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Pokemon Go lucky Pokemon: How to become lucky friends and get lucky Pokemon

By Ford James 18 September 2020

How lucky Pokemon work in Pokemon Go and how to become lucky friends

Pokemon Go lucky Pokemon have existed in the game for a long time now, but they’re somewhat of a hidden mechanic. Unless you become lucky friends with someone coincidentally in Pokemon Go, chances are you’re not going to find out about lucky Pokemon or even if you do hear about them through the grapevine, it’s not self-explanatory at all. We’re here to help however, with all you need to know about Pokemon Go lucky Pokemon, friends, and more.

What are lucky Pokemon in Pokemon Go?

So what are lucky Pokemon? They’re similar but different to shiny Pokemon; while shiny Pokemon look different, lucky Pokemon are identified by gold circles around the Pokemon on the list view. When you click on them, the background is gold and sparkly, compared to the usual type-specific background.

When you have a lucky Pokemon, you get a couple of benefits. The first is that the stardust cost to power it up is reduced by 50%, so if you have a strong PvP Pokemon that becomes lucky, you’re in luck. Pun intended.

The other possible benefit is that a lucky Pokemon’s IV will always be a minimum of 12/12/12. This means that you could trade a 0 IV Pokemon and potentially gain a 100 IV Pokemon in return. On the contrary, you’re risking a lot if you trade a 98 IV Pokemon, because there’s a high chance it will come out with lower stats than it went in with.

How to get lucky Pokemon in Pokemon Go

Getting lucky Pokemon in Pokemon Go isn’t particularly straightforward. There’s one core concept though; you can only get lucky Pokemon through trading with other trainers. Every trade you make has a chance to come out as a lucky Pokemon. The older the Pokemon is, the higher chance it has of becoming lucky, but the trade only takes into account the age of the oldest Pokemon of the two. So you could trade a Pokemon from 2016 and one from 2020 with each other, and the game would calculate the lucky odds based on the 2016 one.

It’s possible to get a guaranteed lucky Pokemon in a trade if one of the two Pokemon/trainers fulfills the following criteria:

  • Has received less than 10 lucky Pokemon from trades
  • Pokemon was caught between July – August 2016

As long as that’s the case for one of the Pokemon being traded, it will be a lucky trade.

How to become lucky friends in Pokemon Go

Along with lucky Pokemon, you can also become lucky friends with someone in Pokemon Go. This is essentially completely random; once you’ve reached the best friends stage by sending gifts back and forth, there’s a small chance (around 5% according to a small Reddit sample) that every time you open a gift from a best friend, you become lucky friends.

When you’re lucky friends with someone, all this means is that the next trade between the two of you will be a lucky trade, resulting in two lucky Pokemon. Once you’ve completed the lucky trade, your lucky friend status will disappear, but can be regained by sending gifts back and forth again.

How lucky Pokemon work in Pokemon Go and how to become lucky friends

How To Get A Lucky Pokémon In Pokémon GO: A Trading Guide

Lucky Pokémon are special Pokémon that can only be attained in Pokémon GO by trading. These Pokémon have a guarantee of good stats, with a minimum of twelve (our of fifteen) points in Attack, Defense, and HP. In addition to a shimmering golden effect cascading behind it, a Lucky Pokémon features a steeply discounted power-up cost. This guide will break down how to get Lucky in Pokémon GO, as well as when and how Lucky Trades should be spent.

How to Get a Lucky Pokémon in Pokémon GO: A Trading Guide. Credit: Niantic

The most common way to acquire a Lucky is by trading with a friend, over and over. Trainers are allowed 100 trades per day, and the mechanic currently makes it very easy for two players to swap catches back and forth. At random, a Pokémon may turn Lucky, which will happen for both players, when a trade is completed.

Older Pokémon that were caught in July or August of 2016 are currently guaranteed to go Lucky if certain requirements are met. Both trainers involved in a guaranteed Lucky trade must not have already done ten of these. These don’t have to be an exact swap, either. A trainer can trade their 2016 Beedrill for a 2020 Kyurem, and both will go Lucky.

Lucky Friends is another way of guaranteeing a Lucky trade. Any interaction with a Best Friend in Pokémon GO including opening a Gift, raiding together, or battling each other can trigger friends to go Lucky. This will make their next trade a guaranteed Lucky, which is visually demonstrated by the golden screen when the process begins. A great time to do one of these Lucky Trades is during an event when a Pokémon has a limited, exclusive move such as Community Day. If a trainer only catches low-IV Shiny Porygon on its upcoming Community Day, swapping with another trainer will guarantee a 12/12/12-floored Shiny Porygon that can be evolved up into a powerful Porygon-Z.

How To Get a Lucky Pokémon in Pokémon GO: This guide will help trainers with trading Pokémon and get Luckies in Niantic's hit AR game.