Tribelocke Variant

The Tribelocke variant is a variant of the Nuzlocke challenge. It is based on the standard Nuzlocke ruleset, with one significant change. When entering a new area, rather than catching only the first Pokémon you encounter, the player rolls a die or uses a random number generator to produce a number between one and six. Whatever number is rolled, the player must attempt to catch that many Pokémon on the route, and those Pokémon caught make up a “tribe”. This tribe must always fight together, meaning:

  • All members of a tribe must be either on your team or in the box at the same time; they must remain together and cannot split up. Either the entire tribe is on your team, or none of the tribe is.
  • In battle, tribes must fight together. If multiple tribes are in your party (say two tribes of three Pokémon) you may only switch between members of the same tribe, and may not switch to members of the other tribe until the battle is over or the entire first tribe has been knocked out.

The duplicates clause will normally not be used in this challenge, as early routes may not provide enough different Pokémon to meet the requirements of catching a large tribe. Therefore, it is common in this challenge to have multiples of a Pokémon species in the same tribe, especially in the early-game.

Other notes:

  • When catching a tribe, standard Nuzlocke catching rules apply. If you fail to catch a Pokémon and it faints or flees, you lose that encounter. For example, if a player rolled a five, and then accidentally knocked out the first Pokémon they encountered, they would then have four more attempts to catch Pokémon on the route, and the maximum size of the route’s tribe would decrease to four.
  • It’s encouraged to follow a theme when nicknaming a tribe, to make them feel more distinct and memorable. You might name one tribe after characters from a movie, another tribe after your favorite foods, and so on.
  • If a tribe member faints, it must be boxed or released, similar to standard Nuzlocke rules, and the size of the tribe is reduced. Surviving members of the tribe can continue to fight.
  • If a Pokémon is the only member of its tribe, it may not switch in battle – if used, it must stay in until the battle is completed or it faints.
  • Depending on the size of your tribes, you may not always be able to have a full team of six Pokémon. If, for example, you had three tribes, each with four Pokémon, you would only be able to have one tribe on your team at a time and so would only have four Pokémon in your party.

This variant was originally created by Jenza1202 of Nuzlocke Forum. Follow the link for extra details and clarifications on rules and how to handle different situations that may arise.


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!