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Pokémon TCG Live’s beta is now available worldwide, but maybe wait on migrating

Switching from Pokémon TCG Online is a permanent decision with some baffling side effects.

Pokémon Trading Card Game Live App screenshot cards
Image credit: The Pokémon Company

Pokémon TCG Live launched its open beta worldwide on November 15th, inviting all trainers to experience what will eventually be the only digital home for the popular trading card game. Players should be aware that migrating their accounts from predecessor Pokémon TCG Online is not a clean process and comes with some strange caveats.

Live is currently available in six languages - English, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian and Spanish - and available on PC, macOS and both iOS and Android mobile devices. Previously, Live delayed its 2021 release and opted instead for a closed beta in specific regions, such as Canada and the UK. According to the official website, the rollout to app stores could take several days.

While The Pokémon Company remains cagey about hard dates, Pokémon TCG Online will eventually sunset its platform and shut down servers. At that point, players will be forced to use the new Live platform and migrate their entire collections.

Matt and Liv tried the Pokémon TCG Live closed beta earlier this year.Watch on YouTube

Until then, the process is optional and one of the first notifications the app throws on screen. If you’re new to the Pokémon TCG - feel free to disregard this and head straight into the still buggy open beta. Anyone bringing a heap of cards with them should know not all of their stuff will survive the trip.

As reported by Kotaku, migrating accounts will destroy all of the coins in players’ collections, even though an identical currency exists within Live’s weird economic ecosystem (stick a pin in that). Consider spending the whole hoard on cosmetics - which will largely survive the journey - and other rewards before clicking that big, red button. Reportedly, any left over will convert into crystals, but the exchange rate remains a bit of a mystery.

Battle decklists will also be seized during the digital shuffle. Players can export their creations - before migrating accounts - as a text file within Pokémon TCG Online by navigating to the Deck Manager page and downloading a separate file for each deck. Yeah, it’s not an elegant solution. Those files can then be imported to Live via its Deck Manager - click Create Deck, followed by Import Deck and choosing the appropriate file, one by one.

Screenshot from the trailer for Pokemon TCG Live's beta version
An early beta screenshot of a Pokémon TCG Live match. The current version uses a slightly altered field layout. | Image credit: The Pokemon Company

According the a FAQ on The Pokémon Company’s website, other items lost during migration include cards from the HeartGold & SoulSilver Series, avatar items, “certain coins, card sleeves, and deck boxes”, the account’s friend list, Trainer Tokens, Event Tickets and the aforementioned coin currency. Some of these make a bit of sense given a total reset of the store and updated avatar, but completely losing a player’s friend list will likely mean losing connections formed and maintained solely within Pokémon TCG Online.

Once migrated, players can take part in a tutorial that worked fairly well when the author played it on November 17th, but other users have reported a chunky number of bugs and issues with the app since the open beta launched. Part of that walkthrough will introduce both the battle pass and crystals, one of three main currencies players will be collecting as they play.

Coins, Crystals and Credits can all be collected in differing quantities by completing daily quests and winning matches, but only Crystals can be used to purchase tiers of the battle pass. Doing so rewards players with more crystals, along with some other rewards such as cards, booster packs and cosmetics. Coins are used to purchase deck cosmetics and other superficial goodies, while credits are used to craft specific cards as an alternative to randomly pulling them from boosters.

A full list of what does and doesn’t transfer can be found here. Of note, accounts are limited to four copies of most cards except for these exception:

  • One copy of an ACE SPEC, Prism Star, or Pokémon Star card
  • One copy of each part of a Pokémon V-UNION card
  • 59 of each basic energy card

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