10,000 Transfer Energy per week.

Transferring Pokemon consumes energy, with the amount of energy varies between Pokemon, with legendaries, shinies, and high-CP Pokemon requiring more energy than others. Transferring a shiny legendary or mythical consumes the full 10,000 weekly Transfer Energy. Players can acquire more Transfer Energy by spending Pokemon Go Coins.

Will Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl use Pokemon Home?

It is unclear whether Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will use Pokemon Home, but it is very likely that they will. Pokemon Bank had no restrictions when it came to transferring Pokemon on the 3DS and encompassed Pokemon X and Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Sun and Moon, and Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. 

The only question is whether Pokemon Home will be updated to work with Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl immediately on launch or if it will be patched in after some time. Details will likely come as Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s release date of November 19, 2021 approaches.

Will Pokemon Legends: Arceus work with Pokemon Home?

At the moment, it is unclear whether Pokemon Home will be compatible with Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Details regarding the gameplay of Pokemon Legends: Arceus remain scarce and the game could ultimately end up being handled more like a Pokemon Ranger or Pokemon Mystery Dungeon than a mainline installment in the series. It’s difficult to speculate as to whether players will be able to move Pokemon in or out of Pokemon Legends: Arceus.