Do not migrate to Pokémon TCG Live before reading these tips

The Pokemon TCG Live game board with a new look.

screenshot: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

Ultimately the goal of Pokemon TCG Live should replace the decades-old one Pokemon Trading Card Game Online as a way to play the hugely popular card game over the Internet. However, starting with today’s global beta, given the bugs and issues we’ve been experiencing, we strongly encourage you to avoid doing this for now. However, if you’re determined, for goodness sake read on to find out what you’re doing got to do first.

Pokemon Trading Card Game Online (PTCGO) is undoubtedly a rickety old piece of software. Difficult to maintain internet connections on tablet and clunky thing to manage on PC. It’s certainly functional, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. The intention is that such an improvement will come in the form of Pokemon TCG Live (PTCGL). In various betas in recent years and delayed from the planned release in 2021, today it is finally available for download by everyone PTCGO remains available until the beta is over. It’s just, well, I wouldn’t switch just yet.

The main issue is migrating your account to PTCGL means you will never be able to log in again PTCGO. It absolutely warns you that this will happen if you decide to migrate, but it’s far too easy to overlook how dire the consequences are and how much is to be lost. Then when you do that, you’ve gone from a relatively stable version of the game to one that I’m surprised The Pokémon Company saw fit to release worldwide.

Spend your coins or they’re gone

The ones who played PTCGO Inevitably, for a while, you’re going to have a shaky pile of won Pokécoins that can be used to buy card packs and decorative items. migrate to PTCGL and, well, you lost her. There seems to be some sort of conversion to an amount of PTCGL‘s Crystal currency, but it is opaque and the two currencies are not equivalent. You really want to go On-line and spend as many of them as you can before they get lost.

You must export your Battle Decks or they will be lost

I had absolutely no idea about this one. When migrating your account to PTCGL brings your card collection across as well some of your card cases, sleeves, and coins (although it’s not clear what won’t make it), and also recognizes yourSun Moon Cards (even if you can’t currently play them) just don’t bother importing your custom battle decks.

This is absolutely mysterious and quite frankly just plain damn stupid. After overlooking that detail, every deck I hand-build is now just gone forever. And it’s not like there’s an elegant solution for those who do know beforehand.

In order to keep your own Battle Decks, you must log in PTCGO, and then export the text of your “decklists” to a text file. To do this, go to Deck Manager, then View Deck, then Export Deck, which you can save as a .txt or Word file. You do this for each individual deck and then migrate your account to it PTCGL. You can then copy this text into it PTCGL‘s deck editor via the menu options Create Deck – Import Deck. But if you migrate first, there is absolutely no way to extract that data from the old app. Since it seems as simple as a text file exchange, it’s beyond silly that this isn’t an automated account migration process.

Building decks in PTCGL

screenshot: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

It limits the number of cards imported and destroys the rest

When you import your account, only a maximum of four cards will be displayed. Why? According to the FAQ, just because. Instead, more than four of everything you have in your collection is simply burned with no compensation.

This gets even worse for ACE SPEC, Prism Star, and Pokémon Star cards, where you can only keep one at a time. The same goes for each quarter of a Pokémon V UNION card. Why? It’s easy.

There’s also the bizarre decision that you’re only allowed to bring over 59 of each basic energy type. 59!

Oh, and if you’re wondering how you can now see the cards in your collection outside of deck building, the only way to find them is by… checking in the shop? Yes, seriously.

The broken Battle Deck warning in PTCGL.

screenshot: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

It’s a buggy beta

It’s not like PTCGO was the most reliable software in the world. Apparently, a butterfly fart near your Wi-Fi was enough to throw you back to the login screen, and the load times were…unimpressive. but PTCGL seems to be just a collection of problems at the moment. Sure, it’s a beta, so that’s understandable, but since importing your account means you can never go back to the better version, it’s definitely information you’ll want to know.

One of the best features of PTCGL is the Battle Pass, which is a much more polished version than the fortnightly unlockables in its predecessor. However, most of the time when I use this new software, I’m just told that it’s not accessible. It actually did this to me in the middle of the forced tutorial, which means I was locked into a site that I wasn’t allowed to leave but couldn’t do anything with. I had to quit and start over in the midst of the game’s obvious attempts to give me some Silver Tempest Lugia based cards, and I honestly have no idea now if any of it worked.

After winning battles I’ve played since then I wanted to see my progress. But I’m just being told “This feature is currently unavailable.” Not impressive.

Also not impressive is the fact that every time you open the app, the game had to disable one of the key elements of the game’s new meta, Forest Seal Stone. These VSTAR-giving tools are a brand new mechanic for Silver Tempest, and one of them is already “locked from the game” for not working properly PTCGL.

Oh, and possibly less importantly, the game’s new avatars keep changing without warning, which means the guy I built to look a bit like my son keeps switching to really douche sunglasses.

The adorable Fuckle_Shuckle

screenshot: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

There is no working rant filter

Well I can’t wait for my eight year old to sign up and play Fuckle_Shuckle. Great job everyone.

The new in-game currencies are confusing

One of the best things about PTCGO was that despite the obvious billions you could have made, it never allowed you to spend real money in-game. While its infrastructure was absolutely built around these code cards, get inside Pokemon Card products always feel like a bonus extra, never the reason you would buy something, making online play feel like a freebie.

Currently the same applies to PTCGL, without the ability to purchase anything directly in the app. However, given the bewildering array of emerging currencies, it seems maddeningly inevitable.

You still have gold coins, which you get by leveling up, completing quests, gaining Battle Pass tiers, and which can be “bought” with crystals. Crystals are gained by, um, leveling up, completing quests, and gaining Battle Pass tiers. But they can also be spent to get the Battle Pass Premium Pass, which lets you, um, unlock more Crystals? Then there are credits! You can get these by—you guessed it—leveling up in the Battle Pass and gaining new tiers. But you can also recycle cards you get past the new four-credit cap, and then use them to buy individual cards in the Deck Editor. Confused? I think that’s the idea.

Of all of them, you generally only want crystals, so you’ll never guess which ones are the hardest to get. By far the silliest aspect is that to unlock the Premium Battle Pass you need Crystals, which they claim you get if you win them in the Battle Pass, but they only get in the… that’s right! The Premium Battle Pass.

Surely that’s impossible one these insanely overlapping faux coins aren’t going to ever be available for a small sum of money. I hope I’m wrong, but capitalism. We reached out to The Pokémon Company to see if they share any plans.

Map gallery pages are now the shop?

screenshot: The Pokemon Company / Kotaku

The trade is gone

Honestly I find this one of the most shocking changes and certainly not one to be warned about when migrating. PTCGL has no trading option which is just the biggest shame.

in the PTCGOif you had a specific card Yes, really wanted or needed, you could browse the trade area to see what others would be willing to trade it for. If it weren’t there, you could suggest your own trade, leave it for 24 hours, and see if anyone would bite. It was a nice online version of one of the key elements of every TCG, and it’s such a shame that it was just eliminated entirely in the update. We asked The Pokémon Company if it might ever come back.

At some point you will have to switch

After all, you can’t hide from it. PTCGO shall go down as soon as PTCGL is ready to leave the beta. The Pokémon Company is still wary of when that will be, but very open and clear that their time is almost up. The company promises there will be plenty of warnings before the older version is finally shut down. Do not migrate to Pokémon TCG Live before reading these tips

Curtis Crabtree

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