Swipe moves, also called multi-hit moves, are moves that strike an opponent more than one time in the same turn. Most swipe moves will hit the opponent 2-5 times in a turn, but some work differently. Swipe moves generally have low base power and imperfect accuracy to compensate for the fact that they hit multiple times. Bide and Counter only take the final hit of a swipe move into consideration.
Swipe moves stop instantly upon breaking an enemy Substitute. If an opponent is knocked out by a swipe move, the game does not state how many times the attack hit. Only the first hit of a swipe move could be a critical hit, but in such an event, all subsequent hits would also do double damage.
The game now states how many times a swipe move hit if it knocked out an enemy. If a Pokémon's Focus Band activates against a hit of a swipe move, all subsequent hits will not knock it out. The King's Rock will take each hit into consideration when determining whether or not the opponent will flinch. Each individual hit of a swipe move has its own chance of being a critical hit, and if the first hit is a critical hit, it no longer makes subsequent hits deal that much damage.
Pokémon with abilities that rely on the opponent making physical contact can activate on each hit of a swipe move that makes contact.
If a swipe move breaks a Substitute (and didn't use the last hit to break it), the move continues, striking the Pokémon that was behind the Substitute. A Focus Sash activated by a swipe move will protect the holder from the rest of the attack. Pokémon with the Skill Link ability are guaranteed that any 2-5 hit swipe move they use will hit the full five times. The Razor Fang will take each hit into consideration when determining whether or not the opponent will flinch.
The Focus Sash and Focus Band no longer protect the holder against multiple hits of a swipe move (unless the Focus Band activates multiple times). The newly upgraded Sturdy only activates against one single hit of a swipe move (provided said hit would have knocked out the target and that said target was at full HP to begin with). The ability Weak Armor is activated by each hit of a swipe move. The newly upgraded ability Stench will take each hit into consideration when determining whether or not the opponent will flinch.
List of swipe moves
2-5 hits per turn
Most swipe moves have a chance to hit an opponent two, three, four, or five times in one turn. These moves have better odds of hitting fewer times, but will always have the maximum of five hits when used by a Pokémon with Skill Link.
|Number of hits||Chance of happening|
|Arm Thrust||15||100%||Until Generation V, was the signature move of Makuhita and Hariyama.|
|Barrage||15||85%||Signature move of Exeggcute and Exeggutor.|
|Bone Rush||25||90%||Until Generation IV, was a signature move of Cubone and Marowak.|
|Icicle Spear||25||100%||Prior to Generation V, was the signature move of Shellder.|
|Tail Slap||25||85%||Signature move of Minccino and Cinccino.|
2 hits per turn
Several swipe moves hit an opponent exactly twice in one turn. For the most part, these moves are found on fewer Pokémon, several of them being signature moves, and generally have higher power than other swipe moves, as they only hit twice.
|Bonemerang||50||90%||One of the signature moves of Cubone and Marowak|
|Double Hit||35||90%||Required for Aipom to evolve into Ambipom.|
|Gear Grind||50||85%||One of the signature moves of Klink, Klang, and Klinklang.|
|Twineedle||25||100%||Prior to Generation V, the signature move of Beedrill.|
1-3 hit(s) per turn
Triple Kick works differently from other swipe moves. It will hit an opponent three times in one turn, but its base power (10 originally) will increase by 10 with each hit. However, unlike other swipe moves, each hit has its own accuracy check, and once one hit misses, the entire move is ended.
|Triple Kick||10||90%||Signature move of Hitmontop.|
- DoubleSlap is the only swipe move with "double" in its name that can hit 2-5 times.
|This article is part of Project Moves and Abilities, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on two related aspects of the Pokémon games.|