How to Play Online Pokemon TCG – Get Started!
Playing online Pokemon TCG games is incredibly easy. Unlike some other scenes, where simulator support is limited or lacking from an official source, Pokemon is ready to go!
Pokemon card booster packs include an additional card featuring a code to use with what was “Pokemon TCG Online”. As you would expect from the name, this was Pokemon’s official online TCG Simulator. It was discontinued on June 5th 2023 and pulled from app stores, being replaced with Pokemon TCG Live. As before, the client was available as an app on Android and iOS in addition to a desktop client. These can be downloaded from the Pokemon TCG Live website. Pokemon Live players across all platforms will be able to play against each other due to cross-platform support.
Pokemon Live Service
Due to support for the online format, the majority of players congregate on its servers. Being linked back the Pokemon product that players have opened, this simulator makes use of the QR codes present in the card packs. They don’t give you the exact cards you’ve opened.
The packs purchased instead translate into packs that can be opened in the simulator. This does mean, for people that don’t actively collect or open cards, the grind for creating cards is a little longer. Tournament stamps and alts from playing at your Local Game Store or other offline events do exist in engine. They have a QR code for redeeming online.
How to play Pokemon Live
- Go to https://tcg.pokemon.com/ and download do your device
- Open the game and select your language
- Create and activate an account
- Create your trainer
- Complete the tutorials
- Click Play to play online!
Unofficial ways for online Pokemon TCG play
As with most TCGs, Tabletop Simulator (TTS) and Untap.in are the go to places for unofficial Pokemon TCG play.
TTS, as always, requires the use of community supported workshop mods in order to play. Untap.in, originally designed for Magic the Gathering, also works quite well or Pokemon. Pokemon players looking to test online without going through the official simulator often look to Untap.in’s in browser client. Not only is it free, compared to TTS, but being playable in browser makes things easier for those on the go. The other reason for playing via Untap is its support for other formats.
In addition to having access to all the cards in the game, the more tabletop approach to the game allows players to play the Extended format or community made formats like “Gym Leader Challenge” (GLC). Pokemon Live notably only makes use of the Standard format, which works for many, as the main competitive format played at events. For players looking to test out the game for free, or practice the alternate formats, environments such as Untap.in can prove valuable, at the cost of automation and polish, comes the flexibility of formats.