PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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This thread will help you determine which games you can trade or transfer your Pokemon to. If you have anything to add, any updates to make or any errors to point out, please leave a comment or contact a staff member.

This question is a member of the common repeat question list. This means that any new questions which could be resolved using the contents of this thread will be closed. However, if, after reading the guide below, your issue is not resolved, then you may post a new question indicating this.

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Best answer

It is not possible to transfer Pokemon to a game that is from a previous generation^. This applies even if the Pokemon was originally transferred from a game belonging to a previous generation. However, Pokemon may be transported to and from Pokemon Home and Pokemon Bank depending on your game. It is also possible to trade Pokemon between main series games of the same generation**.

Refer to the flowchart below to see where your Pokemon can go. Take note that the arrows are one-way; a Pokemon cannot be transferred against the direction of the arrowhead (and where it can be transferred both ways, a second arrow going the opposite direction is included). Please credit me or PokeBase if you re-use this chart.

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^ The only exception, as sumwun mentioned before me, is that transferring Pokemon from Gen 2 to Gen 1 is possible if the Pokemon is present in Gen 1 and it knows only moves present in Gen 1.

* Virtual Console games could be considered part of Gen 7 because Pokemon from them cannot be sent to any game prior to Gen 7.

** LGP/E is considered to be part of Gen 7, but it has no interactivity with other Gen 7 instalments in the series. Pokemon in LGP/E can make a one-way transfer to Pokemon Home or be traded between copies of LGP/E.

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Are the 2 generations of VC games compatible with each other?
Looks like they are. I updated the flowchart.
But, we can transfer Pokémon from Gen 4 (D/P/Pt, HG/SS) to gen 5 via Pokétransfer, can't we?
So, isn't this also an exception for this?
"It is not possible to transfer Pokemon to a game from a previous generation"
That's a badly written sentence. I'm pretty sure it means the game is from a previous generation, and a Pokemon can't transfer to the game. Pokemon are not transferring from a previous generation.
You should probably also mention that Pokemon can't transfer from gen 2 to gen 1 if they know any gen 2 moves.
You're welcome to edit the answer yourself, by the way.
(Also, for those looking on, I fixed the vague sentence mentioned above months ago.)
1 vote

The Time Capsule (Japanese: タイムカプセル Time Capsule) is a mechanic in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal that allows players to trade Pokémon back in time to Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, Yellow.

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So Pokemon can move from Generation 2 to Generation 1 (and you can transfer them wherever you want if you cheat) but otherwise Pokemon cannot be transferred to earlier generations.

Pokemon can't transfer back if they're Generation 2 Pokemon or know Generation 2 moves, but for some reason, Generation 1 games can handle Pokemon holding Generation 2 items.

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