Double Battle

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This article is about the battle variation. For the battle mode found in the Pokémon Cable Club in Generation III or the Pokémon Communication Club Colosseum in Generation IV, see Double Battle (Battle Mode).

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A wild Double Battle in Generation V

A Double Battle (Japanese: ダブルバトル Double Battle), also known as a two-on-two battle, is a Pokémon battle featuring up to four Pokémon actively participating at once. Debuting in the games in Generation III, and featuring occasionally in the anime prior to this, they may feature anywhere between two and four Pokémon Trainers. A battle in which either side has more than one Trainer is a Multi Battle.

In the games

A wild Double Battle in Generation IV

In a Double Battle, two teams of two Pokémon face each other in battle. One Trainer may control both Pokémon on either side of the battle, or two Trainers may cooperate on one or both sides of the battle, each controlling their own Pokémon (meaning that anywhere from two to four Trainers may take part in the same Double Battle). At first, only specific Trainer classes, such as Sis and Bro and Sr. and Jr., would engage the player in Double Battles. However, from Pokémon Emerald to Generation V, two Trainers who see the player at the same time will engage the player in a Double Battle. If the player has only one conscious Pokémon, Trainer classes who will only engage the player in Double Battles will ignore the player and comment that the player should bring two Pokémon to battle them with; two Trainers who see the player at the same time will take turns battling the player in two Single Battles, with the second Trainer approaching and battling the player immediately after the first Trainer is defeated.

A Pokémon battle against a Trainer in Pokémon Colosseum
Vaporeon and Pidgeot fighting against Wingull and Wurmple in Mt. Battle in Pokémon XD

In Pokémon Colosseum all battles that the player participates in are battled as Double Battles, without exception. The only way to engage in a Single Battle in this game is to do so in battle mode. The player does, however, watch a Single Battle between Eagun and Skrub. In Pokémon XD, however, the first two battles to be had in the game, as well as one optional battle at the entrance to the Pokémon HQ Lab, are Single Battles, as are all wild battles.

A Multi Battle in Generation IV

In Generation IV, there are five situations where the player is accompanied by an NPC. In these situations, all wild Pokémon encounters will be Double Battles against two Pokémon. In such situations, it is impossible to use a Poké Ball to capture a Pokémon unless the other is knocked out first. The NPC Trainer will heal the player's team after every battle.

Generation IV also changes around the order of events slightly. Moves that target multiple Pokémon now resolve in order of the Pokémon's respective Speed stats. Pokémon are also now switched in to replace KO'd Pokémon at the end of a round of combat rather than immediately after a Pokémon is knocked out. While this affects Single Battles, the effect is more noticeable in Double Battles where it is now possible for a Pokémon's move to fail due to a lack of target if both of the opposing Pokémon are knocked out before the attacking Pokémon's turn comes. The change of battle mechanics this way now means that it is impossible, except with entry hazards, to KO a Pokémon that switches in to replace a Pokémon knocked out on the same turn.

In Generation V, many routes contain dark grass, in which the player has the ability to encounter two wild Pokémon at a time, initiating a wild Double Battle. Similar to the wild Double Battles of Generation IV, it is impossible to use a Poké Ball to catch a Pokémon unless the other Pokémon is knocked out first.

The HP of Pokémon will not be displayed numerically on the player's side in Generation III and Generation IV—only the bar will be shown to save screen space. The numeric amount of HP can be toggled with the Start button.

Effects on moves

Several different moves are made specifically for Double Battles, such as Helping Hand. Some others, such as Surf, can have noticeably different effects. Moves that hit multiple Pokémon have their damage reduced by 25%, unless all other Pokémon have fainted at that point.

The moves After You, Quash, Helping Hand, Ally Switch, Follow Me, Rage Powder, Aromatic Mist, and Hold Hands will have no effect if not used in a Double or Triple Battle.

The move Flame Burst takes away 1/16th of the maximum HP of the other Pokémon on the same team as the target Pokémon. This damage is not treated as an attack.

The move Acupressure, while in a Double Battle, can target the ally instead of the user.

This chart displays all moves that work differently in Double Battles.

Move targets

Any foe


All foes


All other Pokémon


All Pokémon




Self or ally





Me First Acid Boomburst Electric Terrain Ally Switch Acupressure Aromatic Mist Aromatherapy
Outrage Air Cutter Bulldoze Fairy Lock Follow Me Helping Hand Crafty Shield
Petal Dance Blizzard Discharge Flower Shield Rage Powder Happy Hour
Thrash Bubble Earthquake Grassy Terrain Heal Bell
Struggle Captivate Explosion Gravity Light Screen
Uproar Cotton Spore * Lava Plume Hail Lucky Chant
Dark Void Magnitude Haze Magnetic Flux
Dazzling Gleam Parabolic Charge Ion Deluge Mat Block
Disarming Voice Petal Blizzard Magic Room Mist
Electroweb Searing Shot Misty Terrain Quick Guard
Eruption Self-Destruct Mud Sport Reflect
Glaciate Sludge Wave Perish Song Safeguard
Growl Surf * Rain Dance Tailwind
Heal Block Synchronoise Rototiller Wide Guard
Heat Wave Teeter Dance Sandstorm
Hyper Voice Shadow Half
Icy Wind Shadow Shed
Imprison Shadow Sky
Incinerate Sunny Day
Land's Wrath Trick Room
Leer Water Sport
Muddy Water Wonder Room
Origin Pulse
Poison Gas *
Powder Snow
Precipice Blades
Razor Leaf
Razor Wind
Relic Song
Rock Slide
Shadow Down
Shadow Hold
Shadow Mist
Shadow Panic
Shadow Rave
Shadow Storm
Shadow Wave
Stealth Rock
String Shot
Struggle Bug
Surf *
Sweet Scent
Tail Whip
Toxic Spikes
Water Spout
Aside from moves which only affect the user, all other attacks only target one other Pokémon.

Effects on Abilities

Five Abilities are also adapted especially for Double Battles. These Abilities are:

  • Plus - If a Pokémon with Plus is in battle on the same side of the field as a Pokémon with Minus, its Special Attack will be boosted by 50%. In Generation V and beyond, the effect is also present if another Pokémon on the same side has Plus.
  • Minus - If a Pokémon with Minus is in battle on the same side of the field as a Pokémon with Plus, its Special Attack will be boosted by 50%. In Generation V and beyond, the effect is also present if another Pokémon on the same side has Minus.
  • Lightning Rod - If a single-target Electric-type move is used, it will be forced to strike the Pokémon with this Ability, regardless of the Pokémon originally selected as the target and regardless of the move's accuracy. Moves which target multiple Pokémon cannot be redirected. In Generation V and beyond, the move will raise the Special Attack of the Pokémon and deal no damage to it, unless the Pokémon is immune to the attack by nature of being a Ground-type.
  • Storm Drain - If a single-target Water-type move is used, it will be forced to strike the Pokémon with this Ability, regardless of the Pokémon originally selected as the target and regardless of the move's accuracy. Moves which target multiple Pokémon cannot be redirected. In Generation V and beyond, the move will raise the Special Attack of the Pokémon and deal no damage to it.
  • Telepathy - A Pokémon with this Ability will avoid damage from any moves used by its allies, whether they directly target it or target it as well as opponents.

In the anime

A Double Battle in the anime

While Team Rocket had conducted "illegal" Double Battles since the third episode, the first official Double Battle occurred in Pokémon Double Trouble. In order to win the Jade Star Badge, Ash had to defeat Luana's Marowak and Alakazam in a Double Battle. While Ash's Pikachu and Charizard were initially unwilling to cooperate, they eventually overcame it to win the battle.

After the release of Ruby and Sapphire, Double Battles were seen in the anime more often. The first took place in All in a Day's Wurmple. Forrester Franklin introduced the concept to Ash, and they had a battle that Ash won. As in the games, Ash's Gym Battle against Tate and Liza was a Double Battle. Additionally, in order to qualify for the finals of the Ever Grande Conference, competitors must win three Double Battles in the preliminaries. Double Battles also appeared in the seventh movie, Destiny Deoxys.

A Double Battle can also be conducted under Contest Battle rules; more specifically, the battling stage of every Grand Festival uses the Double Battle style. Additionally, with the introduction of Double Performances in the Diamond & Pearl series, Coordinators have to use two Pokémon in both the Performance Stage and the Battle Stage of Pokémon Contests following the format.

In Battling the Bully!, there was a pretend Double Battle between Mick and Glenn, both using borrowed Pokémon.

Ash battled Shamus, Tepig's former Trainer, in a Double Battle in Evolution by Fire!. During the battle, Tepig evolved, giving him enough power to earn victory for his new Trainer.

Serena battled Aria in a Double Battle in Battling with Elegance and a Big Smile!. During the battle, Serena's Fennekin evolved into Braixen, allowing her and Pancham to even the playing field. However, Aria had to cancel the battle because of an urgent phone call.

Ash battled Olympia in a Double Battle at the Anistar Gym in All Eyes on the Future!. The battle ended in Ash's victory, earning him the Psychic Badge.

In the manga

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Reason: The Electric Tale of Pikachu, images, other manga.

Doubles battles have been present in the manga long before the games. They have appeared several times in The Electric Tale of Pikachu and in the Pokémon Adventures' later arcs.

In the Pokémon Adventures manga

A Double Battle in Pokémon Adventures
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Specifically, it needs appearances in the HGSS chapter and onward.

Double Battles were formally introduced into Pokémon Adventures in the Ruby & Sapphire chapter, though multiple Trainers or Pokémon teaming up were common before. They first appeared in Adding It Up with Plusle & Minun I, when Ruby challenges a Plusle and a Minun. They later appear in On the Loose and Hyper With Zangoose and Seviper I when Ruby and the Swimmer are spotted by a Seviper and a Zangoose. In The Beginning of the End with Kyogre & Groudon I to The Beginning of the End with Kyogre & Groudon XIV, Kyogre and Groudon are fought in a Double Battle by several people as they try to calm down the storm that they created.

In the FireRed & LeafGreen chapter, two of the three returning lead characters fight between themselves in a Double Battle for the first time in the Battle Path of Ultima, and eventually result in a tie when they reach the destination at the same time (the platforms they fight on may push them forward or back depending on whether they're attacking or taking one).

Double Battles also make a few appearances in the Diamond & Pearl chapter. In A Skuffle with Skorupi, the two male main characters battle using a Torterra and an Infernape, while in Brash Bronzong I and Brash Bronzong II, they battle against Cyrus's Probopass and Magnezone in Mt. Coronet, but constantly lose the upper hand.

In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga

Double Battles appeared in The Electric Tale of Pikachu before they were formally introduced in the games.

In other languages

Language Title
The Netherlands Flag.png Dutch Dubbelgevecht
Finland Flag.png Finnish Tuplaottelu
France Flag.png French Combat Double
Germany Flag.png German Doppelkampf
Italy Flag.png Italian Lotta in Doppio
South Korea Flag.png Korean 더블배틀 Double Battle
Poland Flag.png Polish Dwuwalka
Portugal Flag.png Portuguese Batalha em Dupla
Russia Flag.png Russian Двойную битву Dvoinuyu Bitvu
Spain Flag.png Spanish Combate Doble
Sweden Flag.png Swedish Dubbel-strid

Pokémon battle variations
Double BattleMulti BattleTriple BattleRotation BattleHorde Encounter
Full BattleContest BattleLauncher BattleSky BattleInverse Battle
Battle modes

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