December 04, 2019

2020 Pokémon Video Game Championships (VGC) Format Rules

Tournaments will be shifting to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield starting January 4, 2020.

Battles in the Pokémon Video Game Championships will change forever on January 4, 2020, as battles move to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield on Nintendo Switch. Players will need to devise new strategies as they incorporate the recently discovered Pokémon from the Galar region into their teams. There's still plenty of time to earn your invitation to the 2020 Pokémon World Championships in—where else—the United Kingdom, so start preparing your team today.

Tournaments in the 2020 Video Game Championships will include the following rules:

  • All battles will be Double Battles played in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

  • Each player will need their own Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite and a physical or digital version of Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield to compete.

  • Pokémon will need to have the Galar symbol, showing they were caught in the Galar region.

  • All Pokémon from the Galar Regional Pokédex will be permitted except for Mythical Pokémon and certain Legendary Pokémon.

  • All Pokémon will be set to Lv. 50, including Pokémon below Lv. 50.

  • Duplicate Pokémon will not be allowed.

  • Duplicate held items will not be allowed.

  • Each battle will begin with a 90-second Team Preview phase.

  • Players will have 7 minutes of Your Time, 45 seconds of Move Time, and (now returning to the VGC) 15 minutes of Game Time in each battle.

Additional restrictions apply to Pokémon that are capable of Gigantamaxing. While such Pokémon are very rare, there are sometimes opportunities to find them more frequently. For instance, from Friday, November 15, 2019, until early January 2020, players are more likely to encounter Gigantamax Drednaw in Pokémon Sword Max Raid Battles, Gigantamax Corviknight in Pokémon Shield Max Raid Battles, and Gigantamax Butterfree in Max Raid Battles for either game. The list of species permitted to Gigantamax will expand every few months based on events in which these Pokémon become more common. The Play! Pokémon VG Rules and Formats document on the Play! Pokémon Rules & Resources page will be updated every few months to indicate when these Pokémon are permitted for use. Pokémon capable of Gigantamaxing are not legal until they are included in the Play! Pokémon VG Rules and Formats document.

As of January 4, 2020, the following are the only Pokémon with the Gigantamax Factor that are permitted to compete:

  • Butterfree

  • Corviknight

  • Drednaw

  • Centiskorch

  • Meowth

  • Pikachu

  • Eevee

  • Snorlax

  • Sandaconda

  • Charizard (only permitted with the Ability Blaze)

Battles in the Video Game Championships will switch to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield in just a few weeks, on January 4, 2020, so make sure to prepare your team. Check out the Event Locator to find an event near you, and start your trek toward the Pokémon World Championships today!

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