My Discord Server started playing Pokecord and it’s not exactly well documented, so I thought I’d make a guide with basics and commands to help people get going!
Table of Contents
How Pokecord works is it pulls Pokemon data from Bulbapedia. Each pokemon has base stats, IVs, a Nature, Moves, and can potentially be Shiny (presumably at the standard astronomically low rate).
Pokemon can be traded and fought (1 v 1), and there’s no penalty for losing a fight and no reason not to catch or trade anything. There’s no winning or losing the game, so you can play as casually or intensely as you like.
Pokecord isn’t a perfect Pokemon clone however. Some important points to note: Pokemon do not have teams or abilities in Pokecord (right now). Your ability to earn money is limited to dueling (a pittance), voting for Pokecord daily on Discord Bots (kinda…icky), or selling pokemon on the ingame market (which is pretty weird).
Where To Play Pokecord
You can play on any Discord server that has Pokecord enabled. You can either invite the bot to your own server, join our server (we’re well moderated!), or join the official pokecord server (expect catching spawns to be incredibly competitive).
Spawns seem to be a combination function of time and how many messages posted, meaning a more active server means more pokemon—but also more competition to catch those pokemon. On fast, popular servers, mobile users have a pretty strong disadvantage compared to keyboard users.
Once the bot is in your server, pokemon will start to spawn based on time and number of posts. Type p!start to get started, then p!pick (starter name) to select a starter.
When a pokemon appears, the first to correctly p!catch it gets it. There’s no limit to how many pokemon you can get, so there’s no reason (other than politeness) to not catch a pokemon. In a server with friends, consider letting other players catch pokemon you already have (alternately, catch them and trade them to who wants them for free).
It helps to add all pokemon you’re planning to duel with to your favorites list, so you don’t have to go through the whole pokemon list every time. Pokemon are always referenced by number not name in commands, so this will help you find the numbers quickly.
Pokemon level just by chatting in a server with Pokecord active; only your active pokemon gets experience this way though, so be sure to p!select who you want to raise. Without an Everstone (in p!shop), Pokemon that can evolve via level will automatically evolve at that level with no cancel prompt.
Duels are very buggy but there is no harm in losing, so do them as much as you want. See the Duel Commands section below for pitfalls.
What’s Missing/Different In Pokecord
As far as I can tell these are the major differences/omissions from Pokecord
- Teams/battles for more than 1v1 pokemon
- Status/stat changing moves do not work at all
- Pokemon gender, meaning some evolutions are presumably random? and some moves likely do not work
- You can’t cancel evolutions manually, you must buy and hold an everstone
- Held items only exist for evolving or preventing evolution
- Abilities are also completely omitted
- There is no breeding of pokemon
- Mega Evolutions work differently and are semi-permanently activated out of battle. Use p!mega to toggle Mega Evolution state rather than having them hold the stone in battle.
- Aside from selling pokemon (Team Rocket, anyone?) there’s no effective way to get money at a reasonable scale
- Any pokemon can be a random spawn, including baby pokemon, legendary pokemon, starters, and evolved forms that aren’t usually available.
Theoretically speaking, Pokecord attempts to emulate Pokemon battles almost 1:1. It is in practice quite buggy however and is nowhere near the quality of Smogon’s Battle Simulator, which I recommend you use if you want truly competitive and accurate gameplay (or you know, play the actual games).
That said, the same aspects of competitive gameplay in Pokemon apply to Pokecord. It is thus important to know Natures and IVs for individual pokemon, tiers and matchups and all the strategy in a normal pokemon game.
The biggest difference in Pokecord is that all duels are 1 v 1, which is actually an extremely unbalanced format leading to lots of bans in the unofficial Smogon format for it. Basically the best Legendary or Mega evo you have will always win. This greatly limits strategy specifically making any sort of switch in, kamikaze, or trap gimmicks pointless and greatly reducing the importance of Bulk while exaggerating the already high importance of speed.
Other major differences in Pokecord (other than the bugs) include that status moves do not work, natures can be changed (but not IVs, which normal Pokemon DOES let you enhance…), so you’re really only looking for good IVs, if you care about them. Also abilities don’t appear to be implemented (RIP Shedinja) and held items are also only for evolution.
This is a guide for playing Pokecord quickly, not in-depth Pokemon strategy. There’s already very established sites to teach you the latter, so check out those links if you want to know more.
The official command list is actually missing quite a few important commands, mostly server administration stuff. Whenever (pokemon) is included in a command, replace it with the number of the pokemon without the parenthesis. Almost no commands use the name of the pokemon, number is instead how to reference them, since you can have multiples of any given Pokemon.
(Still filling these in)
- Enters you into the game. Other commands will not work, including p!catch, until you officially start the game.
- p!pick (pokemon)
- Select your starter, you can pick any “starter” pokemon from any mainline generation. This does not include Pikachu or Eevee.
- The bot will DM you a series of help messages for p!help 1-5. You have to enable DMs from server members to get the DMs
- p!catch (pokemon name)
- The most important command, catches the currently spawned pokemon, if you guess the name correctly and no one else catches it first. Spawns eventually expire, or expire instantly if another spawn occurs. If the bot doesn’t respond to this command, the pokemon is already gone.
- Get a hint to the currently spawned pokemon. It’s just the first letter though
- p!order alphabetical|number|level|iv
- Orders your p!pokemon list in the manner selected. Note “number” means order caught, not Pokedex number
- Use this to show/hide IVs in info boxes, in case you want to see them. Disabled by default.
- I strongly recommend leaving the info off, as you can’t do anything about it and in the context of this game it’s basically meaningless.
- Use this to show/hide IVs in info boxes, in case you want to see them. Disabled by default.
- p!select (pokemon)
- Sets your active pokemon to the input number
- use p!select latest to select your last caught pokemon, useful for quick Nicknaming.
Favorites List Commands
- p!addfav (pokemon number)
- Adds a pokemon to your favorites list
- Displays your favorites list, for easy reference/selection for trading/duels
- p!removefav (number)
- Removes pokemon from favorites list
- Claim your
- Redeem a code. These have to be generated by the developers so you probably don’t have any of these
- Silences your personal level up warnings
Battles are very buggy.
When a player uses a move in a public channel, the bot will delete it (but it will show briefly).
Mostly self-promo stuff from Pokecord.
- Appeal a ban on the official server only
- Shows Pokecord bot info
- Donation link for Pokecord
- Get a link to invite the bot to your server
- Patreon link for Pokecord
- Get invite to the official pokecord server
Only the server admin can activate these commands. They affect settings for the whole server.
If you’re worried about Pokecord disrupting your server, I would first set up the redirect and channel commands, and possibly clearspawns and disable levelup. Alternately, just prevent the bot from speaking in any channel but your spawn channel via restricting its role.
Consider changing the prefix early too so people get used to it, p! is a bit annoying to type.
- p!levelup disable|enable
- Removes levelup messages for the server
- p!channel enable|disable
- Toggle whether pokecord commands can be used in a channel. Default is on.
- p!prefix (prefix)
- Sets the server prefix, if you don’t like p!. My server uses just p so it’s easier to type, especially for quick p!catch rushes.
- p!redirect (#channel)
- Redirects all Pokemon spawns into the channel passed. Useful to prevent spam and annoyed server members if everyone’s not a fan. I recommend starting out with it redirected on a large server.
- p!redirect disable
- Disables redirecting of spawns
- p!clearspawns enable|disable
- With this enabled, the bot will remove the image/post of a pokemon spawn after it’s caught. Can clear up chat spam but also makes it more confusing for new players.
If you thought designing a robust, highly accurate pokemon game inside a Discord API sounds difficult, you’re right.
Sometimes the bot will spawn a pokemon then immediately give a second spawn. Only one spawn is ever active at once in a channel (server?) in Pokecord, so the first pokemon is simply gone.
There is a lot that can go wrong in battles. There is a pretty brief timer on move selection,
If one player can’t start a duel because the bot says they’re already in a (canceled/completed) fight, try having the other party start the battle instead.
According to the bot itself, some moves are buggy and may “crash” battles. If this happens, there’s not much you can do but not use that move.
No Wild Pokemon Spawn
This is a big problem and there’s a few reasons. First, make sure the bot can post at all and double check it’s permissions.
If everything was working and all commands still work but spawns never appear to happen (wait at least a few hours with good server activity; spawns are based on chat frequency), what may need to happen is you need to make a new channel to spawn pokemon and delete the old channel. In our case, deleting the old channel was what actually fixed it, a new channel alone isn’t enough.
This bug seems to happen to users who have already forced a redirect. Since deleting a long-running channel can be such a big deal in a server (plus since not everyone wants to see the pokecord spam), I strongly recommend making a separate channel just for pokecord, otherwise there may be no easy way to fix this with the current buggy version of the bot.