Nintendo has finally announced Pokémon Home's release will be sometime this February. The long-awaited Pokémon Home service will allow you to move Pokémon between compatible games. Pokémon Home will be work through the Nintendo Switch and smartphones through its app and by linking your Nintendo Account you will be able to use storage boxes between both versions. The service will also allow you to trade with other players through GTS, Wonder Box, Room Trade, and with friends you have added on the service.
Trading will be a big part of the Pokémon Home service allowing players to trade with friends and strangers all over the world. Wonder Trade will allow you to put Pokémon in the Wonder Box to be randomly traded even while you are not actually using the app. GTS will allow you to specify your trades with what you are trading and what you want to receive and the system will match you with another person that meets your requirements. Room Trade allows premium players to create a room (free players can still join Room Trade rooms) for others to join and then be able to do essentially a smaller Wonder Trade where each person puts up a Pokémon and then they are randomly traded between everyone in the room. Lastly, is the normal Friend Trade where you can add your friends and then trade normally with them.
Pokémon Home also comes with its own National Pokédex to allow you to track all the Pokémon you've caught as well as check out their abilities and learnable moves. Mystery Gifts will be specially made for the service as well as allowing you to receive gifts for Sword and Shield through the app. There will also be customization features for your use of the service as well as the ability to get points every time you deposit a Pokémon that you can turn into Battle Points in core games in the series.
There are four main connections points between Pokémon games and the Pokémon Home service (although only three will be available at launch, with Pokémon GO connectivity coming later). Pokémon Sword and Shield, Pokémon Bank, and Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee will be the three points available at launch. This means that any Pokémon that you have in any of those points can be moved into Pokémon Home and then into the others, with the exception of Pokémon that have come from the Let's Go games; if they get transferred to Sword and Shield they cannot be moved back to Let's Go. Similarly, Pokémon that have been moved from Pokémon Bank into Pokémon Home cannot be moved back. Another caveat is that movement from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon Home will only be part of the free version of the service for one month after it launches. This leads to the differences between the free and premium versions of the service which you can see below.
Pokémon Home will finally be giving fans of the series things they have been asking for, but with the exceptions and caveats with how the service will function it will remain to be seen just how well received the service will be. With the expansions for Sword and Shield coming out this year and expanding the Pokémon roster in those games, it seems like Pokémon Home should allow players to move in those new Pokémon as soon as they release. We will have to wait until a specific release date for the service, but as February draws near, will you be using the service?
What other features do you think the service needs to be a must-have for players? What changes would you like to see made to the free vs. premium distinctions as they are stated now?