Pokémon TCG Online: An Honest Review of the Mobile and Desktop Game

The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) has long been considered one of the best trading card games (along with Yu-Gi-Oh! And Magic: The Gathering).

With Pokémon TCG Online, the game becomes a fast-paced strategy card game competing with the likes of Blizzard’s Hearthstone. (Magic: The Gathering has an online game as well, but that only supports desktop gameplay.)

Whether you’re already a hardcore collector, or you’re new to the world of Pokémon TCG, Pokémon TCG Online promises hours of fun. Here are some of our key findings when reviewing the game’s desktop and mobile versions:

How to Play Pokémon TCG Online on Non Supported Android Devices

The first point to bring up is that the app didn’t support the android device we used for testing (a One Plus X). If you’re an advanced Android user, this information may be basic to you, but for others we wanted to share this useful tip. An unsupported device will still run the app just fine so long as the Android versions are correct.

Pokemon Trading Card Game

If you’re unable to download Pokémon TCG Online because your device isn’t supported, here’s what you can do:

1. Go to your Android Settings and click on the Security subcategory.

Pokemon Trading Card Game online

2. Within this category you should see an option to allow installations from unknown sources. Turn that on.
3. Go to APK Mirror (on your mobile device) to download the latest version of Pokémon TCG Online. (At the time of this publication the latest version is 2.40.)
After you download the file, click it to open and fully install.

Pokemon Trading Card Game Online

4. Play Pokémon TCG Online!
5. Once you’ve confirmed it’s installed correctly, disable allowing installations from unknown sources. It’s more secure to leave this disabled.

Now it’s important to note that while most devices will run just fine, not all will. In some cases, you may find some glitches, but most won’t hinder gameplay. While testing on the One Plus X, we would get a notification that the account was logged in on another device each time we booted up the app. The game crashed once, and we had to play through the tutorial twice.

There were no issues on the desktop version so we’re attributing the errors encountered on the mobile version to the non-supported device. If you’re using a supported device you shouldn’t encounter any errors, and if you’re using the APK work around to play you may find a few bugs, but nothing that makes the game unplayable. (We tested for several hours with only 1 crash.)


Pokémon TCG Online blends a faster pace with access to players all over the world to create a strategy card game that becomes addicting. Let’s start from the beginning:


The game starts you off immediately with a tutorial which will be superfluous for those of you who’ve already played the physical trading card game. There doesn’t seem to be a way to skip it, but you do get a few Trainer Tokens, an EX card, a booster pack and a theme deck for playing through it.

There are a couple of areas you’ll visit most often:

  • Collection (to open new booster packs and other prizes)
  • Deck Manager (to build and edit your decks)
  • Shop (to buy new decks, booster packs, and other items)
  • Matches

The game offers daily bonuses so make sure to sign in each day to collect them. They can be found on the home screen as a Pokeball in the bottom right. Each match awards some Trainer Tokens and if you win you’re awarded more. There seems to be a ranking system of some sort as you can get bonus Trainer Tokens by beating trainers who were favored to win.

The gameplay itself is pretty fluid, though there are a few quirks. The movement of cards on mobile is better than the click and drag of the desktop game, but the desktop allows you to actually see what your cards do and read the text. On mobile, most of the text is small and could prove difficult to read.

Other than that, it plays exactly as the real-life trading card game would, just at a faster pace and with more opponents to face. For many, they stopped playing Pokémon TCG because they only had a couple people they could face (friends and family), but with Pokémon TCG Online you’re able to face up against players with different playstyles and decks, making for great replayability.

The fact that you’re able to add your real life collection to the game (by redeeming codes found with each purchase) is a huge plus as well! You can build your real life deck in the game and see how it compares to players across the world!

Overall, we recommend the game to any Pokémon fan and it’s well worth trying for fans of the strategy card game genre as well!

A few tips for getting started

After playing a few matches, we picked up a few tips and can share them with you:

  • While deck wizard and theme decks make it easy to get started, building your own deck will give you the best chance at winning.
  • Use a bit of deception when building your deck by making the deck box a color other than your primary element. (So if your primary if fire, make the box water.)
  • If you’re looking for a specific Pokémon card, it may be easier to find it in real life, redeem the code, and add it to your collection in the game.