Is remote trading live in Pokémon GO? Can you finally swap Shiny Legendaries with that guy from Belgium you went Lucky Friends with last year? We are here to clear up all questions and rumors about the new (and temporary) trade range increase in Pokémon GO. Let's get into it.
Niantic announced on their Pokémon GO blog:
As a limited-time test, from Thursday, November 12, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. until Monday, November 16, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. PST (GMT −8), trade range will be increased! Depending on information gathered from this test, we may include increased trade range as a part of future events. It's time to trade, Trainers!
Personally, as someone in multiple raid groups, the next day was a flood of messages asking me to test out trading with people of various distances away. As most Pokémon GO trainers will have discovered by now, this new trade distance is emphatically not true remote trading. Nothing international, nothing incredibly far away. It is simply an expansion of the range by a good, but not game-changing, amount.
It seems, at the moment, that this temporary trade range is limited to 12KM. It may not seem like a lot compared to what some trainers want to be added to Pokémon GO, but it's essentially a whole Strange Egg away. This trade range is less helpful for those looking to finally trade with long-held Lucky Friends who they don't know in person, and more helpful for trading with someone in a local group who you don't feel like taking a ten-minute drive to go see.
If implemented permanently in the future, this will be a nice quality-of-life change. However, perhaps this is Niantic starting to realize that Pokémon GO trainers want remote trading… and perhaps this is their first step toward that eventuality? Only time will tell!