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How to Complete the Pokemon Nuzlocke Challenge

Image via Nintendo

If you’re a fan of Pokemon, you may have already heard about something called the Nuzlocke Challenge. It’s grown more popular in recent months as several high-profile streamers have begun playing a version of it.

First introduced in a comic series of the same name, the Nuzlocke Challenge refers to a set of rules that make Pokemon games harder to complete. This guide will detail those rules and provide some tips for overcoming them. If you’ve been wondering how to beat the Pokemon Nuzlocke challenge, then you’ve come to the right place.

Nuzlocke Challenge Rules

The rules for the Nuzlocke Challenge are fairly straightforward. The most major change to how the game is usually played is that any Pokemon that faints while playing under Nuzlocke Challenge rules is considered dead. That means the player must either release that Pokemon or put them away in their Pokemon Storage System permanently. This rule makes every trainer battle and wild encounter a little more intense.

The second rule change is that players are only allowed to catch the first Pokemon they encounter in each area they enter. For instance, if your first encounter on Route 103 is a Rattata, then you can either catch that Pokemon or none from Route 103. This rule adds an element of chance to your game and ratchets up the difficulty of putting together a solid team.

These two rules are essential to any Nuzlocke Challenge run. However, many gamers also add additional rules to their games to make things a little more interesting. These optional rules are some of the most popular:

  • Randomizing the Pokemon that appear in each zone
  • Randomizing the Starter Pokemon
  • Limiting the number of Pokemon Center visits allowed per town
  • Limited the number of Poke Ball purchases per Poke Mart
  • Disallowing Fleeing
  • And many more

How to Beat the Pokemon Nuzlocke Challenge

The rules of the Nuzlocke Challenge were designed, in part, to make the games more challenging to complete. Given the complexity of these rules, you may be wondering how you can actually beat the game. Here are a few tips:

Spend Your Money Wisely

Since your Pokemon are considered dead after fainting, it’s imperative that you’re able to prevent them from fainting as much as possible. This means you’ll want to stock up on healing items like potions early and often. For the best results, you should prioritize healing items over other purchases like escape ropes and poke balls.

Wait to Form Your Team

It’s a good idea to focus on a few key Pokemon early and wait to form your Final Four team until later on in the game. This will make it easier to spread experience throughout your team. It will also enable you to identify which Pokemon will form the core of your team in the end-game.

For instance, you may catch a weak water-type Pokemon in the early game that you could replace with a stronger water-type later on. There’s no need to waste your time grinding out levels for weaker Pokemon when you may not want to use them as a key part of your team in the later stages of your journey.

Save Your Restoring Items

Items like PP UPs and Ethers are extremely important while facing the Elite Four. Having them could be the difference between completing the Nuzlocke Challenge successfully or falling apart in its final stages. Don’t waste these items early, even if it means letting one or two expendable Pokemon faint.

Grind, Grind, and Grind Some More

Your best Pokemon will have a better chance of surviving if they’re a higher level than the ones that you’re facing. Given the importance of preventing your Pokemon from fainting in the Nuzlocke Challenge, grinding is even more important than usual. You can make the challenge must easier by taking the time to level up your whole squad before moving on to the next gym.

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