From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
displaying her moveset; three of her moves have been partially depleted in battle, while one move still retains all of its PP.
Power Points (Japanese: パワーポイント Power Points), or PP for short, are the energy that a Pokémon requires in order to perform a move.
In the games
Power Points have existed in every generation. It costs 1 PP to use a move (barring the influence of the Pressure Ability), so the PP a move has remaining is essentially equivalent to the number of times that move can be used. Each move is assigned a base Power Point value that is either 1 or a positive multiple of 5, up to 40. In general, weaker moves learned at lower levels will have higher PP, while more powerful moves or moves learned at higher levels will have lower PP. PP can be fully restored by healing one's Pokémon at a Pokémon Center, and effectively act as a method to encourage players to use them even if they take little or no damage.
When a move is learned, including through methods such as using TMs or HMs, its PP will automatically be set to the base PP value, allowing it to be used immediately. However, in Generation V only, when a move is replaced with a TM or HM move, the new move's remaining PP will be set to the remaining PP of the replaced move (unless the new move's base PP is lower). This was to prevent TMs and HMs from being a method to repeatedly replenish PP at no cost, as TMs were first made reusable in that generation. In Generation VI, this behavior was reverted, and using a TM or HM to overwrite a move will set the newly learned move to its usual base PP though TMs and HMs are still reusable.
When the PP of a move has been depleted, the Pokémon will no longer be able to use that move until PP is restored. When all of a Pokémon's moves' PP have been depleted, ordering it to attack will result in the Pokémon using Struggle, a move that deals great damage to itself and minimal damage to the opponent.
All moves that target a Pokémon with Pressure use two PP per use instead of one, causing them to deplete their PP faster. A move that has only 1 PP remaining will execute as normal in these situations. Moves that do not target the Pokémon with Pressure, such as status moves which target the user, deplete as normal. Pressure will also not activate if the Pokémon with Pressure targets itself.
A move that can be used outside of battle, such as Dig or one of the many HM moves, will be able to be used outside of battle regardless of its PP on the field, and will not subtract PP for its overworld uses.
Upon using Transform, all copied moves will have 5 PP (unless the maximum PP is less than 5, in which case the PP will be that lower maximum).
Some moves, especially the Shadow moves of Pokémon Colosseum and XD, have no PP value, giving them effectively infinite PP.
In Generation I, all AI opponents had unlimited PP.
All moves, except those which have a base PP of 1, can have their usability increased using a PP Up or PP Max. PP Ups boost the move's PP by 20% of the original value per PP Up, and can be used up to three times on the same move. PP Maxes boost a move's PP by 60% of the original value and can only be used once, counting as 3 PP Ups. If a PP Max is used on a move that has already been boosted by a PP Up, it will boost the PP to whatever the maximum would be, serving as two PP Ups if one has already been used, and as one if two have been.
PP can be restored using Elixirs and Ethers, with the plain Ether restoring 10 PP for one move, Max Ether restoring full PP for one move, plain Elixir restoring 10 PP for all of a Pokémon's moves, and Max Elixir restoring full PP for all of a Pokémon's moves. The PP of all party Pokémon's moves will be fully restored when they are healed at a Pokémon Center, while the PP of individual Pokémon will be restored if they are deposited into the PC (Generation II onward).
PP can also be restored using Leppa Berries, which restores 10 PP for one move, the Berry equivalent of Ether.
A Pokémon switched in after a Pokémon has used Lunar Dance will have its PP fully restored.
Base value alteration
In Generations I and II, the maximum PP of a move that began at 40 PP would be 61, likely due to a lack of data space; this is fixed from Generation III onward, increasing the maximum to its 'proper' value of 64.
Between Generations, the base PP of several moves, such as Recover and Giga Drain, was altered. If PP Ups had been used on one of these moves in a previous, this is carried over to later Generation, with the PP Ups now boosting based on the new value, rather than the old. For example, a Pokémon with Giga Drain with 2 PP Ups used on it in Generation III, having 7 PP for that move, would have 14 PP when transferred to Generation IV.
A notable glitch found in Generation I allowed struggling to be avoided by allowing the game to self-select a move to be used, which could happen to any move used immediately after a Pokémon was defrosted, or due to a handful of moves' effects (Bind, Clamp, Fire Spin, Hyper Beam, Metronome, Mimic, and Wrap) because of the auto-selection involved with partial trapping moves. A move used with 0 PP in this way would underflow to the maximum possible value, 63 PP, and, due to the way the data is structured, a move that 0 PP Ups had been used on would gain full PP Up status, while those on which PP Ups had been used would lose one PP Up boost. This glitch was addressed in Generation II games and later, which prevent a move from being executed as well as selected if it has 0 PP.
In the anime
While, like other stats, PP has not been directly referenced by the anime, many Pokémon have been seen to have trouble using a specific move repeatedly, such as Ash's Pikachu's increasing weakness using Thunderbolt on Mewtwo's Poké Balls as they chased him down. Pokémon also get visibly exhausted over the course of a battle, even if they don't take any hits. In Promoting Healthy Tangrowth!, Brock even straight out said that there is a limit to how many times Ash's Grotle would be able to use Synthesis.
In the manga
being incapable of using Thunder due to Pressure
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
While PP is almost never mentioned by name in Pokémon Adventures, the effect of losing all PP of a move has been displayed a number of times:
- As shown in several Capsule Monsters sketches, Pokémon were originally planned to have a stat called TP, presumably short for Technique Points, with each move requiring a certain amount of TP to use.