The server for the Pokémon Showdown battle simulator
Last updated a month ago by zarel .
MIT · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
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Pokémon Showdown

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This is the source code for the game server of Pokémon Showdown, a website for Pokémon battling. Pokémon Showdown simulates singles, doubles and triples battles in all the games out so far (Generations 1 through 8).

This repository contains the files needed to set up your own Pokémon Showdown server. Note that to set up a server, you'll also need a server computer.

You can use your own computer as a server, but for other people to connect to your computer, you'll need to expose a port (default is 8000 but you can choose a different one) to connect to, which sometimes requires port forwarding. Note that some internet providers don't let you host a server at all, in which case you'll have to rent a VPS to use as a server.



(Requires Node.js v10+)

If your distro package manager has an old Node.js version, the simplest way to upgrade is n – usually no root necessary:

npm install --global n
n latest

Detailed installation instructions

Pokémon Showdown requires you to have Node.js installed, v12.x or later.

Next, obtain a copy of Pokémon Showdown. If you're reading this outside of GitHub, you've probably already done this. If you're reading this in GitHub, there's a "Clone or download" button near the top right (it's green). I recommend the "Open in Desktop" method - you need to install GitHub Desktop which is more work than "Download ZIP", but it makes it much easier to update in the long run (it lets you use the /updateserver command).

Pokémon Showdown is installed and run using a command line. In Mac OS X, open Terminal (it's in Utilities). In Windows, open Command Prompt (type cmd into the Start menu and it should be the first result). Type this into the command line:


Replace LOCATION with the location Pokémon Showdown is in (ending up with, for instance, cd "~/Downloads/Pokemon-Showdown" or cd "C:\Users\Bob\Downloads\Pokemon-Showdown\").

This will set your command line's location to Pokémon Showdown's folder. You'll have to do this each time you open a command line to run commands for Pokémon Showdown.

Copy config/config-example.js into config/config.js, and edit as you please.

Congratulations, you're done setting up Pokémon Showdown.

Now, to start Pokémon Showdown, run the command:

node pokemon-showdown

(If you're not on Windows, we recommend doing ./pokemon-showdown instead.)

You can also specify a port:

node pokemon-showdown 8000

Visit your server at http://SERVER:8000

Replace SERVER with your server domain or IP. Replace 8000 with your port if it's not 8000 (the default port).

Yes, you can test even if you are behind a NAT without port forwarding: http://localhost:8000 will connect to your local machine. Some browser setups might prevent this sort of connection, however (NoScript, for instance). If you can't get connecting locally to work in Firefox, try Chrome.

You will be redirected to http://SERVER.psim.us. The reason your server is visited through psim.us is to make it more difficult for servers to see a user's password in any form, by handling logins globally. You can embed this in an iframe in your website if the URL is a big deal with you.

If you truly want to host the client yourself, there is a repository for the Pokémon Showdown Client. It's not recommended for beginners, though.

Setting up an Administrator account

Once your server is up, you probably want to make yourself an Administrator (&) on it.


To become an Administrator, create a file named config/usergroups.csv containing


Replace USER with the username that you would like to become an Administrator. Do not put a space between the comma and the ampersand.

This username must be registered. If you do not have a registered account, you can create one using the Register button in the settings menu (it looks like a gear) in the upper-right of Pokémon Showdown.

Once you're an administrator, you can promote/demote others easily with the /globaladmin, /globalmod, /globaldriver, etc commands.

Browser support

Pokémon Showdown currently supports, in order of preference:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Safari 5+
  • IE11+
  • Chrome/Firefox/Safari for various mobile devices

Pokémon Showdown is usable, but expect degraded performance and certain features not to work in:

  • Safari 4+
  • IE9+

Pokémon Showdown is mostly developed on Chrome, and Chrome or the desktop client is required for certain features like dragging-and-dropping teams from PS to your computer. However, bugs reported on any supported browser will usually be fixed pretty quickly.


This is a list of documentation that has been created over the course of working on this project:

  • PROTOCOL.md - The protocol used by the server to communicate with clients.

  • SIM-PROTOCOL.md - The protocol used for battles and battle messages.

  • CONTRIBUTING.md - Useful code standards to understand if you want to send pull requests to PS (not necessary if you're just using the code and not planning to contribute back).

  • Bot FAQ - An FAQ compiled by Kaiepi [Kaiepi] regarding making Pokemon Showdown bots - mainly chatbots and battle bots.


PS has a built-in chat service. Join our main server to talk to us!

You can also visit the Pokémon Showdown forums for discussion and help.

If you'd like to contribute to programming and don't know where to start, feel free to check out Ideas for New Developers.


Pokémon Showdown's server is distributed under the terms of the MIT License.



  • Guangcong Luo [Zarel] - Development, Design, Sysadmin


  • Andrew Werner [HoeenHero] - Development
  • Chris Monsanto [chaos] - Sysadmin
  • Mathieu Dias-Martins [Marty-D] - Research (game mechanics), Development
  • [The Immortal] - Development

Retired Staff

  • Bill Meltsner [bmelts] - Development, Sysadmin
  • [bumbadadabum] - Development
  • Cathy J. Fitzpatrick [cathyjf] - Development, Sysadmin
  • Hugh Gordon [V4] - Research (game mechanics), Development
  • Juanma Serrano [Joim] - Development, Sysadmin
  • Leonardo Julca [Slayer95] - Development

Major Contributors

  • Austin Couturier [Austin] - Development (damage calculator)
  • Kevin Lau [Ascriptmaster] - Development, Art (battle animations)
  • Konrad Borowski [xfix] - Development
  • Kris Johnson [Kris] - Development
  • Leonard Craft III [DaWoblefet] - Research (game mechanics)
  • Neil Rashbrook [urkerab] - Development
  • [peach] - Development
  • Quinton Lee [sirDonovan] - Development
  • [Ridaz] - Art (battle animations)
  • Robin Vandenbrande [Quinella] - Development
  • Tobias Mann [asgdf] - Development
  • William [MacChaeger] - Development


  • Alexander B. [mathfreak231] - Development
  • Andrew Goodsell [Zracknel] - Art (battle weather backdrops)
  • Annika L. [Annika] - Development
  • Avery Zimmer [Lyren, SolarisFox] - Development
  • Ben Davies [Morfent] - Development
  • Ben Frengley [TalkTakesTime] - Development
  • Cody Thompson [Rising_Dusk] - Development
  • [Honko] - Development (damage calculator)
  • Ian Clail [Layell] - Art (battle graphics, sprites)
  • Jacob McLemore [McLemore] - Development
  • Jeremy Piemonte [panpawn] - Development
  • Luke Harmon-Vellotti [moo, CheeseMuffin] - Development
  • Mia A. [Mia] - Development
  • Russell Jones [SadisticMystic] - Research (game mechanics)
  • Spandan Punwatkar [Spandan]- Development
  • Waleed Hassan [jetou] - Development

Special thanks

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