From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Gender is a concept introduced in Generation II, though touched upon in Generation I. In Gold and Silver Versions, most species were assigned a gender (male or female), and then, in Pokémon Crystal, a choice of male or female player characters became available for the first time. This feature allowed for Pokémon breeding, as well as introducing the concept of a Pokémon Egg to the series. Gender makes no difference in the stats of a Pokémon after Generation II, unless the two Pokémon are a different species entirely, such as Nidoran.
The Nidoran family is a special case in terms of gender. Introduced in Generation I, before gender was known for all Pokémon, Nidoran♀ and Nidoran♂ are considered separate species of Pokémon and indeed have many differences, from appearance to moveset. However, Nidoran♀ and Nidoran♂ Eggs have a 50/50 chance of hatching into either Nidoran♀ or Nidoran♂, confirming that they are related.
In a manner similar to Nidoran, Eggs produced by Illumise may hatch into Volbeat. While Latias and Latios are in the Undiscovered Group in the games, likely due to being legendary Pokémon, Latias have produced Eggs containing Latios in the anime, confirming that they are related. Mothim and Wormadam evolve from male- and female-gendered members of the same species.
Gender also allowed for many Pokémon to have unofficial male and female counterparts, as demonstrated below.
- Main article: List of Pokémon with gender differences
Generation IV premiered minimal differences in sprite between two Pokémon of the same species. For example, a male Raichu will have the full tail seen in previous games, while the female is missing the very tip of it.
Some Pokémon evolutions can only be obtained if they are of a certain gender:
Several Pokémon are also only of one gender, yet do not have an official or unofficial counterpart of the other, though Cresselia has a genderless counterpart.
This is a list of moves that are dependent on gender:
|| 15 (max 24)
|| If it is the opposite gender of the user, the target becomes infatuated and less likely to attack.
|| 20 (max 32)
|| If it is the opposite gender of the user, the target is charmed into harshly lowering its Sp. Atk stat.
| All details are accurate to Generation V games. For details that have changed between generations, please see an individual move's page. Target data assumes user is in the lower left.
This is a list of Abilities that are dependent on gender:
|| Cute Charm
|| Contact with the Pokémon may cause infatuation.
|| Deals more damage to a Pokémon of same gender.
| All details are accurate to Generation V games. For details that have changed between generations, please see an individual Ability's page.
Starting in Pokémon Crystal, players were given the option of choosing to play as a boy or girl Trainer at the start of the game. Since then, every game in the main series has included that choice.
In side games
Many side games in the Pokémon franchise allow the player to choose between a male or female player character as well.
- In Generation II, a Pokémon's gender was determined through its Attack IV. Due to this, unless a Pokémon was a member of an all-female species, such as Nidoran♀ and Smoochum, it could never have a maximized Attack stat, as female Pokémon were given the lower half of the IV range. This also caused the inability for a female Pokémon of a species with a gender ratio of seven males to one female—like the starter Pokémon and Eevee—to be Shiny, due to that also running partly off of the Attack IV. In Generation III this was addressed, with IVs no longer determining either of these, allowing for Pokémon species with two genders to have females with maximized Attack and simultaneously retain its chances of being Shiny.
- Although its English and French names suggest that it is exclusively male, Mr. Mime may be of either gender. This is due to the fact that it was given its name prior to the introduction of gender to the series.
- There are other Pokémon that have a similar scenario to Mr. Mime. For example, the names of Seaking, Kingler, and Slaking suggests that they are exclusively male due to the King in their name. However, they can be of either gender.
- Since Azurill has a different gender ratio than Marill and Azumarill, one in three female Azurill will be male after evolving into Marill, dependent on the personality value of the Azurill in question.
- In the international versions of Generation II, due to how the battlefield display is programmed, Nidoran♂ and Nidoran♀ have their gender icon shown twice, once in their name, and once after the level. This does not occur in the Japanese and Korean games, however, as the gender icon was present after all Pokémon's names due to the shorter character limit there. This was addressed in all later generations, which prevent the gender icon from showing up when an un-nicknamed Nidoran of either gender is on the field.