What is a Pokemon Nuzlocke Challenge

Pokémon Challenges

Since the level of difficulty of some games in the main series is often too low for experienced players, special challenges have been invented to make the games more challenging and varied.


Almost every challenge is based on the rules of the Nuzlocke, so this has become a generic term for Pokémon challenges.

The origin

The term Nuzlocke is based on an English-language comic of the same name [1] in which the story of Brix is ​​told. He begins his journey in Hoenn and wants to compete with his father due to traumatic experiences, whereupon he sets up the two original rules that a defeated Pokémon should be released and only the Pokémon that you first encounter in a certain area should be caught. Despite a simple style of drawing, the comic was widely used. In the meantime there are already three episodes of the Nuzlocke comics and also imitations created by fans, with which you can share your own experiences with this particular challenge.

The name of the comic is based on the English name of Blanas, Nuzleaf, which evolved from Samurzel and is both the first Pokémon that the protagonist catches himself and the first Pokémon released because it is defeated in a final by WaltersVoltobal. The second part of the name is likely based on John Locke, a protagonist of the television series Lostwhose character and behavior are also shaped by a problematic relationship with his father.

Basic rules

The key itself consists of the following three rules:

  • Only the first Pokémon the player encounters may be caught in any area entered for the first time. This is often called the Encounter designated for this area. The areas are defined by the names of the places on the map. Therefore, for example, Route 205 in Sinnoh counts as one area, even though the route is divided into two parts by the Eternal Forest.
  • Once a Pokémon is defeated in or out of combat, it counts as deceased and must either be released or placed in a separate box in the Pokémon storage system intended for deceased Pokémon. Even if it is not released, it can no longer be used.
  • Every Pokémon that is caught must be given a nickname.

Usually the lock does not start until after receiving Pokéballs, so that in the event of a defeat against the rival, there is no need to restart. As soon as the player has no living Pokémon has more left, the lock is lost. The Nuzlocke, however, is considered won as soon as the champ has been defeated. You can freely choose whether the champ has to be defeated only once or whether the rematch has to be won as well.

In addition, there are some questions that should be clarified before starting the Nuzlocke. Each player can independently choose how to define these rules and thus consciously influence the level of difficulty.

  • Is it allowed to trade Pokémon with NPCs?
  • If the first fight against wild Pokémon is a double fight or a horde fight, the Pokémon that you catch may be selected or it must be a Pokémon specified before the start of the Nuzlocke, such as. B. Always the first Pokémon from the left?
  • Are allowed to Pokémon that one speak to must be caught? If caught, do they count as the Pokémon caught in the area or are they a bonus?
  • Count free Pokémon that you receive from NPCs during the game as separate items Encounter or do they have to be released if a Pokémon has already been caught on the route?

Optional additional rules

To add variety to a nutlock, there are a few additional rules that can be added to the basic rules. This can increase the level of difficulty and make the challenge more unique.

  • The fighting style can be switched from change to sequence in the options.
  • Items used for healing can be restricted or prohibited within combat.
  • The key can already be lost if the player faints.
  • The EP divider can be banned
  • The level of your own Pokémon must not exceed the level of the strongest Pokémon of the next arena leader or the next ruler Pokémon. If all Arena Leaders or Ruler Pokémon have already been defeated, the level of the strongest Pokémon des Champs is the maximum level.
  • Iridescent Pokémon can always be caught.
  • Your own starter Pokémon may not be selected, but will be determined by chance. To do this, each of the three starters can be assigned three numbers between 1-9 before the start of the game and after the last digit of the trainer ID you have to take the Pokémon whose number is identical. If the last digit of the trainer ID is a zero, the starter can be chosen freely.
  • You can only send the same number of Pokémon into battle as the opposing trainer.

Furthermore, there is also the possibility that Pokémon that the player encounters first in a new area, but which have already been caught, are skipped. After a Pokémon has been skipped, you may search for another Pokémon in this area until a Pokémon appears that does not match this rule. This prevents the team from having too many of the same Pokémon, so that there is more variance in the team. This rule can also be extended to Pokémon from the same evolutionary line, so that you can skip a Rattikarl if you've already caught a rat. Often this rule is also seen as optional, so that a Pokémon that has already been caught can be skipped, but it can also be caught. This rule is often called the dupes clause designated.

Special forms of the nut lock

In the course of time, other variants of the Nuzlocke were added, which are based on the basic rules of the Nuzlocke. These continue to increase the level of difficulty or bring new aspects to the challenge, so that repeated games remain varied.


Playable from the second generation.

An egg-bell uses almost the same rules as a nut-lock, with one small but significant change. Furthermore, only the first Pokémon may be caught in each new area. However, if the capture attempt is successful, the captured Pokémon is not accepted into the team, but is replaced by a Pokémon egg that has been received beforehand, which is then hatched. The hatched Pokémon is the new team member. The Pokémon eggs must be exchanged in advance. At best, they can be obtained from independent people so that there is more uncertainty about the team members. Otherwise, you can also breed the Pokémon eggs yourself and use Pokémon Bank to transfer them to the game.

Mono challenges

Playable from the first generation.

In mono challenges, the number of catchable Pokémon is reduced, as only Pokémon that meet certain criteria can be caught. However, not only can the first Pokémon be caught in an area, the player has up to three attempts to find a Pokémon that meets the criteria. However, a maximum of one Pokémon can be caught per area.

Mono-Color / Colorlocke

In a mono-color challenge, also known as a color lock, only Pokémon that belong to one or more previously determined colors may be caught. The color of the Pokémon corresponds to the color specified in the Pokédex. Even if the color of the Pokémon changes as a result of development, it can be developed.

Mono type

In a Mono-Type Challenge, only Pokémon of one or more predetermined types may be caught. Pokémon with double types are allowed as long as one of these types is the specified type. Even if a Pokémon loses its type through development, it can be developed.

Soullink Nuzlocke

Playable from the first generation.

A soullink nutlock is a nutlock that is played by two players in parallel. Both play the same game, but each plays with their own copy of the game. The caught Pokémon are linked to the other player's Pokémon that were caught in the same area, those two Pokémon Soul mate. Thus, both starter Pokémon are soul mates, the two Pokémon that were caught on the first route are soul mates, and so on. If one player fails to catch the Pokémon, the other player cannot keep his captured Pokémon either and must release it.

Both soul mates who are connected to each other must either be on the active team or on the box. It is not allowed that a soul mate is on a player's team, but the other soul mate is on the box. If one of the two soul mates is defeated, the other soul mate is also considered defeated, so both must be released or placed in a specially prepared box.

These rules can also be combined with the rules of the Wonderlocke.

Team challenge

Playable from the first generation.

In a team challenge, the player starts the game with six to twelve previously selected Pokémon, which he receives through an exchange. At the beginning of the game, these are no more than level 5. You must complete the game with these Pokémon, no new Pokémon may be caught. A Pokémon that has been defeated cannot be used again.


Playable from the second generation.

A wedlock is a much more difficult variant of the normal nutlock. In principle, the rules of the Nuzlocke still apply. However, the Pokémon must be paired, a pair consists of a male and a female Pokémon. If there are only one, three, or five Pokémon on the team, the gender of the next captured Pokémon must match the gender of which fewer Pokémon are on the team.

The first pairs are formed directly by the captured Pokémon. Thus, the starter is linked to the Pokémon of the area in which the first Pokémon is caught. As soon as the team consists of six Pokémon, i.e. three pairs, newly caught Pokémon are placed on the box. These are not part of a couple as long as they are not part of the team.

Once a pair is formed, it is final and cannot be changed until neither Pokémon is defeated or released. During a fight it is only allowed to switch between the two partners, other couples are not allowed to take part in the fight. As soon as one of the two partners is defeated, the other partner must end the fight alone. After the end of the fight, a new partner for this Pokémon must be found as soon as possible, who must be removed from the box. If there is no Pokémon of the required gender on the box, the next Pokémon caught must have this gender and thus become the new partner.

No Pokémon from the team may be placed on the box, it may only leave the team if it is released. An exception to this is VM slaves who have to learn a VM that no team member can learn. These may be temporarily taken into the team, but must be removed as soon as possible.

Special cases:

  • If a partner is defeated in a double fight, a partner from another pair may be substituted on.
  • A three-way battle is between two Pokémon from one pair and one Pokémon from another pair.


Playable from the sixth generation.

A wonder lock is played almost exactly like a normal nut lock. Furthermore, in each area that is entered for the first time, only the first Pokémon that the player encounters may be caught. However, if the capture attempt is successful, this Pokémon may not join the team or be stored in the box. Instead, the Pokémon is swapped by the miracle swap. The Pokémon obtained in this way can be kept and used in battles.

With this challenge is the dupes clause Highly recommended, as very often only weak Pokémon from the first routes are swapped in the miracle swap. In addition, care should be taken to ensure that the level of the Pokémon received is appropriate so that the challenge does not become too easy and the Pokémon obeys at all. Therefore, only Pokémon whose level is lower than the level of the team members can be kept. If one of these two rules occurs, the Pokémon received will be swapped again in the Miracle Swap until you receive a Pokémon that does not violate any rule.