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Critical hit

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This article is about the random event. For the video podcast, see It's Super Effective (podcast) → Related podcasts.

A critical hit (Japanese: 急所 weak point) is a random event that multiplies the damage of a damage-dealing move.

Generation I

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When a move lands a critical hit, the user's level will be doubled during damage calculation, which ends up approximately (but not quite) doubling the damage dealt. A more accurate formula for the multiplier is (2L+5)/(L+5) where L is the user's level; as a result, lower-leveled Pokémon have a smaller critical hit boost than higher-leveled Pokémon. For example, a level 5 Pokémon will inflict 1.5× the damage on a critical hit, while a level 20 Pokémon will inflict 1.8× and a level 95 Pokémon will inflict 1.95×.

Critical hits ignore the halved Attack from burn and all stat modifiers, even beneficial ones. This makes it possible for a critical hit to sometimes deal less damage than a non-critical hit, if the user has more than doubled their Attack/Sp.Attack or the target has more than halved their Defense/Sp.Defense.

In this generation only, the probability of landing a critical hit is based on a Pokémon's base Speed. For most moves, the probability of landing a critical hit is BaseSpeed / 512; for example, Clefable, with a base Speed of 60, has roughly a 11.7% chance of landing a critical hit under usual circumstances.

Moves with a high critical hit rate such as Slash are eight times more likely to land a critical hit, resulting in a probability of BaseSpeed / 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.

Focus Energy and Dire Hit were intended to multiply the critical hit rate by 4, but a glitch instead causes them to divide the critical hit rate by 4. This was fixed in Pokémon Stadium.

If a Pokémon is both under the effect of Focus Energy/Dire Hit and using a move with a high critical hit rate, then the multipliers (or divisors) will stack.

As with move accuracy, if the probability of landing a critical hit would be 100%, it instead becomes 255/256 or about 99.6%.

Generation II

Landing a critical hit now doubles the move's damage.

The probability of landing a critical hit is no longer based on the user's base Speed, but rather is based on a fixed formula for all Pokémon. Similar to stats, there are temporary in-battle stages used to determine the probability that a particular move will be a critical hit:

Stage Chance of critical hit
+0 1/16 (6.25%)
+1 1/8 (12.5%)
+2 1/4 (25%)
+3 1/3 (33.3%)
+4 and above 1/2 (50%)

An attacking move will always start out at stage 0, but there are several ways to increase a move's stage as detailed in the table below. An effect cannot stack with another effect in the same class, including itself.

Class Cause II III IV V VI
Attack Using a move with a high critical-hit ratio +2 +2 +1 +1 +1
Class Cause II III IV V VI
Hold item Holding a Razor Claw or Scope Lens +1 +1 +1 +1 +1
Holding a Stick (if the user is Farfetch'd) +2 +2 +2 +2 +2
Holding a Lucky Punch (if the user is Chansey) +2 +2 +2 +2 +2
Class Cause II III IV V VI
Ability Having Super Luck as its Ability +1 +1 +1
Class Cause II III IV V VI
Triggered Being under the effect of Focus Energy +1 +1 +2 +2 +2
Consuming a Lansat Berry (or being passed its effect) +2 +2 +2
Using Dire Hit on it +1 +1 +1 +1 +1
Using Dire Hit 2 on it (Wonder Launcher only) +2
Using Dire Hit 3 on it (Wonder Launcher only) +3

Note that it is possible for a Pokémon to acquire the effect of a Lansat Berry even if it is already holding another item, through the use of Baton Pass, Pluck, Bug Bite, or Fling.

When a move lands a critical hit, if the defender's Defense/Sp.Defense stat stage is equal to or higher the attacker's Attack/Sp.Attack stage, then all stat stages will be ignored, as well as the halved Attack from burn and the boosts from Light Screen and Reflect. For example:

  • If the attacker is using a Physical move, and is at +2 Attack (from Swords Dance) while the defender is at +1 Defense (from Defense Curl), neither stat stage will be ignored. A non-critical hit will inflict 4/3 times the usual damage while a critical hit will inflict 8/3 times. The same occurs if the attacker is at -1 Attack and the defender at -2 Defense.
  • If the attacker is using a Special move, and is at +1 Sp.Attack (from Growth) while the defender is at +2 Sp.Defense (from Amnesia), both stat stages will be ignored. A non-critical hit will inflict 3/4 times the usual damage while a critical hit will inflict 2 times. The same occurs if the attacker is at -2 Sp.Attack and the defender at -1 Sp.Defense.
  • If the attacker is using a Physical move while the defender is at +0 Defense with Reflect up, then a critical hit at +0 Attack will ignore Reflect and inflict 2 times the usual damage, but a critical hit at +1 Attack will not ignore Reflect and will inflict only 1.5 times the usual damage.

Generation III-V

When a move lands a critical hit, the attacker's negative stat stages will be ignored while the defender's positive stat stages will be ignored, as well as the boosts from Light Screen and Reflect. Other stat modifiers, such as burn, Eviolite, Defeatist, the Sp. Defense boost that Rock types get under Sandstorm from Generation IV onwards, or Slow Start will not be ignored. For example:

  • If the attacker is using a Physical move, and is at +2 Attack (from Swords Dance) while the defender is at +1 Defense (from Defense Curl), then a critical hit will ignore the Defense boost but not the Attack boost. A non-critical hit will inflict 4/3 times the usual damage while a critical hit will inflict 4 times. The same occurs if the attacker is at -1 Attack and the defender at -2 Defense, with the Attack drop being ignored but not the Defense drop.
  • If the attacker is using a Special move, and is at +1 Sp.Attack (from Growth) while the defender is at +2 Sp.Defense (from Amnesia), then a critical hit will ignore the Sp.Defense boost but not the Sp. Attack boost. A non-critical hit will inflict 3/4 times the usual damage while a critical hit will inflict 3 times. The same occurs if the attacker is at -2 Sp.Attack and the defender at -1 Sp.Defense, with the Sp.Attack drop being ignored but not the Sp.Defense drop.
  • If the attacker is using a Physical move at +1 Attack while the defender is at -2 Defense with Reflect up, then a critical hit will ignore Reflect but nothing else. A non-critical hit will inflict 1.5 times the usual damage, while a critical hit will inflict 6 times.

The moves Storm Throw and Frost Breath will always result in a critical hit. A move that targets a Pokémon with the Ability Battle Armor or Shell Armor, or one under the effect of Lucky Chant, will never result in a critical hit (including the aforementioned two moves).

If a Pokémon with the Sniper Ability gets a critical hit, the damage dealt will be multiplied by an additional 1.5, resulting in triple the usual damage.

All other mechanics are identical to Generation II.

Generation VI

A critical hit now multiplies damage by only 1.5 rather than 2. The Sniper Ability still multiplies damage from a critical hit by 1.5, resulting in 2.25 times the usual damage. In addition, the probabilities for each critical hit stage have been modified, greatly increasing the likelihood of a critical hit for stages +2 and above:

Stage Chance of critical hit
+0 1/16 (6.25%)
+1 1/8 (12.5%)
+2 1/2 (50%)
+3 and above Always (100%)

All other mechanics are identical to Generations III-V.

In other languages

Language Title
France Flag.png French Coup critique
Germany Flag.png German Volltreffer
Italy Flag.png Italian Brutto colpo
Spain Flag.png Spanish Golpe crítico

See also


Project Games logo.png This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.