The Pokemon Trading Card game followed the surprise success of Pokemon Red/Blue. The cards were Japan-exclusive until the games were released in North America and Europe. Wizards of the Coast, famous for Magic: The Gathering, published the North American Pokemon cards. The game was so popular it sold more cards in five years than Magic: The Gathering had in ten.
The Pokemon Trading Card Game created an online version due to the popularity of digital card games. Released in 2011, the physical card packs featured codes for players to download and redeem rewards online. But how good is the online card game, and what are the benefits of downloading it?
Unfortunately, for new players getting into the franchise, PTCGO won’t be available, at least not under the same name. Pokemon TCG Live replaced the title in 2023 with the servers to PTCGO shutting down forever. Luckily, Live still follows in the game’s footsteps, with every reason here applying to the new version.
So, let’s jump right in and see the five best reasons to download Pokemon TCG Online (Live) right now.
Free-to-play games are becoming the standard for many modern online titles. The rise of games like Fortnite, Warzone, and League of Legends created a standard for many players. While these games can be played with spending a single cent, they offer many in-game purchases to make a profit.
In this sense, the Pokemon TCG Online was ahead of the curve and is very friendly to free-to-play gamers. You do not have to spend any money to get a decent deck or cards. While there are daily limits on rewards, the best part is that it relies on your skill. Players who do well in tournaments or matches receive better and more frequent rewards.
However, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t spend any money. Spending money can help you get off the ground and support the company for future updates. But this is optional, and with no up-front cost to yourself, there’s no reason not to download and play Pokemon TCG Online.
Card Collection and Deck Building
For players who love the strategy that comes behind card games, Pokemon TCG Online brings all of those classic features. Collecting new cards from packs is always exciting since you never know what you’ll get. Starting out small but slowly building your collection from zero to hundreds of cards is rewarding and satisfying.
But no collection is meaningful without decks to build from it. This is where creativity and strategy come into play. Most players will look online to see the best or meta decks to use, but what if you don’t have the cards? Or perhaps you just want to build your own. Knowing and understanding the game allows for better synergy decks to be built.
This isn’t necessary, with some players opting to play for fun and with Pokemon they enjoy using. Just like the video games, Pokemon games are meant for fun, with any Pokemon being okay to use. Regardless, building and collecting cards and decks is one of the biggest drawing points to the game. It also allows players who collect physical cards to build their online profile with the aforementioned code cards in each pack.
The downside to physical card games is the availability. Sure, players can get more connection and interaction when playing in person with someone else, but there may not be anyone to play with. If you don’t have stores or locations hosting Pokemon card games, you rely on friends and family who may not understand or want to play.
The Pokemon TCG Online fixes this issue, as there’s always someone to battle against. At all hours of the day, queuing for an online match will only take seconds before you are sent in-game. Not only is this convenient, but it doesn’t require setting up. There are no cards to take out and sort through, plus no having to look up rules.
The loss of interaction can be unappealing to some but allows for a more personal experience. Players can relax by playing the game while listening to music, watching shows, or doing whatever else. Accessibility is the biggest appeal of modern games, and nothing is more accessible than playing when it’s convenient for you.
Let’s face it: new expansions are exciting but can be difficult to obtain for physical packs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, card packs were lacking for players to buy, with card prices skyrocketing. Stores would have empty shelves, and online sellers would mark up prices, making it inaccessible to hobbyists.
Online card games do not face this problem, however. New expansions and updates are available instantly for those who choose to spend money. This leads to the previous reason of the game being free-to-play. Players cannot obtain physical cards for free, but with new expansions online, saving up coins and earning rewards can get you new cards for no cost.
Getting into a new game can be intimidating for some. No one wants to be bad at a game, but trying to learn and making mistakes can lead to players dropping the game altogether. This problem only worsens when playing in person with an experienced player. Luckily, the Pokemon TCG Online has tutorials that walk players through each step of the battles. Along with countless guides online and AI opponents, players can learn at their own pace.
The AI Trainers are perfect for those nervous about playing online games, as no one can judge or react to your actions. Making mistakes and learning is a part of the process, but throwing everything at once on a player will only make them resent the game.
Getting rid of the barrier to entry is the greatest thing Pokemon TCG Online does. Each reason, along with more, is crafted to make players comfortable and come back for more. With no cost to start, battling at any time, and tips to help you learn, the title is one of the best online card games. It appeals to fans of Pokemon and the trading card genre.
There are many more reasons to download, including an intuitive UI, competitive games, trading cards and packs, and achievements. While it is sad to see the game come to an end after a decade, we can only hope Live can live up to its legacy. The game has been rocky, but let us not forget that PTCGO had years to improve and fix itself. For now, Live may not be the best, but it still features everything great about the original game, even if altered somehow.