Players can participate in online Pokémon battles by playing "Pokémon Showdown" or the official "Pokémon TCG Online" game. "Pokémon Showdown" is ideal for testing builds or teams because all content is automatically unlocked, while "Pokémon TCG Online" is ideal for players who enjoy collecting trading cards.
Users can download "Pokémon Showdown" to any Windows computer running Windows XP or later, or they can play online without downloading the game. Players build a team by searching for their favorite Pokémon and building a team of six. Each Pokémon is eligible to use one item that grants a special power, such as Choice Scarf or Dusk Stone. After building and equipping a team, the player chooses a tier, such as Over-Used or Rarely-Used, and searches for an opponent.
"Pokémon TCG Online" is a massively multiplayer online trading card game, similar to the Blizzard game "Hearthstone." Players begin with basic cards constructing a simple deck and gain new cards by completing quests or winning matches. Virtual packs of cards are available in the online shop or by redeeming codes that come in real-life Pokémon trading card packs. The game is available via Web browser, as a downloadable PC game, or as an iPad app, as of 2015. It came out of beta mode in March 2015.