A few weeks ago, I was killing time before a Mewtwo Raid. As I was walking along the White River Canal in Indianapolis, I ran into a friend. She and I compared the shiny Pokémon in our inventories and I lamented on not catching a shiny Charmander during Community Day in May. She said,
Well, I’ve got three or four if you want me to trade you one.
We had a chuckle over it because, even just a few weeks ago, trading seemed like it would never happen. And, even though every trainer out there wanted trading to happen, we didn’t know how the hell to make it work either. Like with raids, we were sure spoofers would somehow make trading a living hell. Trading didn’t seem possible. I caught my Mewtwo. She caught hers, and we went on our merry ways.
Then six days later, Niantic announced Pokémon Go trading was coming. And honestly, they f*cking nailed it in such a brilliant way.
So how do you fix the problem of spoofers, real-life currency exchanges, and unfair/unbalanced trades?… By leaning on the community.
Trading is a multi-layered tier now. First, Niantic introduced the friend and gift system. To become friends with another trainer, you have to input their Trainer Code and have them accept your friend request. From there, you can start raising your friendship level through raiding, gym battling, and sending each other gifts (you receive gifts through spinning Pokestops).
There are four levels of friendship: Good, Great, Ultra, and Best.
You become good friends simply by sending a gift to each other. Then, after seven days of interacting just once with each other, you become Great Friends. Ultra Friends after 30. And Best after 90. All of which are essential for trading. But your friendship level is only half of the equation that solves trading. The other half? Stardust.
As you see in this chart from Reddit user JANKA_lml, you need A TON of Stardust to complete these trades, especially if you’re only Good or Great friends. And believe me, getting that much Stardust is hard as hell—there are no shortcuts. It is literally a grind.
So, unfortunately for me, I’ll need to wait at least a month before I can trade for a shiny Charmander (or three).
Now, all that’s left really is battling your friends.
And I know this could bite me in the butt, but that doesn’t seem THAT far away. We have friends now. How far off could going head-to-head against your friends be?