Trading, Friends, and More Coming to Pokemon GO

The Pokemon Company has announced a big update coming later this week to the mobile game Pokemon GO. The biggest part of this system will be the 'Friends' system, which will facilitate Pokemon trading, playing with your Friends, and more. Trading and a friends list have been hinted at since the game's 2016 release, but they'll finally become a part of Pokemon GO soon.

Essentially, trainers will be able to share their unique code with others, much like Nintendo's Friend Codes, and you'll be able to add each other on Friend Lists. But, there's more to being Friends than just being on a list. Participating in raids together, giving each other gifts, and more will raise friendship levels, and allow additional benefits between each other. It's important to note, though, that while you can add anyone to your list, some of these friendship raising activities can only be done locally, so it can be important to note who in your local friend circle is on your list.

For example, here's more on the Gift Giving mechanic, which relies heavily on using Friends:

One way that you'll be able to play with your friends in Pokémon GO is by giving Gifts. When you spin a Photo Disc at a PokéStop or Gym, you have a chance of collecting a special Gift. Although you can't open these Gifts yourself, you can send them to someone on your Friend List. The Gifts contain a variety of helpful items and come with a postcard showing where the Gift was collected.

Gifts can also contain a special surprise: a special 7 km Egg that, when hatched, reveals an Alola form of a Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region!

Additionally, friends can trade Pokemon between each other... but there are some catches. First off, trading can currently only be done locally--no chances at getting those regional exclusive with friends around the world yet. Second, trades will cost Stardust, and in some cases a LOT of Stardust. Trading Mythical Pokemon can cost 1 million Stardust! However, the Stardust costs can be lowered by raising your friendship levels with the above methods. However, pokemon that aren't special, like Mythical Pokemon and shinies, don't have such high Stardust requirements and offer candy bonuses for trading, so it's still a worthwhile method to keep in mind!

The Pokemon Go update will be available later this week. Read up on all of the information at Pokemon's official site.