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Pokemon Home Guide: How to Use Poke Transporter in 2023

The process of transferring your beloved Pokemon from older, non-3DS games to Pokemon HOME has always been a bit of a hassle, but now that it’s impossible to add funds to the 3DS eShop, the process is even more complicated. The good news for us Pokemaniacs is that although Nintendo isn’t really supporting the 3DS eShop anymore, you can transfer your Pokemon from Nintendo DS and even GBA games to Pokemon HOME so that you can be ready to use them when support is added to Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Here’s how to use Poke Transporter to get Pokemon into Pokemon HOME, as of 2023.

Why Can’t I Use Poke Transporter & Pokemon Bank?

How to use Poke Transporter in 2023.

Previously, the way to transfer Pokemon from older games up through to current generations relied on two tools exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS: Pokemon Bank and the Poke Transporter. Pokemon Bank, like Pokemon HOME, is a subscription tool ($4.99/year) that, again, like Pokemon HOME, was meant to be an easy way for folks to keep their beloved Pokemon across generations. The tool worked pretty great!

The issue here is that as of August 2022, there now isn’t any way to actually pay for Pokemon Bank services. This isn’t a problem if you simply want to transfer your Pokemon from Pokemon Bank to Pokemon HOME — that’s free — but if you have orphaned Pokemon in an earlier game like Pokemon Black/White, Pokemon Diamond/Pearl, or similar, you’ll find that you need an active subscription to use the Poke Transporter tool, even though you can’t technically pay for one. It’s an odd Catch-22. 

How to Use Poke Transporter with Pokemon Home in 2023

Luckily, there’s an easy workaround here. First, visit accounts.nintendo.com and log in. If it’s not already linked, you’ll need to add and link your old Nintendo Network ID, Nintendo’s previous account system for legacy devices, to your account. If you can’t remember your NNID or password (it’s an older system, after all), you can always request an email with the info through the “Forgot your ID/Password?” dialog.

After that, you’ll want to navigate over to “Shop Menu”, which will pop up a new window showing you your current Nintendo shop settings. You should see two balances listed, your current Nintendo Account balance, alongside your Nintendo Network ID balance. What we want to do is merge balances, so that if you add money on the Switch, it shows up on the 3DS. Luckily, this is incredibly easy. Just click the “merge balances” button and you’re done!

After that, all you have to do is add $5 to your balance on the website or on Switch, and then open up Pokemon Bank on your 3DS. Your new balance should appear, and you should be able to re-up your subscription, allowing you to use services like Poke Transporter to retrieve your old Pokemon from games from the DS era and earlier.

Note that the Poke Transporter only works with Pokemon Black/White and Pokemon Black 2/White 2, so you’ll need to trade and transfer up through the generations using the Transfer Lab found on Route 15 — and be warned that unlike Poke Transporter, Pokemon Bank, and Pokemon HOME, you can’t use the in-game Transfer Lab to transfer Pokemon that know HMs. Make sure that you visit the move deleter before transferring your Pokemon up through the generations!

Per Nintendo and The Pokemon Company, when the Nintendo 3DS eShop finally shutters in March, both Pokemon Bank and Poke Transfer will continue to be supported and function free of charge, and we’ll update this guide when that happens (and when Pokemon Scarlet/Violet adds Pokemon HOME functionality), but for cautious folks who want to make sure their beloved 15+ year old Pokemon are safe and sound beforehand, it might be worth forking over the fiver, just for peace of mind. Happy transferring!