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Pokémon Trading Card Game Online

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Pokémon Trading Card Game Online
TCGOlogo.png
Logo of Pokémon Trading Card Game Online
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Basic info
Platform: PC, Mac, and iPad
Category: Strategy
Players: 1-2, with unlimited in chat
Connectivity: Internet
Developer: Electrified Games, Sleepy Giant Entertainment, Plexipixel, Inversoft
Publisher: The Pokémon Company International
Part of: Generation IV misc/V/VI
Ratings
CERO:
ESRB: E
ACB: N/A
OFLC: G
PEGI:
GRB: N/A
Release dates
Japan: N/A
North America: March 24, 2011 (TC beta)
Australia: March 24, 2011 (TC beta)
Europe: March 24, 2011 (TC beta)
South Korea: N/A
Websites
Japanese: N/A
English: Game site
Pokémon TCGO site icon

Pokémon Trading Card Game Online (sometimes referred to as Pokémon TCG Online, PTCGO, or TCGO) is a downloadable game, and the first Pokémon game of the MMOTCG (massively-multiplayer online trading card game) genre. The game was originally released as a browser-based game in March 2011 before being relaunched as a downloadable game in 2012 for the PC and Mac and for iPad in 2014. The game officially emerged from open beta testing in February 2015, but it continues to be refined and improved upon on a continual basis. The game is based on the Pokémon Trading Card Game or TCG aspect of the Pokémon franchise and follows the same rules. The game is also free to download and use. Experience with the trading card game is not required. It is accessible to both beginners and experienced players alike. It is also intended to be used by both children and adults. Players do not need to purchase physical Theme decks or Booster packs from a store in order to play. Players are provided with everything they need to begin playing, and there are multiple means of earning new cards and other rewards as the game is played.

Contents

History

The Pokémon Trading Card Game Online was originally released on 24 March 2011[1] as a browser-based game. The game was subsequently redesigned as a downloadable game utilizing the Unity (game engine)[2] and relauched on 15 May 2012 for PC,[3] on 5 November 2012 for Mac,[4][5] and on 30 September 2014 for iPad.[6] The original browser-based version continued to function until 8 August 2012.[7] Development continues on the downloadable version even after it officially emerged from open beta testing in February 2015.[8] Additionally, some early features have also been retired or removed from the game.

The reprogramming and relaunch of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online[9] initially required the removal all game features except for the Trainer Challenge[10] and the now retired Achievements reward system.[11][12] Other features were gradually readded or added over time:

Plot

Players begin their adventure at a virtual Game Store, where Trainers Zach and Ella welcome them. Player are provided three Starter Theme decks, each representing one of three Starter Pokémon types — Fire Fire, Grass Grass, and Water Water. The game initially revolves around playing a couple of in-game Tutorials before competing against computer-controlled Trainer characters from the Trainer Challenge.

in-game Tutorial

Main article: Tutorial (TCGO)

After being welcomed to the Game Store, players face Zach and Ella in two in-game Tutorials Pokémon Trading Card Game matches designed to teach players the basics of game play. After completing the tutorials, players are presented with a full match against a random computer-controlled Trainer from the Trainer Challenge. If players "Play as a Guest", they may repeat but will not advance beyond this stage. Players will, however, be encouraged to create a Pokémon Trainer Club User Name and Password after each match. Finally, with a Pokémon Trainer Club account, players are directed through the first few matches in the Trainer Challenge's Gold League.

  • In order to help new players learn the mechanics of the game, they are directed through the tutorials and initial matches before unlocking all game features. Players already familiar with the game may bypass this directed phase by disabling the New User Experience under in-game Options.
  • Players who create a Pokémon Trainer Club account may also use it on the official Pokémon.com website and at Play! Pokémon events.

NOTE: For those seeking additional tutorials outside of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online itself, a brief description of How to play appears on the Pokémon Trading Card Game page. The Glossary also defines most of the Pokémon Trading Card Game terminology. Finally, there are browser-based step-by-step TCG tutorials on Pokémon.com.

Play Modes

There are 4 different play modes available. These are Quick Match, Trainer Challenge, Versus Mode, and Tournament Mode.

Quick Match

This is a single player mode using a randomly selected Theme deck that players have unlocked. Players battle against another randomly selected player. The match does not count toward Player rank, earn Trainer Tokens, or a Bonus Wheel spin. This mode is currently only accessible through the initially Landing page. Players may re-access the Landing page by clicking on the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online logo in the upper center of most TCGO screens.

Trainer Challenge

In the Trainer Challenge, players face various computer-controlled Trainer characters using only Theme decks, including Online-exclusive Theme decks featuring Starter Pokémon Tepig and Fire-type Pokémon Fire, Snivy and Grass-type Pokémon Grass, and Oshawott and Water-type Pokémon Water from the Black & White Series (BW Basic Red, BW Basic Green, and BW Basic Blue), those unlocked by Redemption codes from code cards, and those purchased with Trainer Tokens or Gems from the in-game Shop. Code cards are obtained through purchase of physical Theme decks from the Black & White Series onwards.

List of the Trainer characters:
Zach Ella Game Store Professor
Ali Brittney Calvin Cammie
Daniel Grayson Juji Kendall
Logan Mick Nathan Otis
Penelope Rika Tyson

Players battle in three leagues: Gold League, Platinum League, and City Championship. Players have the option of adjusting the match difficulty between: Easy, Medium, and Hard. Changing the difficulty setting changes the composition of the opponent's deck. Players must defeat a given Trainer once before unlocking the next. Players must also defeat a given league once before unlocking the next, starting with Gold League and ending with City Championship. Unlike more traditional Pokémon Trading Card Game Tournaments such the multi-player Tournament Mode, defeat on the part of players in these Trainer Challenge league "tournaments" does not result in players changing their standing.

There are also 12 circles at the bottom of the "Select A Trainer" screen before a Trainer Challenge match, which correspond to each of the 12 Trainers in that league. By clicking on the corresponding circle, players may quickly select that Trainer. A padlocked circle means that the corresponding Trainer has not yet been unlocked. An open grey circle indicates that the Trainer has been unlocked but has not been beaten with any of the player's Theme decks. A dark green check mark over a grey circle means that the Trainer has not yet been defeated with the player selected Theme deck. A light green check mark indicates that the Trainer it corresponds to has already been defeated with the player selected Theme deck. Each Theme deck has its own set of check marks for each league.

Unlocking decks

Players must defeat 7 Trainers with the same Starter Theme decks to fully unlock all the cards in that deck. Certain cards are replaced automatically with each Trainer beaten. Beating the same Trainer in a different spot in a league or in a different leagues counts toward the 7 successes. Beating a Trainer in the same spot in a league more than once does not count toward the 7 successes.

  • NOTE: The 2 October 2013 update retired a feature that also gradually unlocked redeemable or purchased Theme decks over the course of 11 successful wins as described above. All redeemed or purchased Theme decks are now fully "unlocked" immediately upon redeeming or purchasing them in the in-game Shop.

Earning stars

Players also earn up to four stars for each of the 36 Trainer opponents in the Trainer Challenge. Whether players win or lose, points are calculated at the end of a match. These points are added to the current point total for that individual Trainer in that spot in a given league. Based on that cumulative total, players earn the following four stars and game rewards:

  • 1 Star (at 1,000 points) = 1 Trainer Token (per Trainer opponent)
  • 2 Stars (at 5,000 points) = 3 Trainer Tokens (per Trainer opponent)
  • 3 Stars (at 14,000 points) = 10 Trainer Tokens (per Trainer opponent)
  • 4 Stars (at 30,000+ points) = 1 non-tradable, 10-card Booster pack from the current Standard format (per Trainer opponent)
  • Additionally, players obtain 3 more non-tradable, 10-card Booster packs from the current Standard format format by earning 4 Stars with every Trainer in each league for 9 more Booster packs.

These Trainer Tokens and 45 total Booster packs may only be obtained once per account.[46]

Scoring points in a Trainer Challenge match is based on various player performance criteria and on the difficulty level chosen, with a higher difficulty level earning more points per match:

  • Easy = 1/2 the point bonus (x0.5)
  • Medium = normal point bonus (x1)
  • Hard = triple the point bonus (x3)

Versus Mode

Players are allowed to choose one of three Opponent types (Random Battle, Friend Battle, or Play Testing), one of four Play types or Deck formats (Theme, Standard, Expanded, or Unlimited) and a deck appropriate to the above.

Opponent types

Random Battle
Formally an option under Ranked Battle. This feature allows players to play against another randomly selected online player. Players earn a single Trainer Token for each match played ("Expert Matchmaking Reward"), provided they have met a minimum playtime requirement, plus 2 Trainer Tokens if they win a match versus a player who was ranked by TCGO as having an "Advantage" based on player play history ("Game Advantage Upset Reward"). Additionally, players are give the chance to spin the Bonus Wheel, which provides an opportunity to receive Trainer Tokens, Tournament Tickets, or a Mystery Box reward. Trainer Tokens and the Bonus Wheel are provided to both players regardless of the outcome of the match.
Friend Battle
This mode allows players to play against another player who is on their Friends List. Trainer Token and the Bonus Wheel cannot be earned in this mode.
Play Testing
This mode allows players to practice using their chosen deck against a random computer-controlled Trainer from the Trainer Challenge and does not count toward Player rank or earn Trainer Tokens and a Bonus Wheel spin.

Play types

Play type is also known Game type or Deck format.

Theme
Only pre-constructed Theme decks are allowed in this play type. Apart from the Starter themed Online-exclusive Theme decks, Theme decks are obtained by either using a Redemption code or by purchase with Trainer Tokens or Gems in the in-game Shop.
Standard
Only decks composed entirely of cards from expansion or sets officially sanctioned for Play! Pokémon events for the Standard format are allowed in this play type. The list of allowed expansions is updated with a game patch shortly after as the official Rotation is announced. Expansions are added to the Standard format as they are released (typically four a year), and the oldest legal expansions are rotated out of the Standard format on an annual basis. The Standard format was previously called the Modified format.
Expanded
Only decks composed entirely of cards from expansions or sets officially sanctioned for Play! Pokémon events for the Expanded format are allowed in this play type. This format was added in the 2014-2015 season to allow a greater number of expansions than the Standard format but is not as unpredictable in card combinations as the Unlimited format. The list of allowed expansions is updated with a game patch shortly after as the official Rotation is announced. Expansions are added to the Expanded format as they are released.
Unlimited
Any deck composed of cards currently available in the game are allowed in this play type (including Standard format decks and Theme decks). Currently, only HeartGold & SoulSilver, Black & White, and XY sets and their expansion are available in the game.

Tournament Mode

Entry into tournaments versus other players require either Tournament Tickets or Trainer Tokens. Players may use one of four Deck formats or Play types (Theme, Standard, Expanded, or Unlimited), though not all Deck formats are always available. Playing in tournaments with other players provide the opportunity to gain a single Trainer Token and a spin on the Bonus Wheel at the end of each match as well as the opportunity to earn Trainer Tokens, Tournament Tickets, and 5-card Booster packs based on player placement in a given tournament.

Each tournament is composed of three-round single elimination matches between 8 players. Upon selecting a Deck format with either the Tournament Ticket or Trainer Token entry requirements, players are placed into a queue until 8 players join. Once that queue is full, the tournament will begin and a new queue will be created. The maximum duration of a tournament is 1 hour and 18 minutes with up to 25 minutes minutes per match (12 and 1/2 minutes per player) and one minute between rounds.

Tournament rotation

Continuously running tournaments currently offer three Deck formats: two require a Tournament Ticket entry fee and one a Trainer Token entry fee. The exact Deck formats and entry fee costs rotate on a weekly basis on Mondays at 7:00 PM UTC (Coordinated Universal Time or Greenwich Mean Time).[47] On weekends, one of the two Tournament Ticket entry fee tournaments is increased to a 5 Tournament Tickets cost instead of 3 but also offers increased placement rewards.

  • Week 1: Theme deck (49 Trainer Token entry fee), Standard (3 Tournament Ticket entry fee), and Unlimited (3 Tournament Ticket entry fee)
  • Week 2: Theme deck (3 Tournament Ticket entry), Standard (49 Trainer Token entry fee), and Extended (3 Tournament Ticket entry fee)

Tournament special events

The first non-trial Tournament special event officially premiered on 5 February 2015 as a weeklong tournament in which players battled in all four Deck formats for special themed rewards based on Team Magma and Team Aqua from the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire video games. Other Tournament special events occur from time to time.

Tournament rewards

Entry costs and rewards vary widely for Tournament special events. Continuously running tournament entry costs and rewards are standardized:

Trainer Tokens Tournament Tickets

Entry Cost: 49 Trainer Tokens

Rewards:

1st Place — Tournament Tickets x3
2nd Place — Tournament Tickets x2
3rd to 4th Place — Tournament Tickets x1
5th to 8th Place — Trainer Tokens x12

Entry Cost: 3 Tournament Tickets

Rewards:

1st Place — Current Expansion Booster pack x2 and Random Booster pack x1
2nd Place — Current Expansion Booster pack x1 and Random Booster pack x1
3rd to 4th Place — Tournament Tickets x1
5th to 8th Place — Trainer Tokens x25

Entry Cost: 5 Tournament Tickets

Rewards:

1st Place — Current Expansion Booster packs x3 and Random Booster packs x3
2nd Place — Current Expansion Booster pack x1 and Random Booster pack x1
3rd to 4th Place — Random Booster packs x1
5th to 8th Place — Trainer Tokens x50

Currency

There are three currencies available in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. These are Trainer Tokens, Tournament Tickets, and Gems. Only Trainer Tokens and Tournament Tickets are currently obtainable worldwide.

Trainer Tokens

Main article: Trainer Token

Trainer Tokens may be used to redeem non-tradable, 5-card Booster packs (95 Trainer Tokens) from Expanded format expansions of the game and Non-exclusive Theme decks (500 Trainer Tokens) from Standard format expansions of the game, as well as Avatar and Gameplay items. They are obtained through various means, including the Daily Challenges, Trainer Challenges, Random Battle matches in the Versus Mode and Tournament Mode, and the Bonus Wheel.

Trainer Tokens are also be obtained by playing various browser-based games or by earning Stamps and reading articles on Pokémon.com. They may also be spent on various items for a player's Pokémon.com Trainer Avatar. This is similar to but distinct from the Pokémon TCG Online Avatar within the game itself.

  • NOTE: 5-card booster packs are unique to the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. They contain at least 3 common (Common), 1 uncommon (Uncommon), and the chance for 1 rare (Rare) cards from a given expansion. Most Booster packs typically contain 10 cards and have a higher percentage of common cards in them, including those received as rewards in the TCGO game and redeemed with Redemption codes in the in-game Shop.

Tournament Tickets

Tournament Tickets are currently available as Daily Challenge rewards or by spinning the Bonus Wheel. They are used to gain access to tournaments in Tournament Mode by redeeming a certain amount of tickets needed to enter a given tournament.

Additionally, Tournament Tickets my be purchased by clicking on the Ticket icon in upper right of many screens such as Tournament Mode of the in-game Shop or by going directly to www.pokemontcg.com/us/purchase.

  • 9.99 USD for 10 Tournament Tickets
  • 24.99 USD for 25 Tournament Tickets
  • 49.99 USD for 50 Tournament Tickets
  • 99.99 USD for 100 Tournament Tickets

Gems

Gems are currently only available to adult players in Canada for testing and are purchased from the in-game Shop. Similar to Trainer Tokens, Gems may be used to purchase Booster packs, Non-exclusive Theme decks, Avatar items, and Gameplay items in the Shop or used as a currency for trading with other players.

  • NOTE: A Gem is typically equal to 2 Trainer Tokens.

Daily Match Bonus

The Daily Match Bonus or "Daily PvP Game Reward" is awarded for completing the first Random Battle match with 10 Trainer Tokens each day (12:00 AM UTC, Coordinated Universal Time or Greenwich Mean Time), regardless of whether players win or lose and in addition to any other rewards. All player versus player match play time minimums apply.

Daily Challenge

The Daily Challenge rewards players for playing the Trading Card Game Online on a daily basis. Players are presented with specific game related challenges starting at 9:00 AM UTC (Coordinated Universal Time or Greenwich Mean Time) each day.[48] Players may ONLY accept a single challenge during a single day. The challenge does not need to be completed before the end of a given day. However, players will not be offered a new challenge until they finish their current challenge or "Abandon" it, except as a new day's challenge may be worked on simultaneously as players advance in Player level. The first four challenges cannot be abandoned. If players complete their current challenge and a new day has already started, players will be offered that new day's challenge. If more than one day passes before players complete their current challenge, only the current new day's challenge will be presented. The challenge backlog or queue is never greater than one day at a time.

  • NOTE: Players can only ever choose ONE CHALLENGE PER DAY. At higher Player levels, players have the opportunity to choice between two and eventually three options each day. However, they can only choose ONE of them. All additional challenges that players do not select are LOST. While players may choose another challenge on the following day and may also store up to two or three old challenges at higher Player levels, players can never pick up more than one new challenge each day.

As players successfully complete challenges, they earn Trainer Tokens and random Booster packs. Each Daily Challenge has an Pokémon type associated with it as well as an Experience Point (or XP) value, which are applied to that given Pokémon type. Each Pokémon type starts at Level 0 (zero) and increases to Level 3, unlocking special Pokémon type themed Coins (Level 1), Card sleeves (Level 2), and Deck boxes (Level 3). It takes a total of 5 XP for players to reach Level 1 in a given Pokémon type and then 5 more XP for Level 2. Pokémon type Level 3 requires 10 additional XP. If more XP is earned then required to reach the next level, it rolls over. However, at present, no XP will be applied after players reach Level 3 in a given Pokémon type. Active Challenges/Level Progress in the player Profile will not read more than "0/10".

Earning a Pokémon type level also increases overall Player level by one. Players starts at Player level 0 (zero). Increasing Player level eventually allows players to save and pursue up to three Daily Challenges at one time.

  • NOTE: "Player level" should not be confused with "Player rank", by which TCGO tracks player skill level when matching players for Random Battles matches and for indicating player "Advantage" in both Random Battle and Tournament matches

View/Abandon challenge

A popup window introduces the Daily Challenge to players following their logging into the game. Afterward, "Active Challenge" and "Level Progress" may be viewed in the center icon/tab under Profile. Selecting an active challenge will display a small "trash can" icon. Selecting the "trash can" icon allows players to "Abandon" that challenge. "Abandoning" a challenge will cause all progress to be lost.

  • NOTE: The first four Daily Challenges may not be abandoned. Players must complete these first four challenges before additional, random challenges are presented.

By "hovering over" a given Pokémon type with the mouse pointer (or iPad equivalent), a small indicator will show players how much XP they have earned to date for the next Pokémon type level and how much total XP is needed to reach that level.

Challenge list

The full list of variations in the Daily Challenges are not yet clear. The very first four challenges are presented in order and cannot be abandoned or bypassed. After these first four challenges are completed and continuing through Player level 5, challenges are selected randomly from a set of three challenge types based on four Pokémon types (Fire Fire, Grass Grass, Psychic Psychic, and Water Water). These initial Pokémon types correspond to the Pokémon found in the three Starter Theme decks and the Mental Might Theme deck. Players may use these four Theme decks or any other deck that qualifies for the challenge criteria. Player level 6 challenges represent a blending of the initial set of random challenges and the second set of random challenges. The second set of random challenges are based on all Pokémon types (except for Colorless Colorless) and becomes the default set at Player level 7. Random challenges haves a Rarity frequency that defines how often players should expect to be presented with a particular type of challenge: Common (Common), Uncommon (Uncommon), and Rare (Rare). The less common the challenge, the better the rewards. Booster packs awarded with the completion of Rare (Rare) challenges may be either 5-card or 10-card Booster packs, with 10-card Booster packs becoming more typical as players increase their Player level. Challenges known to be presented so far include:

First Four Challenges: Sequence:
Challenge #1
Challenge #2
Challenge #3
Challenge #4
Challenges appearing randomly during Player levels 0 to 5 with the following rarity frequency: Rarity:
— Where the Pokémon Type is randomly selected from Fire Fire, Grass Grass, and Water Water.
Common (Common)
— Where the Pokémon Type is randomly selected from Fire Fire, Grass Grass, and Water Water.
Uncommon (Uncommon)
— Where the Pokémon Type is randomly selected from Fire Fire, Grass Grass, and Water Water.
Rare (Rare)
Player levels 6 challenges are a mixture of the above and below sets.
Challenges appearing randomly during Player levels 7 and above with the following rarity frequency: Rarity:
— Where the Pokémon Type is randomly selected from all types except for Colorless Colorless:
Darkness Darkness, Dragon Dragon, Fairy Fairy, Fighting Fighting, Fire Fire, Grass Grass, Lightning Lightning, Metal Metal, Psychic Psychic, and Water Water.
Common (Common)
— Where the Pokémon Type is randomly selected from all types except for Colorless Colorless:
Darkness Darkness, Dragon Dragon, Fairy Fairy, Fighting Fighting, Fire Fire, Grass Grass, Lightning Lightning, Metal Metal, Psychic Psychic, and Water Water.
Uncommon (Uncommon)
— Where the Pokémon Type is randomly selected from all types except for Colorless Colorless:
Darkness Darkness, Dragon Dragon, Fairy Fairy, Fighting Fighting, Fire Fire, Grass Grass, Lightning Lightning, Metal Metal, Psychic Psychic, and Water Water.
Rare (Rare)
— XP applied to Water Water type but conditions need not be applied specifically through this Pokémon type. The conditions may be applied by any card.
Rare (Rare)
— XP applied to Fire Fire type but conditions need not be applied specifically through this Pokémon type. The conditions may be applied by any card.
Rare (Rare)
— XP applied to Psychic Psychic type but conditions need not be applied specifically through this Pokémon type. The conditions may be applied by any card.
Rare (Rare)
— XP applied to ... type but conditions need not be applied specifically through this Pokémon type. The conditions may be applied by any card.
Rare (Rare)
— XP applied to Grass Grass type but conditions need not be applied specifically through this Pokémon type. The conditions may be applied by any card.
Rare (Rare)

Theme decks

Main article: Theme Deck (TCG)

Currently, new players have access to five Online-exclusive Theme decks unique to the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online available for use in multiplayer mode matches. These Theme deck are composed of cards from various Black & White and XY expansions of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Online-exclusive Theme decks

Main article: Online-exclusive Theme decks

Rotated Online-exclusive Theme decks

Main article: Rotated Online-exclusive Theme decks
  • Basic Orange was formally unlocked as the first Daily Login Bonus prior to the 13 August 2014 update. It can no longer be unlocked. It is still accessible to players who have already obtained it. It is NOT playable in the Trainer Challenge.
  • Power Relay was formally unlocked by entering a special Redemption code (e.g. "plasmablast") in the in-game Shop prior to the 2 October 2013 update. It can no longer be redeemed. It is playable in all play modes if players have already redeemed it.

Non-exclusive Theme decks

Main article: Non-exclusive redeemable decks

These Theme decks corresponding to the physical decks in the Black & White Series expansion onwards and be may unlocked in Pokémon Trading Card Game Online by redeeming the deck-access Redemption codes included in the Theme deck box. Only one Theme deck of the same kind per account can be unlocked regardless of the number of codes. Alternatively, newer Theme decks may also be purchased with Trainer Tokens or Gems in the in-game Shop. Players obtain a single Trainer Token for beating each of the 36 Trainers in the Trainer Challenge once per Theme deck. Additionally, players also obtain a non-tradable, 10-card Booster pack from the current Standard format by beating 12 Trainers once per Theme deck. These Trainer Tokens and Booster packs can only be obtained once per account.

Other Features

Bonus Wheel

The Bonus Wheel provides an opportunity to receive special bonus rewards such as Trainer Tokens, Tournament Tickets, or a Mystery Box. Spins on the Bonus Wheel are earned through participation in a Random Battle in Versus Mode or a tournament match in Tournament Mode against another player.

There are two Bonus Wheels: a Victor’s Bonus Wheel and a regular Bonus Wheel. The Victor’s Bonus Wheel includes greater Trainer Token amounts and additional opportunities to receive a Tournament Ticket or a Mystery Box.

  • Regular Bonus Wheel: one Tournament Ticket x1, Mystery Box x1, one Trainer Token x4, three Trainer Tokens x2, five Trainer Tokens x1, and eight Trainer Tokens x1
  • Victor's Bonus Wheel: one Tournament Ticket x2, Mystery Box x2, three Trainer Tokens x2, ten Trainer Tokens x2, fifteen Trainer Tokens x2, twenty-five Trainer Tokens x2
  • The original, now retired Bonus wheel contained 1 to 5 Trainer Tokens, 1 Tournament Ticket, or a Mystery Box.

Coins

Main article: Coin (TCG)

Coins are items that are used in-game when a move, status effect or ability requires a coin flip. The different coins have no special effects; their only difference is their appearance. Players start out with the Red Arceus coin. The Blue Energy coin was given to players by completing certain in-game achievements (currently unavailable to newer players). Additional coins are made available when players redeem a purchased Non-exclusive Theme decks, access Redemption code or event code in the in-game Shop or when purchasing a Non-exclusive Theme deck through Trainer Tokens or Gems.

Collection viewer

This section shows cards, unopened booster packs and Non-exclusive Theme decks, and Avatar and Gameplay items in a player's collection as well as items players tag "For Trade", "Wanted", or "For Review".

Deck Manager

This allows the players to view, clone, edit or create decks using obtained cards and items. Decks may be created in either the Standard, Expanded or Unlimited format Play types. Selecting a Standard format or Expanded format filters out cards not sanctioned for official Pokémon Trading Card Game events. After selecting a set of 60 cards, a Deck box, Coins, Card sleeve, and playmat may be selected. These Gameplay items may be obtained by Redemption codes from code cards or event codes in the in-game Shop or purchased with Trainer Tokens or Gems.

Full Game menu

The Full Game menu is located in the upper righthand corner of most screens and is represented by the orange icon with a white leftward pointing triangle and three lines. When it is selected, it opens a side bar that slides out from the right side of the screen. The top of most screens contain icons representing shortcuts to only a few primary game features: Trainer Challenge, Versus Mode, Tournament Mode, in-game Shop, Landing page, and Help menu. When the Full Game menu is open, it provides access to all game features except for Quick Match, which is only found on the Landing page, and the Social menu.

  • Game features available at the top of the slide out bar represented by four grey, small, square like icons from left to right: Profile, Help menu, in-game Options, and "Exit the Game".

Game notifications

Game notices are posted via two methods: 1.) the Game Information section at the bottom of the TCGO log-in screen, and 2.) Pop-up Windows that appear shortly after logging into the game. Notices include Daily Challenge announcements as well as announcements concerning future Tournament special events, server maintenance that will make the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online unplayable for a few hours, information about a recent program upgrade or patch, etc.

Gameplay items

Gameplay items include Card sleeves, Deck boxes, and Coins. There is no unique advantage to selecting any one Gameplay item over another. It is solely a matter of player preferences about how certain game elements look. Gameplay items may be purchased from time to time in the in-game Shop, made available along with the purchase of Theme decks directly from the in-game Shop or through Redemption codes provided with the purchase of physical Theme decks and other select card collections, or may be Traded for with other players.

  • NOTE: Playmates are not currently available in the TCGO, although an option to select one in the Deck Manager indicates that they may become available in the future.

Help menu

The Help menu is represented by a grey icon with a white question mark ("?"). The icon is found at the top of most screens and the top of the Full Game menu. It provides links to web-browser based "F.A.Q." or Frequently Answered Questions, "Pokémon Rules", "Report a Problem", and "Pokémon Tutorials". It also provides access to the in-game "Privacy Policy" and "Terms of Use".

Landing page

The Landing page is what players see immediately immediately after logging into a game. Its layout of game features is different from the rest of the game. All game features may be accessed on the Landing page except for in-game Options, Profile, and Social menu. The Quick Match play mode is only accessible on the Landing page. Players may re-access the Landing page by clicking on the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online logo in the upper center of most TCGO screens.

Miscellaneous

  • Card Detail View — For the Windows PC client, detail about a given card is available to the player by right clicking on the card. During matches, a much larger image of the card is displayed. When opening a new Booster pack or Theme deck or when using the Deck Manager and in-game Trade, players are presented with a card interface similar to the Collection viewer, which displays how many total copies of that card the player already has in their collection and what number of these cards are tradeable or locked. Players can also mark the cards "For Trade", "Wanted", and "For Review". When opening Booster packs and Theme decks, this is often the only way to see this additional card information.
  • Full Screen/Window Display — For the Windows PC client, players may switch between a full screen display and a window display by using the following keyboard key combination: hold down the Alt key and then press the Enter key. For the Mac client, hold down the Command key then press the Enter key. Display issues may arise when not playing the TCGO inside a full screen.
  • Match Inactivity — Players must remain actively engaged in matches with other online players in Versus Mode or Tournament Mode. Discussions in the Social menu's "Game Chat" do not count toward player activity. Players should be considerate of the time invested not only by themselves but also their opponents. If the TCGO determines that players are inactive too long, it will display a 15 second warning. Ignoring the warning causes players to lose matches. This activity mechanism is designed to help insure players do not take advantage of another player.
  • Minimum Playtime Requirement — During Versus Mode Random Battle and Tournament Mode matches against other online players, Trainer Token and Bonus Wheel rewards are earned if matches lasts at least 2 minutes (5 minutes prior to the 3 April 2014 update).[49] This minimum amount of time was increased with the 22 December 2014 update for players forfeiting matches early (actively leaving a match, remaining inactive for an extended period of time, or not taking at least one Prize card) back to 5 minutes while guaranteeing rewards for players whose opponent forfeits matches regardless of the amount of time that passed.[50] This change was designed to discourage players for only playing long enough to earn Trainer Token and Bonus Wheel rewards.
  • Loss of Internet Connection — During online player versus player matches in Versus Mode or Tournament Mode, if players lose their Internet connection, they have 5 minutes to log back into the game before their opponents are declared the winner. When the Internet connection is lost by an opponent, players are notified with a pop-up message.

Mystery Box

Mystery Box rewards are earned on Bonus Wheel spins. Rewards include both static rewards (25 Trainer Tokens, 4 Tournament Tickets, a 5-card Booster pack from the current Standard format expansion or randomly selected from current Standard format expansions) or items that are updated weekly such as single expansion or promo cards, Coins, and Card sleeves. The 4 February 2015 update increased the rewards in a Victor’s Mystery Box to include 50 Trainer Tokens, a larger Tournament Ticket amount, tradable single cards, and tradable 10-card Booster packs.

in-game Options

Accessible on the Landing page or via the Full Game menu, the orange icon in the upper righthand corner of most screens. This feature allows players to change various game settings such as Game Play, Video, and Audio. Multiple players using the same Pokémon Trading Card Game Online program have individual/per-account settings.

  • NOTE: Turning off Tool Tip Hints may negatively affect game play by making certain in-game information inaccessible, such as how many cards are left in the player's or an opponent's deck.

Pokémon Trainer Club

Main article: Pokémon Trainer Club

Some game settings are inaccessible in the TCGO game itself and can only be found in the Pokémon Trainer Club by signing into Pokémon.com and viewing a player Profile. Adult players may adjust all available settings by selecting "Pokémon TCG Online Settings" under the adult player's Profile.

Child accounts

Main article: Pokémon.com, User profile

While TCGO strives to be child friendly, parents may further restrict access to certain in-game features by signing into the parent's account on Pokémon.com, selecting the child's account under the parent account, and selecting Pokémon TCG Online Settings. Parents should be certain to select "Pokémon TCG Online Settings" under the child's account, not the parent's account. Parents may then restrict some in-game features such as Friend Chat, Game Chat, Shopping, and Trading.

  • NOTE: Some in-game features are inaccessible in child accounts, such as Public Chat and Private Messaging, while other in-game features are restricted by limiting available options. Adult accounts do not have such restrictions.

Player level

"Player level" strictly corresponds to player progress in the Daily Challenge reward system. It should not be confused with "Player rank", which is related to player versus player Random Battles or Tournament matches. Successful completion of challenges earns players Experience Points (or XP) that are applied to a specific Energy type related to a given challenge. Players eventually earn levels (Levels 0 to 3) for each Energy type. Earning Energy type levels increases overall Player level. Every players starts at Player level 0 (zero). Higher Player level grants greater flexibility in completing Daily Challenges.

Player level Available Challenges Total Active Challenges NOTES
0 to 2 1 1 Players receive one Daily Challenge option per day and may pursue one Daily Challenge at a time.
3 to 4 2 1 Players choose between two Daily Challenges per day and may pursue one Daily Challenge at a time.
5 to 7 2 2 Players choose between two Daily Challenges per day and may pursue up to two Daily Challenges at a time.
8 to 9 3 2 Players choose between three Daily Challenges per day and may pursue up to two Daily Challenges at a time.
10 or more 3 3 Players choose between three Daily Challenges per day and may pursue up to three Daily Challenges at a time.

Player rank

Little is known about the specific mechanics of the TCGO's "Player rank" system or exactly when and why players are identified to have an "Advantage" in a Random Battle or Tournament match. Based on the ranking system, players with an "Advantage" are not always identified during a match. However, if TCGO does and the player without the "Advantage" wins the match, the winning player earns 2 Trainer Tokens. The ranking system is also used to help match players of similar experience during player versus player Random Battle matches. The Player rank system is more effective matching players during high player active and less effective when fewer players are looking to play a Random Battle against other online player. "Player rank" should not be confused with "Player level", which is related to the Daily Challenge reward system.

Profile

Accessible on the Landing page or via the Full Game menu in the upper righthand corner of most screens (orange icon that looks like a leftward pointing triangle and three lines). The Profile is found in the top left of the Full Game menu's open side bar and is represented by a gray icon with the white silhouette of a person's shoulders and head. The Profile includes Statistics, Daily Challenge information, and Avatar Creator.

Statistics

The Statistics icon (right most of three icon near the upper righthand corner of the Profile screen with three dots followed by three short lines) allows players to view their cumulative "Game Stats" and "Collection Stats" on one of two tabs. Before being retired, information about the Achievements reward system was also located here

Game Stats: Collection Stats:
  • Total cards drawn
  • Total damage dealt
  • Total damage taken
  • Total games played
  • Game points
  • Total hours played
  • Tournament Points
  • Total upset wins
  • Percent Complete — percentage of cards obtained out of all cards available in the game
  • Different Cards Owned — number of different cards in a player's collection
  • Total Cards Owned — total number of cards in a player's collection
  • Set Nearest to Completion — expansion or set with the highest percentage of total cards are in a player's collection
  • Complete Sets — enumeration of expansions or sets of which all cards are in a player's collection
  • Most of One Card
  • Foil Cards Owned — number of [[Holofoil|holofoil and reverse-holofoil}} rare cards

Active Challenges/Level Progress

This is the default screen that opens when players select their Profile, represented as the middle of three icon near the upper righthand corner of the Profile screen — looks like an upward pointing arrow). All active Daily Challenges are shown here after they are first presented to players in a popup window. Additionally, player progress toward achieving specific Energy type level and rewards and overall Player level are viewable here.

Avatar Creator

Selecting the Avatar Creator icon (left most of three icon near the upper righthand corner of the Profile screen — looks like a short sleeve t-shirt) allows players to customize their online Avatars' in-game picture.. Players may select from several skin and hair colors, hair styles, facial features, and clothes (also known as "Avatar items"). Players may unlock various Avatar items (clothes) by purchasing them with Trainer Tokens or Gems in the in-game Shop, redeeming codes in the Shop, or by Trading with other players. Trainer Tokens may also be used to unlock clothing items on Pokémon.com by going to Customize Trainer. Avatar and/or Trainer clothing items available for purchase in one, are not always available for purchase in the other. Items added in one are not always available in the other. Like Pokémon cards, Avatar items cannot always be traded. Items purchased on Pokémon.com typically cannot be traded.

The Avatar Creator in the TCGO adopts changes made by players on Pokémon.com to their Customize Trainer the next time that players logs back in to the TCGO, and visa versa.

Redemption codes

Redemption codes are unique codes that allow players to unlock Theme decks, Booster packs and more. They are only found on specially marked packs and decks. "Contains 1 code card" is found on the back of Booster packs which contain a Redemption code card. Only Theme decks that are clearly marked "Play This Deck Online" will contain Redemption codes. These unique Redemption codes can only be used once.

However, there are generic Redemption codes which may be used by all Pokémon TGCO players. The following are confirmed codes which unlock Theme decks, Booster packs, and Avatar items (all of which are non-tradable):

  • PlasmaFreeze - Rallying Cry deck
  • PlasmaBlast - Rallying Cry deck
  • PlasmaStorm - Rallying Cry deck
  • BoundariesCrossed - Rallying Cry deck
  • LegendaryTreasures - Rallying Cry deck
  • Flashfire - Rallying Cry deck
  • FuriousFists - Rallying Cry deck
  • PhantomForces - Rallying Cry deck
  • DragonsExalted - Pokémon-EX Hat (Avatar Item)
  • DarkExplorers - Pokémon-EX Hat (Avatar Item)
  • NextDestinies - Pokémon-EX Hat (Avatar Item)
  • PokemonTCG - Black Cap (Avatar Item)

in-game Shop

The in-game Shop feature allows players to purchase Non-exclusive Theme decks, 5-card Booster packs, Gameplay items (Card sleeves, Deck boxes, Coins, etc.), and Avatar items with either Trainer Tokens or Gems. Redeeming Redemption codes, found with the physical purchase of the above items, is also done through this in-game Shop. Finally, the Shop allows adult players to purchase Gems and Tournament Tickets with real currency. A Gem is typically equal to 2 Trainer Tokens.

Shop items

  • Non-exclusive Theme decks cost 500 Trainer Tokens.
  • 5-card Booster packs cost 95 Trainer Tokens.
  • Limited available Card sleeves cost 275 Trainer Tokens.
  • Limited available Deck boxes cost 150 Trainer Tokens.
  • Avatar items availability are limited and Trainer Token cost varies. A wide variety of Avatar items are available at Pokémon.com, and new Avatar items are more routinely release at the Pokémon.com website than in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online in-game store.
  • Weekly special rotated items vary widely but often include themed Bundles[51] or Blister packs with a cost range of 200 to 900 Trainer Tokens that typically include some combination of Booster pack(s), Promotional card(s), and game Coin.

Shop rotation

Starting on 13 March 2015, the predictability of item availability was streamlined and standardized.[52] A weekly special rotation was established, which occurs at midnight Wednesday UTC (Coordinated Universal Time or Greenwich Mean Time), when a new Weekly special is offered and the former Weekly special is removed. The rotation should see a specific item's eventual return in the rotation cycle. Quarterly, new Non-exclusive Theme decks and Booster packs are introduced following the release of a new Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion. Annually, older Non-exclusive Theme decks and sometimes Booster packs are removed following the start of a new format Rotation usually after the Trading Card Game World Championships in August of each year. Finally, there are occasional, exclusive items made available for time to time that may only remain available for a less defined, limited period.

Social menu

The Social menu, represented by the orange icon with three white head and shoulder silhouettes and a right pointing triangle, is found in the upper lefthand corner of most screens. When it is selected, it opens a side bar that slides out from the left side of the screen. When open, this Social menu side bar allows players to search for online "Friends", participate in "Public Chats", and review most recent in-game notification "Messages". This feature is inaccessible from the Landing page.

in-game Trade

This feature allows players to view and create public and private trade offers in-game. Players may trade one or several items, cards, and packs in each transaction. Items, cards, and packs obtained from Daily Challenges, the Trainer Challenges, redeeming the multiple-use Redemption codes or with Trainer Tokens are not available for trade with other players (appeared as "Trade Locked") to prevent players from accumulating these items by creating multiple accounts.

Unavailable features

The following are features still unavailable worldwide:

  • Gems (Canada only)
  • Leaderboards
  • Account History

Retired game features

The Pokémon Trading Card Game Online has been in continual development since its initial inception. Often updates involve the addition of new rules and card as new expansion sets are released, the resolution of program errors, player interface changes improving usability, and the addition or re-addition of new game features. Occasionally, updates to the game involve the removal of previously existing game features.

See also

On Bulbagarden forums:

External links

References

  1. Web-based, Pokémon Trading Card Game Online announcements — 25 February 2011 and 23 March 2011
  2. Unity Game Engine, 2012 April Community Update — 27 April 2012,
  3. TCGO Beta Release for PC, Build Notes — 15 May 2012
  4. TCGO Beta Release for Mac, 2012 October Community Update — 27 October 2012
  5. TCGO Beta Release for Mac, 2012 Patch notes for 11/16 — 17 November 2012
  6. TCGO Release, The Pokémon TCG Online Comes to iPad! — 30 September 2014
  7. Web-based Pokemon TCG Online now offline — 8 August 2012
  8. End of Open Beta, September 2014 Community Update — 25 September 2014
  9. Relaunch, 2012 March Community Update — 30 March 2012
  10. Initial features, New Trainer Challenge build heads up — 11 May 2012
  11. Achievements, Build Notes | May 15th, 2012
  12. Achievements, State of the Game | May 21, 2012
  13. Avatar Creator, Build Notes | June 12th, 2012
  14. Avatar Creator, 2013 June Community Update — 29 June 2013
  15. Many features reintroduced, 2012 July Community Update — 24 July 2012
  16. Versus Mode, 1.0.71 Build Notes | December 12, 2012
  17. in-game Shop, Notes for Build 1.0.10.21 — 21 August 2012
  18. Gems, 1.8.0 Patch Notes | April 18, 2013
  19. Gems, 2013 April Community Update — 25 April 2013
  20. Trainer Tokens, 1.11.18 Patch Notes | July 25, 2013
  21. Trading, 1.0.42 Build Notes | October 23, 2012
  22. Daily Bonuses, 1.0.84 Build Notes | January 16, 2013
  23. Daily Match Bonus, Server Update | April 23, 2015
  24. 5-card Booster pack, 2013 July Community Update — 31 July 2013
  25. Player rank, 1.13.27 Patch Notes | October 3, 2013
  26. Play as a Guest, 2013 October Community Update — 1 November 2013
  27. Interface changes, 2013 July Community Update — 31 July 2013
  28. Interface changes, 2013 September Community Update — 2 October 2013
  29. Interface changes, 2013 November Community Update — 28 November 2013
  30. Interface changes, January 2014 Community Update — 9 January 2014
  31. Interface changes, 2.17.239 | February 5, 2014
  32. Interface changes, 2.18.0.380 Patch Notes | March 27, 2014
  33. Interface changes & iPad, September 2014 Community Update — 25 September 2014
  34. Tournament Mode, February 2014 Community Update — 01 March 2014
  35. Tournament Mode, 2.18.0.380 Patch Notes | March 27, 2014
  36. Tournaments Alpha Testing Status Update — 11 April 2014
  37. Tournament Mode, April 2014 Community Update — 1 May 2014
  38. The Clash of Magma vs. Aqua - The very first Pokémon TCG Online tournament event! — 4 February 2015
  39. Play Tournaments! On-demand — 24 February 2015
  40. Give the Bonus Wheel a Spin! — 25 June 2014
  41. Mystery Box contents updates — 28 July 2014
  42. Bonus Wheel, 2.26 Patch Notes | February 4, 2015
  43. in-game Tutorials, 2.22.0.755 Patch Notes | August 13, 2014
  44. Pokémon Trainer Club, 2.23.0.822 Patch Notes | September 3, 2014
  45. Daily Challenge Details – Achievements and Daily Login — 24 March 2015
  46. New Trainer Challenge scoring system — 23 April 2013
  47. Tournament Rotation Refined — 31 March 2015
  48. Daily Challenge Details — Clocks, Levels and More - 03 April 2015
  49. Minimum PvP match time/Daily Login Bonus, 2.18.1.402 Hotfix Notes | April 3, 2014
  50. PvP match forfeiting, 2.25.0.1042 Patch Notes | December 17, 2014
  51. Booster pack bundle, XY 4 Booster Pack Bundle with Krookodile-EX — 01 April 2015
  52. Shop rotation, Development Update: Tournaments, Shop and Next Game Update — 13 March 2015
  53. Feature Retirement, 2.27 Patch Notes | March 25, 2015
  54. Booster Credit, 1.0.94 Patch Notes | February 6, 2013
  55. Booster Credit Sunsetting—Phase II — 31 May 2013
  56. Tournament Keys, 2013 March Community Update — 28 March 2013


Stadium series: Stadium (JPEN) • Stadium 2Battle Revolution
Pikachu series: Hey You, Pikachu!Channel
PokéPark series: PokéPark WiiPokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond
TCG: Play It! series: Play It!Play It! Version 2
Game Boy TCG series: Trading Card GameCard GB2: Here Comes Team GR!
Misc. TCG: Trading Card Game OnlinePokémon Card Game: How to Play DS
Pinball series: PinballPinball miniPinball: R&S
Puzzle series: Puzzle LeaguePuzzle Challenge
Box series: Box RSMy Pokémon RanchBank (Transporter)
Colosseum series: ColosseumXD
Mystery Dungeon
series
:
Red Rescue Team & Blue Rescue Team
Explorers of Time, Darkness & Sky
Blazing, Stormy & Light Adventure Squad
Gates to Infinity
Ranger series: RangerShadows of AlmiaGuardian Signs
Rumble series: RumbleRumble BlastRumble URumble World
Trozei series: Pokémon Trozei!Pokémon Battle Trozei
Puck series: Pokémon BattrioPokémon TrettaPokémon Tretta Lab
Super Smash Bros. series: Super Smash Bros.MeleeBrawlFor Nintendo 3DS/Wii U
Pokémon game templates

Project Sidegames logo.png This article is part of both Project Sidegames and Project TCG, Bulbapedia projects that, together, aim to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon Sidegames and TCG, respectively. Project TCG logo.png
[[it:Gioco di Carte Collezionabili Pokémon Online