How to be Successful at Challenges

By Zodiax. Art by MiniArchitect.
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For those of you who are not familiar with the Challenges room on PS!, we offer many challenges every week for you to attempt to complete on the ladders of various tiers. Completing challenges earns you points that go towards our weekly leaderboard. What many users don't think about is how to earn the maximum number of points through challenges, so this article is made for users to get some tips on how they can do well with the challenges of each week and how they can aim for the top of the leaderboard.

1. Know your Elo

Each time we verify one of your challenges, we use your Elo rating in order to determine how many points you are awarded; putting it in a simpler example, the lower your Elo, the lower your score will be, and the higher your Elo rating, the more points you will gain. What many users try to do to prevent their personal account's Elo rating from being lowered is make an alternate account and starting with the lowest rating that they can get. Our advice is to not do this straight away, as we think that in order to improve the number of points that you gain, you should try to win some battles on an alternate account and then attempt the challenge, as this can increase your leaderboard points. If you do the challenge with a higher Elo rating, you will gain more points.

2. Think before you attempt

Many users just read the challenge they're trying to attempt but don’t think much about it. This is more common with the medium and hard challenges in the room. Before you attempt a challenge, try to think of a strategy that can make you win the challenge quickly without affecting your Elo rating too much. Think about what tier you will try to attempt the challenge in, what the common threats in that tier are, and how can you complete the challenge with those threats. Simple thinking with these challenges can help you gain more points.

An example challenge could be:

Challenge: Who Says HMs Are Bad? / Code: Week13f Win a match where the only moves used are HMs (Hard - 30 points) (Must use Gen 6 HMs: Cut, Fly, Surf, Strength, Waterfall)

We made this challenge hard because HMs are difficult to execute in competitive play and, as such, are rarely seen. With this challenge, we want the players to think of ways they can use these moves to their advantage. There are many ways of thinking about this challenge, such as "What common threats are there in the tier you are choosing to attempt in?", "What Pokémon would be great to use these moves effectively?", and "How am I going to use all five of these HMs in one game?" These are some ways we want the players to think about the more difficult challenges.

3. Read the challenge twice

One thing that challengers get stressed about is getting their challenge denied because they didn't do something correctly. All of that hard work towards a challenge wasted, all because they forgot to read a small detail in the challenge description. This is common with the tiers that they battled in. For example, the challenge requires you do a specific challenge in UU, but they attempted the challenge in OU. In order to avoid this common mistake, we urge you to read the description thoroughly so that you understand the criteria needed to complete this challenge without any mistakes.

An example of this happening could be

Challenge: The Underdog / Code: Week13d Reach 1500 in the UU tier (Medium - 20 points)

Users sometimes get confused and they accidentally rank up in the wrong tier. Not a bad thing at all if you reach a high rank in a tier, but it pains us to see that a user didn't read the challenge correctly, thus resulting in failing this challenge until they have done it correctly.

4. Ask the chat for advice

We encourage you to share some ideas on how you can successfully complete a challenge and help users to complete these challenges. Not everyone in the room (or even on Pokémon Showdown!) are established battlers, and many will appreciate advice no matter how small or large. Don't be afraid to ask for help in the room, as discussion can range from advice to discussing future challenges.

5. Have fun

People do get annoyed when they have to attempt a challenge over and over again to try and complete it for the points, but we want users to have fun! We want to show you how exciting the room can be and how you can have fun in the room whilst attempting more challenges. Don't forget that every week, new challenges are offered, giving more opportunities to gain points on our weekly leaderboard, which will be displayed on the room intro so that you can keep yourself up-to-date with the positions of other users, including that of your own!

By taking note of these five simple tips, your enjoyment of the room will rise as you become aware of how to succeed. If you need to ask any further questions, just PM any room staff member or simply ask in the chat, as many users are familiar with the Challenges rules and can answer your questions quickly!

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