Traps were first introduced in the fourth game, Skylanders Trap Team.
They are used to trap Villains and make them fight alongside the Skylanders instead of against them.
In order to play through the game, defeat the final boss and let the credits roll, you do not need one single Trap.
This is a common misconception for those that are new to the game. Traps are only necessary if you wish to play as the Villains that you defeat in Skylanders Trap Team.
When you defeat a Villain, they are transported to the Villain Vault. The Villain Vault is a sort of prison where all the Villains you have defeated are kept until you wish to use them. When you are not using them, they are returned to the Vault.
One at a time.
Each Trap can only hold one Villain at a time, but between levels you can change who is in each Trap by visiting the Villain Vault in the Academy (hub world).
There are 59 different collectible Traps (65 if you count Villain Variants as different, see below). This includes:
Within each element, the different sculpts are purely cosmetic.
If you only get one or two per element, you have options. You can pick out your favorites and leave the rest behind.
If you do choose to collect them all, however, the different sculpts can help you remember who is trapped in each particular Trap. A much better option than getting stuck with 6 Life Hammer Traps.
It all depends on what your goal is…
If your goal is simply to finish the game, defeat the final boss, and watch the credits roll, you will need:
That's right. Traps are not necessary to play Skylanders Trap Team. I would argue that they definitely make it more fun, but they are not necessary.
If your goal is to get 100% on your game file you will need:
In order to get 100% one of the requirements is completing the Villain Quests. In order to do this you will need to be able to play as each Villain. Since you can change which Villains you have in the Traps between levels it is not necessary to have more than 1 from each Element.
If your goal is to collect all the Traps that show up on the Trap collection screen, you will need:
If your goal is to collect as many unique and special Traps as they make, you will need:
This would include the 59 Traps listed above plus the 6 Traps containing Villain Variants.
You could definitely argue that since the Villain Variant Traps duplicate other Trap molds that you don't need two of them, but that's up to you as the “Super Collector”.
You could also argue that since there are only three different Traps for the Light and Dark Elements, but four Villains to be trapped that you need to duplicate one of each of these Elements. Once again though this decision is totally up to you, the “Super Collector”.
While you cannot pay to upgrade Villains like you can Skylanders, you can upgrade each Villains abilities once by helping them Evolve.
In order to evolve your Villain you will need to locate and complete their Villain Quest. Sometimes the Villain Quest just requires you to talk to someone while other times you must complete some sort of mini game.
If you're having trouble finding a particular Villain's Quest, check out the Villain Quest Location Guide.
Completing a Villain Quest will typically do three things:
It should be noted that the Villain's Evolved status will be tied directly to the Trap he was in when you Evolved him.
You put Chompy Mage in your Life Torch Trap. You find his Villain Quest and successfully complete it. Now you have Evolved Chompy Mage in the Life Torch Trap.
However, if you would now transfer Chompy Mage into you Life Toucan Trap he would no longer be Evolved. He would just be regular Chompy Mage again.
This does not mean that you lost the Evolved status, it is just tied to the other Trap. So as soon as you put Chompy Mage back in your Life Torch Trap he will once again be Evolved Chompy Mage.
When all is said and done you will have the opportunity to collect six different Villain Variants. These Variants cannot be found or acquired in the game naturally, you must purchase an exclusive Trap in order to get these Variants.
Unlike normal Traps, these exclusive Traps already have a Villain trapped inside. So the first time you put this Trap in the Portal the Villain Variant will load up right away.
Similar to the Evolved status though, the variant information is tied directly to this exclusive Trap. This means that you can use this Trap as a normal Trap without fear of losing your Villain Variant.
Let's say you bought the Target Exclusive Water Log Holder Trap with Outlaw Brawl and Chain inside. The first time you put this Trap in the Portal, Outlaw Brawl and Chain will be there waiting for you.
Now let's say that you want to use this Trap to capture Chill Bill (another Water Villain). No problem, this exclusive Trap still functions as a normal Trap.
Now comes the scary part. If you go into the Villain Vault after putting Chill Bill into the exclusive Trap, you will not find Outlaw Brawl and Chain. Don't worry, this is how it's supposed to work.
As I said before, the variant information is tied directly to the exclusive Trap, so all you have to do is put regular Brawl and Chain back in the exclusive Trap. If you do this, Brawl and Chain will appear as Outlaw Brawl and Chain.
If you choose to complete a Villain Quest with a Variant Villain it is possible to have an Evolved Variant Villain. So instead of having just Broccoli Guy or the variant Steamed Broccoli Guy, you could have Evolved Steamed Broccoli Guy.
Once again the variant information and the Evolved status are still associated with one particular Trap. However, unlike normal Evolved Villains you will only notice two differences:
When you evolve a Variant Villain he will retain his variant appearance. His coloring will not be affected by the Evolved status.
At this time there is no way to completely empty a Trap once you have put a Villain in it. You can replace the Villain you have trapped as many times as you want, but you cannot remove all Villains from the Trap.