Nuzlocke Variants

This page is a work-in-progress. Check back later for more Nuzlocke variants and in-depth guides.

Here we’ve collected a number of examples of different variants of the Pokémon Nuzlocke challenge, along with brief descriptions. These are intended to add variety, novelty, and/or challenge to the basic Nuzlocke experience. Click on the name of a variant for a more detailed explanation of the rules.

  • Hardcore Nuzlocke: A variant in which item use and over-levelling are restricted, in order to produce a more difficult run and more strategic play.
  • Wedlocke: Pokémon are assigned into pairs or “couples” by gender. Couples fight together, and when one member of a couple enters a battle, the player may only switch between that Pokémon and its partner for the duration of the battle, or until both partners are knocked out.
  • Egglocke: Caught Pokemon are replaced with Pokemon from eggs, which are randomly generated by the player or sent by other players, viewers, or friends.
  • Monolocke: Only Pokémon that have a certain type may be caught and used in the player’s team. Sometimes referred to as the “gym leader challenge”.
  • Wonderlocke: Each Pokémon that you catch must be Wonder Traded for a random new Pokémon.
  • Apocalocke: The player selects (or is assigned) an apocalyptic disaster as the theme for the run. Depending on the disaster chosen, only certain types of Pokémon may be caught and used.
  • Giftlocke: The player is not allowed to catch Pokémon, and must use only their starter and gift Pokémon that are obtained without catching.
  • Generationlocke: The player plays through each generation of games in order using the standard Nuzlocke rules. The surviving Champions of one generation are sent to the next generation as a team of starters.
  • Uniquelocke: None of the player’s party Pokémon may share a type.
  • NOHKOlocke: A player’s Pokémon must be boxed or released if it knocks out an opposing Pokémon from full health in a single hit.
  • Chesslocke: The player may only capture a certain number of Pokémon, each of which must be assigned a role and certain restrictions based on various chess pieces.
  • Zombielocke: Pokémon that are knocked out may be revived as “zombies”, and may only be healed by sacrificing other Pokémon.
  • Loserlocke: The player may only use Pokémon from a one or two-stage evolutionary line, and may only use regular Poké Balls.
  • BallLocke: The player may only catch one Pokémon in each type of Poké Ball.
  • Starlocke: The player begins the game with one Pokémon of each type (eighteen total), and may not acquire any more. They may not switch out party members unless fainted.
  • Sleeplocke: The player must complete the run in a single sitting, without falling asleep in real-life.
  • Tasklocke: Intended to boost the player’s real-life productivity. The player must nickname their Pokémon after real-life tasks and chores which must be completed before major battles.
  • Draftlocke: Multiple players race to complete a Nuzlocke challenge. At the start of the game, players take turns drafting types, and may only use Pokémon of the types they’ve drafted.

For more ways to modify any Nuzlocke run, check out our Optional Rules page.