Pokemon GO players are in for a huge shakeup when the Friends and Trading update releases later this week. Niantic announced the new features this morning and the community is already buzzing with potential strategies for how to take advantage of the new system and its future bonuses and rewards.
Fans have been begging for a Trading system since the game launched, so this implementation has definitely been a long time coming. Trading is less expensive with a strong Friend level, so players will definitely want to spend some time getting to Best Friend status with a few other players. In addition to the discounted Stardust for Trading, there are additional benefits to friendships, as well.
Here are the details about each tier of friendship, according to IGN's Q&A with Niantic...
Good friend: Trade all Pokemon except MythicalGreat friend: Stardust discount for trading, attack bonus during gym battles with that friend, one additional Premiere Ball for raids alongside that friendUltra friend: Additional stardust discount for trading, larger attack bonus during gym battles with that friend, two additional Premiere Balls for raids alongside that friendBest friend: Major stardust discount for trading, largest attack bonus during gym battles with that friend, four additional Premiere Balls for raids alongside that friend
The top tier bonuses may take a while to earn, but they are clearly worth it. The Stardust discount alone is going to be crucial, but the extra Premiere Balls and large attack bonus during gym battles are also huge incentives to put in the work to earn that Best Friend status.
The update is expected to launch later this week, so keep an eye out in the app store. Until then, good luck out there, trainers.
Pokemon GO is available now in select regions on Android and iOS devices.