- For information about the retail store chain, see Pokémon Center (store).
Pokémon Centers (Japanese: ポケモンセンター Pokémon Center, abbreviated Pokécenter) is a type of building that provide regulatory services for Pokémon trainers. Pokémon Centers are found in most towns and cities of the Pokémon world, every major city or town holds a Pokémon Center. Pokémon Centers can be found outside towns, sometimes next to large forests or caves. Pokémon Centers are built where many trainers gather and the area becomes popular. This is to accommodate those trainers in need and serve as a resting spot. The most common service the Pokémon Center offers is healing Pokémon free of charge. They also serve as gathering places for trainers. Fly always brings the player in front of the Pokémon Center of a given town.
In the games
In the Pokémon games, Pokémon Centers are important buildings found in most towns and cities, sometimes even on routes. Pokémon Centers are essential to trainers as it provides many facilities and host most game mechanics. Non-player character Trainers and their own Pokémon are often found hanging around in Centers, offering general advice and information on the events in the town or area it is situated in. Though the setup of the Centers has varied slightly throughout each generation, all Pokémon Centers have these functions:
- A nurse heals all party Pokémon in a matter of seconds. This service heals all status conditions, recharges HP and PP of all party Pokémon, free of charge. The nurse is located at the main counter just as the player enters the Pokémon Center.
- Pokémon Centers also host the Cable Club and the Union Room, which facilitates multiplayer gameplay. Originally, linked players could only battle and trade one another, but in later generations, players can mix records and play games together.
- Trainers also have access to a PC so that they can change out their party. Players are able to deposit and withdraw Pokémon, along with ability to store and withdraw items and display their Hall of Fame details.
- In Generations I-III, saving the game inside a Pokémon Center is required to facilitate linking with console games such as Pokémon Stadium and Colosseum.
In Generation I, a Pokémon Center consisted of two counters on a single floor. The counter on the left has a nurse that will heal the player's Pokémon. The counter on the right contains the Cable Club, which allows players to link with each other. Talking to the women at the desk will allow the player to enter the Cable Club. Furthest to the right is the PC to deposit and withdraw Pokémon or items. Generation I also includes one of the few examples of a Pokémon Center that isn't in a town, which is the Pokémon Center in Route 10 outside the entrance to the Rock Tunnel. Future Generations employ rest houses that only offer healing services in areas similar to that.
The original link-up place was at the far end of the Pokémon Center in Generation I Kanto. Players can link together to simply battle each other in a one-on-one fight and trade Pokémon with each other. Two players linked by a first generation Game Link Cable can enter the cable club. Pokémon Yellow featured an extended version of the Cable Club with the option to choose special battle rules or cups.
In Generation II, to accommodate greater linkup functionality, the Pokémon Centers of both Kanto and Johto expanded to two floors, making it an introduction to Pokémon Centers. On the first floor remained the counter where the nurse would heal Pokémon, as well as a PC. While on the second floor the Cable Club resided.
Located upstairs in Pokémon Centers throughout Johto and Kanto, this Cable Club consisted of three rooms. The Cable Club Trade Center facilitated trading, the Cable Club Colosseum allowed battling, and the Cable Club Time Capsule provided a way to trade Pokémon with the Generation I games. In order to rectify the lack of a female trainer sprite in the Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions, before a female player of Pokémon Crystal can enter the Cable Club when linked to any game besides another Crystal version, she must have her clothes changed to those of a male player. Two players can enter the Cable Club with a first generation Game Link Cable.
Johto Mobile Center
Only in the Japanese Crystal version, the Pokémon Communication Center in Goldenrod City. Added was the ability to battle over mobile phones upstairs, and two new items downstairs: Pokémon News, a news machine which aggregated news about trainer accomplishments and Trade Corner, which let a trainer place a Pokémon up for trade. This process was probably a prototype for the GTS.
Pokémon Centers during Generation III remained in a two-floor setup, similar to the way they were in Generation II. The only difference is that the stairs to the second floor are larger and more noticeable, taking the shape of an escalator.
Similar to the Cable Club in Johto, the Hoenn Cable Club's Pokémon Center has a Cable Club Colosseum and a Cable Club Trade Center. Now four players can link with a third generation Game Link Cable to battle in a double battle. A new feature was added to the Cable Club called the Cable Club Record Center, which allows two to four trainers to swap data. Similar to the Pokémon News in Crystal version, swapped trainer data shows up on television shows on televisions found all across Hoenn. Also, trainers' secret bases are copied over in the record mixing.
The Generation III Kanto and Pokémon Emerald version Hoenn have a Wireless Club. The Wireless Club meets in the Union Room, where up to 40 trainers may (in groups of five) talk and battle, as well as trade via a trading board similar to the Crystal version Trade Corner. The Cable Club's room has the standard Trade Center and Colosseum. Pokémon Emerald version's Cable Club also has the Record Center.
In Generation IV, Pokémon Centers introduce a basement floor, utilizing Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Opposite the second floor escalator, another escalator downstairs to the basement appears. While the second floor retains the same functionality that it did during Generation III with four player on the DS's wireless connection, the basement floor is where players can link up with others around the world using Nintendo Wi-Fi. The first floor, as always, is where a player can heal their Pokémon and a PC. As of Pokémon Platinum players can also challenge a trainer or trainers inside some Pokémon Centers.
In Generation IV, Sinnoh has a wireless club just like Kanto and Hoenn, but with a lack of a Record Center. This region though has a Wi-Fi club downstairs, under the Pokémon Center, for people to connect to each other if they are on each other's Pal Pad. Here they can battle and trade, and they can talk to each other, not with a chat box, but with microphones.
The Wi-Fi Plaza is an enhancement to the Wi-Fi Club in Pokémon Platinum. It is found downstairs in the Pokémon Center. Players from around the world can enter a "plaza" to make Poffins and play mini-games together via Nintendo Wi-Fi. The player can walk around the plaza and communicate with other players in the plaza. A leap in multiplayer gameplay is introduced, allowing up to 20 players can enter the Wi-Fi Plaza at a time. The player may only spend a certain amount of time at the Wi-Fi Plaza each day.
In the anime
In the anime, a Nurse Joy heads each Pokémon Center. The healing process takes place in real time, unlike in the games. All Pokémon Centers are connected and, in times of crisis, all Pokémon can be transferred from one to another, as seen in Pokémon Emergency!.
Pokémon Centers are designed for trainers so they can rest between heavy training. Trainers use Centers as gathering places, so they can share information about Pokémon. They also have access to video phones, PC with trading functions and most offer free food and lodging. Inside a typical Pokémon Center, one can find a front desk, a lobby (sometimes with vending machines), a Poké Ball room, an Emergency Room with plenty of beds for injured Pokémon, a recovery room, a waiting room, rooms for lodging, and a cafeteria. On the outside, they come in all shapes and sizes, but usually have a rather large P somewhere.
- For Dawn of a New Era!, Professor Oak's lecture is about Pokémon Centers. He writes this Pokémon senryū about it: ジョーイさん あいたくなったら ポケモンセンター Jōi-san aitaku nattara, Pokémon sentā. "When I want to meet Nurse Joy, Pokémon Center."
- If a trainer gets at least four stars on their trainer card in Diamond and Pearl, the nurse at the Pokémon Center will make special mention of this, and then refer to the player by name upon subsequent visits.
- A man in the Resort Area decribes how Pokémon Centers come to be in an area. When Pokémon appear, trainers will also come. When trainers appear, Pokémon Centers will also come about.
- The Pokemon Center's music is the same in each version of Pokémon, in the generation IV, a little part is added to the music and when it is the night, it plays another music.