The trading update for Pokémon GO will bring a host of new features to the game. If you're keen to get sharing Pokémon between friends then it's important you understand how each mechanic works. Friendship Level is one such new addition, and thanks to its effect on the Stardust cost to each trade, you'll want to make sure you're making the most of it. In this article we'll explain what your Friendship Level is and how it affects trading and more in Pokémon GO.
What does your Pokémon GO Friendship Level mean?
Friendship Level is a new mechanic coming to Pokémon GO. To start, you'll need to make sure you know how to add friends in Pokémon GO and view your friends list as it's here you can see your Friendship Level. Each player on your friends list will have an individual Friendship Level indicated by a number of hearts underneath their trainer icon. Select that trainer to see the name for your current level.
There are four levels you can obtain in friendship: Good Friend, Great Friend, Ultra Friend and Best Friend. Each level grants additional bonuses to your interactions with that player. The higher your friendship level, the less stardust is required to trade between the two of you. In addition, you'll receive a higher attack bonus when battling Gyms together. You'll even earn extra balls and items for completing raids with friends. In one example Niantic provided, trading a Legendary Pokémon between Good Friends may cost 1,000,000 stardust, whereas for Best Friends that could be reduced to 400,000 - a significant drop.
How can you increase your Friendship Level?
You can improve your Friendship level with anyone on your list by interacting with them in a number of ways. Of course, trading Pokémon is included in this, but you can also take part in Gyms and Raids as well as sending each other gifts. Another new feature coming with the friends list is PokéStop gifts. Anytime you check in at one of these points, you'll have the option to send a friend a surprise gift which includes items and new 7km yellow eggs along with a postcard showing the location you were at when sending. The yellow eggs are important as they'll be the only way to unlock Alohan forms of certain classic Pokémon.
A key point of note is that you can only increase your Friendship Level once per day per friend. This means you shouldn't spend ages trying to grind out Friendship Level increases each day. Niantic reckon it'll take roughly seven days to increase from a Good Friend to a Great Friend, but a full three months to reach Best Friend. Don't worry about rushing through this, Friendship is designed to be a slow process in Pokémon GO.
Now that you understand Friendship Levels, you're almost set for trading in Pokémon GO. There are some other rules and restrictions which apply, however. Make sure you're in the know by reading our guide on how to trade in Pokémon GO.