Naturally, the higher the stats, the better. Although there are benefits to being slow.

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.

Key Stats

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?

(1 of 2) A physical move.

A physical move. (left), A special move. (right)

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.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms
    Switch
  • Genre
    RPG
  • Guide Release
    15 November 2019
  • Last Updated
    28 November 2020
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Pokémon: Sword and Shield, the latest entries in the Pokémon video game franchise. Our guide also incorporates all the DLC, including the Isle of Armor and brand new Crown Tundra DLC.

In Sword and Shield, you explore the Galar region, based on the United Kingdom, alongside rivals Hop, Bede and Marnie, with the aim to dethrone the Pokémon League Champion.

The games introduce several new features such as Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, functions that increase size and change forms of certain Pokémon; the Wild Area, a large open world with free camera movement; and raids with co-op battling. They also reintroduce features previously seen in Sun and Moon and Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, such as regional variants and roaming Pokémon depicted in the overworld.

Brand New October 2020:

Version 1.2

  • A Complete Walkthrough of the Isle of Armor.
  • Details of all 16 new Wild Areas, including Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All the new Max Raid Dens: Locations and Featured Pokémon.
  • Images and Locations of All 150 of the Missing Diglett.
  • The Isle of Armor Pokédex (featuring 100 Returning Pokémon).
  • Recipes for the Cram-o-matic.
  • A Full Walkthrough featuring Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All Gym Encounters and Strategies.
  • New Items: Mints & Natures Explained.
  • Post Game content including Champion Cup.
  • Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing.
  • The Galar Region Pokédex (featuring 400 Pokemon).

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