How to transfer Pokémon from 3DS to Switch


How to transfer Pokémon from 3DS to Switch Pikachu doing hello

Loyal Pokémon fans have long wanted to keep their precious little creatures safe and, clearly, use them in different titles of the franchise. Even though when Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will be compatible with Pokémon Home is still a mystery, hopefully not for long, we can look at how to transfer Pokémon from 3DS to Switch.

Many players who are fond of the series have captured their favorite Pokemon in various games such as Pokémon X and Y, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. So why should all that good effort go to waste?

Luckily, we can still save those mons! In this guide we’ll show you how to use the Nintendo ecosystem in order to transfer your Pokémon from 3DS to Switch.

How to transfer Pokemon from 3DS to Switch

In February 2020, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company made a surprising global launch of Pokémon Home. You can use this cloud-based storage service, together with Pokémon Bank and Pokemon Transporter, to easily transfer your Pokémon from 3DS to Switch.

While being a remarkable resource for Pokémon Trainers, it is honestly true that using Home is not as easy as one might think. For example, there are some limitations to what Pokémon can be transferred to and from using the app. Players can only transfer their Pokémon into Sword and Shield through the service, and the reverse is also possible. However, Pokémon from the other games can only be transferred to Home and not vice versa.

Before March 27th, you could download Pokémon bank from the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Pokémon Bank was a paid service. You were charged $4.99 for an entire year, but, after that date, the app let players store and transfer their Pokemon at no cost. You will need Bank as well in order to proceed in your operation. Unfortunately if you have not downloaded the application before the closure of the eShop, it is no longer possible to download it now and therefore transfer your Pokémon.

How to transfer Pokemon from 3DS games to Pokemon Bank

The first thing you are going to need is a Nintendo 3DS Pokémon game cartridge inserted into your portable console, or a digital download of the game already installed on your Nintendo 3DS. Afterward, you need to have already downloaded Pokémon Bank from the eShop on your 3DS console.

Pokémon Bank is compatible with the following games: Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

Now you can begin moving Pokémon to the Pokémon Bank. To move Pokémon from a 3DS game to Pokémon Bank, follow these steps:

  • select “Use Pokémon Bank” and when you see the desired Pokémon Game title appear on your screen, choose “use this game”;
  • populate the first box in your in-game PC solely with the Pokemon that you intend to transfer;
  • launch the Poke Transporter application and utilize it to transfer the Pokemon to the transfer box in Pokemon Bank;
  • open the Pokémon Bank app and transfer those Pokemon to a Pokemon Bank box you choose;
  • make sure to empty the transfer box before repeating the process

Please bear in mind that Pokémon in your game with nicknames cannot be altered after they have been transferred to the bank. Therefore, make sure to modify any nicknames in the game before transferring them over.

How to transfer Pokémon from Bank to Home

Now that you have all your Pokémon safe in the Pokémon Bank, you have to link both your Bank and Home apps to the same Nintendo Account and follow these steps:

  • select “move” from the main menu of Home on your Switch;
  • choose “begin move” and click “ready”;
  • choose, on your 3DS, “Move to Pokémon Home”;
  • press “Begin” and select the boxes of Pokémon you want to transfer, then click the Y button on your Switch;
  • to generate a moving key select “display”;
  • input the Moving Key your Switch gave you into your 3DS and hit “ok” to begin the transferment;

Another note: Pokémon transferred to Home from the Bank cannot be transferred back to Pokémon Bank or used with Nintendo 3DS titles. So be cautious, you can always transfer your Pokémon between 3DS games using the Pokémon Bank and the transporter app.

How much does Pokémon Home cost

Although Pokémon Home comes with a Basic and a Premium subscriptions, chances are that you will need the more expensive option. Pokemon Home basic is totally free but allows you to store only 30 Pokémon in total. The Premium package, instead, not only can store up to 6000 different Pokémon but also has many other features that will let you trade with other players around the globe.

For 15,99$ per year you can store Pokemon from Pokemon Sword and Shield, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee!, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Lastly the mobile device version of Pokemon Home also supports connectivity with Pokemon Go.

How to transfer Pokémon to and from Home and Sword and Shield

Lastly, if you’re interested in how to move Pokémon from Home to Sword and Shield you’ll find this process incredibly easier than the last one. You just need the Pokémon Home app, of course already linked with your Nintendo Account, on your mobile.

Follow these steps:

  • say yes when the Switch app will about the mobile app;
  • decide if you wish the Switch app to transfer all of the Pokémon in your boxes automatically or if you want to select the ones you want to store manually;
  • once the initial transfer is complete, the app will ask you to open your Pokédex or the Pokémon you just deposited, hit “Pokémon”;
  • pick the game you want to connect to, Sword or Shield;
  • manually choose the Pokémon you wish to transfer into or out of the game. It is not possible to transfer Pokémon from Home that are not already present in Sword or Shield;
  • save the changes and exit.

Now you know everything there is to know about how to move your Pokémon across all your Nintendo platforms. Complexity doesn't scare you and indeed, you are even more ready to catch’em all!

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