Pokemon battles are an crucial element of the Pokemon world. If you intend to go anywhere in Alola, you’ll undoubtedly need to pave a way through wild Pokemon staking their turf and other Pokemon trainers who seek the thrills of battle.
This is all easy enough for battle-seasoned Pokemon trainers to deal with, but for those you new to Pokemon battling, we’ve got your backs!
Basics of Battles
Whether you’re matched up against a wild Pokemon or a rival trainer’s Pokemon, the battle mechanics are the same for both. For the majority of the time, battles will be between two Pokemon–yours and the opponent’s.
The Pokemon that you send out will be the first Pokemon in your party–the one in the top-left corner. If that Pokemon is out of commission (i.e. fainted), you will send out the next available one instead.
Once a battle is underway, you can choose from the following options:
Fight : Use one of your Pokemon’s moves on the opponent. This is the default option.
Pokemon : Check your Pokemon party or switch your current Pokemon with another one.
Poke Ball : Throw a Poke Ball at the wild Pokemon. (Only appears for wild Pokemon encounters.)
Bag : Use an item on your Pokemon or a Poke Ball on a wild Pokemon.
Run : Attempt to escape from a wild Pokemon encounter. (You can’t run from trainers.)
Choosing your Moves
After selecting "Fight", you can then pick one of your Pokemon’s moves.
Each Pokemon can have up to 4 moves at their disposal. Moves can be learned via Level Up, evolution, by using TM items or other means. If a Pokemon tries to learn a new move when they have 4 already, you will be asked to delete an old move or give up learning the new one.
Moves can have a variety of effects; most deal damage to the opposing Pokemon, but others may cause status effects or a combination of both. Each move has a PP (Power Point) value, which determines how many times the Pokemon can use the move before it needs replenishing.
The final thing to note is that each Pokemon and each move has a characteristic Type (and some Pokemon can have two Types). These Types range Normal, Fire, Grass, all the way to Dark, Steel and Fairy. Types are very important as they greatly influence the amount of damage dealt.
See our Type Match-Up page just ahead for the full scoop!
Having selected a move, the Pokemon with the higher Speed stat will execute their move first, followed by the other Pokemon. If a Pokemon uses a damage-dealing move, it may reduce the opposing Pokemon’s HP. Once a Pokemon falls to 0 HP, it will faint and be removed from battle.
If you manage to successfully faint a Pokemon (or catch a wild Pokemon), your Pokemon will gain experience and eventually Level Up , improving their stats and occasionally gaining new moves or even evolving into a stronger creature.
Defeating or capturing a wild Pokemon immediately ends the battle. However, if you’re facing another Pokemon trainer, they may send out another Pokemon to continue the battle. Just like you, other trainers can have up to 6 Pokemon, although most rarely have more than 3.
The battle ends once either trainer has exhausted all of their Pokemon–and the victor is the trainer with at least one Pokemon still standing. In addition to earning valuable experience, you will also be rewarded with Poke Dollars (money) for besting a fellow trainer.
If your Pokemon team fails to match up and you end up losing the Pokemon battle, you’ll immediately be sent to the last Pokemon Centre you visited, with a portion of your money deducted. This only applies to battle during the main game though–and not battles between friends or in special facilities.