What is a Pokemon Nuzlocke - Soulbind Rules

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Dustin Hansen
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The Pokémon series is one of the most well-known and beloved franchises in video gaming. Pokémon Red and Blue remembers so many nostalgic moments as players embark on their first adventure. Since then, many games have been released and are still mainly aimed at a young audience.

As a result, many Pokémon fans who grew up with the series wished for many changes, including the difficulty. An unofficial style of play called Nuzlocke did just that. But you might be wondering what a Nuzlocke Pokémon is. It is a set of rules that make a Pokémon game more difficult.



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The Pokemon Nuzlocke is from a webcomic that depicts Nick Franco's game of Pokemon Ruby. Franco wanted to challenge himself, so he created in-game rules to make the game more difficult. These were the two main rules.

  • Release a Pokémon if it faints.
  • You must catch the first Pokemon in each area and nothing else.

Franco's comic, Pokémon Ruby Hard-Mode, shows his journey through the game and the challenges he faced. The cartoon and style of play taken in the Nuzlocke challenge became popular. Since its inception, rules have also been added to the challenge. These are:

  • Each captured Pokémon must be given a nickname. This is to form a stronger bond with each Pokémon.
  • Players can only use Pokemon they capture themselves. Pokémon traded, obtained through Mystery Gift, and other methods are not eligible.
  • The player cannot reset the game if something goes wrong. Everything that happens in the game is final.

These are the generally accepted rules for most Pokémon Nuzlocke challenges. However, players have also adopted other rules. These include releasing the starter Pokemon, being allowed to skip duplicate Pokemon for another encounter, randomly choosing a starter Pokemon, and many more. Ultimately, the rules the player uses is up to them when creating the challenge they want.



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Soulbind Rules

There's the Soul Link variant for those who want to take the multiplayer aspect of Pokémon and incorporate it into their Nuzlocke challenge. This variant is intended to be played cooperatively with one or more friends. In Soul Link, each Pokémon a player catches is linked to another player's Pokémon. The general Nuzlocke rules are still followed with the new rules added.


  • Pokémon caught in a player's game are linked to another player's Pokémon. This means that each player's Pokemon are Soulbound. For example, starter Pokémon are considered linked, and the encounter of both players in each zone is considered linked.
  • Once a Pokemon faints, the other player's in-game Soul Link Pokemon is also considered fainted and cannot be used.
  • If a player fails to capture a Pokemon on a specific route, the linked player must release a Pokemon captured on that route or fail to catch one.
  • If a Pokémon is placed in the CP, the linked Pokémon in the other player's game must also be placed in the CP.

For more information on Pokémon, check out Pokémon Go: Can Kyurem Shine? Rates and How to Get and Best Moveset for Kyurem in Pokémon Go on Tipsforallgames.


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