This page explains the various Pokémon stats and how they influence battles.
Beneath its cute exterior, Pokémon is unabashedly a traditional RPG (role-playing game). Everything begins with your Pokémon’s stats, which you can check via the Pokémon menu. Seasoned trainers should be familiar with these, but newcomers may find them slightly confusing.
|Stat||Affects||What it Does|
|HP||Health||Short for “Hit Points”. This is a measure of your Pokémon’s stamina.|
|Attack||Your physical moves||The higher this stat, the more damage your Pokémon will inflict when using physical moves.|
|Defense||Foe’s physical moves||The higher this stat, the less damage your Pokémon will receive from physical moves.|
|Sp. Atk||Your special moves||Short for “Special Attack”. The higher this stat, the more damage your Pokémon will inflict when using special moves.|
|Sp. Def||Foe’s special moves||Short for “Special Defense”. The higher this stat, the less damage your Pokémon will receive from special moves.|
|Speed||Priority in battle||The Pokémon with the higher Speed stat will act earlier during battle.|
These six stats will increase as your Pokémon Level Up or evolve. They also slightly increase as you fight other Pokémon or when you use certain items like vitamins.
When looking at your Pokémon’s stats, you may notice some numbers are colored red or blue.
- A stat that’s red means it’s boosted by the Pokémon’s Nature.
- Conversely, a blue stat indicates it’s decreased by the Nature.
During the main story, a Pokémon’s Nature isn’t too important. However, if you’re fussy and have the chance, avoid Natures that decrease your Pokémon’s best stat(s). For instance, a with a Sp. Atk-decreasing Nature won’t hit as hard as one with a neutral or beneficial Nature.
Physical and Special Moves
The original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl on the Nintendo DS introduced the physical and special split for moves. What this means is that each individual move is categorized into physical or special (or status).
Prior to those games, moves were physical or special depending on the type; for example, all Fire moves were special and all Fighting moves were physical. Nowadays, you can have Fire moves that are physical (eg. Fire Punch) or special (Flamethrower).
How do you tell if a move is physical or special? Well, when you view the details of a move (by inspecting the Pokémon menu or by pressing the Y Button during battle), you can see a category icon next to the move.
- An impact icon indicates that the move is physical-based. It looks like the result of a punch, right?
- Meanwhile, a spiral means that the move is special-based. Perhaps it’s supposed to represent an energy wave?
- There’’’s also a yin-yang icon for status moves.
Should I Use Physical or Special Moves?
Generally, you should focus on:
- Physical moves if your Pokémon has a higher Attack stat.
- Special moves if their Special Attack is higher.
If your Pokémon has more-or-less equal Attack and Special Attack (which is relatively rare), take your pick.
You should also consider your opponent when selecting a move. Just as your Pokémon may have a higher Attack or Special Attack stat, your opponent may have a higher Defense or Special Defense stat. For instance, if you attack with special moves, you could be there for a really long time…