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Pokémon Go Lucky Friends and Lucky Pokémon, including how to get Lucky Friends and guaranteed Lucky Pokémon

How to get Lucky Pokémon in Pokémon Go - and everything we know about Lucky Friends.

Image credit: Niantic

Pokémon Go Lucky Pokémon is another type of Pokémon to look out for - joining Shinies and Forms such as Alolan Pokémon.

While the aforementioned types only fill out your Pokédex, Lucky Pokémon status in Pokémon Go also provides a direct benefit - allowing that creature up at a much cheaper cost than regular Pokémon.

Meanwhile, there is the addition of Lucky Friends, which acts as another way for you to send and receive Lucky Pokémon.

On this page:

Update: As of Monday 11th December 2023, the number of guaranteed Lucky Pokémon you can receive via trades has increased from 15 to 25. Additionally, any Pokémon which has been in a player's storage since 2018 is guaranteed to turn Lucky unless this limit had been reached.

How to get Lucky Friends in Pokémon Go

Lucky Friends is a special friendship status that guarantees you a Lucky Pokémon.

Becoming Lucky Friends in Pokémon Go works as follows:

  • There is a 1.1% chance of being Lucky Friends when you are Best Friends with someone.
  • When you are Lucky Friends with someone, the next trade you make will result in both becoming Lucky Pokémon.
  • You have attempt per day at becoming Lucky Friends by performing one of the following actions - opening a gift, teaming up in Raids or Gym battles, or engaging in a Trainer Battle (essentially, anything that would usually result in leveling up your Friendship).
  • If successful, the game will notify that you are Lucky Friends, and it will say as such in your Friends listing.
  • Once the trade is completed, you will return to being 'regular' Best Friends again.

Other things to know about Lucky Friends includes:

It's possible to have more than one Lucky Friend. Image credit: blackpudding2000 on reddit
  • You can become Lucky Friends with a Best Friend more than once, though not more than once per day.
  • The chances of becoming Lucky Friends, at least in the early stages, appear to be around 5% according to reddit.
  • The Lucky Friends status seems to last for as long as you next trade - so feel free to continue sending and receiving Gifts or engaging in Trainer Battles until you next meet up and can trade. It does not expire that day.
  • It is possible to have more than one Lucky Friend active at once. (Thanks blackpudding2000 on reddit for confirming).
  • At the feature's launch, there was an issue where some Lucky Friend trades don't result in Lucky Pokémon - this has now been fixed:

What are Lucky Pokémon in Pokémon Go?

Lucky Pokémon is a special status, separate to Forms or Shinies, that Pokémon can have attached to them.

If a Pokémon is Lucky, then the Stardust required to power it up is reduced by 50%. The feature is particularly welcome as Stardust is one of the more scarce resources in the game, especially at high level play, allowing creatures to reach maximum CP at a lower cost.

Additionally, the number of Lucky Pokémon you have caught will appear in the Pokédex (alongside 'seen' and 'caught') as well as the Pokémon stats screen, with a unique background:

How to get Lucky Pokémon in Pokémon Go

Lucky Pokémon come from the game's trading feature. When you trade, there's a 5% chance both creatures will have the Lucky status afterwards.

The success rate increases the longer the Pokémon has been in storage - in other words, the longer you've owned the Pokémon - the higher the chances of it becoming Lucky by the end of it.

So if the Pokémon are from before the end of 2018, your chances of them being Lucky will be much higher than if they were caught this year. (Depending on how many Lucky Pokémon you have, it can actually be a 100% chance - read the following section to see how.)

If they are caught at different periods, it's suspected the game will take the average age of both creatures in the trade as the calculation, as either both will or won't be Lucky together.

That's not to say a freshly caught Pokémon can't be Lucky - members of the community have been successful with trading recent catches. But the older it is the better, and since you can only trade one of a specific Pokémon, you want those chances to be as high as possible.

How to get guaranteed Lucky Pokémon in Pokémon Go

In December 2023, Niantic increased the amount of guaranteed Pokémon you can have from 15 to 25. Additionally, any Pokémon you've had in your Storage since 2018 is guaranteed to become Lucky once traded.

This change builds upon the one applied way back in September 2018, when Niantic first increased the chances of Lucky Pokémon by ensuring that, if you had less than 10 Lucky Pokémon, any creature caught in July or August 2016 (which was when the game first launched) would become Lucky after a trade.

So if you're trading a Pokémon caught between 2016 and the end of 2018, and the player you're conducting the trade with is doing the same, both of these Pokémon guaranteed to become Lucky as long as you haven't reached the 25 limit. Once this Lucky Pokémon cap has been reached, you're back to waiting for the Lucky Friends status to be applied to those you wish to trade with.

It should also be noted as part of the September 2018 change, all Lucky Pokémon stats became stronger. They were previously started from around the 10/10/10 mark, and it's now increased to 12/12/12 (the highest you can get is 15/15/15).

The Shared Skies Season is here! Go Fest 2024 may have been and gone, but you can still play around with the Fusion mechanic. Meanwhile, ticket holders can finish Go Fest 2024: A Shadowy Caper and The Dusk Settles. Don't forget to try out Routes, Gift Exchange and Party Play while you're hunting down rare Pokémon, fighting in the Go Battle League or competing in PokéStop Showcases.

What else you need to know about Lucky Pokémon

There are a few other small details to know about Lucky Pokémon:

  • Lucky Pokémon have high IVs, starting from 12/12/12 for HP, Defence and Attack. This means you can turn a rubbish Pokémon into a more competitive one!
  • There doesn't appear to be a cap on how many Lucky Pokémon you can get in one day. Originally there was thought to be, but reports from the Silph Road suggest either a cap was lifted or it was incorrect information.
  • Searching 'Lucky' in your Pokémon collection will reveal your Lucky creatures at a glance (thanks @ScubaSkeet on Twitter for confirming!)
  • Lucky Pokémon can also be Shiny and Purified.
  • Lucky Shadow Pokémon can no longer be obtained due to Shadow Pokémon being made untradeable.

Good luck collecting Lucky Pokémon!

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