Pokémon Bank is a downloadable 3DS app that lets you store your Pokémon in an online server, rather than in a specific game, and transfer them between games. It’s useful for sending Pokémon from old games into newer ones, like last year’s Pokémon Sun and Moon, or if you want to get rid of a game (say, by trading in the cartridge) but want to save all your Pokémon somewhere for the future.
With the recent Pokémon Bank update, the app is finally compatible with Pokémon Sun and Moon, something fans have been waiting for since the games launched in 2016. Many players will be logging into Bank for the first time, but it’s not the most intuitive app. Use this guide to learn exactly how to use Pokémon Bank.
Download or update the app(s)
First off you need to download Pokémon Bank and/or Poké Transporter (if you want to transfer Pokémon from games older than Pokémon X and Y). Head to the eShop from the 3DS’s main menu and use the search field to find them.
If you already have the apps and just need the updates, it’s a bit of a process. To update Pokémon Bank simply open the app while connected to the internet and you’ll receive a prompt. To update Poké Transporter you may have to follow these steps: Open the eShop, tap the menu button in the upper left, scroll down to “Settings/other,” scroll to updates, and go down the list until you find it.
Get to know Pokémon Bank
The main app itself has four main menu options. Select “Use Pokémon Bank” to get started right away. “Learn about Pokémon Bank” imparts some useful information, like the fact that if you try to deposit Pokémon holding items, the items will be transferred to your bag automatically.
From the menu you can also view your support ID number, which you’ll use if you need to contact customer support, and go directly to download Poké Transporter if you haven’t already.
Pay the subscription fee
Lastly the main menu will show how many days you have remaining in your subscription, which costs $5 for a year of Pokémon Bank access. If your subscription runs out while you have Pokémon in the Bank, you can still withdraw them, but only for a set period of time before they’re erased forever. Kind of terrifying, isn’t it?