A sync pair (Japanese: バディーズ Buddies) is a pair consisting of one Pokémon Trainer and one Pokémon in Pokémon Masters EX. Each sync pair has one of three roles: strike sync pairs, which are focused on attacking; support sync pairs, which are focused on defending, healing HP, and increasing stats of the whole team; and tech sync pairs, which are focused on different tactics, such as inflicting status alterations.
A list of all sync pairs can be found here.
- Main article: List of moves (Masters)
Sync pairs can know four moves at a given time, though the available moves can change based on certain conditions, such as after activating Mega Evolution.
Sync pairs have access to two different types of moves:
- Pokémon moves - these require a specific amount of move gauge slots to be used. Status effects that would activate after an action is taken, such as damage from Poison, will activate after using a Pokémon move.
- Trainer moves - these are unique to Pokémon Masters EX, and act similar to items in the core series. They do not usually require the use of move gauge slots, but can only be used a set number of times in a battle. Trainer moves can be used even if the pair's Pokémon is unable to act due to status effects. Effects that would activate after a Pokémon takes an action will not activate in response to a Trainer move.
Pokémon moves have additional sub-types:
- Quick moves - moves that do not expend move gauge slots, but instead have a set number of times they can be used. Some moves have both restrictions in place, such as Acerola & Palossand's Sandstorm.
- Max moves - powerful moves exclusive to Dynamax sync pairs. These can be used at any time, but only once per battle. If a sync pair has multiple max moves, only one can be used per battle.
- Buddy moves - powerful moves that can only be used when certain move-specific activation conditions are met. These moves also have deactivation conditions that will make the move unavailable for use if met.
- Sync move - powerful moves that can be used once a certain amount of moves have been used in battle. Each sync pair knows one sync move, though the sync move can change if the pair's Pokémon reaches its final evolutionary stage. Some sync moves will activate Mega Evolution.
The power of Pokémon moves can be increased by obtaining duplicates of the same sync pair, through events or scouting. Moves initially start at level 1, and each duplicate increases the power of the sync pair's moves by one level, up to level 5. At level 5, the power of the moves is increased by 20% relative to level 1.
If a sync pair duplicate is obtained after they have already reached move level 5, then a power-up item corresponding to their initial star rarity is received instead.
- In the case of Legendary Event sync pairs, despite starting at 5★ rarity, the power-up item received will be 3★.
Sync pairs can also learn passive skills, which are similar to Abilities in the core series. Sync pairs can know anywhere from one to three passive skills by default. Certain conditions such as Mega Evolution can change a pair's passive skills, but cannot exceed the limit of three.
Master sync pairs can know four passive skills instead, with the fourth being a master passive skill that affects the entire party.
One additional "lucky skill" slot can be unlocked by using lucky scrolls. Skills for this slot can then be learned at random by using lucky cookies.
Additional skills not subject to the above limits can be unlocked on a sync pair's sync grid. Some of the skills unlocked in this way will only activate when specific moves are used.
Sync pairs gain experience and level up by winning battles or by using Level-Up Manuals. Leveling up increases a sync pair's stats, with them being identical in their role to the stats of the main games except for Speed, which instead affects the rate at which the move gauge fills.
Sync pairs have level caps, initially starting with a level cap of 100. The player can use items to increase the level cap to 110, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, and then one level at a time up to 150.
Each level beyond level 140 requires 1 Certificate of Excellence to unlock, meaning a total of 10 certificates are needed for a pair to reach level 150.
Pokémon hatched from Eggs do not have level caps, and are thus immediately eligible for level 150.
Reaching certain levels can allow the Pokémon to evolve; for example, at level 30, Barry's Piplup can evolve into Prinplup, at level 45 it can evolve into Empoleon.
Once a pair's Pokémon's reaches its final evolutionary stage, the pair's sync move will change. Extending the Barry example, the pair will learn the sync move Late Fee Bubble Beam once Prinplup evolves into Empoleon.
Some Pokémon will also change other moves upon evolution; for example, Elio's Popplio will change its Water Gun into Sparkling Aria upon evolving into Primarina.
To initiate an evolution, the pair must have reached the required level, and a sync pair story about the evolution must be completed. These stories cost evolution shards or evolution crystals, and each includes a one-on-one battle as well as story scenes.
Pokémon hatched from Eggs do not have sync pair stories, so they are instead evolved from the Affinity menu by using evolution shards and crystals.
The player can also increase the stats of a sync pair by using power-ups. Each power-up increases a sync pair's potential by one, up to a maximum of 20.
If the sync pair is initially at 5★, then each rise in potential boosts their HP stat by 5 and their following stats by 2 each: Attack, Defense, Special Attack (or Sp. Atk), Special Defense (or Sp. Def), and Speed. For all other sync pairs, each rise in potential provides a +2 boost to HP and a +1 boost to each other stat.
The potential of a 1★, 2★, 3★, 4★, or 5★ sync pair can only be raised by using 1★, 2★, 3★, 4★, or 5★ power-ups, respectively. For example, a 3★ power-up can only increase the potential of a 3★ sync pair.
If a 1★-4★ sync pair reaches 20 potential, then their potential instantly resets to zero, and their number of stars automatically increases by one — all while their stats remain the same.
Certain sync pairs at 5★ and with 20 potential can be given 50 Champion Spirits (or Legendary Spirits for Legendary Event pairs) to be raised to 6★ EX. This allows the sync pair's Trainer to change their pose and switch to their EX Style, which is usually based on their partner Pokémon's regular/Shiny colors. In addition, upgrading to 6★ EX enhances the pair's sync move in one of the following ways depending on their role:
- Strike: Sync move targets all opponents without its damage scaling down, even if multiple targets are present.
- Tech: Sync move's power increases by 50%.
- Support: The user's first sync move of each battle doubles the number of sync buffs granted to their team (from one to two). A sync move buff acts in stages, similar to a stat buff in the core series, with a +50% increase to overall damage per buff. Effectively, except in special circumstances, this boosts that team's damage from 1.5× after the first sync move to 2× instead.
If a 5★ sync pair cannot be raised to 6★ EX, then they can still receive 5★ power-ups to increase their stats, but without access to a costume change or an upgraded sync move.
Type and resistance
Even though each pair has a single type, the resistances and defensive properties of the pair do not depend on it. Each sync pair has only a single weakness to a specific type and the resistances to status alterations, when available, are exclusively gained through passive skills.
- Main article: Sync grid
Each sync pair has access to a sync grid, where sync orbs can be spent to unlock various upgrades:
- Increase base stats (blue tiles)
- Increase the power or accuracy of moves (green tiles)
- Add additional passive skills (yellow tiles)
- Add special passive skills, which only activate upon using specific moves (red tiles)
- Increase the power of the sync move (rainbow tiles)
- Increase the power of a Max move (orange tiles) or G-Max move (purple tiles)
Legendary Event sync pairs can receive a pair-specific power boost from the Villain Event corresponding to their region.
A Power Boost can enable a pair to perform Mega Evolution, or add more tiles to the pair's sync grid (but not both). Which is received will vary based on the pair.
- Mega Evolution - Giovanni & Mewtwo, Zinnia & Rayquaza
- Additional sync grid tiles - Silver & Ho-Oh, Cyrus & Palkia, Ghetsis & Kyurem
As the game has been updated over time, certain mechanics have been removed or otherwise function differently. These are included here for historical purposes.
Unlocking moves and skills
Prior to version 1.12.0, each sync pair knew two moves when recruited, and could unlock additional moves, up to a maximum of four moves. Some passive skills would also not be available by default, and would need to be unlocked. Beginning in version 1.12.0, sync pairs will know all available moves and passive skills by default.
Sync pairs rewarded from Legendary Events instead use "custom" items exclusive to their respective event. The amount of each item needed also varies between these Sync pairs.
- As of Giovanni and Mewtwo's rerun, the pair was updated to no longer use Custom Super Training Machines. The item actually became unobtainable for any players who did not get them during the event's initial run, although it no longer served a purpose.
The pair given as a log-in gift, Professor Oak & Mew, used only Custom Training Machines:
|Sync Pair(s)||Unlock||Items Required|
|Custom Training Machines|
|Professor Oak & Mew||Third move||10|
Legendary Event level caps
Sync pairs rewarded from Legendary Events used "custom" items exclusive to their respective event to unlock their level caps. The amount of each item needed also varied between these sync pairs.
- Starting with Zinnia & Rayquaza, and for any legendary event pairs re-run afterwards, Custom Drinks were used instead of Custom Training Machines to increase level cap.
- Starting in version 2.2.0, all Legendary Event pairs use normal level cap materials. Custom materials can no longer be used, though they can be exchanged for normal materials.
The pair given as a log-in gift, Professor Oak & Mew, used unique unlock costs that consist entirely of Custom items:
|Sync Pair(s)||Raise in level cap||Items Required|
|Custom Drinks||Custom Super Drinks|
|Professor Oak & Mew (3★)||35 → 50||10||×|
|50 → 65||20||×|
|65 → 80||30||20|
|80 → 95||50||30|
|95 → 115||100||100|
List of sync pairs
- Main article: List of sync pairs
Sync pair scout
Players can recruit sync pairs that are not available through the main story through sync pair scout at the shop. Sync pairs cost gems to scout, and the pairs received are random, in what is effectively a Gacha game model.
Pairs can be scouted from one of various showcases, which may offer different pairs, different appearance rates for certain pairs, or even exclusive pairs. While the official term for these showcases is "sync pair scouts", players typically call these showcases "banners" to avoid confusion with the action of scouting itself.
The amount of gems required to scout a sync pair can vary, and some methods will allow using both free and paid gems, while others only allow using paid gems.
Methods available using free gems:
- Most of the time, it costs 300 gems to scout one pair, or 3000 gems to scout 11 pairs (10 prior to the August 2020 Sygna Suit Blue Poké Fair Scout).
- On Pokémon Masters Day, which is the 25th of every month from November 2021 onwards, a "Pokémon Masters Day One-Time-Only Happy Scout" costs 25 gems to scout 11 pairs.
Methods available using only paid gems:
- A "daily discount scout" allows for using 100 paid gems to scout one pair. This can be performed once per sync pair scout, per day.
- In some cases, the daily discount scout may be available up to three times for a specific sync pair scout.
- On Pokémon Masters Day, a "Pokémon Masters Day 5★-Guaranteed Scout" costs 100 paid gems to scout 11 pairs, with at least one pair guaranteed to be 5★.
- A "5★-select scout" allows for scouting 11 or 25 sync pairs, and for selecting a specific 5★ to receive afterwards.
- A "tiered scout" allows for scouting non-standard amounts of pairs (3, 5, 7 pairs, etc), with several different costs for each tiered "step".
Scouting can also be performed with non-gem resources:
- A "daily scout" that is free of charge is available once per day. However, this has a very low chance of giving sync pairs, and for the most part gives items instead. Unlike all other scout methods, the exact appearance rates are not disclosed.
- A "ticket scout" can be performed by using various types of ticket items:
- A "5★-guaranteed ticket scout" requires 30 5★ Scout Tickets to scout a single 5★ pair. The pairs available exclude limited-time pairs, such as those from Poké Fair, Master Fair, Seasonal, or Costume scouts.
- A "5★-guaranteed [region] scout" works similar to the above case, and costs 30 tickets corresponding to a specific Pokémon region. The 5★ pair received will be from that region.
- A "featured ticket scout" requires 1 ticket corresponding to a specific sync pair, and gives one pair when redeemed, with a 25% chance to be the pair matching the ticket. The required ticket can typically only be obtained from a paid-gem-only sync pair scout for the specific sync pair.
- A "guaranteed ticket scout" is similar to featured Ticket Scout, but guarantees the sync pair associated with the ticket.
- A "select scout" requires 1 select ticket, and allows for selecting a specific sync pair to receive. Some select scout tickets also allow for scouting 10 or 11 pairs before making the selection.
The rarity distribution of scouted pairs is as follows:
|Rarity||Normal/Seasonal Scout||Poké Fair Scout||Master Fair Scout|
The 5★ featured rate behaves differently if there is more than one featured character:
- 2 or 3 characters - Each character has a 1.5% appearance rate (totaling 3% or 4.5% featured rate, respectively).
- 4 or more characters - A total 2% rate is evenly split between each character (example: 4 characters will each have a rate of 0.5%).
4★ featured characters do not occur often, but their rates are as follows:
- Normal Scout - 2% appearance rate per character.
- Poké Fair - A total 5% rate is evenly split between each character.
When a scout is performed, an animation will play: the player's Poryphone is slotted into a terminal on the counter of Tricia's booth, and an antenna grows from the phone. The antenna begins to output a signal and displays a map, indicating that a sync pair is approaching the Pokémon Center. The camera view changes to the Center's front doors, which open with a flash of light.
The animation will slightly change to indicate the lower bound of the star rarity of the sync pairs received in the scout or batch of scouts:
- If the Poryphone emits sparks upon touching the terminal, causing the background to turn rainbow, and a parabolic antenna appears, then the batch includes a 5★ pair.
- If no antenna appears, the batch includes only 3★ pairs.
- If a small antenna appears, the batch includes a pair of at least 4★ rarity.
- If the doors don't emit rays of light before opening, the batch includes only 3★ pairs.
- If the doors emit some rays of light before opening, the batch includes at least one 4★ pair but no 5★ pair.
- If the doors emit several rays of light and rainbow-colored shards, the batch includes a 5★ pair.
- Mindscape (from version 1.5.0 onwards):
- After the doors open, if a mindscape image and a quote appears, then the 5★ pair uniquely corresponding to that mindscape and quote will appear.
As previously mentioned, if the player scouts a sync pair they have already recruited, then the sync pair receives an increase in level to their moves. Once the sync pair's move level is maxed out to level 5, if the player again scouts that sync pair, the player will instead receive a power-up item corresponding to the sync pair's original number of stars.
A scout point will be awarded for every 100 gems spent through sync pair scouts. 3 bonus scout points will also be awarded every time the player scouts 11 sync pairs at once, starting from Sygna Suit Blue Poké Fair Scout.
If a player manages to collect 400 scout points, the player will be able to scout for a sync pair of their choice. However, scout points gained during a specific sync pair scout will expire once the sync pair scout expires, and they will not carry over to another sync pair scout.
The available sync pairs change as the game introduces more Trainers, with specific sync pair scouts giving a higher chance of obtaining the sync pair that the event is focused on.
Sync pairs can have permanent or limited-time availability:
- Permanent pairs - These will appear in most sync pair scouts, after their debut sync pair scout has ended. Any sync pair scouts running concurrent with their debut scout will not include them. Permanent pairs can also appear from 5★-guaranteed ticket scouts, though the lineup is not updated immediately after their debut scout ends, but some time afterwards.
- Limited-time pairs - These are only available during specific sync pair scouts where they are featured, generally with higher rates than other pairs.
Starting with Lusamine Spotlight Scout, some sync pair scouts may offer item gifts for performing 11-pair scouts. These gifts can include:
- Move candy coins (corresponding to the featured pair's role)
- 5★ power-up items (sometimes usable only by the featured pair)
- Sync orbs (sometimes specific to the featured pair)
- Featured-scout tickets (can be redeemed for 25% chance of receiving the featured pair)
- Guaranteed-scout tickets (can be redeemed for a guaranteed copy of the featured pair)
Starting with Lance Seasonal Scout and Lillie Seasonal Scout, gifts may also be rewarded multiple times for performing multiple 11-pair scouts on the same sync pair scout.
Starting with Clemont and Elesa Spotlight Scout, some gifts are received upon successfully recruiting the featured sync pair, rather than the amount of 11-pair scouts performed.
Sync pair scout history
- Main article: Sync pair scout history
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|This article is part of Project Sidegames, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon Sidegames.|