Damage modification is a system of multipliers used to change the damage dealt in a battle. These modifiers affect how the damage is calculated by multiplying the move's base power in various ways. These modifiers range from doubling to halving and even negating the damage done.
Since each move has a type, its effectiveness is largely determined by the targeted Pokémon's type. Moves can have regular effectiveness or be super effective, not very effective, or not effective at all. The effectiveness of types against one another has varied among generations, see this page for its Generation I iteration and this page for the current model.
- "Super effective" redirects here. For the webcomic, see Super Effective (webcomic).
- "It's super effective" redirects here. For the podcast, see It's Super Effective (podcast).
- "Weakness" redirects here. For the TCG mechanic, see Glossary (TCG) → Weakness.
When a move is super effective, it inflicts double the damage it would normally do. For example, a move like Megahorn used against a Template:Type2 Pokémon will be super effective because Template:Type2 moves are super effective against Psychic-types. This effect can stack up; for example, a Pokémon that is Rock/Ground and is hit by a Template:Type2 move like Surf will be damaged four times as much by the move as a Template:Type2 Pokémon would be, because both Rock and Ground Pokémon are weak to Water moves.
Not very effective
- "Resistance" redirects here. For the TCG mechanic, see Glossary (TCG) → Resistance.
When a move is not very effective, or resistant, it deals half of the damage it would normally do. This works exactly like super effective moves, and can stack up. For example, a Steel/Rock Pokémon will be damaged by a quarter of the amount by a Template:Type2 move. Likewise, a Normal/Flying Pokémon hit by a Template:Type2 move will be damaged normally, as Normal's weakness to Fighting is canceled out by Flying's resistance to it.
When a move is not effective, it does not damage the Pokémon at all and that Pokémon is "immune" to all attacks of that type; the move will yield a message of "It does not affect the Pokémon", phrased in the present tense (whereas a move that simply missed yields "It did not affect the Pokémon", past tense). Certain types are also immune to specific status moves, such as Template:Type2 Pokémon being immune to the Template:Type2 Thunder Wave, or Template:Type2 Pokémon being immune to Leech Seed.
- "Critical hit" redirects here. For the video podcast, see It's Super Effective (podcast)#Other podcasts.
A move will sometimes inflict a critical hit against another Pokémon. This will double the damage done after type effectiveness calculations occur, or triple it if the Pokémon has the Sniper ability.
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Critical hits ignore stat modifiers, even if beneficial to the attacker. In this generation only, the probability of landing a critical hit is based on a Pokémon's base Speed. Specifically, for a normal move such as Tackle, the probability of landing a critical hit is:
Base Speed / 512
For example, Clefable, with a base Speed of 60, has roughly a 11.7% chance of landing a critical hit on a normal move. For moves with a high critical hit ratio such as Slash, the probability of landing a critical hit is:
Base Speed / 64
For example, Clefable, with a base Speed of 60, has roughly a 93.8% chance of landing a critical hit on a move with a high critical hit ratio.
If the result of the second formula equals or exceeds 100% (for Pokémon with a base Speed of 64 or higher), then the result is rounded down to 255/256 or about 99.6%.
Focus Energy and Dire Hit were intended to quadruple the critical hit rate, but due to a glitch, they instead have no effect if the user is faster than the opponent, or prevent the user from getting a critical hit (0/511 chance) if the user is slower than the opponent. This was fixed in Pokémon Stadium.
In Pokémon Stadium only, the probability of landing a critical hit with a move that does not have a high critical hit rate after using Focus Energy or a Dire Hit is:
Base Speed / 128
Generation II onwards
Starting in Generation II, the chance of a critical hit is no longer based on the Pokémon's speed, but rather the chance is the same for each Pokémon. Similar to stats, there are temporary in-battle stages used to calculate the probability a particular move will be a critical hit. The stages are as follows:
|Stage||Percentage of critical hit|
An attacking move will always start out in stage 1. There are several ways to increase a move's stage (and therefore, chance that it will be a critical hit), as detailed in the table below.
|+2||+2||+1||+1||Using a move with a high critical-hit ratio|
|+1||+1||+1||+1||Holding a Scope Lens|
|+1||+1||Holding a Razor Claw|
|+2||+2||+2||+2||Holding a Stick (if the Pokémon is Farfetch'd)|
|+2||+2||+2||+2||Holding a Lucky Punch (if the Pokémon is Chansey)|
|+1||+1||Having Super Luck as its ability|
|+1||+1||+2||+2||Being under the effect of Focus Energy|
|+1||+1||+1||Consuming a Lansat Berry (or being passed its effect)|
|+1||+1||+1||+1||Using Dire Hit on it|
|+2||Using Dire Hit 2 on it (Wonder Launcher only)|
|+3||Using Dire Hit 3 on it (Wonder Launcher only)|
Even if enough additions are obtained, there is no way for a move to be in a stage higher than 5; if the sum is greater, it will still only have a 50% chance of landing in a critical hit. The effects of Focus Energy, the Lansat Berry, and the several versions of Dire Hit cannot stack with themselves or each other. Additionally, if the move used is Storm Throw or Frost Breath, it will always result in a critical hit. On the other hand, if the target Pokémon has the ability Battle Armor or Shell Armor, or is under the effect of Lucky Chant, a move will never be a critical hit, no matter the stage.
When a move scores a critical hit, damage is calculated based on either the modified or unmodified attack and defense stats, whichever is more advantageous to the attacker. For example, an attacker who has used Swords Dance and then makes a critical hit will get the benefit of the increased Attack, while one affected by Charm will use its normal Attack score. Another example would be if a team had Light Screen or Reflect on it and the attacker scored a critical on the team with the certain wall; the defense added by the wall would then be ignored, and the attacker would do double damage. However, it does not ignore modifiers caused by items or abilities such as Eviolite, Defeatist, or Slow Start. Neither does a critical ignore the attack reduction caused by a Burn.
Same-type attack bonus
- Main article: Same-type attack bonus
A move used by a Pokémon that is of the same type as the move itself will do 150% of its normal damage, such as a Template:Type2 move used by a Fire-type Pokémon. Dual-typed Pokémon will receive this bonus for both of their types, and a Pokémon whose type can change in-battle will receive the bonus for whatever type they are when they make the move. Pokémon with Adaptability have this increased to 200% (an effective boost of ~33.3%).
- Main article: Weather conditions
Template:Type2 and Template:Type2 moves' damage will be modified by rain and sunshine. If Rain Dance causes a downpour, Water-type moves will do 50% more damage and Fire-type moves will do 50% less damage. If Sunny Day causes harsh sunlight, Fire-type moves will do 50% more damage and Water-type moves will do 50% less damage.
- Main article: Ability
Abilities come in a wide variety, and have various effects on damage modification. These affects range from increasing and decreasing the power of moves of a specific type, granting immunities, and even changing the power of moves affected by other damage modifiers. These abilities include:
- Blaze, Overgrow, Torrent and Swarm increase the power of Template:Type2, Template:Type2, Template:Type2 and Template:Type2 moves respectively by 50% when the user's HP falls below 33%.
- Guts will double the user's Attack if inflicted with a Burn, Paralysis, or Poison.
- Thick Fat decreases the damage dealt to the user by opponents' Fire-type and Ice-type moves by 50%. Heatproof decreases the damage dealt to the user by opponents' Fire-type moves by 50%.
- Levitate provides immunity to Template:Type2 moves and Soundproof provides immunity to sound moves.
- Volt Absorb and Water Absorb grant immunity to Template:Type2 and Template:Type2 moves respectively, healing the user's HP by 25% instead.
- Dry Skin works in part like Water Absorb, healing the user when hit with a Template:Type2 move, but it also heals the user by 6.25% each turn during rain. However, it also causes the Pokémon to receive additional damage from Template:Type2 attacks and lose 6.25% of its HP in damage during sunshine.
- Flash Fire negates the effect of opponents' Fire-type moves and instead increases the power of the ability's user's own Fire-type attacks. Similarly, Motor Drive negates the effect of opponents' Electric-type moves and instead increases the user's Speed by one stage. These abilities include status moves like Will-O-Wisp and Thunder Wave.
- Mold Breaker, Teravolt, and Turboblaze remove all ability-based immunities to the user's moves.
- Scrappy allows the user to hit Template:Type2s with Template:Type2 and Template:Type2 damage-dealing moves.
- Drizzle, Drought, Sand Stream and Snow Warning cause permanent rain, sunshine, sandstorm, and hail respectively.
- Adaptability increases the STAB multiplier for moves of the same type as the user from 1.5× to 2×.
- Hustle boosts the Attack stat of the user by 50%.
- Pure Power and Huge Power both double the user's Attack stat.
- Technician increases the power of the user's moves with base power 60 or less by 50%.
- Super Luck increases the user's critical hit ratio.
- Battle Armor and Shell Armor prevent critical hits being dealt to the user.
- Sniper increases the critical hit damage multiplier from 2× to 3×.
- Tinted Lens doubles the power of the user's moves that are not very effective.
- Solid Rock and Filter each reduce the power of super effective moves on the user by 25%.
- Wonder Guard gives the user immunity to all attacking moves that are not super effective.
- The moves Storm Throw and Frost Breath can cancel out the 50% damage if used on certain types due to the moves always resulting in a critical hit, and can cause 4×, 6× or 12× multipliers if used on other types.
- See also: Type-enhancing item
Some held items increase the power of an attack by a small percentage. Most of these items boost attacks only of a certain type by 20%. Some items can also modify damage by boosting the attacker's offensive stats or the victim's defensive stats. Some berries also weaken an opponent's super effective move.
Other held items that modify damage include:
- Muscle Band boosts physical moves by 10%
- Wise Glasses boost special moves by 10%
- Expert Belt boosts super-effective attacks by 20%
- Life Orb boosts the power of all attacks by 30% (at a cost of 10% HP per damaging move used)
- Metronome boosts the power of moves used repeatedly
A number of other variables can affect the amount of damage caused by an attack.
- If the attacker is burned and their ability is not Guts, their physical damage will be decreased by half.
- In a Double Battle, moves that hit multiple targets do 75% of the damage they do in one-on-one battles.
- Reflect and Light Screen decrease opponents' physical and special attacks, respectively, by 50% in a one-on-one battle and 33% in a Double Battle.
Every time a regular attack is executed, the actual damage caused is adjusted by a random multiplier - an integer percentage between 85% and 100%.
In Generations I and II, the random modifier does not have uniform probability for all percentages between 85 and 100. This is because the computer will generate a random number from 217 to 255 (217 is about 85.09% of 255), multiply it by 100, and then divide it by 255, to get the random number from 85 to 100 that the computer will divide by 100 to get the final adjustment.
As a result, the odd numbers from 85 to 89 and the even numbers from 90 to 98 have a 7.69% (3 in 39) probability of being chosen, while the even numbers from 86 to 88 and the odd numbers from 91 to 99 have a 5.13% (2 in 39) probability of being chosen. The number 100, the least probable number, has a mere 2.56% (1 in 39) chance of being chosen.
In all subsequent games, the random adjustment is determined by generating a 4 bit number (0 through 15). The computer then subtracts it from 100, and then divides the result by 100 to get the final adjustment. This results in the same integer percentage between 85% and 100%, with an even distribution of occurrence.
The damage dealt when a Pokémon uses a damaging move depends on its Attack or Special Attack stat, the opponent's corresponding Defense or Special Defense stat, and the move's base damage. In addition, the various circumstances explained above will also affect the damage dealt.
The damage formula is the following:
- Level is the level of the attacking Pokémon.
- Attack and Defense are the working Attack and Defense stats of the attacking and defending Pokémon, respectively. If the attack is Special, the Special Attack and Special Defense stats are used instead. Some moves, eg. Psystrike use other stat than usually move of this category would use (in case of Psystrike, it uses Special Attack and Defense).
- Base is the base damage of the attack.
- Modifier is calculated as follows:
- STAB is the same-type attack bonus. This is equal to 1.5 if the attack is of the same type as the user, and 1 if otherwise.
- Type is the type effectiveness. This can be either 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 depending on the type of attack and the type of the defending Pokémon.
- Critical is 2 for a critical hit, 1 otherwise. For Pokémon with Sniper, it is 3 for a critical hit.
- other counts for things like held items, field advantages, and whether the battle is a Double Battle or Triple Battle or not.
- rand is a random number from 0.85 to 1.00.
The result is rounded down as remainders are not kept. It is possible to do zero damage .
We then plug Modifier into the rest of the formula:
Garchomp is up next. Garchomp gets a critical hit (Critical = 2) on Earthquake, a physical Ground move with 100 base damage. With its Ice type, Glaceon is neither weak nor resistant to Garchomp's attack, so Type = 1. Garchomp is Dragon/Ground, so it receives STAB, making STAB = 1.5. Say that Garchomp is also holding an Earth Plate, which powers up Ground-type moves by 20%. Then Other = 1.2.
We insert the stats and Modifier in the formula and get:
We see that Garchomp's attack will do anywhere from 241 to 284 damage, which is more than enough to take the Glaceon out in one hit.
|This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.|