A flowchart describing many (though far from all) rulesets that Nuzlockers have used.

The Nuzlocke Challenge is a set of self-imposed rules used while playing a Pokémon main series (or hack) game to make the game more difficult as well as more meaningful to the player.

Nuzlocke Rules

  • You may only catch the first Pokémon you encounter on each route. (This only starts when you have Pokéballs. If you faint the Pokémon, you cannot capture any Pokémon on that route. If you capture any other Pokémon, it cannot be used for that Nuzlocke.)
  • When a Pokémon faints, it is dead and you cannot use it. You must either release it or store it permanently in a "dead" box.


  • You must nickname every single Pokémon you have.
  • Shiny Clause: Shinies may be captured and used.
  • Duplication Clause: If you encounter a Pokémon on a route which you already have, you may capture a Pokémon of a different species instead.
  • Gift Clause: Gift Pokemon, such as Togepi in Gold and Silver, may be used.

Nuzlocke Sources



  • Nonparael's Game of Chance - in boss battles, moves are determined by drawing cards from a regular deck, item use is limited by coin flip, and switching is determined by die roll.
  • Role-making rulesets - Chesslocke, Wedlocke, etc.

Relationship to the Forums

The main section of the Nuzlocke forums is the "Fan Challenge Runs" (FCR) subforum. Any run that satisfies the two main rules qualifies for placement in FCR; most catch clauses are also acceptable modifications to the main rules. On the other hand, any run that allows for reviving Pokemon, for whatever reason, is not permitted to be posted in FCR and is instead relocated to "Other Adventures" (OA), as is any run that allows for extra catches (outside the Shiny and Gift clauses). While there is objectively nothing wrong with OA, there is a common perception that OA contains runs that are "deficient" in some way, and thus the OA subforum sees far less traffic. This has been cause for minor controversy as some forum members may become defensive or upset when their rulesets are criticized.

This distinction is not made in the main Nuzlocke dA group or other Nuzlocke groups on deviantART.