Niantic has announced today that Pokemon GO will receive a long-awaited update later this week. Among the highlights is the ability to make friends and trade Pokemon.
To add someone to your new Friends list, you will need to enter their Trainer Code and send them a request. One of the new mechanics with friends is a rating system which ranges four levels from Good Friend to Best Friend. In order to increase the level of your friendships, you can send Gifts to them or participate in raids and gym battles with them.
You can obtain Gifts by spinning the Photo Disc at PokeStops and Gyms. The Gifts you receive at PokeStops cannot be opened by the founding Trainer, and so are only useful for giving to friends. Gifts have the possibility of containing an Egg in addition to coming with a cool Postcard that shows where the Gift was obtained. Gifting can increase your Friendship Level, but only once per day.
Another way to increase your Friendship Level, is by trading Pokemon with them. You can do this once you reach Trainer Level 10. All trades cost Stardust to complete and another benefit of having a high Friendship Level is that with a higher level comes a cheaper Stardust cost. When you trade Pokemon, the Pokemon will receive a free Candy.
There are both Normal trades and Special Trades. What makes them special is the presence of Legendary Pokemon in the trade. These kinds of trades can only occur once per day and only between Great or Best Friends – the two highest Friendship Levels.
With all the ways of increasing your Friendship Level, there must be some great benefits. In fact, when you engage in combat alongside a friend, you will gain a mutual boost during combat; for example, an attack bonus to give your side extra fighting strength.
The update is due for release later this week.