Showdown is a Pokémon battle-bot that can play battles on Pokemon Showdown.

The bot can play single battles in generations 3 through 8 however some of the battle mechanics assume it is gen8.

Python version

Developed and tested using Python 3.6.3.

Getting Started


Environment variables are used for configuration which are by default read from a file named .env

The configurations available are:

BATTLE_BOT: (string, default "safest") The BattleBot module to use. More on this below
SAVE_REPLAY: (bool, default False) Specifies whether or not to save replays of the battles
LOG_LEVEL: (string, default "DEBUG") The Python logging level 
WEBSOCKET_URI: (string, default is the official PokemonShowdown websocket address: "") The address to use to connect to the Pokemon Showdown websocket 
PS_USERNAME: (string, required) Pokemon Showdown username
PS_PASSWORD: (string) Pokemon Showdown password 
BOT_MODE: (string, required) The mode the the bot will operate in. Options are "CHALLENGE_USER", "SEARCH_LADDER", or "ACCEPT_CHALLENGE"
USER_TO_CHALLENGE: (string, required if BOT_MODE is "CHALLENGE_USER") The user to challenge
POKEMON_MODE: (string, required) The type of game this bot will play games in
TEAM_NAME: (string, required if POKEMON_MODE is one where a team is required) The name of the file that contains the team you want to use. More on this below in the Specifying Teams section.
RUN_COUNT: (integer, required) The amount of games this bot will play before quitting
ROOM_NAME: (string, optional) Optionally join a room by this name is BOT_MODE is "ACCEPT_CHALLENGE"

Here is a minimal .env file. This configuration will log in and search for a gen8randombattle:

Running without Docker

This requires Docker 17.06 or higher.


Clone the repository with git clone

Install Requirements

Install the requirements with pip install -r requirements.txt.

Be sure to use a virtual environment to isolate your packages.


Running with python will start the bot with configurations specified by environment variables read from a file named .env

Running with Docker

Clone the repository

git clone

Build the Docker image

docker build . -t showdown

Run with an environment variable file

docker run --env-file .env showdown

Running on Heroku


After deploying, go to the Resources tab and turn on the worker.

Battle Bots


use BATTLE_BOT=safest (default unless otherwise specified)

The bot searches through the game-tree for two turns and selects the move that minimizes the possible loss for a turn.
This is equivalent to the Maximin strategy

For decisions with random outcomes a weighted average is taken for all possible end states.
For example: If using draco meteor versus some arbitrary other move results in a score of 1000 if it hits (90%) and a score of 900 if it misses (10%), the overall score for using
draco meteor is (0.9 * 1000) + (0.1 * 900) = 990.

This decision type is deterministic - the bot will always make the same move given the same situation again.

Nash-Equilibrium (experimental)

use BATTLE_BOT=nash_equilibrium

Using the information it has, plus some assumptions about the opponent, the bot will attempt to calculate the Nash-Equilibrium with the highest payoff
and select a move from that distribution.

The Nash Equilibrium is calculated using command-line tools provided by the Gambit project.
This decision method should only be used when running with Docker and will fail otherwise.

This decision method is not deterministic. The bot may make a different move if presented with the same situation again.

Most Damage

use BATTLE_BOT=most_damage

Selects the move that will do the most damage to the opponent

Does not switch


These are the default battle-bot's results in three different formats for roughly 75 games played on a fresh account:


Write your own bot

Create a package in showdown/battle_bots with a module named In this module, create a class named BattleBot, override the Battle class, and implement your own find_best_move function.

Set the BATTLE_BOT environment variable to the name of your package and your function will be called each time PokemonShowdown prompts the bot for a move

The Battle Engine

The bots in the project all use a Pokemon battle engine to determine all possible transpositions that may occur from a pair of moves.

For more information, see

Specifying Teams

You can specify teams by setting the TEAM_NAME environment variable.
Examples can be found in teams/teams/.

Passing in a directory will cause a random team to be selected from that directory

The path specified should be relative to teams/teams/.


Specify a file:


Specify a directory: