The Starlocke variant of the Nuzlocke challenge was originally introduced by Awesome Soul on YouTube (the original video describing the challenge can be viewed here). Like a normal Nuzlocke, fainted Pokémon must be boxed or released, and Pokémon should be nicknamed. However, the Starlocke ruleset presents one major difference to a standard Nuzlocke run:
- You may never acquire Pokémon by catching, as gifts, trades, etc. once the challenge starts. The player starts the game with eighteen Pokémon of the player’s choosing, one of each type. Dual-types may be counted as whichever of the two types the player prefers (for example, Pelliper could be used as your Water or Flying-type Pokémon) and the typing is based on the typing of the final evolution being used (so Charizard could be counted as either a Fire or Flying-type, even though Charmander is only a Fire-type). The player must play through the challenge with these eighteen Pokémon and no others. The Pokémon may be imported as eggs from other games, or inserted using external software. (Note: because the player is allowed to choose their own starting Pokémon, they have a high degree of control over the challenge’s difficulty.)
- The player may not switch a party Pokémon out for a box Pokémon, unless that party member faints. This means that while the player has eighteen Pokémon to work with, they must carefully decide which Pokémon to start the game with, and in what order to use them. In some cases, it may be necessary to sacrifice a less-useful Pokémon before a Gym or other difficult battle in order to withdraw a Pokémon with a good type matchup against that opponent.
- For a greater degree of difficulty, the player may decide to randomly select a Pokémon for each type, rather than using Pokémon of their choice. This is optional, and not a base rule for the Starlocke challenge.
For additional rule clarifications, see the creator’s original video.
For a more comprehensive list of additional rules you can use to customize any Nuzlocke run, see our Optional Rules section. For even more unique ways to enjoy the Nuzlocke challenge, check out our Nuzlocke Variants page!