The heart of Pokémon games: battling is where the game shines. In battles, one Pokémon is pitted against another. These Pokémon duke it out, attacking each other with moves until one prevails and the other faints. Obviously there is more to it than that, but this gives you an overall idea.
There are two types of battle: Wild battles and Trainer battles. Wild battles are against a single (or sometimes two or three in double and triple battles) wild Pokémon. Wild Pokémon are generally weaker than Pokémon that have been raised by a trainer, but can still be very dangerous.
The basic structure of a Pokémon battle is as follows: The first Pokémon in your party is sent out; followed by the first Pokémon of your opponent’s party. If it’s a wild Pokémon; it simply appears alone. Each Pokémon takes turns using a move.
Moves can either be offensive and directly damage the enemy, or passive, meaning that they boost your own Pokémon stats, lower your opponent’s stats or maybe even inflict them with a Status Ailment. Each Pokémon can have up to four moves at their disposal.
Both sides choose which move they will use at the beginning of the turn. The Pokémon with the higher speed stat generally uses their move first; followed by the other Pokémon’s move. Play continues until one Pokémon faints. If the battle was against a Wild Pokémon which faints, it ends.
If it was against a trainer that has more than one Pokémon and the first one faints; he/she chooses his/her next Pokémon and it appears. If your own Pokémon faints, you must choose your next Pokémon. Once all Pokémon on one side have been defeated, the other team is declared the victor.
After winning any battle, your Pokemon will gain experience and - once they’ve acquired enough experience - Level Up, improving their stats, possibly learn a new move or even evolve into a new Pokemon! Beating CPU trainers also rewards you with cash to spend on items or other services.
Moves that deal damage sometimes have secondary effects and have different 'Base Damage' values, which determine their potency. Type Match-Ups (a more complicated version of rock-paper-scissors, which we’ll discuss soon) come into play here and often decide whether a Pokémon wins or loses.
Besides attacking, a player has two other options (three if it’s a battle in the wild). The first is to use an item . Using an item means that the Pokémon can’t use a move that turn. Items have a range of effects, from healing to Pokémon to catching them.
Items are used before the other Pokémon uses its move. Items are an essential part of battling and using them well can be the difference between victory and defeat. When up against a human trainer (somebody in real life!), items are disallowed though.
Did You Know? - Changing the Accuracy of a One-Hit Knockout Move
Normally when you use a one-hit KO move (eg. Horn Drill) against a higher level Pokémon it’ll never land and conversely the lower level an opponent is the higher the chance it’ll land. If you’re Pokémon is 70+ levels above your opponent then it’s a guaranteed one-hit KO!
The second option is to switch Pokémon . This costs you a turn; but this means you can send out a Pokemon that is more powerful against the enemy (or is just simply stronger). A third option is available in the wild, which is to ’ Run '.
Should you run from a battle, it immediately ends. If your Pokemon is of a higher level than your opponent’s, it’s more likely that you will be successful in running from a battle. If you fail in running however, you lose your turn and your opponent can use a move.