Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know that you can trade Pokemon between games of the same generation (Gold/Silver, Ruby/Sapphire) and even trade between 1st gen and 2nd gen. However, I haven't been able to find a way to trade Pokemon so that I can play with my 1st generation Pokemon in HeartGold, for instance. If it is possible, how many steps would it take and what equipment would I need?

share|improve this question
Obligatory obscure webcomic link: – Kaz Wolfe Aug 17 '14 at 9:12
up vote 45 down vote accepted

As of 2016, this will finally possible. Nintendo have announced that players will be able to trade from the Virtual Console editions of Pokémon Red, Blue, Green and Yellow to the new Pokémon Sun/Moon via Pokémon Bank. Since Gen 6 (X/Y/OR/AS) is compatible with Pokémon Bank, it may also gain the ability to receive Gen 1 Pokémon when Sun/Moon does.

However, if we're talking about the original Gameboy cartridges, it can't be done. The limits on trading are as follows:

Generation 1 (Red/Blue/Green/Yellow)
↑↓ Both directions
Generation 2 (Gold/Silver/Crystal)
X Trade impossible
Generation 3 (Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/FireRed/LeafGreen)
↓ One-way only, allows held items
Generation 4 (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver)
↓ One-way only, no items
Generation 5 (Black/White/Black 2/White 2)
↓ One-way only, no items
Generation 6 (X/Y/Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire)
↓? (Unreleased, backwards trading yet to be confirmed, Pokémon Bank currently forbids items)
Generation 7 (Sun/Moon)

There are three main reasons you can't trade between Gen I/II and Gen III:

  1. The Pokémon data format changed significantly in Gen III, so the two were incompatible.
  2. The GBA link cable uses a different voltage to the Gameboy link cable. Even though a GBA can play old Gameboy games, it uses different circuitry than when playing GBA games, so the games' link cable functionalities are fundamentally incompatible.
  3. Even if these weren't an issue, Nintendo never released a product that allowed trade from one to the next.
share|improve this answer
Excellent answer, but #2 on your list is not entirely true: it's definitely possible to connect up a GBA and original Gameboy, I've done it. You need a special cable though. – DisgruntledGoat Dec 16 '10 at 23:47
If I recall correctly, you can link a Gameboy to a GBA, but only with Gameboy games. The cable operates either either Gameboy-mode or GBA-mode, but never both at once. Hence it's impossible to trade between generations, even if the game's software supported it. – Joe Dovahkiin Dec 17 '10 at 11:58
I ve heard you could put 2gen pokemon on Pokemon Stadium, and get them back to 3gen, but never had a nintendo 64. Anyone could confirm? – DrakaSAN Apr 11 '14 at 13:02
@DrakaSAN: The Pokémon Stadium games predate 3rd generation by about 2 years, and you can't fit a GBA cartridge in a Transfer Pak anyway - so no, that's not possible. There's no path between 2nd and 3rd generation. – Michael Madsen Apr 16 '14 at 22:31
@MichaelMadsen: Thanks for that – DrakaSAN Apr 16 '14 at 22:37

You cannot trade from the 1st Generation or 2nd Generation into the 3rd Generation and onwards.

share|improve this answer

While it may not be possible to transfer from Gens I and II to III, seeing as Gen III has FireRed and LeafGreen, it would be advisable to just play through that and trade upwards (to gens IV and V) from there..

share|improve this answer

Linkara from the website Atop the Fourth Wall posted a how-to video showing that it was absolutely possible to go from Generation 1 and 2 cartridge all the way to any Generation (up to Generation 6, the latest as of the video's creation).

A tutorial on trading up Pokémon off of Generation 1 and 2 cartridges and into the modern generations! Yes, it IS possible.

It does involve using hardware to extract your save file from the cartridge and manipulating it using a save game editor. However, the end result is having your original team from a real cartridge available all the way to the Pokébank.

share|improve this answer
  • Generation 1 (Red/Blue/Green/Yellow)
    ↑↓ Both directions
  • Generation 2 (Gold/Silver/Crystal)
    X Trade impossible
  • Generation 3 (Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/FireRed/LeafGreen)
    ↓ One-way only
  • Generation 4 (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver)
    ↓ One-way only, no items
  • Generation 5 (Black (2)/White (2))
    X Trade impossible*
  • Generation 6 (XY/ORAS)

*It is not possible to trade pokémon from Generation 5 to Generation 6. As explained on the official website:

There are a number of differences between the functions and specifications of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems compared to other systems in the Nintendo DS family (DSi XL/DSi/DS Lite/DS), meaning that it is unfortunately not possible to communicate directly between software made for the two different systems (models).

However, a paid service called Pokémon Bank has been created to fulfil this gap. The service costs $4.99 (yearly subscription) and it allows users to upload their pokémon to the cloud. The "uploading" service can be used on both 5th and 6th generations, while the "downloading" service can only be used on Pokémon X and Y. Using this service allows de facto the users to trade pokémon from generation 3 up to 6.

share|improve this answer
You could have just edited the accepted answer to include this new information instead of creating a new answer and basically copy most of that answer. – scenia Apr 11 '14 at 12:19
Hi @scenia, I am afraid I didn't know I could edit other users answers. Also, it seems quite invasive as approach, but I may be wrong. I only wanted to update the information here presented, that's all. – Secret Parrot Apr 12 '14 at 13:37
It's not invasive, that's how this site works ;) – scenia Apr 12 '14 at 15:05

protected by Community Oct 23 '13 at 4:11

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.