What is Pokemon Showdown and how to get started?

By Melany Moncada


Nov 6, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Pokemon is one of the most popular franchises in the world with games, anime shows, and even jets bedecked in Pokemon artwork. Creative Pokemon fans have taken the elements that they love the most about the game and created their own spin-offs, like Pokemon Showdown.

Pokemon Showdown is a web-based battle simulator developed by Guangcong Luo, also known as Zarel. In this game, trainers join single or double battles. There are over 30 battle formats that players can choose from. Players can also create servers where they host battles with their own rules.

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Players can compete in tournaments organized by other users, rank in ladders, and join chat rooms where users exchange tips and tricks. It is not necessary to create an account, players only have to pick a name before they start interacting with the community.

How to play Pokemon battles on Showdown

Playing in Pokemon Showdown is simple. On the main page, select the format of your preference and the team to use. Some formats allow completely random teams, while others prop players to create their teams based on the format.

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Once the format and team are chosen, hit the battle button and the platform will pair you up with another trainer. The battle screen is similar to the one in a regular Pokemon game. Each Pokemon has four moves and an item. Trainers take turns attacking and the first one to run out of HP loses.

How to use team builder on Pokemon Showdown

Building a team in Pokemon Showdown involves more than just picking Pokemon. Trainers must pick the Pokemon, an item, the ability, and the four moves for each Pokemon in the party. Trainers can also customize the HP, Attack, Defense, and other stats of each Pokemon.

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Not all teams work for all formats. If a player wants to battle only using Generation VI Pokemon, the team cannot have a Pokemon from another generation. Pokemon Showdown has the option to validate the team based on a format. Trainers must pick their team, and the format and validate it. If the team doesn’t meet the requirements, the platform will tell them the exact reasons why.

Pokemon Showdown is free to use with a community of over 10,000 users that are open to welcoming new trainers.