Trading Pokemon is one of the staple mechanics of Pokemon GO, as completing the Pokedex is impossible in the main series without a friend to trade with. This feature in Niantic's mobile geocaching game, Pokemon GO, involves trading Pokemon but with a catch: Trading any Pokemon requires the consumption of Stardust.
As many Pokemon GO players know, Stardust is a pseudo-currency used for almost everything Pokemon-related. From trading Pokemon to powering them up, Stardust and the title go hand in hand.
Acquiring Stardust is a relatively simple process as it ties in with the game's main form of gameplay, catching Pokemon. Other methods of obtaining Stardust include feeding gym Pokemon berries and hatching eggs, just to name a few.
Some trainers want to trade their most valuable Pokemon for whatever reason. These valuable Pokemon are known as Shiny Pokemon, and to simplify, these Pokemon appear as a different color than their regular counterparts and are incredibly rare. This value hikes up the required cost of trading them between trainers.
A comprehensive guide to Stardust trading costs in Pokemon GOStardust as it appears in the game (Image via Niantic)
Stardust is the most valuable material in Pokemon GO. Funnily enough, Stardust is also one of the most useless items in the main series of games as its only purpose is to be sold in shops for a little extra pocket change. When it comes to cracking the reserves of a player's Stardust, trading Pokemon is a good way to drain the bank.
To start with the worst-case scenario possible, let's say you wanted to trade someone you just added to your friends list a Shiny Pokemon they have never seen before. If the Pokemon is close to its max level, this will cost you an astonishing one million Stardust. Trading costs decrease as your friendship level increases, but this will be a situation we use for consistency.
With this trade in mind, if you go up a stage in friendship level to Great Friends, the cost of this trade goes down to 800,000. For Ultra Friends, it takes a drastic dip, only requiring 80,000 Stardust. Finally, for Best Friends, this cost reaches its minimum of 40,000 Stardust. While it is still a lot of Stardust, it is far lower than the base cost of 1,000,000 Stardust.
Using Star Pieces in conjunction with Incenses and Lure Modules to increase the amount of Pokemon you encounter is a great way to grind for Stardust. Buying incubators to hatch as many eggs as possible at once is also a great way to gain huge bursts of Stardust. However, incubators are a lot harder to come by than Star Pieces as these can be given by Pokestops while incubators cannot.
The cost of trading Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO is a hardy one. Sitting at a base cost of 1,000,000 Stardust, it may be best to either grind for friendship levels, grind for Stardust, or even both.