How does one go about transferring Pokémon from previous generations this time around? Presumably, due to the 3DS's lack of GBA slot, Gen3 Pokémon would need to be transferred to a Gen4 cartridge. But how does it work beyond this point? Specifically:

  • Which generations can be used to send Pokémon to Gen6? Can Gen4 (D/P/Pl/HG/SS) send directly to Gen6, or do Pokémon from those cartridges first need to be sent to Gen5 (B/W/B2/W2)?
  • What systems are required to perform this task? Does it need to be two connected 3DS (3DS / XL / 2DS) systems or can the previous generations be hosted on a DS (Phat / Lite / i)?
  • What (if any) in-game tasks must be completed prior to transferring? Of the generation 4 and 5 games I've played, the transfer tools were not unlocked until after the Elite Four were beaten.
  • How, exactly, does it work this time around? The tools for each generation so far have been wildly different; a safari-zone-like minigame, and a shooting gallery minigame.
  • Is there any other information someone looking to transfer Pokémon to generation 6 should be made aware of? For example; PC Box storage limitation issues for anyone looking to transfer their living Pokédex.
  • 3
    Ome thing that's important to know is that you're not going to be able to transfer until December 27th, 2013, whiiiich kinda sucks. The Poké Transporter and Pokémon Bank aren't out until then. :/ Here's the FAQ on it, which covers most of the rest of your question. I'd post this as an answer, but I'm unsure on your 4th bullet point. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!
    – FAE
    Commented Oct 12, 2013 at 15:40
  • 1
    Bother... Looks like I'll have to buy Black or White (2) + Pokémon Bank in order to transfer my Pokémon from Pearl and HeartGold to Pokémon Y... Why, Nintendo, why?
    – Nolonar
    Commented Oct 12, 2013 at 18:32
  • @FAE Drat. Well, I would still probably upvote an answer that covered the rest of the (known) information. Commented Oct 12, 2013 at 19:23
  • @Nolonar $$$ perhaps?
    – Zommuter
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 10:12
  • The Pokebank should now be live across the world, so I'm adding a bounty for a more detailed description of the Gen5 to Gen6 transfer method. Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 0:24

2 Answers 2


Things you'll need to go from Generation 3 --> 6 (aside from games)

  • Nintendo DS, or Nintendo DS Lite (contains both a GameBoy Advance game pak slot, and a Nintendo DS game card slot)
  • A Second Nintendo DS to transfer Pokemon from generation 4 --> 5
  • A Nintendo 3DS to transfer Pokemon from generation 5 --> 6. If you have a 3DS, you don't need the DS from the last step.

Generation 3 --> 4

Transfer up Pokemon using PalPark from Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen, and/or Emerald to Diamond, Pearl, and/or Platinum. For this you need an original Nintendo DS or a Nintendo DS Lite as you need access to a Nintendo DS game card slot, and a GameBoy Advance game pak slot. Additionally, you can not transfer up eggs.

Gamecube Games --> Gen 3

You can also transfer up Pokemon from Pokemon Colosseum or Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness to a modern Pokemon game, you just need to transfer them via trade to a generation 3 game, and then transfer them up like normal Pokemon.

Generation 4 --> 5

At Route 15 in Black or White you'll have to transfer everything up from your generation 4 games. For this, you'll need 2 Nintendo DS systems, one following the instructions in Pokemon Black, White, Black 2, and White 2, and another with the generation 4 game inserted running DS Download Play. You can transfer up Pokemon in this fashion, however there are a few stipulations:

  • Held items will not be transferred up to generation 5 (they'll automatically be returned to the player's bag)
  • The Pokemon being transferred can not know any HM moves.
  • You can not transfer eggs.
  • The Spikey-eared Pichu (a promotional exclusive) can not be transferred up.

Generation 5 --> 6

Starting December 27th 2013, download the 3DS application titled Pokemon Bank from the Nintendo eShop. This application can take Pokemon from a Generation 5 or 6 Game, and store them inside of the app. After this process is done, withdraw the Pokemon from Pokemon Bank in your generation 6 game.

Things to note when transferring Pokemon

  • All Pokemon are forever lost from their past generation game - there is no way to transfer a Pokemon back to its previous generation.
  • Game mechanics change between generations. While a team might be effective in one game, it might not prove to be useful in another. Notably moves are assigned physical or special in generation 4 onwards; and generation 6 introduces new mechanics such as the fairy type, base stat changes, and move changes.
  • You, sir, have earned yourself the check for going into such detail. The Generation 5->6 section may need some editing come the 27th of December, but that's to be expected since the tools aren't available yet. Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 2:39
  • And also because of this wonderful answer everyone is even more irritated that Pokemon Bank is delayed. Aren't we?
    – Wivani
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 23:01
  • Note that if you want to move pokemon from colleseum or XD you will need a GBA and a GBA to GCN cable. Unfortunately you can't use a DS for this because it doesn't have a link cable port. Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 7:46

As a detail explanation of Gen 5 to Gen 6: You'll need 1 3DS, 1 Gen 5 game, Poke Transporter, Pokemon Bank, and 1 Gen 6 game.

First thing you'll want to do is go to your Gen 5 game. This is Black, White, Black 2, or White 2. You'll want to put the Pokemon you wish to transfer in the first box. It must be the first box in the PC, or Pokemon Transporter will not take it.

From there, go to Transporter. You will be warned that items will be sent back to your bag, and if your bag is full they will be lost. You will then be prompted to confirm.

After your Pokemon have been put into the Bank, switch games to your Gen 6 (X or Y) that you want to put them on. Open the Pokemon Bank app, and use the bank. If you go one box over from the Box 1 of the bank, you will see Transporter (Or Transfer, I don't remember the exact wording) Box. These are the Pokemon you transported in.

When you put these Pokemon in your box, they go straight there. You do not need to do Pokemon Link on your Gen 6 menu as you do for gifts (Such as Celebi).

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