If you are a fan of Pokémon games and want to experience the thrill of competitive battles, then you might want to try out Pokémon Showdown. Pokémon Showdown is a web-based Pokémon battle simulator that lets you create your own team of Pokémon and battle against other players from around the world. You can also chat with other players, join tournaments, explore different game modes and formats, and learn more about the Pokémon meta. In this article, we will give you an introduction to Pokémon Showdown, how to get started with it, what features and functions it offers, and some tips and strategies for success. Let’s get started!
Getting Started with Pokemon Showdown
What is Pokemon Showdown?
Pokémon Showdown is a popular competitive Pokémon simulator that was created by Zarel and opened in October of 2011. It was adopted as Smogon’s official battle simulator on July 2, 20122. Smogon is the largest online community for competitive Pokémon battling, and it provides rules, tiers, strategies, and resources for players. Pokémon Showdown is a web-based project that you can play immediately in your browser with no downloads. It is also open source, which means anyone can contribute to its development or create their own server.
Game modes and formats
Pokémon Showdown supports a variety of game modes and formats for different types of battles. The most common ones are:
- Singles: This is the standard mode where each player has one Pokémon on the field at a time. The battle ends when one player has no more Pokémon left.
- Doubles: This is similar to Singles, but each player has two Pokémon on the field at a time. The battle ends when one player has no more Pokémon left or when both players have only one Pokémon left.
- Triples: This is similar to Doubles, but each player has three Pokémon on the field at a time. The battle ends when one player has no more Pokémon left or when both players have only one or two Pokémon left.
- Rotation: This is similar to Triples, but each player can rotate their active Pokémon at the beginning of each turn. The battle ends when one player has no more Pokémon left or when both players have only one or two Pokémon left.
- Multi: This is similar to Doubles or Triples, but each player has a partner and they share their team of six Pokémon. The battle ends when one team has no more Pokémon left.
Each game mode can have different formats, which are sets of rules that determine what Pokémon, moves, items, abilities, and other factors are allowed or banned in the battle. Some of the most popular formats are:
- Random Battle: This is a format where each player’s team is randomly generated from all available Pokémon. No customization is allowed.
- Anything Goes: This is a format where anything goes. There are no restrictions on what Pokémon, moves, items, abilities, or other factors are allowed in the battle.
- OverUsed (OU): This is a format where only the most commonly used and powerful Pokémon are allowed in the battle. It is based on Smogon’s usage statistics and tier list.
- UnderUsed (UU): This is a format where only the less commonly used and less powerful Pokémon are allowed in the battle. It is based on Smogon’s usage statistics and tier list.
- Little Cup (LC): This is a format where only the first-stage evolution of Pokémon are allowed in the battle. They must be level 5 and hold no items.
- Monotype: This is a format where each player’s team must share a common type. For example, a Fire-type team or a Water-type team.
There are many more formats available on Pokémon Showdown, such as VGC (the official format for Nintendo’s tournaments), National Dex (a format that allows all Pokémon from all generations), Custom Game (a format that allows players to create their own rules), and various metagames (alternative ways of playing with different rules or mechanics). You can find more information about them on Smogon’s website or on Pokémon Showdown’s forums.
Pokemon restrictions and other limitations
Depending on the game mode and format you choose, there may be some restrictions or limitations on what Pokémon you can use in your team. Some of the most common ones are:
- Species Clause: You cannot have more than one of the same species of Pokémon in your team. For example, you cannot have two Charizards or two Pikachus.
- Item Clause: You cannot have more than one of the same item in your team. For example, you cannot have two Choice Scarfs or two Leftovers.
- Sleep Clause: You cannot put more than one of your opponent’s Pokémon to sleep at the same time. For example, you cannot use Spore on two of your opponent’s Pokémon.
- Evasion Clause: You cannot use moves or abilities that increase your Pokémon’s evasion. For example, you cannot use Double Team or Sand Veil.
- OHKO Clause: You cannot use moves that can cause a one-hit knockout. For example, you cannot use Fissure or Sheer Cold.
- Moody Clause: You cannot use the ability Moody, which randomly changes your Pokémon’s stats every turn.
- Baton Pass Clause: You cannot use the move Baton Pass, which passes your Pokémon’s stat changes to the next Pokémon.
- Swagger Clause: You cannot use the move Swagger, which confuses your opponent’s Pokémon and raises their Attack.
- Mega Rayquaza Clause: You cannot use Mega Rayquaza, which is considered too powerful for any format.
These are some of the most common clauses, but there may be more depending on the format you choose. You can check the rules of each format on Pokémon Showdown’s website or on Smogon’s website.
How the meta works
The meta, short for metagame, is the term used to describe the current state of competitive Pokémon battling. It refers to what Pokémon, moves, items, abilities, and strategies are popular and effective in a given format. The meta is constantly changing and evolving as players discover new ways of playing and as new Pokémon, moves, items, abilities, and updates are introduced. The meta is also influenced by factors such as usage statistics, tier lists, bans, and trends.
Usage statistics are data that show how often each Pokémon, move, item, ability, and team are used in a given format. They are collected by Pokémon Showdown and Smogon and are updated monthly. Usage statistics can help players understand what Pokémon and strategies are common and successful in a format and how to prepare for them.
Tier lists are rankings that classify each Pokémon into different categories based on their usage statistics and performance in a format. They are created by Smogon and are updated periodically. Tier lists can help players decide what Pokémon to use or avoid in a format and how to balance their team.
Bans are decisions that remove certain Pokémon, moves, items, abilities, or other factors from a format because they are considered too powerful, unfair, or unhealthy for the meta. They are decided by Smogon’s council members and community votes and are enforced by Pokémon Showdown. Bans can help players enjoy a more diverse and balanced meta.
Trends are patterns or tendencies that emerge in the meta as players adapt to new changes or developments. They can be influenced by factors such as new discoveries, popular strategies, events, or opinions. Trends can help players predict what their opponents might do or try out new ideas themselves.
Understanding the meta is important for any competitive Pokémon player because it can help them make better decisions and improve their skills. However, the meta is not fixed or absolute; it is always changing and evolving. Therefore, players should also be flexible and creative in their approach to the game.
Basics of gameplay and combat
Pokémon Showdown follows the same basic rules and mechanics as the main series Pokémon games. Each player has a team of up to six Pokémon that they can choose from before the battle begins. Each Pokémon has four moves that they can use in combat, as well as an ability that gives them a passive effect and an item that gives them an additional benefit. Each move has a type, power, accuracy, priority, category (physical or special), and effect that determine how it works in battle. Each Pokémon also has six stats: HP (hit points), Attack (physical damage), Defense (physical resistance), Special Attack (special damage), Special Defense (special resistance), and Speed (turn order). Each stat can be modified by various factors such as nature, EVs (effort values), IVs (individual values), level, stat stages (boosts or drops), weather (sunlight, rain, etc.), terrain (electricity, grassy field, etc.), status conditions (burned, paralyzed, etc.), and other effects.
The battle begins when both players send out their first Pokémon. The player with the faster Pokémon goes first unless a move with higher priority is used. Each player chooses one move for their Pokémon to use each turn. The moves are executed in order of priority and speed. The battle ends when one player has no more usable Pokémon left or when one player forfeits.
During the battle, each player can also switch their active Pokémon with another one from their team. This can be done instead of using a move or when their active Pokémon faints. Switching can be useful for gaining an advantage over the opponent’s Pokémon or avoiding a disadvantageous situation. However, switching also gives the opponent a free turn to attack or set up.
Pokémon Showdown also has some features that make gameplay more convenient and efficient than the main series games.
Some of these features are:
- Move animations: Pokémon Showdown has animations for each move that show how they look and sound in battle. You can also disable them if you prefer a faster or simpler experience.
- Replay sharing: Pokémon Showdown allows you to save and share your battle replays with other players. You can also watch other players’ replays and learn from them. You can access your replays from the main menu or from the replay website.
- Reconnecting: Pokémon Showdown allows you to reconnect to a disconnected battle if you lose your internet connection or close your browser. You have a limited time to reconnect before the battle is forfeited.
- Teambuilder: Pokémon Showdown has a built-in teambuilder that lets you create and customize your own team of Pokémon. You can choose their moves, items, abilities, natures, EVs, IVs, and more. You can also import and export your teams in a standard format that is compatible with other simulators and websites.
- Ladders: Pokémon Showdown has ladders for each game mode and format that rank players based on their rating and performance. You can climb the ladder by winning battles against other players and earn badges for reaching certain milestones. You can also view the top players and teams on each ladder.
- Tournaments: Pokémon Showdown has automated tournaments that run regularly for different game modes and formats. You can join these tournaments for free and compete against other players for prizes and glory. You can also create your own tournaments with custom rules and invite other players to join.
- Chat rooms: Pokémon Showdown has chat rooms for different topics and languages where you can talk to other players, ask questions, get help, or just have fun. You can also join private chat rooms or create your own chat rooms with your friends or teammates.
Features and Functions of Pokemon Showdown
Team building and customization options
Pokémon Showdown has a teambuilder that lets you create and customize your own team of Pokémon. You can access it from the main menu or from the battle screen. The teambuilder has several options and features that help you make your team.
- Team name: You can give your team a name that describes it or identifies it. For example, “Rain Team” or “My OU Team”.
- Format: You can choose the game mode and format that you want to use for your team. For example, “Gen 8 OU” or “Gen 7 Random Battle”. This will affect what Pokémon, moves, items, abilities, and other factors are allowed or banned for your team.
- Pokémon: You can choose up to six Pokémon for your team from a list of all available Pokémon. You can also search for a specific Pokémon by name, type, tier, ability, or move. For example, “water”, “OU”, “Swift Swim”, or “Surf”.
- Moves: You can choose up to four moves for each Pokémon from a list of all available moves. You can also search for a specific move by name, type, category, power, accuracy, priority, or effect. For example, “water”, “special”, “100”, “100”, “0”, or “burns”.
- Item: You can choose one item for each Pokémon from a list of all available items. You can also search for a specific item by name or effect. For example, “Leftovers” or “heals”.
- Ability: You can choose one ability for each Pokémon from a list of all available abilities. You can also search for a specific ability by name or effect. For example, “Swift Swim” or “speeds up”.
- Level: You can choose the level for each Pokémon from 1 to 100. The default level is 100 unless the format specifies otherwise.
- Nature: You can choose the nature for each Pokémon from a list of all available natures. Natures affect two of your Pokémon’s stats by increasing one by 10% and decreasing another by 10%. For example, “Modest” increases Special Attack and decreases Attack.
- EVs: You can choose the EVs (effort values) for each Pokémon from 0 to 252 for each stat. EVs affect your Pokémon’s stats by adding one point for every four EVs in a stat. For example, if you have 252 EVs in Special Attack, you will have 63 more points in that stat than if you had 0 EVs. The total EVs for each Pokémon cannot exceed 510.
- IVs: You can choose the IVs (individual values) for each Pokémon from 0 to 31 for each stat. IVs affect your Pokémon’s stats by adding one point for every IV in a stat. For example, if you have 31 IVs in Special Attack, you will have 31 more points in that stat than if you had 0 IVs. IVs are usually set to 31 by default unless the format specifies otherwise.
- Gender: You can choose the gender for each Pokémon from male, female, or random. Gender affects some moves and abilities such as Attract or Rivalry. Some Pokémon are genderless or have a fixed gender.
- Shiny: You can choose whether each Pokémon is shiny or not. Shiny Pokémon have a different coloration than normal Pokémon and sparkle when they enter the battle. Shiny Pokémon are purely cosmetic and do not affect the gameplay.
You can also import and export your teams in a standard format that is compatible with other simulators and websites. The format is similar to the export format described in the previous section, but with some differences. For example, the level is indicated by a slash (/) after the item, and the EVs and IVs are separated by commas (,). Here is an example of an imported team:
Articuno @ Leftovers Ability: Pressure Level: 50 EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD Modest Nature IVs: 30 SpA / 30 SpD
- Ice Beam
Ludicolo @ Life Orb Ability: Swift Swim EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe Modest Nature
- Giga Drain
- Ice Beam
- Rain Dance
Volbeat (M) @ Damp Rock Ability: Prankster EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD Bold Nature
- Tail Glow
- Baton Pass
- Rain Dance
Seismitoad @ Life Orb Ability: Swift Swim EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe Modest Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Earth Power
- Stealth Rock
- Rain Dance
Alomomola @ Damp Rock Ability: Regenerator EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD Bold Nature
- Rain Dance
Armaldo @ Leftovers Ability: Swift Swim EVs: 128 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 124 Spe Adamant Nature
- Stone Edge
- Aqua Tail
- Rapid Spin
You can copy and paste this team into the teambuilder or into a text file and save it on your computer. You can also share your team with other players or websites by using this format.
Saving and loading progress
Pokémon Showdown allows you to save and load your progress on the website or on your computer. You can do this by using the following options:
- Register: You can register an account on Pokémon Showdown by choosing a username and password. This will allow you to save your teams, replays, settings, chat preferences, and ladder ratings on the website. You can also customize your profile, avatar, and signature. You can log in to your account from any device or browser by entering your username and password.
- Download: You can download your teams, replays, settings, chat preferences, and ladder ratings as files on your computer. This will allow you to backup your progress or transfer it to another device or browser. You can also edit your files using a text editor or a spreadsheet program.
- Upload: You can upload your teams, replays, settings, chat preferences, and ladder ratings from files on your computer. This will allow you to restore your progress or use it on another device or browser. You can also import files from other sources such as websites or simulators.
You can access these options from the main menu or from the teambuilder.
Available game modes and options
Pokémon Showdown has various game modes and options that you can choose from when you want to battle. You can access them from the main menu or from the battle screen.
- Find a user: You can find a specific user by entering their username and challenge them to a battle. You can also accept or decline challenges from other users.
- Find a random opponent: You can find a random opponent by choosing a game mode and format and clicking on the button. You will be matched with another player who is looking for the same type of battle.
- Watch a battle: You can watch a live or replayed battle by choosing a game mode and format and clicking on the button. You will see a list of battles that are currently happening or have happened recently. You can also search for a specific battle by entering its ID or URL.
- Create a custom game: You can create a custom game by choosing a game mode and format and clicking on the button. You will be able to set up your own rules and options for the battle, such as team preview, timer, weather, terrain, and more. You can also invite other players to join your custom game or join someone else’s custom game.
Exploring the Pokemon Showdown system
Pokémon Showdown has a system that allows you to explore different aspects of the website and the game. You can access it from the main menu or from the chat rooms.
- Help: You can get help on various topics by clicking on the button. You will see a list of help topics that you can choose from, such as commands, formats, rules, FAQ, and more. You can also ask for help from other players or staff members in the chat rooms or forums.
- News: You can get news and updates on Pokémon Showdown by clicking on the button. You will see a list of news articles that you can read, such as announcements, events, tournaments, changes, and more. You can also subscribe to the news feed or follow Pokémon Showdown on social media.
- Ladder: You can view the ladder rankings for each game mode and format by clicking on the button. You will see a list of players and teams that are ranked by their rating and performance. You can also search for a specific player or team by entering their name or ID.
- Replays: You can view your saved replays or other players’ replays by clicking on the button. You will see a list of replays that you can watch, download, share, or delete. You can also search for a specific replay by entering its ID or URL.
- Teambuilder: You can access the teambuilder by clicking on the button. You will see a list of your saved teams that you can edit, delete, import, or export. You can also create a new team by choosing a game mode and format.
- Chat rooms: You can access the chat rooms by clicking on the button. You will see a list of chat rooms that you can join or leave. You can also create your own chat room or join a private chat room by entering its name or ID.
Tips and Strategies for Success in Pokemon Showdown
Pokémon Showdown is a fun and challenging game that requires skill and strategy to win. Here are some tips and strategies that can help you improve your performance and enjoy the game more.
- Choose the right team: Your team is the most important factor in your success in Pokémon Showdown. You should choose a team that suits your playstyle, preferences, and goals. You should also choose a team that is balanced, diverse, and adaptable to different situations. You should consider factors such as type coverage, synergy, roles, threats, counters, and weaknesses when building your team. You can use the teambuilder to create your own team or use existing teams from other sources such as websites or forums.
- Understand the Primordial Past and Desolate Future options: Pokémon Showdown has two options that affect how some moves and abilities work in battle: Primordial Past and Desolate Future. These options are based on two fan-made games: Pokémon Insurgence and Pokémon Reborn. Primordial Past makes moves like Earthquake hit Flying-type Pokémon and makes abilities like Levitate ineffective. Desolate Future makes moves like Solar Beam take two turns to charge and makes abilities like Chlorophyll ineffective. These options are disabled by default, but you can enable them in custom games if you want to try them out.
- Navigate the main menu and available features: Pokémon Showdown has a main menu that lets you access various features and options for the game. You should familiarize yourself with the main menu and learn how to use each feature and option effectively. You should also customize your settings and preferences to suit your needs and preferences. You can access the main menu from any screen by clicking on the button at the top left corner.
- Utilize effective gameplay tactics: Pokémon Showdown is a game that requires strategy and tactics to win. You should learn how to use your moves, items, abilities, and other factors wisely and efficiently in battle. You should also learn how to predict your opponent’s moves and actions and react accordingly. You should consider factors such as type effectiveness, damage calculation, status effects, weather effects, terrain effects, stat changes, priority moves, switch-ins, switch-outs, hazards, traps, boosts, drops, stalls, sweeps, walls,set-ups, combos, and more when planning and executing your strategy. You can use tools such as damage calculators, type charts, and move databases to help you with your gameplay.
Pokémon Showdown is a great way to enjoy competitive Pokémon battles online. It has many features and functions that make it easy, convenient, and fun to play. It also has a large and active community of players and staff members that make it lively, friendly, and helpful. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, a casual or a hardcore player, a fan of the main series or the fan-made games, you can find something that suits your taste and interest in Pokémon Showdown. Pokémon Showdown is the ultimate Pokémon battle simulator that lets you experience the thrill of Pokémon battles anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. Try it out today and see for yourself!