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Pokémon Go guide: How to get Lucky Pokémon

Get a Lucky Pokémon to power up for half the price

Pokemon Go - Pikachu in a park, with a purple haze over it Image: Nintendo via Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

In Pokémon Go, players can get Lucky Pokémon from trading with friends. In our Pokémon Go Lucky Pokémon guide, we’ll explain how to get a Lucky Pokémon and show the lowered costs of powering up these Pokémon.

Lucky Pokémon are indicated by a golden sparkly shine on their information page, replacing the usual type-based background they get.

A Lucky Rayquaza Image: Niantic/The Pokémon Company via Polygon

How to get Lucky Pokémon

You can get Lucky Pokémon randomly when trading Pokémon with friends. When you trade, there’s a small chance that your Pokémon will become Lucky. Both Pokémon will always become Lucky if one does.

According to research from The Silph Road, Pokémon are more likely to become Lucky if they were caught long ago. The research shows that Pokémon less than a year old have about a 5% chance to be lucky, Pokémon that are a year old have a 10% chance, and Pokémon that are two years old have a 25% chance. This means that holding onto rare Pokémon for a long time is probably worth doing, even if just to get a Lucky Pokémon.

If you have Lucky Friends, which happens randomly with Best Friends, then your next trade will be Lucky, guaranteed. While Niantic hasn’t announced the Lucky Friends chance, some researchers on The Silph Road subreddit note that the Lucky Friends odds are a little bit below 2% per exchange.

Lucky Pokémon benefits

Lucky Pokémon are highly desired because of their reduced Stardust cost when powering up. Stardust cost is reduced by half for Lucky Pokémon.

Normally when you trade Pokémon, the Individual Values (or IVs) of the Pokémon are shuffled randomly. However, if you trade a Pokémon and it becomes Lucky, it will always have at least 80% IVs, ensuring a pretty strong Pokémon. That being said, if you have a Lucky Friend, send over a powerful Legendary or pseudo-legendary Pokémon.