Pokemon Masters is a new mobile Pokemon gashapon RPG, coming out soon for iOS and Android! The game is in a regional test soon, then releasing August 29th (probably). Here you’ll find strategy, gameplay, and Sync Pair information, as well as common questions about the game.
This guide is a Work in Progress as Pokemon Masters just came out in regional test. I’ll be adding to it a lot in the coming days! Feel free to ask questions or contribute information in the comments, discus the game in our Discord server, or add to our Sync Pair Spreadsheet!
Pokemon Masters Game Info
Title: Pokemon Masters
Platform: Android, iOS
Language: English, Japanese, more?
Release date: 2019-08-29 (estimated)
Developer: DeNA Co. Ltd.
Publisher: Pokemon Company
Price: F2P with microtransactions and gachapon
File Size: ? MB
Genre: 3v3 Gachapon real-time RPG
2019-07-25: Add me! 8023-3706-8072-5655
Reddit has found an APK (look for yourself, for copyright reasons I can’t link to it. Be careful when installing ANY APK from an unknown source). However, the game requires a VPN or it won’t work outside of the test regions (Canada, Singapore). Added info on how to get playing now.
Pokemon Masters Quick Facts, Release Date
Is It Out Yet?
Not yet! It’s being tested starting July 25th in Singapore and Canada as part of a limited regional test before the Worldwide launch. We’re not sure how “limited” the regional test is—often, the regional test is just the full game.
August 29th is expected to be the worldwide release date. You can pre-register on iOS or Android to get a notification on the day it comes out worldwide.
How Does Pokemon Masters play?
It’s a real-time 3v3 pokemon game. Instead of catching pokemon, you pull for Gachapon (a slot machine) to get Sync Pairs; a Pokemon Trainer and a Pokemon. You battle by combining 3 Sync Pairs.
Your default character has Pikachu. There’s a variety of famous Pokemon Trainers like Rosa, Brock, Flannery, etc from all generations of pokemon. The main updates to the game are very likely to include a constant stream of new Sync Pairs to get in the gachapon like usual mobage games.
It has a co-op online mode you can play with two friends in addition to it’s story mode.
It has Real Time Battles?
Well, kinda. You have a “move gauge” that charges over time, and each move requires a certain amount of Move Gauge. It’s closer to an ATB gauge from Final Fantasy than an action RPG style of combat.
It’s Free to Play—what’s The Catch?
It’s got microtransactions and gachapon. Pre-release reports are conflicted on whether it’s light or heavy on the microtransactions. I’m waiting for the release to judge it myself, since mobile pokemon games are very hit or miss (I’m looking at you, Rumble Rush).
It also has a system that incentivizes pulling duplicates. In my experience this is one of the more predatory parts of gachapon—depending on how it’s handled. If there’s plenty of opportunity to power up Sync Pairs without duplicates, like Azur Lane’s bulin system, it might not be too bad.
You do however get some Sync Pairs in the story mode (like almost all gachapon games), so if you just want to play and don’t care about getting fan favorite characters, it may be possible if it’s not a brutal grind like Rumble Rush.
However, it does not have a stamina system so you can grind for levels and basic drops to your heart’s content.
Is there Versus mode?
Not yet, just Co-Op.
Playing Pokemon Masters Early via APK
So there is an APK in the wild, but it still requires a VPN to function during the regional test. You’ll get a Maintenance message saying “Maintenance under way. Restarting the game”. But it’s not real, it’s just booting you out because the game isn’t live in your region. Setting a VPN to Singapore will fix it (you won’t have to do this anymore after the worldwide launch).
I used Hotspot Shield which is free on Google Play. It will force you to accept a free 7 day trial ($70 a year after that). Accept the trial then go to Google Play, Menu, Subscriptions to immediately cancel it (you can still use it, just do it immediately after so you don’t forget and don’t get charged). There is a free plan, but for Marketing Reasons they try and trick you into thinking it’s paid only.
Start Playing Checklist
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Set up a VPN (I recommend Hotspot shield)
Cancel any free trials a VPN app offers you so you don’t get charged
Pick Singapore as your location in the VPN
Download the game from the Play Store/App store, or install an APK
Run the game, you’ll have to download 500MB more data now
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If it gets stuck while downloading, force close the app and open it again; I got stuck on 86% downloaded but restarting fixed it
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Link your Nintendo Account to make sure you keep your save
It’s safe to link your real Nintendo Account, unless you plan to reroll.
If rerolling, don’t link your Nintendo Account until you get who you want
Emulators appear to be totally blocked for this game. It’s pretty common for Pokemon games on mobile. Sometimes there’s very fiddly setups that do work, but at the moment it looks like you’ll have to play it on a phone. You have to use a VPN anyway, so there’s not really much reason to play on Emulator unless you lack a compatible device.
You currently do not actually get enough currency to “reroll” in any significant way. There might be a pre-registration bonus for World Wide launch that allows a reroll, but I highly recommend against trying to “reroll” at the moment, you don’t get enough for a multi-roll to start with so the amount of grinding would be nuts. And your free unit is always the same guaranteed 4* (Whitney & Miltank).
Official Video Intro
In the meantime, there’s an official intro/tutorial to the game on the Pokemon Masters Youtube channel. It’s about 15 minutes total and covers the general features.
Pokemon Masters Gameplay
Trainer Moves are basically items; you get a limited use of them per-battle, and they’re often buffs and/or based on items in the main series rather than familiar Pokemon moves.
Sync Moves are special moves you can only perform once your team’s performed a certain number of actions to charge it. They’re extra powerful and often unique.
In Pokemon Masters Typing is Trading Card Game style; each pokemon has 1 and only one Type. Each pokemon has 1 and only 1 Weakness. Almost all pokemon only have moves of a single type as well. Secondary types can be completely ignored; for example, Electric type moves work fine on Seismitoad (but are not super effective, because Seismitoad is weak to Grass in Pokemon Masters.)
Like in the trading card game, the weakness is determined by the pokemon, not the type! Some Water Types are weak to Electric and some are weak to Grass Type.
Types also have no resistances! This means type advantages are drastically simpler and defensive/offensive typing is much less of a thing. For example Steel is no longer a defensive powerhouse and Ice is no longer extremely open to Super Effective moves, everyone is simply weak to a specific other type.
Like most mobage games, Sync Pairs have Level Caps that must be broken with certain items.
Certain Sync Pairs’ Pokemon must reach a certain level to unlock. Evolution may change the Pokemon’s Sync Move.
In Pokemon Masters, pokemon can learn up to 3 Passive Skills instead of Abilities. Passives Skills are like Abilities, but many effects are unique to Pokemon Masters.
Technical Machines must be used to learn certain (predetermined) locked moves on a Pokemon.
You can add stars to units with Star Power Ups. Limit Breaking also raises the maximum possible Level Cap. All Sync Pairs can reach 5 ★ this way, though often in games where this is the case, natural 5 ★ are still stronger than 3 ★ raised to 5 ★.
Sync Pair Types
Strike Sync Pairs, much like you at age 8, specialize in pokemon that deal lots of plain ol’ damage rather than status moves.
Support Sync Pairs buff other characters and have higher HP, mostly bulkier mons. These teams include a lot of moves that aren’t in normal pokemon, or moves that are normally items like X-attack.
Tech sync pairs specialize in status moves to debilitate opponents. Which enemy mon you’ll want to debilitate and how varies, but it’s often best to use status effects that cut the damage dealing ability of powerful (Strike) mons, or drain the HP of bulky (Support) mons.
Sync Pair List (Characters)
I’ve created an editable spreadsheet for listing of Sync Pairs! As more come out, feel free to help everyone out by adding to the list. I’ve added the presently known Sync Pairs from pre-release information to the sheet and table below.
Use the search feature to find pairs easily! Search by trainer, pokemon, type, move, etc.
TrainerPokemonRarityTypeRoleSync MoveMoves2nd Top Right3rd Bottom Left4th Bottom Right
(Player)Pikachu★★★ElectricStrikeThunder of Newfound PassionThunder ShockPotionThunderboltJump Start!
BarryPiplup★★★WaterBubbleFull HealBubble BeamNo Hesitation!
BrockOnix★★★RockTechRock-Solid RockslideRock ThrowPotionRock Tomb
ErikaVileplume★★★GrassNature-Loving Petal DanceEnergy BallX Sp. DefStun SporePour It On!
FlanneryTorkaol★★★FireTechFiery Passion OverheatEmberX Sp. AtkWill-O-WispToo Hot to Handle!
IrisHaxorus★★★DragonDragon ClawX AttackOutrageYou’re Going Down!
KorrinaLucario★★★FightingGive-It-All-Ya-Got Power-Up PunchVaccum WaveDire HitClose CombatSkate On Through!
MayleneMeditite★★★FightingSupportRock SmashX Attack AllGloves Off!Drain Punch
MistyStarmie★★★WaterSupportBubble BeamX Sp. Def AllCatch Us If You Can!
NormanSlaking★★★NormalBody SlamX AttackDouble-EdgeAll-Out Effort!
DrakeSalamance★★★★DragonSupportRighteous Heart Dragon ClawDragon ClawX Sp. Def AllHard to Starboard!Dragon Breath
WhitneyMiltank★★★★NormalTechSupercute Rolling Tackle
AcerolaPalossand★★★★★GhostNever-Ending Royal NightmareAstonishX DefenseSandstormOver Here!
BluePidgeot★★★★★FlyingStrikeAir SlashX Sp. AtkAir CutterSmell Ya Later!
BrendanTreecko★★★★★GrassBullet SeedDire HitLeaf StormNo Turning Back!
OliviaLycanroc (Midnight)★★★★★RockStrikeShining Gem Continental CrushRock ThrowX AttackStone EdgeHard as Diamonds!
RosaSnivy★★★★★GrassSupportEnergy BallX Sp. Atk AllTime to Energize!Giga Drain
HildaEmboarFireTry and Stop Us!
Lt. SurgeVoltorbElectricThunderboltX SpeedEerie ImpulseA Surge of Power!
MarleyArcanine★★★FireFlame WheelX Speed AllWe’re Standing Strong!Flamethrower
Prof. KukuiLycanroc (Midday)
SkylaSwannaFlyingGustPotionTake Flight!Aerial Ace
WinonaPelipperFlyingAir SlashRain DanceGraceful Aerobatics!Hurricane
Brock (Signa Suit)Tyranitar
You get a few free characters guaranteed when you start Pokemon Masters’ story mode. You’ll be able to play Story Mode content perfectly fine using just the free units..
Player & Pikachu
Your player character is paired with a Pikachu to get you going. Sorry, Eevee fans.
Brock & Onyx
Misty & Starmie
Brock and Misty join you at the very start of Pokemon Masters so you can start playing.
Rosa & Snivy
A free 5 ★ unit you get for completing the tutorial!
Whitney & Miltank
Free 4 ★ awarded during the Scouting tutorial.
Story mode is single-player only, and clearing each map for the first time has special rewards, including gacha currency.
Chapter 1 – Tutorial
Most features in Pokemon Masters are locked until you complete the tutorial, including the ability to speed up battles and autobattle. The tutorial is basically unfailable so just complete it as quick as you can to unlock the real game–you’ll pick up Rosa, Whitney Brock, and Misty along the way!
After the 4 tutorial fights and the Scouting tutorial, you’ll be kicked back to the main menu to download the rest of Pokemon Masters (another 660 MB).
You’ll unlock Barry & Piplup for free, and meet Team Break. You’ll meet Lear, Rachel, and Sawyer here, and unlock the Missions and Training Area features at the end of the chapter.
You’ll get Flannery & Torkoal for beating this.
If you’re approaching the level cap, fear not! Beating Erika unlocks Level Cap training, and gives you Erika & Vileplume for free.
Sync Pair Stories
Each Sync Pair has a special mini story that lets you get some items and possibly Evolve their Pokemon (if the mon isn’t already fully evolved anyway). Not 100% sure if all Sync Pairs have them, but all I’ve gotten so far do.
Haven’t unlocked co op yet, must require more than Chapter 3
Training Area (Dailies)
Pokemon Masters’ Daily Missions basically, here you can do focused training to grind for important items that improve your Sync Pairs.
Unlimited attempts per day, comes with large XP bonus and drops Level Up books. Obviously, a great way to level up if you find yourself stuck in the Story.
The only In App Purchase currently available, gems are exclusively used to Scout for Sync Pairs. Based on the price of the gems in USD as of the location test, I’ve listed the gem-per-dollar (GPD) efficiency (after rounding up to a whole dollar). Note you’ll pay sales tax on top of the listed price.
100 Gems for $1
Enough for one discounted daily pull, but that’s it
400 Gems for $4
1,500 Gems for $13
Best balance of low cost and efficiency. You have to go all the way to $80! to get meaningfully better efficiency.
3,400 Gems for $30
This is somehow less efficient than the above tier!
5,200 Gems for $45
9,800 Gems for $80
Highest objective efficiency, but woof. That’s two Switch games!
Scouting is the Gachapon of Pokemon Masters and costs Gems. Once per day, using paid gems only, you can pull once for 100 Paid Gems instead of 300.
Note that not all Sync Pairs have pokemon that can evolve, even if they’re not a final form (usually, this is because the pokemon never evolved in the game/anime/etc). Only pokemon with a * after the name can evolve.
Scouting 10 at a time does not appear to affect rates, unlike some gachapon games. I’d recommend being frugal with your pulls. If you’re buying gems, the 1-per-day deal is far superior to blowing a 10 pull.
At the Exchange you can trade in certain drops for higher power ones, such as upgrading low tier
Pokemon Masters Discord
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My Discord Server, with a dedicated Pokemon Masters channel!
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The Pokemon Videos on my YouTube
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Pokemon Sun/Moon Island Scan Guide
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