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?


6 Answers 6


As of 2016, it is possible to trade from the Virtual Console editions of Pokémon Red, Blue, Green and Yellow to the new Pokémon Sun/Moon (Gen 7) via Pokémon Bank.

Unfortunately while Gen 6 (X/Y/OR/AS) is compatible with Pokémon Bank, it is not possible to receive Gen 1 Pokémon in those games.

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.
  • 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. Commented Dec 16, 2010 at 23:47
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    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. Commented Dec 17, 2010 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
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 13:02
  • 1
    @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. Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 22:31
  • Generation 7 is released now and backwards trading is not possible. I'd edit this in but it's not a community wiki so it didn't feel right. Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 13:53

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


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..


Yes, you can trade from Generation 1 and 2 cartridges (not just Virtual Console) to more recent generations

However, it is not something that is officially supported by Nintendo.

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 Generation 6, the latest as of the video's creation. Since it ends with the Pokémon Bank, you can presumably go to any generation after that.

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. Still, the end result is having your original team from a Generation 1 or 2 cartridge transferrable all the way to the Pokébank.

  • This is just using a backup cart to create a new set of (hacked) Pokemon in Gen 3. You will not be able to transfer these Pokemon to Gen 6, as the Pokébank will reject hacked Pokemon.
    – friggle
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 21:34
  • @friggle The video talks a great deal about the Pokébank and validation issues (e.g. at 10:35), and the end credits even show them being successfully uploaded into the Pokébank. Elsewhere, the creator has talked about using his Pokémon from this method in Gen 6 games. The goal is not to cheat, but to create identical versions of Gen 1 and 2 teams on later gens, and that means staying within the valid rules for all the generations. Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 3:55
  • I added an anwer about legitimately migrating original Pokemon from Gen 1 to Gen 7. These are the original monsters, not approximated copies.
    – Kalamane
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 9:54
  • @Kalamane The video guide in my answer was created before the Gen 1 games were available on Virtual Console. I do like your answer's method and have upvotes it. I think this guide may still be useful to those who don't want to jailbreak a 3DS. Also, it's currently the only way to transfer Gen 2 Pokémon, since that's not on Virtual Console yet. Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 0:19

This is technically possible now that the Gen 1 Vurtual Console games support migration to Sun and Moon.

It's not easy and is only doable with pricey hardware.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Dump your save game from your original Pokemon Red, Blue or Yellow cartridge to your PC using either a Retron 5, Retro Freak, or some other Game Boy cartridge reader. You can build one with an Arduino if you're good at soldering and don't mind destroying a Game Boy for the cartridge slot. Depending on the hardware you choose this step will be expensive or time consuming.

  2. Hack your 3DS so that it can run homebrew. I won't go into the steps for this because it's against Nintendo's terms of service but on the latest firmware it requires you to buy a game that has an exploitable defect. This will cost you due to the popularity and rarity of those games.

  3. Purchase and download the Virtual Console version of the same Pokemon game that you copied the save from and start a new game.

  4. Use homebrew software such as SaveDataFiler to replace the Virtual Console game's save file with the one you dumped earlier from your original cartridge.

  5. You now have a working copy of your original game's save file on your 3DS. Use Pokemon Bank to migrate your original team to Pokemon Sun and Moon.

  • 1
    Do you have more information about how to build a cartridge reader with an Arduino as you describe in Step 1? Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 0:22
  • 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.

  • 3
    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
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 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. Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 13:37
  • 2
    It's not invasive, that's how this site works ;)
    – scenia
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 15:05

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