Journey to Pokemon Home

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

I finally got Pokemon Home and gave it a whirl over this weekend. My first main experiment was to see how many Pokemon from some of my old favorite teams could go to the Galar region!

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Right before the weekend, I finally got Pokemon Home. It’s been out for about three weeks now — February 11 —  and I honestly kind of kept forgetting about it until recently. The successor to Pokemon Bank, Home is both a mobile and Nintendo Switch app for Pokemon storage. While there is a basic, free plan for Home, there are so many more options and storage for your Pokemon with the paid plan. Considering the paid plan is only 15 or so bucks a year, it’s not too bad. If you’re an avid Pokemon collector, it’s well worth it.

When I turned on Pokemon Home, I gave it a test run to see how it works and was greeted with this dude:

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I’ll admit, I was a bit startled.

After doing all the updates that were necessary for my original 3DS, I booted up Pokemon Bank to see if I even still had Pokemon in there. I had about half a box of legendary Pokemon that I received throughout special events during past years, so I figured they would be the first residents for Home.

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This little guy popped up once and then I never saw him again. I wonder how well this would have gone if Nintendo gave this job to the Pokeball Guy from Sword/Shield…

The process was simple enough, although it was interesting trying to juggle both my 3DS and my Switch Lite on my desk. During the move from Bank to Home, you need to input a Moving Key and have a limited amount of time to do so. Once the key is accepted, it takes a few good minutes for the Pokemon to move from Bank to Home, a progress during which you cannot use the software. It was nice to see the Pokemon in Home, and once you connect your Sword/Shield game to Home, the software allows you to easily move the Pokemon from Home to the boxes in Sword/Shield.

If Sword/Shield allows the Pokemon, that is. Conveniently, Home has icons that indicate whether or not a Pokemon can move from Home to Sword/Shield. Hopefully, there will eventually be DLC or a patch that allows more Pokemon in Sword/Shield, but for now it’ll be interesting to see which Pokemon from my past teams will be able to join my Rillaboom and company in Galar.

So I grabbed my Y version and got to work.

As a bit of background, my Y version is probably my Pokemon game with the most time sunk into it. I have a little over 210 hours on my Y version — first started on December 25, 2013 and I entered the Hall of Fame for the first time a mere three days later — compared to the almost 80 hours on my Sword version. While I don’t have my Y Pokedex complete, I have spent the majority of those hours collecting my favorite Pokemon to recreate my preferred teams from generations 1 through 5 to go alongside my generation 6 team from Kalos:

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Here are all my babies! 

Including my main Kalos team on the right, all these Pokemon were raised up to level 100 with the help of a plethora of Elite Four runs as well as challenges from the Battle Chateau.

It’s a bit bittersweet to think about, actually. Pokemon Bank, which came out in 2014 for the Americas, was first used to allow me to gather all of these Pokemon for the then-current Pokemon game so I could have all my favorites together. Now, Pokemon Bank will help me move all of these guys to Pokemon Home where we’ll see just how many of them I can bring to Galar.

Considering how much of a soft spot I have for my Y version, I was honestly considering breeding and hatching eggs of these guys to then move into Home. However, I realized that it’s been literally a year and a half since I last turned on Y. Case in point was a poor Eevee that was apparently stuck in an egg since July 2018. Instead, I spent a little time to get said eggs, but decided that the baby-versions of my favorites will remain behind in Y while the adults will travel to Home.

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SO. MANY. EGGS. Featuring Brady the Shiny Butterfree, who had been my first encounter/capture in Y as a little Caterpie.

If and when I decide to return to Pokemon Y, I’ll have a grand time hatching and raising my favorite Pokemon again, which is one of the best parts of these games.

With all the eggs created, it was time to actually move my teams to Pokemon Bank then to Home. I decided to just move my teams from generations 1 through 5 first; I haven’t quite figured out if I will leave my original Kalos team in Y and create eggs of them for Home and Galar, or if I will eventually also move my original Kalos team over as well. My Alola team will be for another time and day.

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Quite a difference between this screenshot and the previous cell phone pic of them all in Y, huh?

It didn’t take long at all for a box of 30 Pokemon to move from Pokemon Bank to Home. In fact, I’m sure it took a few minutes longer for Bank to actually just load up on my 3DS. It was rather exciting to see most of my favorites with updated sprites in Home!

Now the big test was to see just how many of them could be moved into Sword. I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the results:

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It was disheartening to see all of the glaring, red, “do not transport” symbols amid all of my favorites, particularly with the starter Pokemon (I want my Grovyle!). After separating the Pokemon that could go to Sword from the ones who are staying in Home, 13 out of 30 — almost half — of my trained Pokemon can visit Galar. Yet, the only true new Pokemon that can join me is my Venusaur (unless you count the pink Gastrodon, since I’ve only seen the blue version of the Pokemon in Sword); considering my Galar pokedex is complete, I have all the other Pokemon in my box already, albeit not as trained as the ones from Y.

Not only are the majority of my teams unable to come to Galar, some of the ones who can join me don’t have all of their moves available. The Pokemon with an exclamation point beside them indicate that at least one of their moves cannot be used in Sword/Shield, which I didn’t even think about but in hindsight wasn’t surprising. I expected the moves that weren’t available in Sword/Shield to just disappear from my Pokemon’s move pools, but apparently you need to do that yourself, if you read the moves’ descriptions:

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I never realized “Return” wasn’t in Sword/Shield until this happened, to be honest. “Flash,” “Hidden Power,” and “Flame Burst” were the other moves, in case anyone was curious.

I was initially hesitant to do this move with my teams generations 1 through 5 because I was afraid most of my favorite Pokemon would be forced to retire, so to speak, in Pokemon Home. I can’t move the rest of my teams back to Bank to bring them back in Y. All those Pokemon that I spent over 200 hours raising for battles are now stuck in Home.

To be honest, it’s okay that these Pokemon are retired. It was a startling realization that I hadn’t visited my Y game in well over a year, and at least I now have my favorites with me on my Switch Lite. With that said, Nintendo, I would love a feature in Pokemon Home reminiscent of My Pokemon Ranch — give me a mode where I can see all of my Pokemon milling about together, maybe even give me the ability to pat them or give them little treats here and there, please!

This move from Y to Bank to Home to Sword answered some questions, but also brought up new ones. Do I need to wait until the expansion pass in June for the pokedex to fully expand to bring over more of my teams? Or, considering this is a mere 30 Pokemon out of almost-900, are my particular favorites unlucky enough to be left out of the additional 200 Pokemon that are joining the Galar region? I know the Alolan starter Pokemon are invited to Galar — are the majority of the 200 additional Pokemon from Alola as well? Perhaps we’ll see when I decide to go through my Pokemon from my Moon games along with other Pokemon from Kalos.

In the meantime, I’ll be back in Pokemon Sword where I will be hard at work leveling up my Sword team to level 100 to match some of their veteran teammates.

What do you think of Pokemon Home? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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