Pokemon GO: How to add friends, send gifts and increase Friendship Level

It’s been a long time coming, but Pokemon GO has finally received some of the features mobile gamers have been asking for since it first launched nearly two years ago. One of those is the ability to add in-game friends, a social aspect that it’s been sorely missing (though as any regular player can tell you, the community developed all the missing social aspects it felt were lacking just fine in its absence).

When the friends update first hit, only Pokemon GO trainers at level 30 or above could make use of it, but it now appears that all players level 10 or above can take advantage of the new stuff. Here’s what you need to know.

How to find your Trainer Code and add more friends

As with Nintendo’s Pokemon games, Niantic doesn’t want just anyone to be able to add you or vice versa. With that in mind, you’ll need to find your Trainer Code and give that to anyone who wants to add you as a friend.

Pokemon GO

Fortunately, doing that is easy. Just follow these steps:

  • Tap on your trainer profile in bottom-right corner of the main game screen.
  • Tap on the new ‘FRIENDS’ tab at the top of your profile.
  • You’ll now see a list of friends, as well as an ‘ADD FRIEND’ button you can tap.
  • The next screen you’ll see allows you to add someone else’s Friend Code, as well as displaying your own at the bottom of the screen. You’ll also see a sharing button that allows you to send the code via any app connected to your phone or tablet that allows such things.

Pokemon GO

What is a Friendship Level?

So you’ve got some friends (some meaning a maximum of 200, which is all the game allows) … now what? Along with being able to keep up with your friends’ activity in news feed-like fashion, you can also increase your Friendship Level with all of them. By doing things like exchanging gifts (which we’ll get to shortly) and playing in the same Raids and Gym Battles, you’ll see your Friendship Level increase over time.

There are currently four Friendship Levels, each with increasingly nice benefits:

  • Good – Can send gifts to the friend.
  • Great – Receive an attack bonus for Raids plus extra Premier Balls. Also unlocks trading with that friend.
  • Ultra
  • Best Friends

On top of what we listed above, you receive greater Raid attack bonuses and more Premier Balls in the top two Friendship Levels. Plus there’s a Stardust discount for trades as you advance, with a truly awesome 96 percent bonus for the Best Friends level.

The catch, if there is one, is how long it takes to become Best Friends:  90 days, so it pays to remember to send a gift or play in a Raid every day with as many friends as possible to get those Friendship Levels up.

How to send Gifts to friends

To get Gifts to send to your Pokemon GO friends, you’ll first have to do something you’re doing daily anyway, which is to spin the disc at a PokeStop or Gym. This will provide the gifts, though you won’t know what’s inside, nor will your friend until they open it.

As for what they could find, Niantic claims it will be an item that you could get from a PokeStop or Gym, but always better than one you’d get on your own, which the developers did on purpose to encourage gifting. There’s also one very special possibility, which is a 7 km egg (a weird number, but we guess they were going for halfway between the 5 and 10 km eggs) that will hatch to become an Alolan Pokemon of some sort. Hopefully, including the best Pokemon ever, the Alolan Exeggutor.

In any case, this should be all the motivation you need to gather your friends together in Pokemon GO. Enjoy!

Content writer

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