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FAQ/Walkthrough by KeyBlade999
/ yoshi_chao

Version: v1.50 | Updated: 04/26/17

Table of Contents

  1. How to Use This FAQ
  2. Introduction
  3. Basics of the Game
    1. A Must-Read Before the Basics
    2. Controls
    3. Save Data & Erasure
    4. Version Exclusives
    5. Important Terms & Definitions
    6. How to Tell Legal From Hacked Pokémon
    7. Unobtainable Shiny Pokémon & Hidden Abilities
    8. Pokémon Capture
    9. Status Ailments
    10. Weather/Field Effects
    11. Entry Hazards
    12. Special Move Mechanics
    13. The "Minor" Details - EVs, IVs, and Nature
    14. The "Minor" Details - Pokémon Characteristics
    15. The "Minor" Details - Personality Values
    16. Misc. Game Mechanics
    17. Competitive Pokémon Strategy
  4. Pre-Credits Walkthrough
    1. Notes (READ!)
    2. The Trial of Captain Ilima
    3. The Grand Trial of Melemele Island
    4. The Trial of Captain Lana
    5. The Trial of Captain Kiawe
    6. The Trial of Captain Mallow
    7. The Grand Trial of Akala Island
    8. The Trial of Captain Sophocles
    9. The Trial of Captain Acerola
    10. The Grand Trial of Ula'ula Island
    11. The Grand Trial of Poni Island
    12. The Trial of Vast Poni Canyon
    13. Alola's First Champion is Crowned!
  5. Post-Credits Walkthrough
    1. The Ultra Beast Task Force
    2. The Guardian Pokémon: The Tapus
    3. Another Cosmog?
    4. Obtaining Type: Null
    5. The Battle Tree
    6. Other Smaller Tasks
  6. Sidequests & Other Things
    1. Minor Sidequests of the Walkthrough
    2. Pokémon Refresh
    3. Hyper Training
    4. EV Training
    5. Poké Pelago
    6. Pokémon Breeding
    7. Poké Finder
    8. Island Scan
    9. Pokémon Ribbons
    10. Trainer Passport Stamps
    11. Oval Charm & Shiny Charm
  7. Miscellaneous Gameplay Info
    1. In-Game Pokémon Trades
    2. Gift Pokémon
    3. Pokémon Forme Changes
    4. Move Tutor Listings
    5. Battle Styles
  8. Items Listings
    1. Medicinal Items
    2. EV-Changing Items
    3. Other Stat-Boosting Items
    4. Hold Items
    5. Berries (General)
    6. Berries (Growth)
    7. Battle Items
    8. Pokéballs
    9. Pokémon Fossils
    10. Evolution Items
    11. Mega Stones
    12. Primal Orbs
    13. Z Crystals
    14. Miscellaneous
    15. Stuff to Sell
    16. TMs (Technical Machines)
    17. Key Items
    18. Hyper Training Bottle Caps
  9. Shop Details
    1. Hau'oli City
    2. Route 2
    3. Heahea City
    4. Paniola Town
    5. Route 5
    6. Royal Avenue
    7. Route 8
    8. Konikoni City
    9. Malie City
    10. Mount Hokulani
    11. Tapu Village
    12. Route 16
    13. Seafolk Village
    14. Mount Lanakila
    15. Battle Tree
  10. Mini-Pokédex
    1. Learnsets
    2. Pokémon Stats (General)
    3. Pokémon Stats (Mega Evolutions)
    4. Pokémon Stats (Primal Reversions)
    5. Pokémon Stats (Breeding)
    6. Pokémon Stats (Misc. #1)
    7. Pokémon Stats (Misc. #2)
    8. Pokémon Evolutions
    9. Pokémon by Location
    10. Pokémon Abilities
    11. Move List - Battle Details
    12. Move List - Contest Details (OR/AS-only)
    13. Z Moves
  11. Credits
  12. Version History
  13. Legalities & Contact

Did you enjoy this FAQ and find it useful? If so, please consider clicking the blue "Recommendation" link above here so you can let others know that this is one of GameFAQs's best FAQs! Thank you!

  • Games: Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon (ポケット モンスター サン & ポケット モンスター ムーン)
  • Console: Nintendo 3DS
  • File Type: Formatted FAQ/Walkthrough
  • Authors: KeyBlade999 (a.k.a. Daniel Chaviers) & yoshi_chao (a.k.a. Taylor Ellis)
  • Version: v1.50
  • Time of Update: 12:50 AM 4/26/2017

How to Use This FAQ

This is a bit of a primer on how to use this FAQ, at least on GameFAQs (where we originally posted this guide).

At the top-right of the guide, you should see a number of buttons.

  • The ribbon icon allows you to bookmark the guide. Bookmarked guides you can view anytime from your My Games settings (if you're logged into the site).
  • The magnifying glass icon is a search function. Enter the text you want to look for - such as item or area names - and you'll find every instance of where that appears in the guide. Use this especially if you're looking for very specific things.
  • The three horizontal lines brings up the table of contents. That will list off every major section and subsection of the guide, so look there if you want to find general bits of information, such as the walkthrough or the Pokédex or our contact stuff.

Especially be sure to use the latter two to most quickly get to what piece of information you want! This guide is very large and very long, so don't inconvenience yourself by wasting tons of time searching through everything when you can just get there in a few clicks!

Further, it is also important to note that this FAQ is divided into 50-KB pages. This is not done by the choice of either author; it is simply how GameFAQs functions. If you would like to change that and display the entire guide on a single page, go down to the bottom of any page and click on "View as Single Page".

If you need to contact us for any reason, please see the Legalities & Contact section.


Hi, and welcome to our Sun & Moon FAQ!

Yeah, for once, I'm actually sharing the spotlight for once and coauthoring with another person, one of my best friends yoshi_chao (who declined to write her own intro). I've known her for ... quite a while now, probably for most of the entire time I've been on GameFAQs, and we met through a mutual love of Pokémon - specifically Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time, Darkness, and Sky. It was probably about seven years or so ago now, really, that we first got to know each other. It's kinda weird looking back at all that time that has passed and how much things have changed in our lives...


Well, anyhow. Yoshi offered herself up as a sacrifice when I mentioned that I was looking for a coauthor for my FAQ; thanks to college keeping me busy, it's nice to have someone else to work with, so that things might actually be done in a timely manner - and who better to pick than one of your best friends, right? It doesn't hurt either that she's wanted to write her own FAQs for a while now and has made several attempts (Pokémon Platinum and Hey, You! Pikachu come to mind), though this will be her first big foray into the world of FAQing - but I've got complete faith she'll be able to step up to the task. ^_^

Anyhow, hereafter you'll find our Pokémon Sun & Moon FAQ/Walkthrough. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire - the preceding titles in the core series - truth be told have left bad tastes in both of our mouths, albeit for different reasons. Generation VI honestly is probably my least favorite of them all ... so coming into Sun & Moon, my hopes aren't exactly the highest, personally. Still... It's a Pokémon game, right? And more importantly the start of a new generation, the seventh since the series launched more than 20 years ago now. Despite everything, I'm willing to approach Sun & Moon with an open mind - it's a nice chance to clean the slate, and see how Game Freak can impress us again despite everything, and remind us why we became fans of the series in the first place.

We sincerely hope you guys enjoy this FAQ! ^_^

~ KeyBlade999

A Must-Read Before the Basics

When you use the Basics section, keep in mind what it entails: there is a LOT on that Table of Contents, a lot of competitively-relevant info. I mostly chose to include a few of the following sections on the Controls and Save Data for the sake of their common usage: people tend to look these things up most often for whatever reason. That aside, most of the other stuff - like how to operate menus and the like - is in the game's e-manual.

What this section does is operate on a different level. These sections will mostly analyze the game from one of three aspects: the mechanical aspect (such as the formulas for damage), the competitive aspect (playing Pokémon very well against other well-versed players), and a mixture thereof. If you do not plan on playing against other people competitively or do not plan on playing in the Battle Tree for extended periods of time, do not bother using those sections. I have gotten complaints regarding the length of the Basics section on the whole, so I feel the need for you to remember that this section is not required reading unless you want to understand various mechanical/strategic aspects of the game (or view a little trivia). If you plan to play the game only to play the game, you'll be better off consulting the e-manual than this guide for the basic info.

We do, of course, provide a walkthrough that will help walk you through the game's plot, step by step, without this mechanic info.


ButtonResultant Effects
D-PadMove cursors in menus.
Circle PadMove your character. You move faster than further your Circle Pad is titled.
Move cursors.
Move around the viewfinder when using the Poké Finder.
A ButtonConfirm choices.
Speak with people.
Investigate the tile you're facing.
Take pictures with the Poké Finder.
B ButtonDecline choices.
Exit menus.
Hold and use the Circle Pad to run.
Press during Pokémon evolution to cancel said evolution. (Not all evolutions can be canceled.)
Use a Poké Ride Pokémon's special ability (e.g. Tauros' dash, Stoutland's itemfinding).
X ButtonOpen the menu.
See what individual Pokémon can do in the Poké Ride menu.
Y ButtonOpen a menu to choose a registered Key Item for quick use.
Hotkey to use Pokéballs in battle.
Open the Poké Ride function.
L ButtonUsed to quickly go through item lists.
Hold and tap a move in the move selection menu during battle to see its data.
R ButtonUsed to quickly go through item lists.
Take pictures with the Poké Finder.
Start ButtonOpen a menu.
Select ButtonN/A

Note that some functions can be delegated to the Touch Screen or gyro sensors as well.

Save Data & Erasure

This section mostly concerns the use of the save file. As has been tradition in the Pokémon series - even to this day, for unconceivable reasons (especially when much older games allowed hundreds) - Pokémon Sun & Moon only have one save file per cartridge or eShop download. That file is saved whenever you choose to in the field, and only when you choose to (barring the end credits and a few other instances). Thus, first and foremost, the main thing is to save often: usually, every town suffices for non-post-game stuff. After all, you don't want to get stuck in a Gym battle as your 3DS/2DS hits a very low battery, and possibly dies, and you haven't saved, right...?

The main reason for this section, really, is for those buying used copies of the game, as I get a lot of questions regarding this some months after the game's release. (Yes, even though it is in the e-manual for the game. >_>) In older Pokémon games - Ruby, Sapphire, and the other GBA games going back - it would be a simple task to start a new game and save: simply save on the new file! However, some file protection has been made so that it doesn't happen as often by little kids playing games or people screwing with you or the like; Pokémon Sun & Moon are included in this.

To delete the current file (so that you may start and save a new game), hold Up, B, and X as the game starts up from the Home Menu. Directions will then appear on-screen.

Version Exclusives

As with other paired Pokémon titles, there are certain things exclusive to each version of the game. Here they are, and they are limited solely to Pokémon.

Pokémon Sun ExclusivesPokémon Moon Exclusives
Lycanroc (Midday Forme)Lycanroc (Midnight Forme)

Important Terms & Definitions

Pokémon is itself a very technical game. While we will get deeper into these technicalities in other sections of this conglomerate of "basics" and in the various appendices, it would be first be most prudent to give you, the readers, a quick list of what will be referred to throughout the guide. Those familiar with the competitive scene of Pokémon need no real introduction to most of these terms, and most having played Pokémon in general will only need to give this a quick glance at times; however, everyone else should give this section at least a decent read-over, especially those of you who are new to Pokémon. There are several definitions here some of you may find surprising and in themselves immensely helpful to understanding Pokémon in general, and by far much more in-depth than what the game will likely ever yield unto you. >_>

In any case, if you think something else should be added here, feel free to e-mail me.

GenerationGames' Full NamesIn-Game RegionsConsolesCommon Abbreviations
Gen. IPokémon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow VersionsKantoGameBoyPokémon R/B/G/Y
Gen. IIPokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal VersionsJohto & KantoGameBoy ColorPokémon G/S/C
Gen. IIIPokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald VersionsHoennGameBoy AdvancePokémon R/S/E
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen VersionsKanto & Sevii IslesGameBoy AdvancePokémon FR/LG
Gen. IVPokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum VersionsSinnohNintendo DSPokémon D/P/Pt
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver VersionsJohto & KantoNintendo DSPokémon HG/SS
Gen. VPokémon Black and White VersionsUnovaNintendo DSPokémon B/W -or- Pokémon B1/W1
Pokémon Black and White Versions 2UnovaNintendo DSPokémon B/W 2 -or- Pokémon B2/W2
Gen. VIPokémon X and YKalosNintendo 3DSPokémon X/Y
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha SapphireHoennNintendo 3DSPokémon OR/AS -or- Pokémon ΩR/αS
Gen. VIIPokémon Sun and MoonAlolaNintendo 3DSPokémon S/M

  • #HKO: Indicates a KO (defeat) in # hits. For example, 1HKO (sometimes OHKO) implies a one-hit win.

  • Ability: Every Pokémon has 1 to 3 Abilities it may have, although only one is active at any given time. They are normally set-in from the time of encounter or hatching, although you can use Ability Capsules to change the non-Hidden Abilities of a Pokémon so long as it has two such Abilities. An Ability is a trait that a Pokémon has that gives it some kind of advantage or disadvantage in battle: some allow for extra damage, some reduce damage, some allow avoidance of attacks... The list goes on. Pokémon may also have a Hidden Ability (sometimes "HA") that can be brought about only in certain situations, most often specialized breeding The Pokémon Abilities section has details on every Ability, and the Pokémon Breeding section can tell you how to breed Pokémon for their Hidden Abilities.

  • Accuracy: The preset hit rate each move has for itself that determines how likely it is to hit. In general, this can be seen as a percentage: for example, Stone Edge has 80 Accuracy so it could be seen as having an 80% hit rate. A move with a 100% hit rate is generally always going to hit. However, this is only when you assume that your accuracy has not been changed by certain moves or your foe's evasion. Certain moves - usually status moves, but a niche few others - will ignore accuracy and evasion entirely, and always hit.

  • Affection: Affection is a statistic given to Pokémon during the usage of Pokémon Refresh (in X/Y/OR/AS, Pokémon-Amie). For the most part I wouldn't include it here, but there is one special confusion most people seem to have about this stat: AFFECTION IS NOT EQUIVALENT TO A POKÉMON'S HAPPINESS. End of story. Affection denotes how affectionate they are towards you in regards to Pokémon Refresh, and Pokémon Refresh alone. This would normally seem insignifcant to note here, but misconceptions have occurred regarding it. If you mix up the definitions of Affection and Happiness, you'll notice a number of Pokémon evolutions not happening, a Footprint Ribbon never being earned as it should, and the damage of Return or Frustration being unusually low in either regard. Do not mix the two up. The only Pokémon that truly benefits from Pokémon Refresh in terms of evolution is Eevee when it is evolving into Sylveon.

  • Attack (Atk.): Attack is one of the stats a Pokémon can have. Attack will affect the damage dealt by certain moves: that is, physical moves. Physical moves are those that are designated as such by the game: you can use the Move List - Battle Details section to check whether a move is Physical, Special, or Status in Class. Physical moves will use the user's Attack and the target's Defense in most cases to calculate damage.

  • Base Stat (sometimes "BS" or "base"): Base stats are used to indicate the general prowess of a Pokémon in a particular stat. Base stats can range from 1 to 255 in a given stat. For most people, a base value of 110+ indicates that the Pokémon is good in that stat, though it all relates back to the Trainer's own strategy. In any case, the higher a base stat, the better for the user.

  • Base Stat Total (BST): The total of a Pokémon's base stats, used to communicate its general prowess. Depending on the Pokémon, however, its actual strategic value may be skewed because of certain high base stats. For example, Shuckle's base 230 in Defense and Sp. Def. really skews it BST up somewhat higher than its actual strategic value would indicate (almost no one really uses it).

  • Battle Royal: A new battle type introduced with Pokémon Sun & Moon for online battles. In terms of operation, Battle Royals function similarly to Double Battles, but rather than 2 Trainers going 2-vs-2 at a time, Battle Royals feature 4 Trainers in an all-out brawl against each other. Once one Trainer loses all of their Pokémon, then the battle ends, and the results are tallied from there by remaining Pokémon (and HP if needed) to see which of the four Trainers is the victor.

  • Catch Rate: A hidden charateristic of all Pokémon that helps to determine how likely you are to catch it, ranging from 1 to 255 (where 255 is best for you). See the Pokémon Capture section for some more details.

  • Class: Class is an attribute given to moves: it determines the move's own nature and what stats its damage is based on. There are three classes: Physical, Special, and Status. Physical moves usually are based on the user's Attack and the target's Defense; Special moves are usually based on the user's Sp. Atk. and the target's Sp. Def.; and Status moves use neither, but instead affect various other things.

  • Contact: Contact is a characteristic of moves that will determine whether the user actually touches the target. This usually has no use. However, there are certain applications of it, such as contact attackers possibly being paralyzed by Pikachu's Static ability.

  • Critical Hit (a.k.a. Critical or just Crit): An attack that does 50% more damage than normal. When an attack is critical, it will be openly declared as such by the game. Most moves have an initial critical-hit rate of 1/16 (6.25%), but this can be raised through various means. Also take note that critical hits will ignore the boosts in Defenses of the target and the decrements of the user's Attack (barring items/abilities/field conditions/Burn), and will also bypass Light Screen and Reflect.

  • Defense (Def.): Defense is one of the stats a Pokémon can have. Defense will affect the damage dealt by certain moves: that is, physical moves. Physical moves are those that are designated as such by the game: you can use the Move List - Battle Details section to check whether a move is Physical, Special, or Status in Class. Physical moves will use the user's Attack and the target's Defense in most cases to calculate damage.

  • Double Battle: A battle between two people in which each has two Pokémon out at the same time. Under typical online battle rules and certain other rulesets, you must use four Pokémon total per side. This isn't the case for most in-game battles, though.

  • Effort Value (EV): Effort Values, or EVs, are much like EXP. for your stats: they can help determine stat growth in easy-to-understand manners. Each Pokémon will give off a predetermined, constant set of EVs to the wielder to one or more of its six stats when you defeat it in battle. It would be best to see the EVs - Effort Values section for the full thing.

  • Entry Hazards: Entry hazards, or just "hazards", are moves that do not intend to inflict damage on the Pokémon immediately seen on the field, but those that come after it. Stealth Rocks and Spikes, for example, will deal damage to the Pokémon owned by the foe that switch in. This has very serious implications at times. See Entry Hazards for more.

  • Event Pokémon: Event Pokémon are those only given out by Nintendo, Game Freak, or certain other third parties (in particular, GameStop and its subsidaries lately) in real life. Common Pokémon for this include special Shiny Pokémon (i.e. the Shiny Gengar given out in October 2014), those with otherwise illegal moves (i.e. the Pikachu that can Surf and Fly), those that just have special Formes (e.g. the Pokéball-Pattern and Fancy Pattern Vivillons from X/Y), Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Deoxys, Shaymin, Darkrai, Arceus, Victini, Meloetta, Genesect, Diancie, Hoopa, and Volcanion, among others: in general, these Pokémon cannot be obtained in the games at all, and must be obtained by getting it at those particular events or trading with someone who did get one from the same. There are other means for Event Pokémon to be distributed, too, such as the Pokémon Bank Celebi and the Black/White launch Victini, and it doesn't have to be restricted to these legendaries: other Pokémon with certain special characteristics are often distributed. Japan and Korea get most of these distributions, too. In any case, I would recommend checking Bulbanews (http://bulbanews.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Front_page) or Serebii (http://www.serebii.net/) regularly for details on these events.

  • Evolution: When a Pokémon meets certain conditions - usually reaching a certain level, though the methods vary - the Pokémon will evolve. This is usually accompanied by stat boosts, a better set of moves to learn, and so on. The exact conditions for evolution for every Pokémon can be seen in the Pokémon Evolutions section.

  • Experience Points (EXP.): When a Pokémon defeats another in battle, it will earn EXP. By earning enough EXP., the Pokémon will level up and become stronger.

  • Forme (sometimes incorrectly as "Form"): Some Pokémon have two or more different Formes. The actual purpose of having different Formes can vary. For example, with Pikachu and Venusaur, it is merely a visual thing. However, with Rotom, Giratina, Aegislash, Arceus, and Mega Pokémon in general, the choice of one Forme over another can have drastic consequences on the flow of battle. Formes can cause changes in stats or abilities or even type, so be sure to experiment!

  • Gender: Whether a Pokémon is male or female. If it is male, it will have a blue circle with an up-right-pointing arrow in its status screen. If female, it will have a pink circle and a down-pointing cross in its status screen. Pokémon without a gender (or an identified one) will have neither. This usually isn't important, except for breeding and certain Pokémon evolutions.

  • Hack: A term used to describe the process of cheating; in this context, so someone can get a Pokémon they otherwise cannot get, or at least get a Pokémon they are either too lazy to get or to get accurately. There are various means of doing this; typically, Action Replays and GameSharks in the past. Powersaves and Pokégen are the thing these last few years. (See: "legal", "legit", "illegal")

  • Happiness: An unseen value measured from 0 to 255, it measures just how happy the Pokémon is and how friendly it is towards you. This is unimportant in most instances, except certain evolutions and the power of the moves Return and Frustration. This stat is slowly augmented as the Pokémon is in your party for an extended period of time, as you use items on them, and as you battle using them. The process is quickened with the holding of the Soothe Bell. But one important thing must be noted ... HAPPINESS IS NOT THE SAME AS THE AFFECTION STAT IN POKÉMON REFRESH/AMIE! Happiness is a completely unseen stat, only signified by you earning a Footprint Ribbon on the Pokémon when it has maxed Happiness. Affection by comparison is very visible.

  • Hit Points (HP): This refers to a Pokémon's health. HP can go down via a number of means, primarily attacks though certain weather conditions and ailments and even the Pokémon's own moves can also cause loss of HP. As HP is above 50%, the HP bar is green; from 50% to 25%, it is yellow; and from 25% down it is red. These colors indicate the danger the Pokémon's health is in: when it hits 0 HP, the Pokémon is fainted and cannot act, except for the use of HMs in the field in older games. Be sure to keep Pokémon healed with Potions and the like!

  • Hold Item: An item that is intended to be held by a Pokémon to derive its benefits. See the Items Listings section for more.

  • Horde Battle: A type of battle introduced in Pokémon X/Y and furthered in Pokémon OR/AS. This is a battle in which you have one Pokémon out (though can use up to six total), which will be fighting five Pokémon at once! As compensation, these Pokémon usually are lower-leveled than your own or other Pokémon in the area by a significant amount; however, these Pokémon can still be a big threat seeing as how there are five of them and just one of you. Even if they're half-strength, five half-strength hits is still 250% damage. This was expanded on with Pokémon OR/AS where you can fight Horde Battles against Trainers: the logic is applied, but you will obviously get money for winning. The general strategies are to use multi-target moves - Heat Wave, Surf, Earthquake, Discharge, Sludge Wave, etc. - to hit multiple Pokémon and take them out faster. Some Pokémon Trainers will also use Horde Battles for quick EV-training.

  • Illegal: A Pokémon who is described as having something it cannot normally, not even under known Nintendo Event distributions, have. This Pokémon has obviously been hacked in some way such that it has things it cannot have, which implies that the original trainer of the Pokémon is a cheater. There are various ways of checking whether a Pokémon is illegal or not via legitimacy checkers: I'd just Google "Pokémon legitimacy checker" if you're unsure.

  • Individual Value (IV): Individual Values, or IVs, are like a DNA stat growth mechanic: once you have the IVs set on a Pokémon, they will not be changed. IVs help mostly to determine stat growth and the type of the move Hidden Power. If you see someone on a forum or PSS mentioning something about a "1V", "2V", "3V", "4V", "5V", or "6V" Pokémon, then they refer to the fact that the Pokémon has this-many IVs set at "perfect" values, or 31. (Also-used terms include "#-IV", "perfect IV" (IV at 31) and "perfect Pokémon" (same as 6V).) For more data on what these stats do, see IVs - Individual Values.

  • Inverse Battle: An Inverse Battle is one in which the resistances and immunities of a Pokémon become its weaknesses, and its weaknesses become its resistances. For example, normally Water is super-effective to Fire, but now it is half-damage; normally Grass is half-damage against Fire, now it is double-damage. Inverse Battles tend to use a Singles Battle format, in which there is one player per side using one Pokémon at a time; tournaments and the like will usually restrict each player to three Pokémon as well.

  • Item: An item in the Pokémon series has one of two uses, generally: to be used for an immediate effect, or to be held by a Pokémon for an in-battle use of some sort. See the Items Listings section for more.

  • Legal / Legit: A term used to describe a Pokémon that is actually obtainable in the game under whatever circumstances are known about it. In other words, it has an Ability it can have, it has moves it can have, its EVs are not exceeding any limits, it has its proper stats, it was found in a place where it can be found (since the game stores location data)... The list goes on. Legitimacy checkers - typically those in Pokémon Bank - are very thorough in this checking to make sure a Pokémon is actually not hacked: because if it was hacked, then it would likely be different from these in some way. In all honesty, it's better not to cheat, or at least cheat very thoroughly. Using clearly-hacked Pokémon in the VGCs, for example, will boot you from the competition outright. More on this subject is in this section.

The Distinction Between "Legal" and "Legit"

When speaking on forums and the like, be sure to take notice of the distinctions between a legal Pokémon and a legit one. Functionally, there is no difference, but, particularly when legitimacy checkers are involved (online gameplay or the VGCs, for example), it is VERY important.

  • Legal: A legal Pokémon is simply one whose statistics and data all match in-game realistic conditions. For example, their stats are proper, their moves are learnable, they can have that given ability, and so on.

  • Legit: A legit Pokémon is just the same as a legal one, with one key difference: it was assuredly obtained in-game without hacking. It is possible for skilled hackers to a make a Pokémon seem legit by manipulating the data to mimick everything that would make the Pokémon seem legit, and sometimes even get through Pokémon Bank and other checkers. However, the Pokémon is not legit. A legit Pokémon is one that can always pass a legitimacy checker because it was caught in-game. In other words, you KNOW it is not hacked, whereas a legal Pokémon, while seemingly legit on all levels that a player can check, could have some error in its internal data rendering it illegit. One of the more common errors is with the internal PID.

In other words, all legit Pokémon are legal, but not all legal Pokémon are legit. The key point is whether the Pokémon was hacked. If, on a forum, you want an idealized Pokémon, "legal" is the better term to use as you're relatively more likely to obtain a hacked one that has perfect IVs/EVs/Nature, but do this only if you don't plan on playing in areas with legitimacy checkers. If you're of the latter group, it's better to do all of the breeding and training yourself, and only trading to find specific legit Pokémon that you can not get yourself (i.e. Event legends).

  • Legendary Pokémon: A Pokémon whose in-game plot creates some kind of god-like aura about it. For example, Arceus is known as the Pokémon God because he created the universe, therefore he is a legendary Pokémon; Mew is known as the ancestor of most modern Pokémon and can learn any move desired, and therefore is a legendary Pokémon; Groudon is known as the one who rose the continents, and therefore is a legendary Pokémon. A Legendary Pokémon has a storyline behind it that often is the focus of a single game or of a special Nintendo Event, or sometimes even the subject of one of the Pokémon anime's movies. Many times, these Pokémon are strong -- however, do not confuse the label of Legendary Pokémon with strength or strategic validity! Mew, Celebi, and Jirachi, for example, are considered legendary, but they are not particularly strong: it's the plot behind them driving that "legendary" label. Strategic viability and stats usually determine how good a Pokémon is: I can easily beat Mew, Celebi, and Jirachi with non-legendary Pokémon, moreso than the other legends. Another example is how the site Smogon has classed Blaziken - a starter Pokémon - into its "Ubers" tier, a tier largely populated by legendary Pokémon, whereas those I just named are in the "UU" ("underused") tier, two tiers below.

  • Level (originally "L", now "Lv."): The general level of a Pokémon's strength. It rises as EXP. is earned, and can range from 1 to 100, where 100 is the strongest that the Pokémon can get.

  • Long Range: This is a characteristic of moves that applies only to Triple Battles: it determines whether the move can travel from one Pokémon at the far side to another at the far side. For example, if your Pokémon is at the far left and your move is Long Range, then you can hit the target at the far right (from your viewpoint).

  • Mega Evolution: Mega Evolution of Pokémon is a characteristic that came about with the release of Pokémon X/Y in 2013. Essentially, only one Pokémon can Mega Evolve per Trainer per battle. The main intent of Mega Evolution is to take advantage of a Forme of a Pokémon that is stronger in some way and may also have a new Ability and type. Most Pokémon will gain stat boosts when Mega Evolving and Mega Evolution will occur - for all intents and purposes - at the start of the turn, meaning the user can make advantage of all these changes immediately. (Speed changes are the exception: for the turn on which on the Pokémon Mega Evolves, their Speed will be considered the same as pre-Mega.) Mega Evolution can only happen so long as you wield the Mega Bangle (or other such items that allow Mega Evolution, depending on the game) and the Pokémon you have on the field is holding its species's Mega Stone. Plus, that Mega Stone cannot be lifted off your Pokémon by your foe, so no need to worry about them stealing it. ;)

  • Move: An attack a Pokémon can use. Most moves are used to deal damage in some way, and others can be used to boost stats or affect statuses, and many of both kinds have additional special affects. See the Move List - Battle Details for more regarding their usage in combat, and Move List - Contest Details (OR/AS-only) for their usage in Pokémon Contests.

  • Multi Battle: A battle between four people, two per team. Each person sends out one Pokémon, so that each team at the same time will normally have two Pokémon out on the field. Each person contributes two Pokémon to the battle, meaning each team has a total of four Pokémon. If a partner's Pokémon all are lost in a Multi Battle, and the other person still has their other Pokémon, they cannot control two Pokémon at the same time. (The numerical limitations are usually not used in in-game battles.)

  • Nature: A Pokémon's Nature has one singular use, really: to determine stat growth. There are 25 Natures a Pokémon can have, most causing one stat to get a 10% boost and another to lose 10%. For more, see Natures.

  • Original Trainer (OT): The original owner of a Pokémon, given by their selected in-game name. This isn't a particularly important characteristic, it's just a quick identifier for who gave you what Pokémon. The main issues someone finds in regards to "Is this my Pokémon or not" involves IDs. (See: "Trainer ID & Secret ID")

  • Physical: A move Class that considers the user's Attack and the target's Defense to calculate damage.

  • Pokémon (a.k.a. Pocket Monster): Pokémon are the creatures who live alongside us in the world of Pokémon: as partners, as pets, as friends, as family... Pokémon are the central creatures of all Pokémon games. By catching and training Pokémon, a Pokémon Trainer proves their might both in terms of raising Pokémon and in terms of strategy. It is every Pokémon Trainer's goal to one day beat all eight Pokémon Gyms in their region and then beat the Elite Four to become Pokémon League Champion. To do that, you must learn to understand your Pokémon in every possible way.

  • Power (a.k.a. "Base Power" or "BP"): This is the Power stat attributed to a move: the higher, the better for the user of the move. In online forums and such, the abbreviation "BP" is often used as a shorthand: this is not to be mixed-up with the currency BP! For the sake of ease, though, you'll never hear me say "BP" in reference to Base Power throughout this guide. Just be careful when elsewhere.

  • Power Points (PP): PP are like currency for the use of a Pokémon's moves; think of them as the MP from other RPGs like Final Fantasy. By using a move, you will use up 1 PP for that move, or 2 PP if your foe has the ability Pressure. When a move has 0 PP, it cannot be used; if all of your moves hit 0 PP, then the Pokémon is forced to use the move Struggle, which is relatively weak and damages the user heavily. PP-restoring items are generally in limited quantities throughout the game, almost never being buyable or not in any exorbitant amount, so conservation of these Ethers and Elixirs will be very much important come the latter half of the game.

  • Primal Reversion: For all intents and purposes, this is the same as a Mega Evolution: it just has a special plot connection with those that can use Primal Reversion (Kyogre and Groudon) because they are ancient and all that jazz. They nonetheless still need to hold a species-specific item (the Blue and Red Orbs, respectively). Other than these minor differences, the most important is that, while Primal Reversion is like Mega Evolution, Primal Reversions do not count towards the "only one Mega" counter. That is to say, you can use Primal Groudon and Mega Camerupt at the same time. In fact, you can have as many Primals as desired.

  • Priority: Each move in the game has its own "Priority" stat. Most moves are of a Priority of 0, but some are below or above that number. Pokémon using higher Priority moves will go first before those using lower Priority moves; if two Pokémon use a move of the same Priority, then their Speed will determine who goes first. Priority will even defy the warped turn order that Trick Room provides! The Move Priority section contains more info.

  • Rotation Battle: A battle between two people in which only one Pokémon is against another Pokémon: however, there are also two other Pokémon per side other than those fighting that each Trainer can instantly switch to per turn and still have them move. Under typical online battle rules and certain other rulesets, you must use four Pokémon total per side. This isn't the case for most in-game battles, though.

  • Same-Type Attack Bonus (STAB): When a Pokémon uses a move that is the same type as itself, the damage of the move is by default increased to 50% higher than normal. For example, Pikachu (an Electric Pokémon) using the move Thunderbolt (an Electric move) will deal 50% extra damage. This is a very significant boost and especially critical in the choice of moves a Pokémon will have. For example a super-effective move might do 120 HP of damage, which will only KO weak Pokémon HP-wise, but with STAB that move can be boosted to 180 HP of damage, which KO's the average Pokémon in competitive play!

  • Shiny: A Pokémon is Shiny if it just outright looks different from how it normally does. For example, Gyarados is blue but Shiny Gyarados is red; Sceptile is green but Shiny Sceptile is cyan; Kyogre is blue but Shiny Kyogre is pink. Shininess is exceedingly rare, usually a 1 in 4,096 chance in these games and it was 1 in 8,192 before the release of Pokémon X/Y in 2013. (There are exceptions.)

  • Shiny-Locked: By definition as under HG/SS standards (2010), any Pokémon in the game can be Shiny and generally all have an equal chance of being Shiny except in set situations. This has changed slightly with a set few Pokémon (since Black/White in 2011) so that these Pokémon cannot be Shiny without actually hacking the game. There are certain Pokémon cannot ever be legitmately Shiny, in other words. These Pokémon will have a Shiny sprite coded into the game, though, which means hackers can find these sprites; they are left there as placeholders such that, if the Shiny-locking process actually failed, the game wouldn't glitch up on the off-chance you did get that Pokémon to be Shiny. (Though it won't fail, trust me.) That's not to say a Shiny will not be removed from the list of Shiny-Locked Pokémon. For quite a while, Jirachi was also Shiny-Locked; however, Game Freak gave out Shiny Jirachis in Japan, which made Shiny Jirachi legal again, so long as it was from X/Y or from the Colosseum Bonus Disc. But, for all in-game purposes, unless the encounter was made possible by Game Freak through a download event of some sort that allows you somewhere else in the game, you will not be able to find these Pokémon as Shiny at all.

  • Single Battle: A battle between two people in which each only has one Pokémon out at a time. Under typical online battle rules and certain other rulesets, you must use three Pokémon total per side. This isn't the case for most in-game battles, though.

  • Special: A move Class that considers the user's Sp. Atk. and the target's Sp. Def. to calculate damage in most cases. The exceptions to this rule include various fixed-damage moves, Psyshock, and Psystrike, which will use the target's Defense.

  • Special Attack (Sp. Atk.): Special Attack is one of the stats a Pokémon can have. Special Attack will affect the damage dealt by certain moves: that is, special moves. Special moves are those that are designated as such by the game: you can use the Move List - Battle Details section to check whether a move is Physical, Special, or Status in Class. Special moves will use the user's Sp. Atk. and the target's Sp. Def. in most cases to calculate damage.

  • Special Defense (Sp. Def.): Special Defense is one of the stats a Pokémon can have. Special Defense will affect the damage dealt by certain moves: that is, special moves. Special moves are those that are designated as such by the game: you can use the Move List section to check whether a move is Physical, Special, or Status in Class. Special moves will use the user's Sp. Atk. and the target's Sp. Def. in most cases to calculate damage.

  • Speed (sometimes "Spd" or "Spe"): The Speed stat is, in its own way, the most relevant stat to competitive battling. Speed determines turn order in a very simple fashion: whoever has higher Speed goes first, and, if there is a tie in Speed, the two Pokémon tied will have equal chances of moving first. For example, a Pokémon with 210 Speed will almost always move before a Pokémon with 200 Speed; if two Pokémon have 200 Speed, then they are 50% likely to move first. However, this assumes that they are using moves of the same Priority. (See: "Priority")

  • Status (1): A move Class that does not deal direct damage. It instead says that the move will do something else, based on the move itself.

  • Status (2): Refers to a status condition that often inhibits the afflicted Pokémon; also known as an ailment. You should see the Status Ailments list for full details.

  • Switching In/Out: The act of choosing to switch out a Pokémon currently out with a different one in your party. Doing so has a number of consequences. When used, people usually do it one of several things. One is to eliminate stat changes, infatuation, and confusion, among a few other things from the Pokémon, which can be lethal if left unattended. Another is when the Pokémon is seen as likely to be attacked by a weakness-piercing attack and thus to switch to a Pokémon resisting that move rather than suffering death. For example, say you have Gyarados (Water/Flying) out versus Jolteon (Electric). Jolteon is fast and strong, and most importantly can learn Thunderbolt, which OHKO's Gyarados with ease due to the double-weakness to Electric plus STAB, resulting in 6x damage. By switching to a Ground Pokémon, however, you gain an important advantage and also avoid damage.

  • Technical Machine (TM): An item you can use to teach a Pokémon the move contained on the TM, if the Pokémon can learn it. There are 100 in all, so collect 'em all!

  • Tiers: Much like a number of other competitive games, Pokémon are divided into strategic tiers by a number of players. The most common system among Pokémon players is that set by Smogon (a Pokémon strategy website), which primarily runs out on a six-layer system, per the below. Keep in mind that all but Ubers and PU are based on the usage percentages of the Pokémon in question, and are not a statement as to strategic viability. Personally, some UU/RU Pokémon are actually really good (Porygon-Z comes to mind), but it's ultimately up to you. I honestly wouldn't include this tidbit myself - because the tiers are moreso about usage than strategy - but it's a big determinant for a number of people. Keep in mind that this bit is only up-to-date as of December 2014 and the tiers are likely to change in number, contents, or even name as time goes on.
    • Ubers: The top tier of the Pokémon system, often containing legendaries and a few others.
    • OU (Overused): Pokémon that are used a lot in the Pokémon metagame. Often very viable in strategy battles, but tend to use "cookie-cutter" strategies.
    • UU (Underused): UU Pokémon are not used a lot in the competitive metagame, but still can be very good if the team works well with it.
    • RU (Rarely Used): RU Pokémon are not used much, often due to a single detrimental stat (i.e. very low Speed) or extreme fragility in combination with a poor moveset. That's not to say they're not viable (again, usage percentages), but most are the kind you want to stay away from in the general metagame.
    • NU (Never Used): NU Pokémon are used very infrequently, usually because of a combination of poor stats in certain areas (such as being both fragile and slow) or a very poor movepool. Many can serve niche purposes, however.
    • PU: There's no official name for PU, but it's likely a wordplay on "pee-yew". PU Pokémon are the absolutely least used of all Pokémon (except non-fully-evolved Pokémon in most instances), often because of their extreme lack of strategic value that has its roots in a number of sources, particularly having a widespread set of counters in combination with poor stats to counteract these.

  • Trainer ID & Secret ID: If you check any Pokémon you yourself caught or check your Trainer Card, you'll notice that you have an ID. Everyone has an ID number attached to them, and there are 1,000,000 possible numbers (000000 - 999999). There is also a hidden or "secret" ID you cannot see. It is also randomized, is unlikely to be the same as your seen Trainer ID, and also ranges from 000000 to 999999. The use of two IDs helps to ward off hackers; it also helps to ensure that the odds of any two players getting the same two IDs (both Trainer and Secret) is 1 in 1,000,000,000,000 (one in one trillion chances). The uses of IDs are mostly in terms of breeding and EXP. growth. When breeding Pokémon whose two IDs (both Trainer and Secret) differ, you are more likely to get Eggs; when using a Pokémon of a different ID than yourself, you get more EXP. Those are the main things.

  • Trainer Shiny Value (TSV): Whenever you have an Egg in the Pokémon games, it is encoded with a specific, randomly-determined variable, usually referred to as a "Player Shiny Value" or "PSV". Each combination of a Trainer & Secret ID will also generate something different, called a "Trainer Shiny Value", or "TSV". When a player has an Egg whose PSV matches their own TSV, the Egg will hatch into a Shiny Pokémon. Some ways to abuse this over the years have arisen, though none are particularly active as of yet. The most recent is the Instacheck program, which was disabled a long time ago by an update to the game that was requisite for online play.

  • Triple Battle: A battle between two people in which each has three Pokémon out at the same time. Under typical online battle rules and certain other rulesets, you must use six Pokémon total per side. This isn't the case for most in-game battles, though.

  • Type: Every move in the game will have a type attached to it, and every Pokémon will have one or two types given to it simultaneously. Types are like elements in Pokémon: they determine what is super-effective or resistant to what. For example, you can see Fire moves doing lots of damage to Grass Pokémon, right? And also see how the same Fire-type move would likely deal less damage to a Water Pokémon? While not all type-effectiveness relationships are so simple, they are nonetheless important to learn! There are eighteen types in all: Normal, Fire, Water, Grass, Electric, Ground, Bug, Dark, Psychic, Ghost, Flying, Rock, Ice, Dragon, Fighting, Poison, Steel, and Fairy.

  • Vitamin: A particular type of used item. "Vitamins" is the general term for the items HP Up, Protein, Iron, Calcium, Zinc, and Carbos, which are items used on Pokémon to raise their EVs. (See: EVs, Effort Values)

  • Weather: Weather is a meteorological event that can occur on the battlefield, and has a number of beneficial effects to the point that certain teams as a whole will try to use this to their advantage. For full details on the effects of all weather and weather-like conditions, see the Weather/Field Effects section.