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

Pokemon Go lucky Pokemon
(Image credit: Niantic)

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?

Pokemon Go lucky Pokemon

(Image credit: Niantic)

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

Pokemon Go lucky Pokemon

(Image credit: Niantic)

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

Pokemon Go lucky friends

(Image credit: Niantic)

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.

Good luck obtaining those lucky Pokemon!

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Ford James

One of the resident guide writers around these parts, give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1 2020, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager 2020, clicking on heads in Valorant, or mowing down hordes of enemies in Outriders.