How Do Guaranteed Lucky Trades Work in Pokémon GO?

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Kicking off the Adamant Time event, starting Monday, December 11, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. local time, if you trade a Pokémon that has been in a Trainer’s Pokémon storage since 2018, it is guaranteed to become a Lucky Pokémon until the limit is reached! This change is permanent. The limit of guaranteed Lucky Pokémon a Trainer can trigger in a trade has been increased from 15 to 25!

There has been lots of confusion about how to ensure that a trade will be lucky, we saw a great post on Reddit about this and wanted to help clear things up.

What is a Guaranteed Lucky Trade?

In 2018, Niantic announced a major update for the Lucky Pokémon system! According to the official blog post – If you trade a Pokemon that was caught between July 2016 – August 2016, it is guaranteed to become a Lucky Pokémon.

Lucky Pokemon require less Stardust to power up and can only be obtained through trading. Lucky Pokémon also have a 12/12/12 IV floor, which makes Lucky Pokémon the easiest way to obtain a high IV Pokémon in the game.

Starting Monday, December 11, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. local time the limit of guaranteed lucky trades increased from 15 to 25. Any Pokémon caught up to December 31st 2018 can be used to trigger a Lucky Trade.

How does this work?

Every account has a hidden counter of the number of guaranteed lucky trades they participated in.

Note, this is NOT the number of lucky trades you have had in total. Lucky friend trades and random lucky trades do not affect the counter.

If you trade a Pokémon caught before 31st December 2018, the trade will go lucky if your ‘hidden counter’ of guaranteed lucky trades is less than 25. Both Trainers in the trade will then have their counter increase by 1.

Only one of the Pokémon in the trade has to be caught before 31st December 2018. This Pokémon is the ‘trigger’. The trainer with the ‘trigger’ Pokémon must not have more than 25 guaranteed trades on their hidden counter.

A small example

Trainer A has a hidden counter of 5, Trainer B has a hidden counter of 0

Trainer A sends 20 Pokémon caught in 2017 to Trainer B. Their counters are now 25 and 20 respectively. 

This means if Trainer A trades away another Pokémon caught between 2016-2018, the trade will NOT be guaranteed to go lucky. This is because they have reached their trigger limit. 

However, Trainer B is still under the limit. Trainer B now sends 5 Pokémon caught in 2018 to Trainer A. These 5 trades are guaranteed to go lucky as Trainer B had not yet reached the cap. Trainer A now has a hidden counter of 30 and Trainer B has a counter of 25. Neither trainer can now trigger a guaranteed lucky trade by sending a Pokémon caught in 2018 or before, as their counters are 25 or higher.

Trainer A has a counter of 30. This means that you can be on the receiving end of unlimited guaranteed lucky trades (you will receive the Pokémon caught in 2016-2018). You just cannot trigger any more guaranteed lucky trades, unless the limit is increased in the future.

Non-Guaranteed Lucky Trades

Bear in mind that all trades have a chance to go lucky. The chance of a lucky trade with the oldest Pokémon being caught over 2 years ago is around 25%. Trading two old Pokémon will not give you any tangible benefit over trading 1 old and 1 freshly caught Pokémon.

So, if you and your trading partner have both reached your hidden counter limit, there is still a chance of going lucky. Bear in mind, this isn’t guaranteed. These trades will not increase the hidden counter.

Author & tags

Hey! I'm phrixu, a Pokémon GO player from the UK. I am dedicated to making Pokémon GO as accessible as possible, to the whole community!

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