Update June 21, 19:26: the update is now available server-side (client side was available a day prior), and is presently rolling out to all players.
For some players, it appears you’ll need to reach a certain level before the game allows you to add friends. For others, the feature may be active from the very beginning. Once you get the opportunity, be sure to spin those PokéStops for gifts, and adding friends!
The official Pokémon GO website has recently announced a new “Friends” feature set to arrive in Pokémon GO later this week, which will allow players to connect to others. This can involve sending items, keeping track of their progress… and even trading Pokémon!
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) June 18, 2018
Each player will be given a unique Trainer Code which is used for the Friends system. In order for players to add new friends, they must enter the Trainer Code of the player they want to add, which will allow them to send a request. Should the other player accept, the two will become friends, and both players can see each other in their Friends list.
Furthermore, spinning PokéStops or Gyms yields a chance of being able to receive a special gift item, and they will contain useful items along with an indication of where the gift item was obtained. It is not possible to open said gift items, but they can be sent to added friends. There is also a chance that the gift can contain an Egg which will hatch into an Alolan form Pokémon.
Each added friend has a meter known as their “Friendship Level”, which can only be increased once per day for each friend. This can be increased by sending gifts or participating in Gym battles/raids. As the Friendship Level increases, various bonuses will be awarded based on it, such as higher attack power during Raid Battles.
If players are at least level 10, they will be given the opportunity to trade with friends. If the player is near one of their assigned friends, they will be given the opportunity to do so. This will yield a bonus Candy for the Pokémon that is traded. If the two Pokémon were caught in locations far away from each other, even more Candy can be earned. Trades will also cost Stardust, and some trades may require more Stardust. The cost can be reduced by increasing the Friendship Level.
Finally, there are “Special Trades” which allow Shiny Pokémon and Legendary Pokémon to be traded. They can only occur once per day with a Great Friend or a Best Friend, and will cost a lot of Stardust. By a lot, we mean to the tune of one million Stardust. This again may be significantly decreased if you have a high friendship level, however.
Wow, that’s definitely a lot of information! Are you finally ready to trade?
Edited by bobandbill and Jake.