There's a new Pokémon trading card game coming to PC

Two sets of pokemon cards, with two cards battling across an inky vortex in the center
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

The mainline Pokémon games might still be locked to Nintendo consoles, but did you know you've been able to play the trading card game on PC since 2012? Now, after nine years, The Pokémon Company has announced a long-due successor to Pokémon TCG Online with the fancier new Pokémon TCG Live.

Like its predecessor, Live will let you play online with folks across PC, Mac, Android and iOS, and uses the same digital codes to transfer physical card collections to the game. But this new iteration also features online matchmaking and battle passes, along with an overhauled character customisation system that replaces somewhat-creepy 2D sprites with somewhat-creepy 3D avatars.

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Collections from the old game should carry over too, though cards outside of Standard format won't be playable until a later Expanded format update (while Legacy format cards straight up won't be supported). Pokémon news site Serebii also notes that trading won't be possible in Live—a bit of a downer for something that literally has "trading" in the name.

Some parts of the fanbase are already calling Live a downgrade, citing a difference in visuals between PTCGO's digital tabletop board and Live's more abstracted playing field. The old client for playing Pokémon cards online was starting to show its age, but the limited feature set seems to have many concerned about its replacement.

Pokémon TCG Live is currently expected to hit a global open beta on PC later this year. When it does, Pokémon TCG Online will go offline.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.