Traditionally, Pokemon has always been a single-player game. There have been online or multiplayer elements to most of the entities in the series, but these have always been secondary to the traditional experience. That changed in 2015 when the fan-made MMO Pokémon Revolution Online launched.
I’ve been playing the game for a few months now. It felt a little jarring at first having come from the mainline entries, but I ultimately found it to be one of the most rewarding Pokémon experiences available. There’s no other entry that engulfs the player in a living and breathing online community like this, and seeing hundreds of other players makes you appreciate the scale of the Pokémon universe as it exists as a cultural juggernaut.
Today, I’ll be delving into this unique entry to provide you with everything you need to know to succeed in the game. The article will cover all the essential aspects of playing the game, and you’ll also find my favorite tips and tricks that I’ve picked up along the way.
Bottom Line Up Front
I’ve written this article as a general guide to offer you an essential go-to guide to aid you in becoming a better player. This isn’t a fully exhaustive breakdown, however. Given the scale and intricacies of this game, there is too much to cover in detail.
Rather than exploring the absolutes, this article will focus on giving you key information alongside practical tips in an easily digestible format. As such, I also recommend some extra resources.
For more info on the topics I discuss here, check out the Pokémon Revolution Online board on Reddit and the official forums. There’s also a Discord server where you can talk to other members, and the chat also contains some extra functionality which I discuss in detail below.
Each of these platforms enables you to interact with other players to organize meet-ups and trade, and it’s also an excellent place to ask questions if you get stuck. This is a game built on socializing, so engaging with the community outside of the game will undoubtedly enrich your experience.
A Brief History
What Is an MMO? And What Is PRO?
First off, I think it’s important to establish what this game offers. Coming from consoles, you might not have played an MMO before as they’re primarily a PC-based game genre.
MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online. While you’ll no doubt have played multiplayer games with 2 to 16 players, MMOs comprise hundreds if not thousands of players that play across one huge open world. This is what the developers of PRO have created for the Pokémon series: a large, interconnected Pokémon world where many players can interact and undertake quests together.
As you might assume, Pokémon Revolution Online (which I’ll be abbreviating to PRO from now on) has a rather unorthodox history.
Nintendo had never produced an MMO-based product set within the Pokémon universe, so a group of dedicated fans decided to make the experience themselves. The initial alpha was released in early 2015, and the game went from hosting just 20 players to 800 after a virtual private server was implemented.
That number went up to 2000 users following the construction of a new dedicated server. The official release came later in the year. After the addition of two more servers, the game now regularly hosts 2-3000 players daily, and the game is available for PC, Mac, and Linux.
Setting Yourself Up
While this article isn’t one of our full getting started guides, for a game like this, I think it’s important to briefly cover what you need to do to begin. Thankfully, getting set up is straightforward. The first thing you’ll want to do is register for an account. You’ll simply need to create a username and password and provide your email address on this page.
Then, you’ll download the client for your specified platform here. As you can see, there are multiple download links: DLL (direct download link), Mega, and Mediafire. Mega and Mediafire will take you to external sites to download the game files, but DLL will be the most straightforward choice for most people.
For Windows, you’ll have the option to download either a 32bit or 64bit version. These numbers refer to the architecture of your version of Windows. To find out what version you own, simply go to your Settings page from the start menu.
On this screen, go to System and scroll down and click on About. This will present a box containing information about your computer’s hardware, and under the system type tab, you’ll see whether your computer is running a 32- or 64-bit version of Windows.
With the files on your desktop, simply open the main folder and run the .exe installer. After the installer has completed, you’ll have a PRO icon on your desktop. Clicking it will bring you to the login page where you’ll enter your previously created account information, and that’s it! You’re now ready to play the game.
You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the game’s rules before playing. These mostly pertain to general community guidelines and etiquette.
The General Premise
Before I cover the nitty-gritty details, I think it’ll help to define the general systems of the game. A lot here will be familiar to a Pokemon veteran, but due to the nature of the genre, there are plenty of differences, too.
The game starts off as you’d expect any classic Pokemon game would -even down to the regions. You start in the Kanto region and you’ll progress through three other classic areas: Hoenn, Johto, and Sinnoh. Each region has one or more cities that act as hubs for the area with shops, amenities, and NPCs, and this is also usually where you’ll find the region’s gyms and interconnecting routes.
You’ll also be able to explore many custom-made areas that other players have designed (which can be explored here) and the developers are currently working on a fifth region called Astrella that is yet to have a release date.
You’re required to defeat all eight gym leaders within the designated gyms before moving on to the next area, and the main mechanic revolves around wild hunting and levelling up caught Pokémon to beat increasingly difficult opponents. Most notably, there is no Pokémon breeding in PRO, so sourcing new Pokémon is wholly dependent on catching them in the wild.
Being an MMO, you’ll meet dozens of other players in any given session, and in this sense, the game feels very different from any official entry. Joining up with friends is the game’s titular selling point; other than that, PRO is very much the same as what you’ve played in the past.
Understanding stats is one of the most important elements of PRO, and it’s possibly the most fundamental aspect. Stats refer to several numerical values that denote a Pokémon’s acute and overall status. You’ll naturally acclimatize to the balance between each stat as you play, so I won’t overwhelm you with every detail. Instead, here are the definitions and relevances of the main stats.
HP (health points): Health points represent a Pokémon’s wellness and the amount of damage they have taken. Once a Pokémon’s HP has depleted, it will faint and become unusable in battle until it is taken to a Pokémon center to be healed.
PP (power points): This stat represents the number of times a Pokémon can use a particular move.
Attack: Represents how much damage a Pokémon can deal to its opponent with a given move. This assumes the opponent does not have any held items which reduces this attack.
Special attack: The Sp Attack stat determines the effectiveness and power of a Pokémon’s special attack.
Defense: This stat determines how much a Pokémon can defend itself from an incoming attack.
Speed defense: Sp Defence does the same as Sp Attack: it determines the extent to which your Pokémon’s special defenses are effective in protecting them.
Speed: If a Pokemon has a higher speed stat, it means it can attack its opponent first.
Effort Values (EVs): Effort Values are additional stat points you can stack on top of any of the other base stats for a boost. EVs can be acquired through experience gained by beating other Pokémon or by using certain consumable items.
PVP (Player Versus Player)
One of the main things distinguishing the classic formula described above from the extra features in PRO is the focus on PVP.
PVP stands for Player Versus Player: this is where you’ll battle Pokémon on Pokémon against other real-world players you encounter, and it’s the main mode for multiplayer competition. Official and unofficial events and tournaments (set up by staff or regular users respectively) are regularly available for participation. The details for each separate event can be found on the forum’s main page.
You’re able to battle at any time by using the matchmaking feature from the PvP menu: the menu is clearly visible from the main menu, and you begin the search for a match by selecting find match. The system will then match you with an appropriately leveled player for a one-on-one battle.
You can also challenge any player you come across to battle. To do this, simply right-click the player’s username and select battle. If they accept, the battle will be initiated.
There’s also a distinction to be made between ranked and unranked battles. Challenging a random player or a friend to a battle would be categorized as unranked. In this mode, you won’t experience any changes to your rank or gain any PvP points or coins.
Conversely, ranked battles – either participated in through matchmaking or a tournament – do offer such rewards. How many PvP Points you gain is determined by a match’s outcome, and they allow you to progress through the PVP leaderboards. PvP Coins, on the other hand, are a form of currency that can be used in exchange for prizes.
PvP is one of the more complicated systems in the game, and there’s a lot to learn beyond just battling. I’ve only provided a relatively brief overview here as to try and absorb everything would be completely overwhelming.
I recommend memorizing these basics and having a go for yourself. The easiest way to learn is by routinely playing matches: once you’ve familiarised yourself with the simpler stuff, check out this page for an exhaustive breakdown of all the advanced rules and numerical intricacies.
To me, Guilds are one of the most essential non-essential aspects of PRO. They exist as an organized group of players otherwise known as clans or teams, and they distinguish PRO as a truly social experience over its official counterparts. It’s not a requirement to join a guild to have fun, but there’s no doubt that this is how the game is meant to be played.
Aside from the social benefits of playing with friends, the biggest benefit of joining a guild is that the game isn’t so daunting. You work as a team to climb the ranks, and so share the spoils of a battle between yourselves. Guilds operate as a hierarchy of members, and you’ll need to meet certain entrance requirements before creating one. The requirements range from your playtime, accumulated wealth, and acquired badges.
Joining a guild is relatively simple: you just need to be invited by one of the guild higher-ups. This is where your networking skills come in, and it’s why it’s important to talk to other players in-game, on the forums, or on Discord. Many beginner players are intimidated by joining a guild, but you’ll soon find an appropriate team for you just by getting chatting with people.
If you’re looking to join a guild but don’t know where to start, your best option is to post on the dedicated guild forum page. Here, forum members will assist you in finding a position!
Once you’ve joined a guild, you’ll become an initiate: the lowest available rank. You’ll have access to the guild chat, but not many other perks beyond social perks. From here, you can progress from member (an officially listed guild participant) to officer (these members have administrative powers). The rank above this is guild master of which there is only one member: the guild creator.
Similarly to many popular MMOs, trading enables players to exchange commodities and Pokémon.
You’ll have to acquire the Celadon City Gym Rainbow Badge to trade. Once you have, the process is undertaken from inside a Pokémon center, and you’ll be able to trade Pokémon, items, and in-game money (Pokedollars) with other players.
Players can also lend Pokémon via the game’s borrowing mechanism. In this way, Pokémon can be shared with another player for a set amount of time, after which the Pokémon will be returned to its rightful owner. The trading functionality in the game has its own set of rules which extend beyond the general ones, so make sure you give this page a read before you begin trading.
Beyond the basic rules, you also might find yourself confused by certain abbreviations and terminology other players use. These seemingly random bits of text are what’s known as Trade Chat, and it’s used as a sort of text-speak to quickly and efficiently execute trading between players. You can find a full list of the abbreviations here, and I recommend having this page open in a separate tab the first few times you have a go at trading.
Like most MMOs, there is a positively huge array of different items to find, collect, and use within PRO. This section will cover the most important ones. You’ll recognize most of these items from the official series, but they may function differently.
Berries are consumable foods that offer a variety of stat-altering abilities. They’re a mainstay of the official Pokémon franchise, but in PRO specifically, there’s a huge variety totaling 53 separate types.
They can be consumed during battle to heal HP or restore PP, and many types also have a curative purpose for treating poisonings or effects like burns or paralysis. Other berries directly affect the battle, such as those that reduce a Pokémon’s EV or deduct damage from a specific move.
You’ll find berries hidden around the world and on berry trees, and you can purchase them from shops and vendors. Even if a tree doesn’t have any berries on it, try headbutting it – this will sometimes cause fruit to fall!
Fossils are fossilized remains of prehistoric Pokémon. Once found, the player can reanimate the Pokémon contained within the rock to use in battle. All reanimated Pokémon will start at level 25.
Fossils can be a great asset early on in the game. They’re a great bargaining tool for trades given their rarity, and their immediate level 25 status relinquishes the grind so you can use them to focus your energies on tougher opponents.
You’ll need the shovel to execute a dig: an ability granted after obtaining the third regional gym badge. This is another reason it’s important to focus your initial efforts on the core quest lines!
Any Pokémon fan will be intimately familiar with Pokeball, and even if you haven’t played any of the official entries, you’ll most likely have seen one.
Pokeballs are spherical capsules used to capture wild Pokémon. They come in many different varieties with a total of 17 different Pokeballs in PRO, and besides the generic one, each has specific functions such as catch rate multipliers or special effectiveness against specific Pokemon types. They can be found organically or bought for varying prices in shops depending on the type.
Vitamins are one of the more nuanced items you’ll come across in PRO. They’re used to directly increase a Pokémon’s EV, and there are eight different types in total: HP Up, PP Up, PP Max, Calcium, Carbos, Iron, Protein, and Zinc.
Each will raise the EV of a given stat for a maximum of 100. They’re purchasable at department stores or acquired through an NPC called the Energy Guru: once every two weeks, he can offer you a pack of 10 vitamins for 40,000 Pokedollars.
Gems are holdable items that increase the overall power of the Pokémon in question. They can only be used once, and each Gem has a different color and corresponds to a specific type. Gold Gems correlate with Electric Pokémon types, while Blue Gems correlate with Ice types, for example. Each increase a given Pokémon’s power by 30%.
Getting around the World
Most of your travel about the world in PRO will be done walking. You’ll spend a lot of time seeking, catching, and battling Pokémon, and you’re going to need to be on foot for this. There’s also the option of using trains to zip about immediately from city to city.
You’ll head to the city’s train station to use one, and you will have to pay a small fee. The player can also purchase a travel pass: you can buy these in packs of 7, 14, 21, or 28 days, and they allow you to travel immediately without the hassle of buying separate tickets.
You can also buy a bike. To get one, you’ll need to speak with a character named Samuel in the building to the right of the Pokémon center in Vermilion City. He’ll be able to give you a bike voucher, and you can then trade this, along with 60,000 Pokedolars, at Cerulean City’s Bike Shop to get the bike.
The player also has the option of using mounts: saddle-type items that enable you to ride Pokémon across land and water. These can be acquired for every type of Pokémon and are purchased from the Coin Shop from within the game’s menu.
Events are one of the best and most unique features of PRO. There are several of these events each year, and they usually revolve around real-world seasonal events such as Christmas or Halloween. These events provide all players with a new event island to explore, each offering the possibility to catch a new Legendary Pokemon and engage with specific timed quests.
Events often enable the player to catch event-themed variants of traditional Pokémon, and while these don’t usually alter the stats in any way, they offer a fun aesthetic take on the original sprite.
Some Important Places
Pokemon centers are one of the most important places you’ll come across in PRO. They represent a central hub to buy items, heal your Pokémon, and interact and trade with other players. The buildings are easily identifiable by their red roofs and emblazoned Pokeball emblem, and you’ll always find at least one in each main area.
The Guild Island
The Guild Island is a special map accessible only to the top 10 PVP guilds. The area has better spawn rates for rare Pokémon and those that are not present anywhere else in the game. If your guild qualifies, you can speak to a sailor called Gordon in Vermillion City who will provide you with a passage.
Saffron City’s Guild House
This is an essential center for anyone seeking more information about forming a guild. Its main utility is in offering the player the ability to create a guild logo, and you can speak to the NPCs inside for more general information on forming a guild.
Visiting Love Island is a must. Once you have data for catching 120 Generation 1 Pokémon and 38 evolved Pokemon, you can travel there by talking to the Love Sailor in Vermilion City for a cost of 5000 Pokedollars.
There are a ton of secrets to find here, and the island is home to many rare Pokémon. By using a Pokemon’s Rock Smash ability, you can also interact with a collection of 11 pink crystals. Breaking them can reveal rare items and Pokémon, and they regenerate after 120 hours.
My Top 10 Tips for Succeeding in Pokémon Revolution Online
To finish off, here are 10 tips I’ve learned during my time with the game. I hope they help you gain a good head start!
1. Don’t stray too far at the beginning
When you have access to such a huge world, it’s tempting to want to dash off and start exploring. It’s worth taking things slowly at first to get your bearings. The starting region has a lot to explore and is set up to provide you with a foundation, so make sure you investigate it thoroughly. In the same vein, focus on the main quest and obtaining your badges before going off and joining a guild – you’ll at least need those core skills before becoming a valuable member of the team.
2. Communicate with Others
One of the key benefits of PRO over a traditional Pokémon title is the huge community. You’ll bump into other real players all the time as you traverse the world, and striking up a conversation often unfolds part of the magic of the MMO as a genre.
Other players will often be more than happy to join you on an adventure, show you something new, or at least trade some gear, so be friendly. If you spot a player out in the wild, go speak to them — you’ll have a much more rewarding experience than trying to go it alone.
3. Explore Every Nook and Cranny
This is a huge world — one of the biggest Pokémon fans have gotten to experience. As such, it’s home to a ton of cool secrets and hidden items. Take the time to go off exploring on foot — you’ll find that you routinely come across many helpful items that you’d miss if you relied on the trains.
4. Make Sure to Clear All Four Regions
Given that PRO is less linear than a classic Pokemon entry, it can be common for players to skip some of the regions. In my opinion, this is a mistake: while there’s plenty to do beyond completing the main story, you’re missing out on a lot of special features if you don’t beat every region.
Abilities such as excavation are only available after beating the Hoenn region, and I can’t imagine a session without completing News Reporter Solaceon’s daily quest and reaping the rewards. Having the completion of each region under your belt not only enriches your experience content-wise but also gets you practicing with the core mechanics you need to get good at the game.
5. Be Careful not to Get Scammed
I’ve discussed the ins and outs of trading in the section above, but one extra thing you’ll want to watch out for is getting scammed. As a new player, it’s impossible to know the true value of everything: learning prices is something you get used to with time.
As such, it’s unfortunately common for new players to get ripped off by experienced players who take advantage of a beginner’s initial naivety. Don’t jump into a trade unless you’re certain and keep an eye on the trading chat and Trading Zone forum page for guidance on the prices. It may be best to avoid a trading full stop in the very beginning.
6. Join a Guild as Soon as You Can
It’s difficult to put into words how much more fun the game is having joined a guild. It’s where the game’s best elements come alive, and going back to playing solo now feels like a much blander experience.
While you might interpret as soon as you can to mean immediately, I don’t recommend this. The game really starts after you’ve completed the main gyms and acquired your badges, so seek out a guild as soon as you’ve completed these.
7. You Can Skip NPC Battles
While wild NPC battles are a crucial feature for leveling up in the game, sometimes you just want to skip through them to reach a location quickly. Thankfully, they’re really easy to skip by using a special trick.
When you encounter an NPC you don’t want to bother battling, simply log out and log back in. You’ll load up exactly where you left off but without the NPC in your way.
8. The Discord Trick for Essential Pokémon Info
In the beginning, it can be really helpful to know the spawning locations and catch difficulty of a given Pokémon. Thankfully, you can use the Discord server to help you. If you head to the PRO Discord server and type *spawn followed by the name of your desired Pokémon, you’ll be presented with a table featuring all of the locations that Pokémon appear in. This function will also show you how rare they are in that location.
9. Check Up on the Forum Regularly
While Discord is an essential tool for staying up to date with the acute aspects of the game, you’ll need to keep an eye on the forum for major updates and gameplay changes.
As the game grows, the wealth of information gets bigger, whereas nuggets of info from Discord can get lost in the ether. Check back on the main pages of the forum for essential news to make sure you don’t miss anything important, and if you’ve got a lengthy question to ask, there’s no better place!
10. Be Mindful of the Length of Each Session
My last pointer is more about MMOs in general. This genre of games is notorious for being highly addictive and was a huge influence on the rise of gaming cafes where players would go to spend hours upon hours on titles like World of Warcraft and Diablo.
Similarly to other online-focused genres, it’s easy to get so sucked into progressing your level that time slips away. Before you know it, an afternoon session turned to the middle of the night. I recommend limiting yourself to however long you’d ordinarily play games for. It’s important to ensure the game doesn’t overtake other important aspects of your life.
Question: Is Pokémon Revolution Online legal?
Answer: Realistically, PRO exists in a grey area. Nintendo is generally ok with fan games as long as they aren’t monetized (and PRO isn’t). Nintendo would technically be in their right to order a Cease and Desist against the game given that they are the copyright owners, but again, they generally don’t bother to do this for fan games. You certainly aren’t doing anything illegal by playing the game, so there’s no need to worry.
Question: I’ve heard MMOs can warrant a big-time investment. Is this going to be something I’ll need to play for hours upon hours to get any enjoyment out of it?
Answer: MMOs are certainly notorious for rewarding mammoth grinding sessions, but you definitely don’t need to play this way to enjoy the game. There’s a very diverse mix of players here. There will be those who spend hundreds of hours in the game and others who just play for half an hour at a time. You’re free to progress at your own pace, and the game is set up so that you won’t be penalized by players of a vastly higher level.
Question: I see the game is also available for Android. Are there any differences between this version and the desktop version?
Answer: Thankfully, there aren’t any differences between Android and Desktop: both versions use the same servers. If you play on a PC, you’ll also be able to download the Android version and log in as you usually would on a Desktop. All your progress will directly carry over, giving you a portable option if you want it. Regarding whether the game will be available for IOS, the developers have said they’re working on bringing the game to this platform.
Pokemon Revolution Online Game: Conclusion
I hope this guide provided the base knowledge you need to succeed at Pokemon Revolution Online. If you’ve never played an MMO before things will seem quite foreign at first: there’s definitely a learning curve to break through, but with practice, the game will offer a rewarding, community-driven experience that Nintendo themselves have yet to replicate. Have fun!