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Pokémon trading cards are coming to smartphones

Got? Need.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game is getting an official free-to-play mobile app, TCG Live, which will let you play the venerable card game for the first time on smartphones.

TCG Live will soft launch in Canada and then launch globally for PC and Mac later this year, with cross-platform play possible.

This version of the TCG will let you build decks to take part in daily challenges and online battles against other players. But you won't be able to trade cards with other players.

The long-running Pokémon TCG has been available in a digital format before, such as via the Pokémon TCG Online app for iPad. Indeed, you can log into the new TCG Live app with the same Pokémon Trainer account and your TCG Online content will carry forward.

As for how you'll acquire cards? "Compile an extensive card collection that you can use to build fun and exciting decks," the game's website says. "Add new cards by scanning code cards, purchasing in-game booster packs, and participating in daily quests, among others."

Daily challenges will allow you to unlock cosmetic avatar options and other customisation.

"As we look back on 25 wonderful years of Pokémon, we are once again reminded of how the Pokémon Trading Card Game has always been a strong pillar of the franchise and beloved by young and veteran Trainers alike," Pokémon TCG boss Barry Sams said.

"Pokémon TCG Live will go hand in hand with the tabletop version that fans know and love, and welcomes a new era of digital play where Trainers around the world can play together regardless of their preferred platform."

The very first digital version of the Pokémon TCG came via a Game Boy edition featuring the series' original card sets. Could TCG Live continue that on Nintendo Switch?

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About the Author
Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.