Like everything involving the word Pokémon in the past 12 months, Pokémon Home was controversial out of the gate.
The mobile and Switch app allows players to transfer their 3DS and Switch Pokémon to Sword & Shield, with GO support coming soon. Home features a free version that is incredibly restrictive, and the full version is a $15 a year subscription service that is triple the price of Pokémon Bank’s yearly cost — but really isn’t that bad. The service has been out for a month, so, let’s dig into how we really feel about it.
Well, it’s really not that great, but let’s try to start off on a positive note. The functionality is there. The GTS is available in a bit more robust form than we’ve seen it in the past, with 3 Pokémon available for trading at once (for paid members, as are most of the services we’ll be talking about). Wonder Boxes and Room Trades work, and there are some cute challenges that can give you some relatively nice rewards. Now, the bad, shall we?
The Waiting Game
Pokémon Home is so, so slow. Loading and unloading a Wonder Box can take around 2-3 minutes. Every single time you upload and retrieve a Pokémon, you’re looking at a ridiculously long animation that cannot be skipped in any way, which bogs down what should be an easy process into a dreadful experience that you have to dedicate too much time to, and the GTS and Room Trades suffer the exact same fate. One of the main hooks of Home is all of the trading options that are available to players right from their smartphone, and it is a dreadfully slow process that has personally stopped me from using it for the past two weeks. I just don’t want to sit there and wait for unskippable animations that I’ve seen 500 times play out back to back. The fact that there’s not even a skip option is ridiculous.
Here’s another issue with Home, there’s no trading from Pokémon GO yet, and we’re a month into its lifespan. What is the reason? What could possibly be the reason that the app didn’t launch with GO support? Let’s Go did easily. It’s ridiculously easy to farm shiny Pokémon in GO, and for those of us wanting to use them in Sword & Shield? We get to wait.
The Lack Of Game
Beyond these issues, there’s just nothing to do in this app. Besides the several years that it takes to set Wonder Boxes up, it takes hours upon hours to actually complete those trades, something that Sword & Shield can do in a much shorter time-frame. A service that should be speeding players up is far slower in Home. So while you’re waiting for your Wonder Boxes to be sent off, there’s nothing for players to do. It’s an absolute shame.
Overall, Pokémon Home is really just… kind of bad. It’s clearly worth it if you’re looking to transfer a large amount of Pokémon over from your 3DS, as it’s literally the only way to do so. Other than that, it’s a shell. A shell with little to do that barely serves its own purpose, on top of launching with missing functionality. Home does most of what it’s supposed to, but beyond that, there’s just nothing for players here.
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