Underneath its cute surface, Pokémon is a number-crunching RPG (role-playing game) at heart. It all begins with your Pokémon’s stats, which you can check via the Pokémon menu. Experienced trainers should be familiar with these stats, but they can be slightly daunting for newcomers.
|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.|
|Defence||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 Defence”. The higher this stat, the less damage your Pokémon will receive from special moves.|
|Speed||Priority in battle||The Pokémon with the higher value will act first during battle.|
These stats will increase as your Pokémon increase their Level or evolve. They also slightly increase as you fight other Pokémon or when you use certain items like vitamins or Bottle Caps.
Physical or Special?
Hopefully that all makes sense so far. But how do you tell if a move is physical or special? Well, when you view the information 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 be an energy wave? There’s also a yin-yang icon for status moves.
Generally, you want to use physical moves if your Pokémon has a higher Attack stat or special moves if their Special Attack is higher. 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 Defence or Special Defence stat.