Pokémon Go: How to get Lucky Pokémon

Pokémon Go is adding a new type of Pokémon to the game — Lucky Pokémon. You can think of them as Shiny Pokémon... but they only show up when you trade, not when you catch and hatch. And, instead of a different color, they have a special attribute: The ability to power up for only half the usual candy and stardust.

Yeah! Here are the details!

What's a 'Lucky Pokémon' in Pokémon Go?

According to the official announcement:

Professor Willow has made an important new discovery about Pokémon! His findings suggest that Pokémon can take on a new trait when they are traded. The trait's origin is a mystery, and you can experience it soon in Pokémon GO!

What does 'soon' mean? When do Lucky Pokémon go live?

Now! Lucky Pokémon are live now! Trade! Trade! (But trade smart!)

How does a Pokémon become a Lucky Pokemon?

Through trading!

According to his research, there is a chance that Pokémon, when traded, can become sparkly Lucky Pokémon.

Is a Lucky Pokémon like a Shiny or is there any real advantage?

The Pokémon itself doesn't have a different color, like Shiny Pokémon do, but they do have a special advantage:

It seems that Lucky Pokémon require less Stardust to power up, which means they can reach a higher CP much faster than other Pokémon. Plus, a Lucky Pokémon can be detected by the Pokédex, so you can keep track of them!

More precisely, it seems like Lucky Pokémon only require half the Stardust and Candy to power up as a regular Pokémon, making them much more efficient to power up.

What are the odds of getting a Lucky Pokémon?

No one knows yet. Right now it's not every time but it is every few times. That might change, though.

Is there any way to increase your odds of getting a Lucky Pokémon?

Maybe. Pokémom Go is being cagey:

The longer the Pokémon spends inside a Trainer's Pokémon storage, the higher the chance of them becoming Lucky Pokémon when they are traded. Whether or not being in storage causes Pokémon to become Lucky Pokémon remains a mystery, but be sure to stay posted for more results from the professor's research.

So it sounds like older Pokémon in your collection, if you trade them, will have a better odds of being a Lucky Pokémon.

Do Pokémon stay Lucky when you evolve them?

Pokemon Go Lucky evolution

Pokemon Go Lucky evolution (Image credit: iMore/Rene Ritchie)

They do! Score a Lucky Larvitar or Dratini and you can evolve it into a Lucky Tyranitar or Dragonite!

How do you trade a Pokémon to try and get a Lucky?

Assuming both you and the person you want to trade with are level 10 and higher:

  1. Become "Friends" with the person you want to trade with. (Ask for their Trainer Code and use it to send them a Friend request. Once they accept, you're friends.)
  2. Meet up with the Friend you want to trade with. (You have to be within 100 meters of each other for trading to become available.)
  3. Select the Pokémon you want to trade and have your Friend select the Pokémon they want to trade for it.
  4. Review the Trade Details and make sure you're happy with them, including the CP and HP ranges. (IV is re-rolled when you trade, so it's better to trade low IV Pokémon in hopes of improving them, and never trade a 100% Pokémon because you'll almost certainly lose those stats.)
  5. Tap Next.
  6. Review the Trade one last time.
  7. Tap Confirm.

With any luck, you'll get a Lucky!

Any Lucky Pokémon questions?

If you have any questions about Trading or Lucky Pokémon, drop them in the comments below!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.