Pokémon Home transferring guide: How to transfer between Sword and Shield and other Switch games, plus 3DS using Pokémon Bank

And even Pokmon from the Game Boy Advance era.

Pokmon Home is the latest version of an online deposit box for your Pokmon – a service started many years ago on the Game Boy Color with Pokmon Silver and Gold’s Time Capsule, through to the most recent Pokmon Bank on the 3DS.

Though it’s designed to easily work with modern Pokmon games on Switch (and eventually, Pokmon Go) it also supports Pokmon from previous generations with some careful planning thanks to Pokmon Bank.

Though your Pokmon from original Game Boy cartridges are unfortunately off limits (unless, of course, you’ve been playing the Virtual Console versions) it’s possible to take Pokmon from the Game Boy Advance all the way through to Sword and Shield.

Most likely, however, you’ll just want to know how to transfer Pokmon from Sword and Shield and Let’s Go to Pokmon Home – which this page also explains.

On this page:

If you’re looking for more info on Pokmon Home as a whole, from features to pricing, our dedicated Pokmon Home explained page can help.

What you need to know about transferring Pokmon to and from Pokmon Home

Before we get started, here are some basics about transferring Pokmon to – and from – Pokmon Home.

  • Though Pokmon Home can transfer Pokmon all the way from the Game Boy Advance era with a bit of planning, it’s worth knowing the directly compatible games with Pokmon Home ahead of time, which you can see at a glance with this image (with Pokmon Go coming at a later date):
  • As the image shows, Pokmon Sword and Shield is the only game that allows transfers to and from Pokmon Home. The only exception is Let’s Go, which can be moved between different Let’s Go versions and Home, but once it’s appeared in Sword and Shield, it cannot be used in Let’s Go again.
  • As for everything else, it’s a one way trip – so you have to be certain you want to transfer them first, as there’s no going back.
  • There are some other restrictions on what can be transferred. For example, only Pokmon available in the Sword and Shield Pokdex can be moved to those games, while Pokmon in your current team in any game cannot be moved to Home or Bank until you move them into a box.
  • If you want to transfer Pokmon, you need the Pokmon Home software on Nintendo Switch. The iOS and Android Pokmon Home app doesn’t support any transfers – it’s primary purpose is to view your collected Pokmon, and trade directly with other Pokmon Home players (the latter of which cannot be done on Switch).
  • Though Pokmon Bank is free until March 12th, 2020 with the launch of Pokmon Home, you still need to have a Premium subscription to Pokmon Home to complete the final move from Bank to Home. A little sneaky, but still an offer worth taking up if you want to bring everything up to date.
  • Pokmon Home connects each service (and the Nintendo Switch and mobile apps) through your Nintendo Account, so everything – from your Pokmon saves to your Pokmon Home log in – needs to be from the same ID for them to transfer over.

How to transfer Pokmon from Switch games Sword and Shield and Pokmon Let’s Go to Pokmon Home

Transferring Pokmon from Switch games are the easiest of all transfer options available, and requires just the use of Pokmon Home software on Switch.

Load up Home on Switch and on the main Pokmon Home menu there are two main options – Pokmon and Pokdex.


Selecting ‘Pokmon’ will display your save files from any local Switch games, as well as your online Pokmon Home box.


Choose a save file to reveal two boxes side-by-side – Pokmon Home on the left, and your Pokmon Sword and Shield or Let’s Go Pokmon on the right. Simply drag and drop your Pokmon, then once done, press the + button to save your settings.


It’s broadly as simple as that, though there are some additional restrictions in place:

How to transfer Pokmon from 3DS games with Pokmon Bank

Transferring Pokmon from 3DS games – such as X and Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Sun and Moon, Ultra Sun and Moon – requires the use of Pokmon Bank on 3DS, as well as access to Pokmon Home on Switch during the move process.

First, get Pokmon Bank on 3DS. If you’re like us and you haven’t used your 3DS in a while, make sure the system firmware is fully up to date, allowing you to then download it.

If you’re doing this within the free Pokmon Bank window, you’ll receive a notification of the offer within the system menu, which contains a direct link to the Pokmon Bank listing in the eShop. Otherwise, go to the Pokmon area of the eShop to find Pokmon Bank there.

Next, make sure you’ve moved all the Pokmon you want from the supported games through to Pokmon Bank. (Only a handful allow direct transfers – anything that isn’t strictly a 3DS Pokmon game requires another step which we’ll explain in the next section.)


To move Pokmon from a 3DS game to Pokmon Bank, select the top-most option on the main menu. From there, this operates much the same as it does moving Pokmon in Home – by scanning the save files found locally, then allowing you to access them by dragging and dropping Pokmon between a box from the save file to Pokmon Bank.


Once your desired Pokmon are in Pokmon Bank, then select ‘Move Pokmon to Pokmon Home’ from the main menu. After the warning about it being a one-way trip, select the Pokmon boxes you want to move across.

Now, you need a Moving Key.


This is where Pokmon Home on Switch comes in. From the main menu, there are four icons along the bottom right. Select the 3DS one named ‘Home’.


Note – you need a Premium Home subscription to use this, even during the free Bank promotion during Pokmon Home’s launch.


Once you have a Premium Home subscription, select ‘Begin Move’, then agree to the warning Pokmon Home will be unavailable during the move process.


The Moving Key will be displayed. This expires in three minutes, so it’s worth having your 3DS at hand ready to input the code.


Once you have inserted this code into the 3DS, the two apps will be paired and will reset. As warned, you cannot use Pokmon Home until this transfer is complete – you’ll be told if it’s too soon with the message ‘A move is currently in progress’.


When enough time has passed (for us it was just a few minutes – though we only tested one Pokmon in a single box!) the next time you log into Pokmon Home on Switch you can finalise the transfer by selecting how to bring the Bank boxes across.


Finally – your Bank Pokmon are in Home!

How to move Pokmon from Black and White and Virtual Console games using Pokmon Transporter

There are a handful of non-3DS Pokmon games playable on the 3DS that can be transferred to Pokmon Bank, and in turn, Pokmon Home. These are:

  • Pokmon Black and White
  • Pokmon Black and White 2
  • Pokmon Red, Blue and Yellow (3DS Virtual Console)
  • Pokmon Gold and Silver (3DS Virtual Console)

To do this, you’ll need to use the Pok Transporter app. This comes bundled free with your subscription to Pokmon Bank, and like Bank is accessed via your 3DS home screen like you would a standard game. You can find it within the 3DS eShop – or via a shortcut from Pokmon Bank’s main menu.

Once you have Pok Transporter downloaded, you must:

  1. Open up your copy of the game you want to transfer them from, and fill the first box in your in-game PC with only the Pokmon you want to transfer.
  2. Open the Pok Transporter app, and use it to transfer all of the Pokmon in the first box over to the Pokmon Bank’s transfer box.
  3. Head to the Pokmon Bank app now, and transfer those Pokmon in the transfer box to the other Pokmon Bank boxes of your choice.
  4. Make sure that transfer box is empty before you repeat the process, to avoid any unwanted complications!
  5. Use the Pokmon Bank to transfer these Pokmon into Pokmon Home (or if you prefer, move them to supported 3DS games within Bank if you want to use them there first!)

So what if you wanted to go back even further?

How to move Pokmon from Game Boy Advance and DS Pokmon games to Pokmon Home

Though not officially supported by Pokmon Bank or Pokmon Home, it is possible to get creatures from the other games in the series, such as Ruby and Sapphire or Diamond and Pearl, over to modern games.

The following games require a much more convoluted process to transfer Pokmon to either the Pokmon Bank and beyond. Again, note that all of these are one-way transfers only – meaning you cannot get these Pokmon back onto their original games once transferred.

Here’s what’s supported from older generations:

  • Gen 1: Pokmon Red, Blue, and Yellow (physical, non-virtual console versions) – not possible
  • Gen 2: Pokmon Gold, Silver, Crystal – not possible
  • Gen 3: Pokmon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, LeafGreen – transfer to Black and White or Black 2 and White 2, then use Pok Transporter (see above section) to transfer to Pokmon Bank.
  • Gen 4: Pokmon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold and SoulSilver – transfer to Black and White or Black 2 and White 2, then use Pok Transporter (see above section) to transfer to Pokmon Bank.

Pokmon from the original, cartridge-based games from the first and second generation games are, unfortunately, impossible to get beyond Generation 2.

From Generation 3 onwards however, it is possible, and thankfully that includes versions of the games such as FireRed and HeartGold, which hark right back to the originals.

The Virtual Console versions of Red, Blue and Yellow – as well as Gold and Silver – are also supported via Pokmon Transporter as well.

Other things to know about using Pokmon Bank and Pokmon Home

The above steps are the broad strokes on how to move Pokmon over from previous generations all the way to Bank and Home. Here’s some extra considerations worth noting:

Before in Red, Blue and Yellow…
  • If you’re transferring creatures from the Virtual Console versions of Red, Blue and Yellow, stats such as Abilities, Natures, Special Attack and Special Defence will be added.
  • Items cannot be carried over via Pokmon Bank – if you attempt to, the item it’s holding will be sent back to the original game.
  • Remember, any transfers from an older generation to a newer one are one way – including Pokemon coming from Gen 6 – X and Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire – so download wisely.
…and after in Sun and Moon.
  • Pokmon Bank is a premium service, costing 4.49 / €4.99 per year, if you’re using it beyond the free trial period with Pokmon Home’s launch. If your subscription expires, you can still withdraw your Pokmon – but only for a set period of time. here’s the official message:

    “If your trial pass or annual pass expires and you do not purchase a new pass, you can still withdraw your Pokmon from Pokmon Bank for a set period of time. However, once that set period of time ends, any Pokmon remaining in your Pokmon Bank Boxes will be lost. Be sure to withdraw your deposited Pokmon as soon as possible, or purchase a new annual pass.”

  • As for Pokmon Home, since there’s a base free version, the expectation is if your Premium subscription expires, all Pokmon will still be available.

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