A companion application, Poké Transporter, allows the player to transfer Pokémon from other core series games to Pokémon Bank; specifically, it can connect with the Generation V core series games as well as the Virtual Console releases of the GenerationI and II core series games.
Pokémon Bank allows players to store up to 3,000 Pokémon from the games in an online cloud. This storage is similar to the Pokémon Storage System provided by PCs and has 100 Boxes capable of carrying 30 Pokémon each. Boxes can also be assigned to one of 10 groups with customizable names. Pokémon Bank also features extensive search options and filters.
The user interface is similar to the user interface of the Pokémon Storage System in the core series games. The player can move Pokémon between the game and Pokémon Bank, or simply rearrange the Pokémon they have in them. The player cannot access the Pokémon in Pokémon Bank unless a game is connected to the system.
Poké Transporter allows the transfer of Pokémon from the Generation V core series games and the Virtual Console releases of the Generation I and II core series games to Pokémon Bank. It can be downloaded separately after Pokémon Bank has been downloaded.
The Transport Box, which is effectively the 101st Box, is reserved for use by Poké Transporter. Pokémon cannot be placed in it, except by Poké Transporter; the player can only move Pokémon out of the box, not into it.
The player receives 100 Poké Miles when Pokémon are deposited for the first time into Pokémon Bank. Additional Poké Miles are awarded for the length of time that a given Pokémon is deposited into Pokémon Bank. The amount of Poké Miles earned by the player increases if more Pokémon are deposited into Pokémon Bank.
Accumulated Poké Miles may be transferred to the currently selected game via Pokémon Link either directly as Poké Miles or as Battle Points (at a rate of 1 Battle Point for every 10 Poké Miles). If the player chooses not to transfer their Poké Miles, they will simply continue to accumulate.
Items cannot be stored in Pokémon Bank. If the player deposits a Pokémon that is holding an item, the item will be removed and sent to the player's Bag. If the Bag is full, the item will disappear.
Any Pokémon that has even been placed in a Generation VII game, or that was transferred from a Generation I or II game, cannot be transferred to the Generation VI games. Such Pokémon are outlined in a white square when using a Generation VI game with Pokémon Bank.
Any Pokémon transferred from Pokémon Bank to Pokémon HOME cannot be transferred back to Bank.
Any number of physical or digital copies of Pokémon X, Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon can be used in conjunction with Pokémon Bank. Pokémon Bank can be utilized at any point after the player obtains the Pokédex in those games. The service cannot be used if a new game has not been started.
The Pokémon Bank account that a Nintendo 3DS system accesses depends on the system's Nintendo Network ID, which can only belong to one Nintendo 3DS system at a time. There is no way to transfer Pokémon directly between Pokémon Banks belonging to different Nintendo Network IDs.
While the Generation VI and VII core series games are region-locked and cannot be played if their region does not match the region of the Nintendo 3DS they are inserted in, Pokémon Bank is still able to communicate with these games regardless of their region. However, Nintendo does not make any guarantee for the performance of software or systems in the Nintendo 3DS family when used outside of their intended regions.
When Pokémon Bank (along with Poké Transporter) is downloaded, any restrictions on the Nintendo 3DS system for Shopping Services need to be removed within the Parental Controls before Pokémon Bank can be utilized. Any restrictions set in place pertaining to usage of the Nintendo 3DS's Internet browser also require removal each time that the Pokémon Bank software is used.
Version 1.5 added connectivity with Pokémon HOME, allowing Pokémon stored in Bank to be transferred to HOME. Once the player chooses which Pokémon to transfer, they will be prompted to enter a key that is generated by HOME. This key only lasts three minutes before expiring. Any transfers may take several minutes.
While downloading the Pokémon Bank application is free, usage of its services requires the purchase of a pass. A pass lasts for 365 days from purchase. If a previous pass has not expired when a new pass is purchased, the number of remaining days from the old pass is added to the new pass. Pokémon Bank will prompt the player to purchase a new pass when the current pass is within 14 days of expiring.
When Pokémon Bank launched, the application's official site stated that if the player allows their pass (free or annual) to expire, the Pokémon they have stored in Pokémon Bank will be deleted after an unspecified set amount of time. In January 2017, when the site was updated for Pokémon Sun and Moon, this statement was removed from the official site. Players have reported a variety of experiences, ranging from claiming that their Pokémon were deleted after letting their pass lapse for only a few days to claiming that their Pokémon have not been lost despite not renewing their pass for multiple years.
Introduced in the version 1.3 update, Pokémon Bank features a National Pokédex that collects and consolidates information on Pokémon that have been registered as "seen" or "caught" in the Pokédexes of any Generation VI or VII core series game updated with Pokémon Bank. Users can view basic information and Pokédex entries from the Generation VI and VII core series games of Pokémon they have registered. Pokédex entries from other languages and alternate forms of Pokémon can also be registered, with the exception of Cosplay Pikachu.
On December 25, 2013, Pokémon Bank and the Poké Transporter were both released in Japan, South Korea, and other Asian territories. Due to high volumes of traffic throughout the Nintendo Network caused by a large volume of Nintendo Network IDs being created, the Nintendo eShop was temporarily inaccessible. When the Nintendo eShop was accessible again on December 29, 2013, Pokémon Bank was removed from the Nintendo eShop (although players who had previously downloaded Pokémon Bank could still download Poké Transporter, which can only be downloaded through Pokémon Bank). In addition, the release of Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter for the Americas, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand—originally set to be December 27, 2013—was delayed due to the aforementioned issues.
On January 21, 2014, Pokémon Bank was re-released in Japan, South Korea, and other Asian territories.
The service was launched in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand on February 4, 2014.
The service was launched in the Americas on February 5, 2014.
December 25, 2013 January 21, 2014 February 4, 2014 February 5, 2014