From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Contact or direct attack is a term used to describe the condition when one Pokémon in a battle physically touches the opponent in order to deal damage.
Up until Generation IV, moves that made contact could be either physical or special with damage dealing for moves that made contact depending on the move's type. However, since the distinction between physical and special are no longer based on type, most moves that make contact are physical. All status moves do not make contact. The use of contact-based moves can be affected directly by certain Abilities of the foe, such as Cute Charm and Effect Spore, and indirectly by certain attackers' Abilities, like Guts. The use of contact moves can also trigger several items. Contact can also be used to spread Pokérus.
List of physical moves that don't make contact
These are physical moves that do not make contact.
List of special moves that make contact
These are special moves that do make contact.
List of Abilities which have effects involving contact
List of items which have effects involving contact
|| Eject Button
|| Forces the holder to switch out when hit with a contact move.BWB2W2
|| Rocky Helmet
|| Damages the attacking Pokémon for 1/6 of their max HP on contact.
|| Sticky Barb
|| Damages holder each turn for 1/8 of their max HP. May transfer to attacker when holder is hit by a contact move.
- In all of the console games except Pokémon Battle Revolution, battle animations for moves that make contact don't show the attacking Pokémon hitting the defending one at all; however, in the handheld games, it differs from attack to attack.