One of Pokémon’s most useful tools is now free to use, but there’s a catch

Things aren't as easy as they seem.

Pokémon fans are in luck if they own a 3DS with the Pokémon Bank app on it. Thats because the Nintendo 3DS eShop has officially closed its doors and players are no longer able to make any purchases from it.

As Pokémon Bank was a paid subscription app, fans do not have a way to pay for it anymore. That doesnt mean the service is discontinued, though. Rather than removing the app altogether, Pokémon Bank will continue to store your prized Pokémon collection while working with Poké Transporter to transfer Pokémon from older generation games.

However, theres one big catch. You can only use Pokémon Bank for free if you already had it downloaded prior to the Nintendo 3DS eShops closure. If you happened to miss out on the pre-closure download, you, unfortunately, wont be able to take advantage of everything Pokémon Bank has to offer.

But what exactly makes Pokémon Bank so important?

With Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter, players could transfer their favorite Pokémon over from Black and White or the virtual Gen I and II versions. This may also include exclusive event Pokémon and any Pokémon that were previously transferred over from Gen III and IV. 

From there, players could then transfer those Pokémon from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon Home, the Nintendo Switchs version of the Pocket Monster storage and transfer system. Once those Pokémon are in Pokémon Home, they will be ready to enter the Paldea region as soon as the app becomes compatible with Scarlet and Violet.

And when that happens, you can start sending all your favorite Pokémon to Gen IX again, including that rare Shiny Mew from the very first generation.

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