Pokemon Showdown: Free Online Battle Simulator
by GamerFitnation on July 9, 2014 at 12:06 PM EDT

Pokemon Showdown

For those who are not familiar, Pokemon Showdown is an online battle simulator.  It does not require an actual game cartridge to play.  All it takes is a computer and an internet connection.  It makes competitive battling incredibly simple and it is easy to set up battles against opponents from around the world.

Getting started

After setting up a username and password, it is time to set up your team.  Here is where you have to make a decision.  You can have as many teams that are as different as you like, but you must choose a tier for your team.   As many know, there are Pokemon that are more powerful or useful than others.  In order to help ensure fair and balanced play, Pokemon Showdown sorts the Pokemon into tiers based on their usage.  If you want to play in a tier with all the legendary Pokemon and where nothing is banned, play in the Ubers tier.  If you want a battle with commonly used Pokemon, play in the most popular, overused tier.  If you find it more fun to play with the cuter creatures, Pokemon Showdown allows you to create a team around the basic level pocket monsters such as Ghastly or Aron.  Once you pick what you want your team to fight in, it’s team builder time.

Team builder

Pokemon Showdown

So now that you’ve picked a tier, you start to add Pokemon to your team. Here is where Pokemon Showdown truly shines.  You choose from all the legal choices in that tier or below and then you can customize your personal Pokemon.  As long as it can be learned, taught, move tutored, or bred to use a move in the actual game, it is possible to equip a Pokemon with that move.  In addition, you have the ability to put any item of your choosing from leftovers to choice scarf.  My personal favorite though is being able to immediately adjust the effort values to fine tune your Pokemon.  If you decide to change a team member from an offensive sweeper to a defensive monster, you can do so on a whim between matches almost instantly.  Other options include optimizing the nature, changing the happiness level, gender, or even if it is shiny or not.  It is that easy.  If you are unsure exactly how to set up your Pokemon or what role they best fit, smogon.com allows you to look into most of pocket monsters.  There they detail most of the base stats, move sets, items, and recommended effort-value distributions that other players have found to be very successful.  It will even tell what the checks and counters are for the specific Pokemon.  It is only updated through Pokemon Black and White 2, so if you want to know more about the more recently released Pokemon then you may have to check out the forums or head to http://www.serebii.net/index2.shtml to learn more about the X and Y variants.  Another point to keep in mind is that tiers are not always the same between simulators.  What Smogon may consider Underused, another may find it Overused.

Battling online

Pokemon Showdown

With a fully built and customized team, it is time to take on the Pokemon online ladder.  The queue is started and it matches with another opponent looking to battle.  As you win or lose you will accrue or drop points.  These points are similar to an ELO system and if you gain enough points you will begin to find your name displayed at the top of the ladder ranking for all to see.  It is very likely that the meta and tier will force you to alter your team to better take on threats, but with the team builder interface it couldn’t be easier.

Up-to-date management

The team behind Pokemon Showdown is constantly keeping tabs on the game and tweaking it if it becomes unbalanced.  With the most recently added mega-evolutions and Pokemon, there was a huge sorting out as to where each belonged and what was too strong for certain tiers.  The community can get involved and lend their voice to shape the game, as they often vote on the forums as to what should be moved up or down a tier if a Pokemon is proving particularly weak or powerful in a given environment.

Casual alternatives

Pokemon Showdown

Thanks to the support team of Pokemon Showdown, many other non-competitive modes have been implemented.  Random battles are great for someone looking to jump into a fight right away with a randomly generated team that could have any manner of move sets and items.  There is also a mono-type mode where only Pokemon with the same type are allowed on your team, much like a gym trainer or leader.  Even user-created Pokemon exists to be tested in their Create A Pokemon (CAP) Modes.  From serious battling to casual fun, Pokemon Showdown has something for every Pocket Monster fan.

Think you have what it takes to be Pokemon Showdown master?

Pokemon Showdown

If you are up to the challenge then head on over to http://pokemonshowdown.com/. It is entirely free to play and there are absolutely no micro-transactions or downloads if you use the internet browser version.  Channeling your inner Pokemon master has never been easier and Pokemon Showdown is sure to give you something to do whether you have 10 minutes or 10 hours.  The ladders aren’t going to climb themselves you know?

By Kyle Swain

Edited by: Avery Osborn

 

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