Frequently Asked Questions

Staff and Disciplinary

How do I become staff?

Please refer to our staff FAQ.

When will I be unlocked / unbanned?

Regular room bans last approximately two days. Room blacklists last for one year. Regular locks last around two days, and weeklocks last for around one week. If you are using a proxy, you will be unlocked when you disable the proxy and reload the page.

What does being locked mean?

Locked users cannot chat anywhere except in private messages to global staff.

I'm punished in a room: who do I appeal to?

Type /roomauth (room) to see the member of staff of a room; if a name is bolded, that user is online.

I was locked / globally banned unfairly. How can I appeal?

You can post a discipline appeal using the forum guidelines or you can open a help ticket by typing /appeal whilst online on PS!

How do I report a user?

If you encounter a user breaking PS! rules, please use /report and open a help ticket. If you’re reporting rule breakage in a battle, please have the battle link or replay ready or staff will be unable to help you.

Chat and Client

What updates has PS! undergone?

To check what updates have happened, type /git in chat, and then click on "What's New", which will bring you to this link.

How do I register my account, and how do I log in?

To register, click on the settings gear in the top right corner, and then click on register. You will then be prompted to input your password twice, and answer a security question. Once you have done that, your account is registered. To log in, type /nick (name); you then need to put in your password, and you'll have logged in.

Can I speak in a language other than English?

In most rooms, no. However, PS offers many language-specific rooms: Español, Português, Français, Deutsche, Italiano, Nederlands, Chinese, and Hindi.

How do I change my avatar?

You can change your avatar by clicking on your name and then clicking your current avatar, or by clicking the settings gear and "change avatar". A list will pop up with all the public avatars available to you, and you can click on the one you prefer.

How does x command work?

You can usually type /help followed by a command (such as entering in /help ds) to learn more about it.

How do I get a new name color?

It is not possible to change a username color. To get a new color you must change your username as colors are tied to usernames. This is because we calculate colors from usernames directly when they're displayed, and so the colors are never actually sent anywhere.

How do I add a Pokémon to my avatar? / How do I get a custom avatar?

Only Global Drivers and higher (%, @, and &), contributors to PS! (e.g. programmers) or Smogon (badgeholders) are permitted custom avatars. Custom avatars have to be manually implemented so it just isn't practical to add them for every user that asks. While there are exceptions to this rule, you likely aren't one of them.

How do I make a room?

If you want to request a private room you have to request one in the Room/Server Requests here! Before posting, please read the requirements! You must to be Global Voice or Driver or higher in a public room.
DO NOT REQUEST A ROOM IF YOU DO NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS!

How can I open 2 rooms at once?

If you want to have 2 rooms open next to each other, you either use the Shift and Arrow Keys, or drag the room tab onto the Home page tab.

How can I move the position of rooms?

Click on the room name and hold, dragging it to the desired position.

What is autoconfirmed?

To talk in autoconfirmed chat, you must have had your account registered for one week and have won at least 1 ladder match with it. Click the "Battle! button and select any format besides "Unrated Random Battle" to play a ladder match. If you do not yet meet those requirements, you can try asking a staff member (user with %, @, or # in front of their name) of the room to turn it off.

Why did my teams get removed?

Teams are saved using your cookies. If you clear your cookies, you clear your teams. This can happen if you clear history and forget to uncheck cookies, or run programs like CCleaner and virus scans. Back up your teams every once in a while to prevent damage by selecting a team, clicking the "import/export" button to the right of the team's name, and saving the text to a word processor or a site like Pastebin.

How do I add my friend?

Currently PS! does not have a friends system; however, one is planned.

Why did the server restart?

Servers restart to implement updates. They are quick (taking under a second) and occur periodically.

How do I join a tournament?

If you want to join a tournament, click the "join" button or type /tour join in the chat. If neither of these work, the tournament has already started and isn't accepting more entrants.

What are groupchats and how can I make one?

Groupchats on PS! are user-created chatrooms that can be used to talk with friends on any topic allowed by global rules. Tournaments can also be conducted within groupchats. To create your own groupchat, use the command /makegroupchat [name]. Unlike typical rooms, the creator of a groupchat attains the rank of Host (★) which grants less privileges than Room Owner (#).

How do I change the look / background of PS?

To change the background, click on the settings cog in the top right corner, then click on "Change Background". You can choose one from there, or upload your own. Alternatively, you can download the extension "Stylish" which will change the whole look of Pokemon Showdown!

Tiering

What is Smogon?

Smogon is the most comprehensive and accurate online resource for competitive Pokemon battling, comprising strategy articles, guides, forums and its own simulator, Pokémon Showdown. Smogon's tiering is the basis for Pokémon Showdown.

What does AG, Ubers, OU, UU, RU, NU or LC stand for?

If you want to know more about a specific tier you can use the command /tier [tier name]; it will show you information about that format. For more information on other tiers available please visit the Smogon dex.

What is the difference between Random Battle and Battle Factory?

Pokémon in Random Battles are randomly generated from PU and above, whereas in Battle Factory, all Pokemon from both teams will belong from the same tier, and movesets are competitive.

What does GXE mean?

GXE stands for Glicko X-Act Estimate. The number shown is the estimated percent chance that a player has of winning against any other random player.

What is a suspect test?

A suspect test is a ladder where the tier is testing a specific move, Pokémon, or ability to see if it is overcentralizing or outright broken in a given mode. Reaching a specific GXE and number of battles would allow a user to vote on the suspect test and have their opinion be calculated in the tiering results.

What is a good moveset for x?

By using the /smogdex [pokemon] command you can find the updates analysis for any Pokémon of your choice, with an explanation on why the build is effective.

Battles

How do I find a battle?

Click the "Battle!" button located on the homepage, which will instantly search for a ladder match.

The default format is Random Battle. You can choose a different format and team before clicking "Battle!".

How can I battle my friend or a specific person?

If you want to challenge a specific user, click their username or click "Find a user" in the Main Menu and type in their username. After that, click "Challenge", select the format you want to play, and choose the team you'd like to use.

Why can I only use this move?

Make sure you check your Pokemon's items - items such as Assault Vest, Choice Band, Choice Scarf and Choice Specs will limit your move choices.

What is an endless battle?

An endless battle is, as the name implies, a battle that cannot end. The common components of an endless battle are Pokemon that trap the target (via Block, Shadow Tag, or Arena Trap), moves that heal the opponent (usually Heal Pulse), ways to keep your own Pokemon healthy (Slack Off, Recover, or Roost), Leppa Berries to restore the user's lost PP, and continual generation of Leppa Berries (via Recycle).

The opponent is forced to Struggle, and because Struggle can never run out of PP, the battle would go on forever since a player can continuously heal both Pokemon (and prevent them from fainting). Battles are capped at 1000 turns; if that number of turns is reached, the battle ends and results in a tie. You can also offer a tie to your opponent by using the /offertie command after at least 100 turns have passed.

If the battle ends with both Pokemon fainting, who wins?

Whoever's Pokémon fainted last wins. For Self-Destruct, Explosion, Final Gambit, and Destiny Bond, the user faints before dealing damage, so the users of those moves lose. For recoil damage from moves like Brave Bird, the user takes damage after damaging the opponent, so the users of those moves win.

Why was my team rejected?

Teams are rejected for illegal moves / abilities or by breaking Smogon clauses.

Why does this Pokemon show as "illegal" in the Teambuilder?

It may be a Pokemon's alternate forme impossible to start a battle with. An example is Meloetta-Pirouette; you must use its standard forme (Meloetta-Aria) and execute the move Relic Song in battle. The Pokemon could also be a CAP Pokemon, one made by Smogon's Create-A-Pokemon Project. You can type /cap or join the CAP room on PS! to learn more about those.

Why can't I use my Shiny Legendary Pokemon?

Certain rare Pokemon are "shiny-locked", meaning that their shiny forms have never been made legally obtainable.

My Pokemon has no illegal moves, a legal ability, and it isn't improperly shiny. Why is it illegal?

Often a Pokemon can legally fulfill multiple conditions individually, such as a learned move and shininess, but certain combinations are incompatible (impossible to have at the same time).

For example, Surf Pikachu is legal, and so is Extreme Speed Pikachu, but one Pikachu can't legally have both moves. Pikachu only gets each move by event, and by different events, so no event Pikachu knows both moves. You can use /learn Pokemon, move to see how a Pokemon learns a move, and /learn Pokemon, move1, move2 to see if multiple moves are compatible on it.

Similarly, Clefable cannot both know Soft-Boiled and use its hidden ability Unaware at once, since Clefable only learns Soft-Boiled in Generation III and earlier while Hidden Abilities are only usable in Generation V and later.

How do I reset my win / loss ratio?

Type /rank and in the box there will be a link to 'Reset W/L'. Following this link allows you to reset your ratio. Note that your other rankings will be unaffected; only your win/loss ratio will change. To change these other rankings, you can start off fresh with a new account.

(originally by Relados and Zarel; updated by Blitzamirin, Kalalokki, Kasumi, shnen, Sobi, Finland, Vacate, verbatim, Zodiax, and Iyarito; converted to Markdown for the PS! website by Annika)