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Pokémon Bank finally lets you transfer old favorites to ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’

Beware of the infamous and perplexing 'MissingNo.' glitch in the Pokémon Bank

how to transfer old pokemon sun moon bank
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The long-awaited update to the 3DS application Pokémon Bank has finally arrived, allowing players to transfer Pokémon from old games into last year’s Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Until now, Sun and Moon have been a closed ecosystem, with only Pokemon that you can catch, hatch or trade within the two games available. Now, players who pay Pokémon Bank’s $5 per year subscription fee will be able to transfer old favorites from previous 3DS versions, including X/Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, as well as from Red/Blue/Yellow, which are available as downloadable games from the 3DS eShop. Transferring from R/B/Y requires a companion app, called Poké Transporter, and Pokémon transported from the originals into Sun and Moon will have their stats updated for the newest games’ systems.

The Pokémon Bank update also adds a new item to the game, Mewnium-Z, a Z-Crystal that Bank subscribers can add to their game using the mystery gift feature on Sun or Moon‘s main menu.

Pokémon games have so far nearly always featured some way to transfer Pokémon from previous generations, and with this promised update, Sun and Moon upholds that tradition. That means that, theoretically, some players might still be using their original Pokémon from years ago, having transferred them to the most recent games throughout each generation.

However ,older Pokémon transferred to Sun and Moon unfortunately won’t be eligible to compete in The Pokémon Company’s official Pokémon Video Game Championship Series competition this year, thanks to a new rule that dictates any Pokémon used in official tourneys must have been caught or hatched within Sun or Moon. But you can at least use your old faves to demolish the new Elite Four, or take them for a spin in casual online battles.

There is one creature that you shouldn’t even try transferring over, though. As reported by Polygon, MissingNo., the infamous mistake from Red and Blue, has a strange effect on your Pokémon when you attempt to send it to Sun and Moon. MissingNo., which players have recaptured in the Virtual Console ports, does not transfer successfully, but it will change the nicknames of all of the Pokémon in the transporter box. This newly discovered glitch causes each Pokémon to take on the name of the one directly next to it. Nicknames cannot be changed, so unless you are okay with your Pikachu being renamed to Squirtle, it’s best to leave MissingNo. alone.

Remember: A Pokémon’s journey forward into the Sun and Moon generation is a one-way trip, since you can’t transfer ‘mons backward. Make sure they’re ready to leave their old PCs before you send them hurtling forward through Poke-time.

Updated on 01-26-2017 by Steven Petite: Added MissingNo. glitch report

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Michael Rougeau
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Mike Rougeau is a journalist and writer who lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and two dogs. He specializes in video…
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