From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
| Pokémon Trading Card Game Online|
Logo of Pokémon Trading Card Game Online
|| Basic info
|| PC, Mac, and iPad
|| 1-2, with unlimited in chat
|| Electrified Games, Sleepy Giant Entertainment, Plexipixel, Inversoft
|| The Pokémon Company International
| Part of:
|| Generation IV misc/V/VI
|| Release dates
| North America:
|| March 24, 2011 (TC beta)
|| March 24, 2011 (TC beta)
|| March 24, 2011 (TC beta)
| South Korea:
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 originally released on March 24, 2011 as browser-based game but became a downloadable game in 2012 for PC and Mac. An iPad client was added in September 2014. While it is currently still in its beta phase, it is stable, becoming increasingly refined, and being 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 pack 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.
Players begin their adventure at a virtual Game Store, where Trainers Zach and Ella welcome them. Player are provided three Starter decks — each representing one of each starter Pokémon type (, , and ). The game initially revolves around playing a few tutorials before competing against computer-controlled Trainer characters from the Trainer Challenge.
After being welcomed to the Game Store, players face Zach and Ella in tutorial 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 can repeat but will not advance beyond this stage. Players will, however, be encouraged to create a User Name and Password after these matches. Finally, players are directed through the first few matches in the Gold League in the Trainer Challenge.
- 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 can bypass this directed phase by disabling the New User Experience under Options.
- Players who create a User Name and Password in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online may also use that same User Name and Password on the official Pokémon.com website.
There are 4 different play modes available. These are Quick Match, Trainer Challenge, Versus Mode, and Tournament Mode. A brief description of How to play appears in the Pokémon Trading Card Game page. The Glossary also defines most of the Pokémon Trading Card Game terminology.
This is a single player mode similar to the Practice Battle game type in Versus Mode but using a randomly selected Theme deck that the player has unlocked. This mode is currently only accessible through the initially landing page. Players can re-access the landing page by clicking on the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online logo in the upper center of most TCGO screens.
In the Trainer Challenge, players must face various computer-controlled Trainer characters using only Theme decks, including Online-exclusive decks (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.
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 before unlocking the next. Players must also defeat a given league before unlocking the next, starting with Gold League and ending with City Championship. Unlike more traditional Pokémon Trading Card Game Tournaments, 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 can 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.
- During the browser-based era of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online, there was also a Diamond League. It is not supported at this time.
Players must defeat a number of different Trainers (7 with Starter decks and 11 with redeemed Theme decks or Trainer Token/Gem purchased Theme decks) with the same deck to fully unlock all the cards in that deck with certain cards 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 or 11 successes. Beating one of the Trainers in the same spot in a league more than once does not count toward the 7 or 11 successes.
- Newer redeemed Theme decks are fully "unlocked" immediately upon redeeming or purchasing them in the in-game Shop. It is possible that older redeemable Theme decks still follow the gradual card unlocking described above over the course of 11 successful wins.
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 Booster pack from the current Standard format (per Trainer opponent)
- Additionally, players obtain 3 more non-tradable Booster packs from the current Standard format by earning 4 Stars with every Trainer in each league for 9 more Booster packs.
These Trainer Tokens and 45 total Booster packs can only be obtained once per account.
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)
Players are allowed to choose one of three Opponent types (Random Battle, Friend Battle, or Play Testing), one of three Play types (Standard, Unlimited, or Theme) and a deck applicable to these.
- Practice Battle
- Found under Random Battle. This mode allows players to practice using their chosen deck against another randomly selected player and does not count toward player rank or earn Trainer Tokens and a Bonus Wheel spin.
- Ranked Battle
- Found under Random Battle. This allows players to play against another randomly selected player. Trainer Tokens can be earned if the match lasts at least 2 minutes (as of Hotfix 22.214.171.1242, April 3, 2014), as well as earning a spin on the Bonus Wheel (which provides an opportunity to receive Trainer Tokens, Tournament Tickets, or a Mystery Box). Trainer Tokens and the Bonus Wheel are provided to both players regardless of the outcome of the match. Players earn 1 Trainer Token for each match played (Expert Matchmaking Reward) plus 2 Trainer Tokens if they win a match verses a player who was ranked by TCGO as having an advantage based on player history (Game Advantage Upset Reward).
- 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.
- Only decks composed entirely of cards from expansion or sets officially sanctioned for Play! Pokémon events 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, 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.
- 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.
- Only pre-constructed Theme decks are allowed in this play type. Apart from the Online-exclusive decks, Theme decks are obtained by either using a Redemption code or by purchase with Trainer Tokens or Gems in the in-game Shop.
Tournament Mode is currently unavailable except during an occasional trial test. Notice of future tournament trials are posted in the Game Information section at the bottom of the TCGO log-in screen. Tournaments require Tournament Tickets and can be played in one of three Play types (Standard, Unlimited, or Theme). Playing in a tournament provides the opportunity to gain a spin on the Bonus Wheel at the end of each match, earn Trainer Tokens, and possibly win tradeable Booster packs.
Accessible on the landing page or via the Full Game Menu (orange arrow icon) in the upper righthand corner of most TCGO screens. It includes Achievements, Statistics, and Avatar Creator.
Players can earn achievements for completing various tasks. They have no special effect on the game.
Trainer Challenge Achievements
- Blade of Grass. Win 8 games with the Basic Green deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Firestarter. Win 8 games with the Basic Red deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Breaking Wave. Win 8 games with the Basic Blue deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Rallying Cry. Win 12 games with the Rallying Cry deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Verdant Frost. Win 12 games with the Verdant Frost deck (currently unavailable to newer players) in the Trainer Challenge
- Royal Guard. Win 12 games with the Royal Guard deck (currently unavailable to newer players) in the Trainer Challenge
- Daybreak. Win 12 games with the Daybreak deck (currently unavailable to newer players) in the Trainer Challenge
- Nightfall. Win 12 games with the Nightfall deck (currently unavailable to newer players) in the Trainer Challenge
- Green Tornado. Win 12 games with the Green Tornado deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Red Frenzy. Win 12 games with the Red Frenzy deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Blue Assault. Win 12 games with the Blue Assault deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Night Hunter. Win 12 games with the Night Hunter deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Power Play. Win 12 games with the Power Play deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Toxic Tricks. Win 12 games with the Toxic Tricks deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Fast Daze. Win 12 games with the Fast Daze deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Furious Knights. Win 12 games with the Furious Knights deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Explosive Edge. Win 12 games with the Explosive Edge deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Voltage Vortex. Win 12 games with the Voltage Vortex deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Raiders. Win 12 games with the Raiders deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Shadows. Win 12 games with the Shadows deck in the Trainer Challenge
- Covering The Basics. Win one game with each color the three Basic decks
- Gold League Champ. Win all the games in the Gold League
- Platinum League Champ. Win all the games in the Platinum League
- Diamond League Champ. Win all the games in the Diamond League (currently unavailable to newer players)
- City Champion. Win all the games in the City Championship
- Triple Crown Champ. Win the Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Leagues (currently unavailable to newer players)
- Game Mastery. Earn four stars in a single game in the Trainer Challenge
- League Mastery. Earn four stars in all 12 games in a single League in the Trainer Challenge
- Trainer Challenge Mastery. Earn four stars in all 12 games in three different Leagues in the Trainer Challenge
- Imperishable Night. Take no Damage from an opponent attack while playing the Nightfall deck (currently unavailable to newer players) in the Trainer Challenge
- Into That Good Night. Apply two simultaneous special conditions while playing the Nightfall deck (currently unavailable to newer players) in the Trainer Challenge
- All-Around Conditioning. Inflict all 5 special conditions on opposing Pokémon while playing the Daybreak deck (currently unavailable to newer players) in the Trainer Challenge
- Healing Light. Heal 60 or more Damage in a single turn while playing the Daybreak deck (currently unavailable to newer players) in the Trainer Challenge
- Baffling. Confuse 5 opposing Pokémon in the same game.
- Incendiary. Burn 5 opposing Pokémon in the same game.
- Stunning. Paralyze 5 opposing Pokémon in the same game.
- Soporific. Put 5 opposing Pokémon to sleep in the same game.
- Venomous. Poison 5 opposing Pokémon in the same game.
Knock Outs based on history Achievements
- 50th Knockout. Knock Out 50 of your opponents' Pokémon
- 500th Knockout. Knock Out 500 of your opponents' Pokémon
- 1000th Knockout. Knock Out 1000 of your opponents' Pokémon
- 5000th Knockout. Knock Out 5000 of your opponents' Pokémon
- The Win of the Century. Win 100 games
- Triple Threat. Complete wins with all 3 victory conditions
Knock Outs based on a single match Achievements
- KO!. Knock Out a Pokémon
- Too Easy. Knock Out a previously uninjured Pokémon in a single attack
- Two for One. Knock Out 2 Pokémon with one attack
- Hat Trick. Knock Out 3 Pokémon with one attack
- Quad Damage. Knock Out 4 Pokémon with one attack
- Full House. Knock Out 5 Pokémon with one attack
- Clean Sweep. Knock Out 6 Pokémon with one attack
Damage dealt or healed in a single match Achievements
- First Blood. Deal 50 damage
- Super Effective. Deal 100 or more damage in a single attack
- Overwhelming. Deal 200 or more damage in a single attack
- Devastation. Deal 300 or more damage in a single attack
- Healer. Heal 100 or more damage in a single game
The Game Stats page allows game statistics to be viewed. The following statistics are currently shown:
- 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 and reverse-holofoil rare cards
Players can customize their online Avatars' gender, face, and body (clothes) with the Avatar Creator. Players can select from several skin and hair colors, hair styles, facial features, and clothes. Players can also 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 adopt 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.
The Bonus Wheel provides an opportunity to receive 1 to 5 Trainer Tokens, 1 Tournament Ticket, or a Mystery Box. Spins on the Bonus Wheel are earned through participation in a Ranked Battle in Versus Mode or a tournament match in Tournament Mode. Mystery Boxes include both static rewards (25 Trainer Tokens, 4 Tournament Tickets, or 1 Booster pack randomly selected from Standard format expansions) or items that are updated weekly (single expansion or promo cards, coins, sleeves, etc.).
Coins are items that can be 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 Theme deck, access Redemption code or event code in the in-game Shop or when purchasing a Theme deck through Trainer Tokens or Gems.
This section shows cards, unopened booster packs and Theme decks, and Avatar and Gameplay items in a player's collection as well as those the player has tagged for trade, wanted or for review.
This allows the players to view, clone, edit or create decks using obtained cards and items. Decks can be created in either the Standard or Unlimited format Play types. Selecting a Standard format deck filters out cards not sanctioned for official Pokémon Trading Card Game events. After selecting a set of 60 cards, a custom deck box, coin, sleeve, and playmat can be selected. These Gameplay items can be obtained by Redemption codes from code cards or event codes in the in-game Shop or purchased with Trainer Tokens or Gems.
Game notices are often posted in the Game Information section at the bottom of the TCGO log-in screen. Notices include announcements about future tournament trials, 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.
Accessible on the landing page or via the Full Game Menu (orange arrow icon) in the upper righthand corner of most TCGO 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.
- Please note that turning off Tool Tip Hints can 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.
Some game settings are inaccessible in the TCGO game itself and can only be found by signing into Pokémon.com and viewing a player Profile. Adult players can adjust all available settings by selecting "Pokémon TCG Online Settings" under the adult player's Profile.
While TCGO strives to be child friendly, parents can 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 can then restrict some in-game features such as Friend Chat, Game Chat, Shopping, and Trading.
- Some in-game features are inaccessible for 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.
This feature allows players to redeem Theme decks, Booster packs, and Avatar & Gameplay items with either Trainer Tokens or Gems as well as purchase Gems with real currency. Redeeming Redemption codes is also done through this in-game Shop.
Accessible via the Social Menu (orange arrow icon) in the upper lefthand corner of most TCGO screens. Inaccessible on the landing page. This feature allows players to search for Friends, participate in Public Chats, and review in-game Notifications.
This feature allows players to view and create public and private trade offers. Players can trade one or several items, cards, and packs in each transaction. Items, cards, and packs obtained from the Daily Login Bonus, the Trainer Challenge or with Trainer Tokens are not available for trade with other players to prevent players from accumulating these items by creating multiple accounts.
Redemption codes are unique codes that allow players to unlock Theme decks, Booster packs and more. They can only be found on specially marked packs and decks. "Contains 1 code card" can be 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 can be used by all Pokémon TGCO players. The following are confirmed codes which unlock Theme decks, Booster packs, and Avatar items:
- 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
- DragonsExalted - Pokémon EX Hat (Avatar Item)
- DarkExplorers - Pokémon EX Hat (Avatar Item)
- NextDestinies - Pokémon EX Hat (Avatar Item)
- Pokemontcg - Black Cap (Avatar Item)
The following are features still unavailable worldwide, with the game in its open-beta stage:
- Account History
Daily Login Bonus
This feature provides a bonus for playing Pokémon Trading Card Game Online regularly. It consists of a track designed to help new players get started in the game, and a track that provides recurring bonuses for existing players. Each bonus unlocks the first time that players log in each day based on GMT and does not require players to log in on consecutive days to maintain progress on the track. Once players complete the introductory New Player track they are migrated to the recurring Existing Player track. There is no limit to the number of times players can complete the Existing Player track, as they are cycled back to the beginning of the track after receiving the bonus for the fifth day.
- New Player
- Existing Player
Daily Match Bonus
- The first Ranked Battle/PvP match that players complete each day awards 10 Trainer Tokens, regardless of whether they win or lose, in addition to any other rewards from that match. The match must last at least 2 minutes for this bonus to be awarded.
There are four currencies available in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. These are Trainer Tokens, Gems, Tournament Tickets, and Booster Credits. Only Trainer Tokens are currently obtainable worldwide. Booster Credits are not obtainable as of July 2013.
Trainer Tokens can be used to redeem non-tradable 5-card Booster packs (95 Trainer Tokens) and Theme decks (500 Trainer Tokens) both from Standard format expansions of the game, as well as Avatar and Gameplay items. They can be obtained through various means, including the Daily bonuses, Trainer Challenge, Ranked Battle/PvP matches in the Versus Mode, and the Bonus Wheel.
Trainer Tokens can also be obtained by playing various browser-based games or by earning stamps on Pokémon.com. They can also be spent on various items for player Pokémon.com Trainer Avatars. This should not be confused with the Pokémon TCG Online Avatar.
- 5-card booster packs are unique to the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. They contain 3 common (), 1 uncommon (), and 1 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.
Gems are currently only available to players in Canada for testing. Similar to Trainer Tokens, Gems can be used to redeem Booster packs, Theme decks, and Avatar and Gameplay items in the in-game Shop or used as a currency for trading with other players. Gems can be obtained by purchasing them from the Shop or by trading with other players.
Tournament Tickets are currently only available as a Daily Login Bonus 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.
The current system redeems codes directly for Booster packs from the respective expansion set, and the Booster Credit system has been rendered nearly obsolete. Originally, Redeemable code cards found in packs from this era were redeemed for Booster Credits. Booster Credits could be redeemed for packs from HeartGold & SoulSilver through Boundaries Crossed expansions. This method ended with the release of Plasma Storm when codes from Plasma Storm packs were only redeemable for packs from that expansion. The Booster Credit system was ended in July 2013. From July 2013 to December 2013, players with Booster Credits redeemed before July 2013 could redeem these credits for any pack from Next Destinies to Boundaries Crossed expansions. Players who still have Booster Credits as of the end of 2013 will have any remaining credits automatically redeemed for Boundaries Crossed Booster packs.
- Main article: List of Pokémon Trading Card Game Online decks
Currently, new players can have five Theme deck exclusive to the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online available for multiplayer modes. These theme decks are composed of cards from various expansions of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
Basic Orange was formally unlocked as the first Daily Login Bonus prior to the 126.96.36.1995 patch (August 13, 2014). It can no longer be unlocked. It is still accessible to players who have already obtained it. It is only playable in the Versus Mode.
Power Relay was formally unlocked by entering a special Redemption code (e.g. "plasmablast") in the in-game Shop. It can no longer be redeemed. It is playable both in the Trainer Challenge and in the Versus Mode if one has already redeemed it.
Four other basic Theme decks — Basic Red, Basic Yellow, Basic Green and Basic Blue — were available to players prior to the 1.8.0 patch (April 18, 2013). These decks are composed of cards from the HeartGold & SoulSilver Series. Players with accounts created prior to this patch can access both these basic Theme decks as well as the Black & White series basic Theme decks.
Theme decks corresponding to those from physical decks in the Black & White Series onwards can also be unlocked in Pokémon Trading Card Game Online by redeeming the deck-access Redemption codes included in the Theme deck box. Alternatively, newer Theme decks can also be purchased with Trainer Tokens or Gems in the in-game Shop. Players can obtain 1 Trainer Token for beating each of the 36 Trainers in the Trainer Challenge once per Theme deck. Additionally, players can also obtain a non-tradable 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.
On Bulbagarden forums: