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Is Pokémon Bank Free on 3DS? The Ultimate Guide

Is Pokémon Bank free on 3DS?

No, Pokémon Bank is not free on the 3DS. It requires a paid subscription to use the cloud storage and transfer features. However, it may be worth the $4.99 yearly subscription fee for Pokémon trainers who want to store and transfer their Pokémon collections across games.

What is Pokémon Bank and How Does It Work?

Pokémon Bank is a cloud-based application for the Nintendo 3DS that allows players to store and manage their Pokémon collections online. Here‘s an overview of how it works:

Cloud Storage for Pokémon

Pokémon Bank provides secure cloud storage for up to 3,000 Pokémon from supported games. This gives players a convenient place to store their Pokémon outside of the game cartridges. It‘s great for completing the National Pokédex across multiple games.

Easy Transfers Between Games

Pokémon Bank makes it easy to transfer Pokémon between compatible 3DS and DS Pokémon games. Players can quickly move Pokémon between titles like Pokémon X/Y, Sun/Moon, Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, and even virtual console games like Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow.

Organize Boxes and Collections

Within Pokémon Bank, players can organize their Pokémon into customizable box folders. This makes it easy to keep track of Living Dex collections or competitive Pokémon teams for battles.

Access Pokémon Across Devices

The Pokémon Bank app links to your Nintendo Network ID, allowing you to access your Pokémon boxes from any 3DS system. This gives flexibility to manage your collection across multiple devices.

Compatibility with Home Subscription Plans

Pokémon Bank can be linked to a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership, which also unlocks the Pokémon Home app. This allows transfers between Pokémon Bank and Home.

What Are the Benefits of Using Pokémon Bank?

Here are some of the key benefits that Pokémon Bank offers for trainers:

Safe Online Storage

Pokémon Bank stores your Pokémon data securely online, protecting your collection. This prevents losses or corruption that can happen with game cartridges over time.

Complete the National Pokédex

By storing Pokémon from multiple games, you can work towards catching ‘em all across every region. Pokémon Bank makes this achievable in a single place.

Store Rare and Competitive Pokémon

Pokémon used for competitive battles or rare event Pokémon can be safely stored in your online boxes. This frees up space in your game boxes.

Manage Large Collections

For players with large Pokémon collections, the online storage and organization tools are invaluable. You can have all your Pokémon in one searchable place.

Easy Transfers Between Games

It simplifies transferring Pokémon between titles. You don‘t need two handhelds and link cables anymore. Just move Pokémon directly online.

Access Pokémon on Multiple Devices

By linking Pokémon Bank to your Nintendo ID, you can manage your boxes from any 3DS system. Your Pokémon collection is accessible anywhere.

Transfer Old Pokémon to New Games

Bring old favorites along to the latest games. Pokémon Bank lets you transfer Pokémon from previous generation games you‘ve played.

Key Features of Pokémon Bank

Here are some of the essential features that Pokémon Bank offers:

Cloud Storage

  • Store up to 3,000 Pokémon from any compatible games
  • Encrypted online cloud storage keeps Pokémon secure
  • Flexible box organization and naming options

Easy Transfers

  • Quickly move Pokémon between games from X/Y onwards
  • Transfer Key Items and held items along with Pokémon
  • Link old Gen V games to transfer up to Gen VI/VII

National Pokédex Support

  • Register Pokémon from any game to complete the National Dex
  • Track different forms and gender variants in the Dex
  • Living Dex tools make completing the Dex easier

Customizable Interface

  • Organize Pokémon with tags, ratings, and custom notes
  • Filter Pokémon with search tools like type, ability, and more
  • Sort boxes and Pokémon lists in different handy ways

Connectivity and Accessibility

  • Link to your Nintendo Network ID to access your boxes anywhere
  • Compatible with Pokémon Home for trades and storage on Nintendo Switch
  • Supports connectivity with certain Virtual Console game releases

What Pokémon Games are Compatible with Pokémon Bank?

Here are the Nintendo 3DS and DS Pokémon games that can connect to Pokémon Bank:

3DS Pokémon Games

  • Pokémon X and Y
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon
  • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

DS Pokémon Games

  • Pokémon Black and White
  • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2

Virtual Console Pokémon Games

  • Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow (3DS Virtual Console)
  • Pokémon Gold and Silver (3DS Virtual Console)

So in summary, Pokémon Bank is compatible with the 3DS Pokémon games from X/Y onwards, the Gen V DS games, and certain VC releases. The service can store and transfer Pokémon among these titles.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Pokémon Bank

Here is a step-by-step walkthrough on getting started with Pokémon Bank for new users:

Step 1) Download the Pokémon Bank App

  • Open the 3DS eShop and go to the Games section
  • Search for "Pokémon Bank" and select the app
  • Select "Free Download" to download Pokémon Bank

Step 2) Purchase a Pokémon Bank Subscription

  • After downloading Pokémon Bank, open the app
  • You will be prompted to purchase a subscription for $4.99
  • Select OK and complete the transaction to activate Pokémon Bank

Step 3) Link Your Nintendo Network ID

  • On the Pokémon Bank title screen, select Options
  • Choose "Connect to Nintendo Network"
  • Log in with your Nintendo Network ID credentials
  • This links Pokémon Bank to your ID for anywhere access

Step 4) Transfer Pokémon to Pokémon Bank

  • Insert the game cartridge containing your Pokémon
  • Open Pokémon Bank and select the game you want to transfer from
  • Select the Pokémon you want to move and confirm the transfer
  • Your Pokémon will now be stored in Pokémon Bank‘s online boxes

Step 5) Manage and Organize Pokémon Boxes

  • You can now view your Pokémon Bank boxes and organize them
  • Create folder boxes, name boxes, sort Pokémon, tag favorites, etc.
  • Your Pokémon collection is now easily accessible in Pokémon Bank!

Using Pokémon Bank to Complete the National Pokédex

For collectors aiming to Catch ‘Em All, Pokémon Bank is an invaluable tool for completing the National Pokédex across multiple game generations. Here are some tips:

Store Different Forms

Pokémon Bank registers different forms, like Unown, Vivillon patterns, and Oricorio styles separately in the National Dex. Be sure to collect and store every unique form.

Keep Track of Gender Variants

Since male and female variants of certain Pokémon count separately, store one of each gender. The Ndex tracker will highlight missing gender Pokémon.

Link Old Games to Transfer Up Generations

Use the Poké Transporter app to transfer Pokémon from old Gen V games into Bank first. This allows you to collect old Pokémon.

Store Event Pokémon

Hold onto any rare event Pokémon and store them in Bank. These are often hard to obtain again later.

Catch Extras to Trade

Catch duplicates of version exclusives and breed extras of evolutionary families to trade and fill Dex gaps. Pokémon Bank makes trading easy.

Track Progress

Use the National Dex checklist in Pokémon Bank to track your progress. It will highlight missing Pokémon to help you complete the Dex.

How Many Pokémon Can You Store in Pokémon Bank?

Each Pokémon Bank subscription allows you to store up to 3,000 Pokémon in cloud storage. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the storage limitations:

  • You can store up to 3,000 Pokémon total across all game boxes.
  • Pokémon Bank offers 100 storage box slots to use.
  • Each box can hold up to 30 Pokémon, so with 100 boxes that‘s 3,000 max.
  • You can further organize boxes into folder categories.
  • If you reach the 3,000 limit, you must release Pokémon to make room for new ones.
  • Upgrading to Pokémon Home offers increased storage of up to 6,000 Pokémon.

So while 3,000 Pokémon may sound like a lot of storage, serious collectors may want to upgrade to Pokémon Home for double the storage space up to 6,000 Pokémon available across linked Bank boxes and Home.

What Happens if You Cancel Pokémon Bank?

If you cancel your paid Pokémon Bank subscription, here is what happens to your Pokémon storage and data:

  • You will lose access to view or manage your Pokémon Bank boxes and data.
  • Your encrypted Pokémon Bank data will be retained for a period of time.
  • After an unspecified period, Pokémon Bank will begin deleting inactive account data.
  • It‘s unclear exactly how long data is retained before deletion.
  • If deleted, there is no way to recover lost Pokémon data.
  • Re-subscribing will restore access only if deletion has not occurred.

So in summary, canceling your subscription puts your Pokémon Bank data at risk of eventual deletion. It‘s safest to maintain an active subscription if you want to continue storing your Pokémon collection.

Can You Trade Pokémon on Pokémon Bank Without Nintendo Online?

Unfortunately, you cannot directly trade Pokémon while in Pokémon Bank. Online connectivity is required for trading via Pokémon Bank.

Here are the online requirements for trading Pokémon:

  • You need an active Nintendo Network ID linked to Pokémon Bank.
  • A Nintendo Switch Online subscription is needed for certain trade functions.
  • You can transfer Pokémon from Bank to compatible games to trade in-game.
  • With a Switch Online subscription, you can trade Bank Pokémon on Pokémon Home.
  • Local wireless trading is possible between compatible 3DS/DS Pokémon games.

So while Pokémon Bank itself does not support direct trades online or locally, you can utilize it with a Nintendo Online account to transfer Pokémon into games where trading is possible natively or via Pokémon Home.

Is Pokémon Bank Still Worth It in 2022?

For serious Pokémon collectors and competitive players, Pokémon Bank remains an excellent value in 2022. Here are some reasons it‘s still worth using today:

Safe Long-Term Storage for Collections

Secure encrypted cloud storage protects your Pokémon for the long term compared to potential issues with game cartridges or hardware over time.

Retain Older Gen Pokémon

Bank allows you to store and transfer forward older generation Pokémon to current Gen VIII games via Pokémon Home connectivity.

Complete the National Dex

Storing Pokémon from many games in Bank makes completing the National Pokédex far more achievable, especially with older generation Pokémon.

Access Pokémon Anywhere

The ability to manage your Pokémon Boxes online from any device remains extremely convenient for avid players.

Low Yearly Cost

At $4.99 annually, Bank‘s features and security make it a tremendous value for passionate Pokémon fans.

While Pokémon Home has more features, Bank is still a great option in 2022 for collectors and competitive players at a lower yearly cost. It makes storing, organizing, and transferring Pokémon much easier.