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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?

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4 Answers

up vote 27 down vote accepted

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
Generation 4 (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver)
↓ One-way only, no items
Generation 5 (Black/White)
↓ One-way only, no items
Pokémon Bank
↑↓ Both directions
Generation 6 (and later*) (X/Y)

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 are 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.

*(Trading with Pokémon Bank is supposed to work with all future Generations, although no specifics are known)

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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
6  
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. –  Jonathan Drain 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 at 13:02
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Update (11 April 2014).

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 (X/Y)

*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.

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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 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. –  Annoys Parrot Apr 12 at 13:37
    
It's not invasive, that's how this site works ;) –  scenia Apr 12 at 15:05
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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..

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

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protected by Community Oct 23 '13 at 4:11

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