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The Nuzlocke Challenge is a time-honored tradition that makes Pokémon way harder

It's ideal for individuals who want to increase the difficulty of a Pokémon game.

Pokémon has long been known as a family-friendly franchise. The games have long been accessible to a wide variety of ages and aptitude levels, thanks to their charming animals and consistent concept of turn-based battle. Since the release of Pokémon Red and Green in Japan in 1996, the RPG brand has mainly held faithful to its basic idea of gathering and fighting Pokémon.

While the franchise’s friendliness and overall approachability have certainly helped to its widespread appeal, it may also leave a lot to be desired among lifelong players. Fans who have been playing Pokémon since they were children may not find the challenge in more adult-oriented current RPGs. Because Pokémon games lack built-in hard settings, gamers have devised their own methods of increasing the difficulty; this is where the Nuzlocke Challenge comes in. It’s a popular style of playing Pokémon that lets players to apply their own restrictions to make the game more tough.


A Nuzlocke Challenge is a type of Pokémon game in which the rules are enforced by the participants themselves. A Nuzlocke Challenge has only two major rules.

  • Every time you enter a new route or location with Pokémon, you must capture the first Pokemon you see. If you fail to capture the first Pokémon you encounter because it wins the fight or flees, you will not receive a new Pokémon from that path.
  • When your Pokémon faints, it is considered to be a permanent death. If you let that Pokémon faint even once during a fight, you can no longer utilize it.

There are several Nuzlocke varieties. Some gamers also give their Pokémon names in order to get more bonded to them. Others play patched Pokémon games, which change the spawns of Pokémon so that a greater variety of Pokémon emerge in the grass — for example, if grass on a route generally includes Zigzagoon, it has been changed so that you have a chance of seeing a tougher Pokémon like Kyogre. Even while the challenge is essentially defined by its two major criteria, there are an infinite number of methods to customize a Nuzlocke run.


To complete a Nuzlocke Challenge, all you need is a new save file from a Pokémon game and to begin playing while adhering to a set of restrictions. Having saying that, getting started is the easiest part. The task will be more tough to complete. Here are some broad guidelines to help you get started:

  • Choose a game that you are acquainted with. You’ll want to learn everything you can about the game so you can properly prepare for potentially perilous occurrences like a rival fight or a particularly difficult trainer. You’ll also know which Pokémon are accessible on particular routes, allowing you to anticipate which Pokémon you’ll encounter — and you’ll be able to keep the proper Pokémon at the front of your team to maximize elemental matches.
  • Make careful to level up your Pokémon as much as possible so that you have a better chance of winning bouts.
  • Keep antidotes on hand. You don’t want a Pokémon to faint from poison damage while going around (particularly if it’s a permadeath! ), which can happen in generations 1 through 3.
  • If you are concerned, remove your Pokémon from the battle. If you have a Pokémon with low health, switch it out. Don’t take any chances; always switch out earlier than you believe you need to.

These are some very basic instructions; however, Nuzlocke University is an excellent resource for more thorough tips and tutorials to Nuzlocking certain Pokémon games. These instructions will lead you through each portion of the game and identify certain trainers or Pokémon to be careful of, as well as assist you choose a beginning Pokémon, which is an extremely important decision in Nuzlocke. Another excellent suggestion is to watch successful Nuzlocke streams of the game you intend to play so you can see how others accomplished each part.


The concept comes from Nick Franco, also known as Nuzlocke, a webcomic artist. In 2010, Franco conceived the Pokémon: Hard Mode series and made a comic showcasing the concept, utilizing 2002’s Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire as a basis.

The task contradicts the series’ motto of “catching ’em all.” Nonetheless, the challenge has now become a fan favorite mode of play. Despite the fact that the challenge was popularized with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, fans continue to take up the challenge with more recent generations of Pokémon and have even transferred the notion to other video game properties.


Not only is it more challenging, but it also makes Pokémon more strategic. Instead of merely capturing a bunch of nasties that can wipe the floor with any gym leader, you should concentrate on the best features of each Pokémon. You must be aware of specific details, such as whether your opponent’s Pokémon have a higher physical or special attack stat, in order to use a Pokémon with a high physical or special defense stat to match — because even a simple trainer battle can have you fighting for your life depending on the scenario. It’s less mindless grinding and more of a chess game in which you calculate the movements of AI-controlled opponents and shuffle your Pokémon accordingly.

In an interview with Know Your Meme, Franco outlined the challenge’s underlying attraction. He stated that the primary Pokémon game isn’t particularly engaging in and of itself, but that individuals have tales to share after each challenge. “You never know what will happen with a Nuzlocke challenge,” he explained. “People want the world to know about their lost brothers and successful comrades, and how they triumphed or failed to overcome all difficulties.”

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