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Reason: Should cover the franchise-wide concept of a Pokémon Trainer's party, as well as a Pokémon's summary.
A party or team (Japanese: 手持ちポケモン Pokémon on hand) is a group of up to six Pokémon that a Trainer carries with him or her.
After this team of six is filled, newly-acquired Pokémon are sent to a PC to be stored. Trainers may have any Pokémon in their party, and newly captured Pokémon will automatically fill empty slots in the party. If a Trainer wishes to change Pokémon into or out of the party, he or she can; however, they must travel to a Pokémon Center or another PC-enabled place and use its Pokémon Storage System to do so.
In the games
The interface used to manage a player's party is known as the Pokémon List (Japanese: ポケモンリスト Pokémon List).
When entering a Single Battle, the first Pokémon that has not fainted in the party list is the one that will be drawn first. For Double Battles, the first two Pokémon that have not fainted in the party list are the ones that will be drawn first by the Trainer. Likewise, the first three Pokémon that have not fainted in the party will be sent out first when entering a Triple Battle or Rotation Battle. If there are not enough conscious Pokémon to battle, then the player will simply be unable to participate in the battle. During battle, if "Shift" is selected in Options, Trainers can switch the participating Pokémon with another in the party when one of the opponent's Pokémon are defeated. This is not the case during Double Battles, Triple Battles, Rotation Battles, the Battle Tower, and other similar areas.
Outside of battle
All Pokémon in a Trainer's party will slowly gain trust towards him or her as the Trainer walks around. Every 256 steps, the party Pokémon gain friendship. Also, if there is an Egg in the party, it will slowly hatch according to steps taken. Different Eggs take different amounts of distance, but to hatch they must be in the party. Eggs cannot participate in battle, therefore a Trainer may only carry a maximum of five Eggs at a time.
Some Abilities have an out-of-battle effect, and these can only be activated if they are in a Trainer's party. Most of these Abilities only work outside of battle when the Pokémon with the Ability is leading the party.
If any Pokémon in the party are suffering from Pokérus, it can spread along the party, including Eggs. However, Pokémon in the party will recover from Pokérus after midnight.
Viewing the party in the menu will display their name, icon, current HP, status condition, and level in all games.
In the Generation I games, there was no gender*, and so this is absent. Also, on the Pokémon Summary screens, there are only two screens: Stats, and Moves. The Moves section only shows the name, and the PP of each move. The icons were extremely limited, and the only Pokémon that had its own, unique icon was Pikachu (in Pokémon Yellow only).
In Generation II, color was introduced, along with gender, and both can be seen on the party screen. However, the icon range was still low, though higher than in Generation I. The Moves section of the summary allowed switching orders and power to be shown along with type. PP was still visible, and the party screen itself kept the same format. In Pokémon Crystal, some Pokémon got unique party sprites, such as Snorlax.
In Generation III, the party screen was overhauled, now with the first Pokémon on the left. Each and every Pokémon had its own unique icon, and all in color. The Pokérus status is visible on the party, unless another status condition is present. The Moves section is again updated, with a page for Pokémon Contest moves, another for the moves when used in battle. The battle moves now show accuracy, power, type, and added effects. However, Shiny Pokémon do not show the alternate colors in the party screen.
In Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, the party screen is changed again, showing the party Pokémon from left to right and top to bottom. All other things stay similar, with unique icons, but it adds condition to the summary pages. The party can also be viewed through the Pokétch, to see either HP and items, or friendship.
In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the party screen is essentially the same as in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, however, it is moved to the bottom screen. The Pokémon that leads the party follows the player around, like the Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow.
In Black and White Versions, the party screen is now fully able to interact with the Nintendo DS's touch screen, by being placed on the bottom of the screen. It functions similarly as it did in previous games. The player can view the back sprite of a Pokémon by tapping it while viewing information on it. Sliding the stylus up and down or left and right causes the Pokémon to jump, and drawing circles around the Pokémon makes it levitate.
In X and Y, the party screen is almost the same except Pokémon in party are now always jumping unless fainted, in which fainted Pokémon just sit still, all Pokémon have updated their unique icons, sprites were replaced by models (players can no longer view the back but by tapping it causes it to perform one of the Pokémon's species-based attack animations instead), can move from one Pokémon to another by sliding the stylus or tapping the Poké Balls located on the right of the summary screen, can move from one item to another by sliding the stylus and no longer drawing circles around the Pokémon to levitate.
Additionally, Pokémon with field moves display an icon like that of a TM or HM that opens the Pokémon option list with the field moves expanded, Pokémon can be switched by touching a Pokémon until it detaches from the grid or by touching a swap button and using either quicker drag-and-drop or button navigation and items can be moved more easily by pressing an item swap button. Both the item swap and the Pokémon swap must be disengaged using the back icon or B button before the menu can be closed. The party Pokémon can be seen and interacted with by using both Pokémon-Amie and Super Training, but the party order is not affected by them.
In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the contest move effects page returned, with contest condition displayed on the upper screen.
In the anime
's party in the anime
In the Pokémon anime, Trainers can only carry six Pokémon at a time just like in the games. However, unlike in the games, it is possible for Trainers to carry an Egg while they have a full party of six Pokémon with them. This was seen in the original series when Ash traveled with his Larvitar while he had a full party already.
In this canon, battles between Trainers usually involve each person using the same number of Pokémon. For example, in most Gym battles, both Gym Leaders and challengers use three Pokémon. There is also a battle variation known as a Full Battle, in which both Trainers are required to use six Pokémon. In Pokémon Showcases, Performers are allowed to use six Pokémon while delivering a Freestyle Performance, although this was never shown.
In the manga
In Pokémon Adventures, there are technically no limits to how many Pokémon a Trainer can have on hand beyond what the Trainer can physically carry. However, Trainers are still limited to a maximum of six Pokémon for official battles, such as in the Pokémon League. In A Flaaffy Kerfuffle, it is explained by Professor Oak that the Pokémon Association determined six to be the ideal maximum at which a Trainer could give all Pokémon on hand sufficient care and attention.
The concept of a full party of six Pokémon is mentioned in Besting Buizel II, where Crasher Wake recommends to Pearl that he capture an additional two Pokémon to fill out his team of four, before he confronts Team Galactic. Pearl reveals his full team by the end of the following round, Cleaning Up Grimer.