Lucky Pokémon are special Pokémon that can only be attained in Pokémon GO by trading. These Pokémon have a guarantee of good stats, with a minimum of twelve (our of fifteen) points in Attack, Defense, and HP. In addition to a shimmering golden effect cascading behind it, a Lucky Pokémon features a steeply discounted power-up cost. This guide will break down how to get Lucky in Pokémon GO, as well as when and how Lucky Trades should be spent.
The most common way to acquire a Lucky is by trading with a friend, over and over. Trainers are allowed 100 trades per day, and the mechanic currently makes it very easy for two players to swap catches back and forth. At random, a Pokémon may turn Lucky, which will happen for both players, when a trade is completed.
Older Pokémon that were caught in July or August of 2016 are currently guaranteed to go Lucky if certain requirements are met. Both trainers involved in a guaranteed Lucky trade must not have already done ten of these. These don't have to be an exact swap, either. A trainer can trade their 2016 Beedrill for a 2020 Kyurem, and both will go Lucky.
Lucky Friends is another way of guaranteeing a Lucky trade. Any interaction with a Best Friend in Pokémon GO including opening a Gift, raiding together, or battling each other can trigger friends to go Lucky. This will make their next trade a guaranteed Lucky, which is visually demonstrated by the golden screen when the process begins. A great time to do one of these Lucky Trades is during an event when a Pokémon has a limited, exclusive move such as Community Day. If a trainer only catches low-IV Shiny Porygon on its upcoming Community Day, swapping with another trainer will guarantee a 12/12/12-floored Shiny Porygon that can be evolved up into a powerful Porygon-Z.