86: How to Improve Pokemon: Home
Updated: Feb 22
Howdy! I've been using Pokemon: Home a lot recently, in prepapration for when I pick up Scarlet/Violet, come Spring. I did boycott Pokemon a while back, over them ending the National Dex, (and charging players for DLC (Downloadable content, which is usually a shameless cash grab) to get a fraction of the total Pokemon in the world) but ultimately gave it up when it became obvious neither Gamefreak nor Nintendo were going to reverse course. I've never been a competitive player, but I do put a lot of thought into who I want on my team, and I have them ready, at a nice low level, for the second I can swap them into the game. Exclusions mean I can't have all my dreamies on my team, which is super frustrating. At the end of the day though, casual players and parents don't care about demanding a better game from Gamefreak. They'll pre-order a glitchy broken game so Gamefreak has no real incentive to fix what is broken.
I was hoping the recent Nintendo Direct would reveal some of what players can expect from the inevitable Scarlet/Violet DLC. No such luck though. Last I heard, Home should link up to Scarlet/Violet in Spring. At the moment, players of Scarlet/Violet can trade amongst eachother, but cannot trade for Pokemon from prior games. And, as the Scarlet/Violet hasn't been hinted at yet, the exceedingly limited Scarlet/Violet dex excludes a great many Pokemon.
Thanks to the ease of trading older games' Pokemon with Home, I have more than enough shinies (Pokemon with rare color variants) to put together an adequate team once such trades are allowable with Scarlet/Violet. Today, I received a shiny Zekrom in a wonder trade on Pokemon Home. Not super familiar with some legendaries, I noticed he was shiny when I checked the Shiny section of my Home Pokedex. I check this section after most wonder trades since some color variants are very subtle and shinies are valuable, in so much as Home has it's own little economy. To my surprise, not only was Shiny Zekrom there, but so was Black Kyurem, another older legendary. I wonder trade several times a day but I am careful to only trade away duplicates. Some duplicates can be valuable but I don't recall ever being traded a single Black Kyurem, let alone two. I've never caught a Black Kyurem, and I curranty do not have one in my possession. To see if it's presence in my Pokedex was a glitch, somehow connected to my gaining a Shiny Zekrom, I decided to look through my trades.
Pokemon: Home allows players to look at their history by clicking "Your Room," then selecting the player's username, and clicking, "notebook." To look through trades, the player then has to go to "Search," Categories," and select, "trades." Trouble is, I wasn't kidding about knocking out multiple Wonder Trades per day. Each Wonder Trade apparently counts as ten separate trades in the notebook. There is no option to only look at GTS (global trade system) trades or Room Trades. I went through several weeks worth of all trades, then just zeroed in on my GTS and Room trades, and as far as I can tell, I've never been in possession of a Black Kyurem, despite it being in my Pokedex. But it took a lot of leg work to decide that the Pokedex weirdly glitched when the search could have been simplified just by narrowing down the kids of trade I wanted to see. I also would have really appreciated the ability to sort my trades by what Pokemon were involved.
Speaking of trades, Home allows users to request untradable Pokemon, sometimes nearly nonexistent Pokemon, in their trades. I'm opposed to any Pokemon being untradable. Right now, the only way I'm aware of to bring Mew into Home is by spending $50+ on a Pokemon Go attachment. That's greedy. And if Gamefreak is going to insist on making some Pokemon untradeable, then nobody should be able to waste space in the Global Trade System by requesting that untradable Pokemon. As for nearly nonexistant Pokemon, I mean Legendaries in languages that their generation games weren't sold in, or very low level Legendaries or very low level fully evolved Pokemon. Technically, trading into Home from Pokemon Go might bring in some traditionally powerful Pokemon at jarringly low levels, but this is rare. Part of why it is so rare, is because Pokemon can only be traded into Home from Pokemon Go, but not back into Go. Players don't want to send their Pokemon to rot in a box, unable to play, especially as current and future games severely limit which types of Pokemon can even enter the game. If players are allowed to set level requirements for the Pokemon they're requesting in trades, those level requirements should reflect those that those Pokemon would have in nonPokemon Go games. So if Wartortle evolves into Blastoise at level 36, the Home shouldn't have options for players to trade their Blaziken for Blastoise within a level range lower than 30-40.
I understand that Pokemon in Pokemon Go are more limited, with regards to their attacks (possessing 2 instead of 4), and less limited, with regard to their level range, and that the stats don't always translate to the other games, but Pokemon Go already rolls the dice on in-game trades (meaning when a player trades a Pokemon with another player, the stats are randomized within a certain range). I don't understand why Gamefreak and Niantic can't simply allow Pokemon to travel back into Pokemon Go by rolling the dice again. I do understand how it would ruin Pokemon Go to allow trading of Pokemon not directly traded from Pokemon Go into that game. In traditional Pokemon Games, it's a lot less legwork to level up and collect nonLegendaries, and even Legendaries, than it is in Pokemon Go.
It is confusing how some Pokemon can be traded into some games and some can't. That would be solved by bringing back the national Dex, which is not a Home specific issue. It's ridiculous how few Pokemon can transfer into Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee. I have so many duplicates of the original 150 Pokemon in my Home. Guess how many can transfer into Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee? Guess! You'll never guess. It's 10. Like what the hell, Gamefreak?! Why not just have the original 150 from other games roll the dice on their stats and attacks to let them be traded in? That just seems like the obvious solution.
While trading, there is neither a way to only request a shiny Pokemon in a trade, nor to only search for the shiny Pokemon. Gamefreak is absolutely aware that trainers go out of their way to seek shinies. When shiny hunting, via trades, anything that isn't a shiny is essentially clutter in the way.
Also, there is no means of organizing Pokemon in Home on the smartphone. It's extremely annoying to drag and drop them on the Switch, but at least the option exists. Players should have a means of seeing Pokemon in their boxes, and be able to drag and drop them, on the smart phone.
The rewards, aside from the Pokemon, are garbage. Much like Pokemon Go's postcard & sticker system, Home's stickers aren't any fun. They're not building blocks or wearables with which to be creative. They're a set of subjects, to be placed on a simple pattern or gradient background. Players can't even see eachother's sticker layouts. At least if we were sharing them, there might be a reason to bother with this. While Pokemon Go's postcards are meh to look at, the stickers dont even look as though they've been placed on them, and I hate having to manually delete them to make room for more, at least I can see my peers saving them. At least they go towards catching and evolving Pokemon. Home's stickers aren't going towards anything. I'd get rid of stickers altogether, and let us dress up our Avatar, or a favorite Pokemon, or a Secret Base, like in Ruby/Sapphire. And I'd like players to be able to see their friends, or anyone they've trades with or battled's creations.
So, as a recap, my proposed Pokemon Home fixes are:
Enable sorting "Trades" in the "Notebook" by type of trade
Enable sorting "Trades" in the "Notebook" by Pokemon involved
Enable trading for all Pokemon OR exclude untradable Pokemon as options for players to choose when requesting a trade
Exclude nontraditional level ranges when player choose who they're trading for
Enable sending Pokemon back to Pokemon Go but rerolling the stats/attacks like in Pokemon Go trades
Enable trading of all Pokemon into nonPokemon Go games that include said Pokemon in their Pokedexes (since Gamefreak is standing by their no-National Dex decision🙄). If the attack can't transfer in, leave it out or swap in one from that game. If the stats don't mesh, reroll them.
Enable players to request a shiny when trading
Enable players to search for shinies when trading
Enable dragging and dropping Pokemon within Boxes on the smart phone
Get rid of stickers and let players decorate and share their Avatars, or a Favorite Pokemon, or Secret Bases
Those are some changes I'd like to see in Home. Will Gamefreak make this program, that's a yearly subscription, better? Probably not. I can dream though, right? Thanks for stopping by. I drop a new blog post every Monday. Toodles.