Contact (Japanese: 接触 contact) or direct attack (Japanese: 直接攻撃 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 with a move.
Contact is distinct from whether a move is physical or special in nature, but most moves that make contact are physical moves, while most special moves do not make contact; status moves do not make contact in any case.
The use of contact-based moves can trigger various Abilities of the foe, such as Cute Charm and Effect Spore. It can also trigger certain items, and can be used to spread Pokérus.
Hitting a substitute does not make contact with the Pokémon behind it.
While confusion damage is physical, it does not make contact.
Note that Ancient Power and Overheat make contact in Generation III only.