The Pokémon Nuzlocke Challenge: Rules, Origins, and Optional Additions

If you’re new to Pokémon, maybe you haven’t heard of a different way to play it. This method is called Pokémon Nuzlocke mode, and thousands of Pokémon players, both competitive and casual, have made this mode the object of many hours of Pokémon gameplay.

However, you’ll need a Pokémon game that hasn’t been started yet and a way to play it for this method of playing. Because if your game is already started, it may not be as fun to play this mode.

Additionally, the mode were invented by a comic creator, to combat the easy nature of the current games. Because this mode offers challenge to anyone attempting it, it is recommended to play it after playing the original games.

Pokémon Nuzlocke Core Rules

These are the two main rules for the Pokémon Nuzlocke that must be followed:

  • If a Pokémon faints, it is considered dead. It must be removed from the game either by being placed in the PC Box, being released, or being traded away.
  • Players may only catch the first Pokémon they see on each route. If it faints, there are no second chances. If it is a double battle, the player is free to pick between the two. This restriction does not apply to shiny or static encounters.

These rules also are implemented commonly.

  • Nicknames must be used on all the Pokémon they obtain.
  • The player may not reset the game.
  • They may not obtain Pokémon from Mystery Gifts or other means; they must be caught.

Optional rules

These rules are also given sometimes.

  • A player’s starter Pokémon can be randomly chosen by their Trainer ID number.
  • A black-out is considered game over.
  • A player can catch a new Pokémon after every Gym.
  • A player can use as many Pokémon as the Gym Battle Opponent.
  • The battle style must be set to set in the options menu.
  • The player can release the starter Pokémon shortly after the first Pokémon is caught.
  • Only Pokémon Centers can be used for healing: no potions or other status healing items.
  • The Pokémon Center may only be visited once per town.
  • Held items can’t be used.
  • The number of Poke Balls are limited in purchase.
  • Poke-Marts may not be used.
  • Master Balls can’t be used.
  • Pokémon will not be able to evolve.
  • In Black and White 2, the difficulty must be set to Challenge Mode.
  • Legendary Pokémon can’t be used.
  • A player cannot flee.
  • The player has a level limit.
  • They cannot use PokeBalls.
  • The Day Care cannot be used, because it offers free leveling.
  • The Exp Share cannot be used, because it also offers free leveling.
  • The Quality-of-life features cannot be used, because they offer advantages.
  • As an additional difficulty, no walkthroughs are allowed.

To see the full rule set, visit Bulbapedia.

See also: Pokémon Forgotten: Check out these six Pokémon that didn’t make the cut