Guide to Lucky Pokémon in Pokémon GO

Lucky Pokémon are a special form of Pokémon in Pokémon GO that require less Stardust to power-up and have minimum IV values of 12. Lucky Pokémon are not available in the wild, and they are only available from Trading.

Lucky Pokémon are quite rare in GO, but you can get a guaranteed Lucky Pokémon by trading with a Lucky friend, or by trading Pokémon caught in July and August of 2016. This makes getting them easier, but this is usually used to get Lucky Legendary Pokémon.

Trainer Tips has an excellent video that explains most of the Lucky Pokémon mechanics in one sitting:

Lucky Pokémon benefits

Lucky Pokémon have a number of benefits when compared to their non-Lucky counterparts:

  • Minimum IVs for Lucky Pokémon are 12 / 12 / 12. Since IVs go only up to 15, this means Lucky Pokémon are in the top 20% of Pokémon by default
  • Lucky Pokémon require 50% less Stardust to power up. The main benefit of having Lucky versions is the reduced cost to power them up.

With the rising demand for Stardust, powering up Lucky Pokémon becomes a go-to method of building a solid raiding and PvP team. Stardust farming is expensive and tedious, which makes Lucky Pokémon an excellent mechanism to conserve Stardust.

Trainers can refer to our Best PvP Pokémon for Lucky Trades and Best Pokémon for Lucky Trades guides for information on which Pokémon are your best picks to power up.

Lucky Pokémon Stardust cost

The following chart shows power-up costs for Lucky Pokémon. Regular Pokémon require double Stardust, but same Candy cost:

How to get Lucky Pokémon

Lucky Pokemon are exclusively available from Trading with other Trainers. When you perform a trade, there’s a chance that both traded Pokémon will become Lucky.

Lucky Pokémon odds

The exact odds to get a Lucky Pokémon from trading are not known, but research from The Silph Road and GO Hub has revealed some interesting results, showing that Lucky Pokémon odds fall into separate buckets depending on Pokémon age:

Lucky Pokémon Odds
Lucky Pokémon Odds

Niantic has confirmed that the following factors influence the chance to get a Lucky Pokémon from trading:

  • Pokémon age – older Pokémon have a higher chance of triggering a Lucky Trade

Your chance to get a Lucky Pokemon is only influenced by the age of Pokemon participating in the trade. Additionally, the game takes into account only the age of the oldest Pokémon participating in a trade.

Trading two old Pokémon will not give you any tangible benefit over trading 1 old and 1 freshly caught Pokémon.

How to get Guaranteed Lucky Pokémon

Via trading old Pokémon

On September 5th 2018, Niantic has announced that Trainers will receive guaranteed Lucky Pokemon if they’re traded under specific circumstances:

  • Must have received less than 10 Lucky Pokemon from trades
  • The traded Pokemon must be caught between July 2016 – August 2016

The guarantee works if both conditions are met for at least one participant of the trade. In other words, the minimum required condition under which a guaranteed Lucky Pokemon can be obtained is as follows:

  • Trainers Bob and Alice perform a trade
  • At least one of the trade participants, so either Bob or Alice, must fulfill the conditions listed above

If both Bob and Alice fulfil the conditions above, nothing changes, because the game only takes into account 1 participant that fulfilled the conditions, similar how it takes the older Pokemon in normal, non-guaranteed trades.

Via trading with Lucky Friends

When trading with Lucky Friends, whatever Pokémon are traded will become Lucky. This is an excellent way to get Lucky Legendary Pokémon. You can read our feature overview here.

How to become Lucky Friends

Lucky Friends

  • In order to become Lucky Friends with someone, you need to be Best Friends with them first. Our Friends guide describes how to reach Best Friends with someone
  • Once you become Best Friends, you will have a chance to become Lucky Friends by interacting with that Trainer
  • You will have this chance once per day when you and your Best Friend do the following:
    • trade Pokémon,
    • open a Gift from each other,
    • team up in raids and Gym battles,
    • or challenge each other to a Trainer Battle.
  • 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.

Our research into Lucky Pokemon and mechanics we’ve observed

GO Hub has a data form available online (link) through which more than 3600 trades were recorded at the moment of writing this article. We analysed the results and came to the following conclusions:

  1. We strongly believe that the game only takes into account age of the older Pokemon participating in the trade. This is the only hypothesis we tested that supports Niantic’s official statement that older Pokemon yield higher chance to get a Lucky.
  2. According to our testing and observations, trading two “old” Pokemon doesn’t benefit you in any substantial way, as the game will take into account only 1 age – the age of the oldest Pokemon in the trade
  3. We did not observe any correlation between Lucky Pokemon and following data points:
    1. Pilot medal level
    2. Gentleman medal level
    3. Friendship level
    4. Trainer level

For those wondering, Lucky Pokémon were introduced in Pokémon GO in July 2018, as part of the Friendship System update.

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