From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
A Multi Battle (Japanese: マルチバトル Multi Battle), referred to as a Tag Battle (Japanese: タッグバトル Tag Battle) in the anime, is a type of Double Battle in which two Pokémon Trainers team up against one or two others. Unlike regular Double Battles, there are no specific Trainer classes encountered for Multi Battles. Instead, two different Trainers must both see the player at the same time, starting from Emerald onward. For battles in the games' storylines, the player's opponents will usually only have three Pokémon each. However, Multi Battles occurring by being spotted by a pair of unrelated Trainers will occasionally lead to battles against more than six Pokémon. The player and their partner are only subject to such limitations in Battle Towers, allowing both to potentially send out six Pokémon.
In the games
Multi Battle mode
In Generation III, up to four players can battle with each other in a Multi Battle via Game Link Cable by choosing the "Multi Battle" mode in the Pokémon Cable Club Colosseum. Players decide which side to battle. This was the only way to have a Multi Battle in Ruby and Sapphire.
In Generation IV, the Pokémon Cable Club Colosseum was renamed to the Pokémon Communication Club Colosseum, but Multi Battles can still be conducted by selecting "Multi Battle".
In Generation VI, the player accesses Multi Battles with the Player Search System's Battle option. After selecting a connection type, the player must then change the number of players to four, and select three other players on the touch screen.
Pokémon Center Receptionist
- "Multi Battle is for four Trainers with one or more Pokémon each."
- "Each Trainer can have one Pokémon in battle at a time."
Since Pokémon Emerald, Multi Battles have been possible at various points throughout the games.
Since Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Multi Battles have been possible in battle facilities.
- In Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, in the Battle Tower during the Multi Battle mode the player can team up with either an NPC (including the apprentice in Pokémon Emerald) or a friend via Game Link Cable or Game Boy Advance Wireless Adapter (the latter in Pokémon Emerald only).
- In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, in the Battle Tower during the Multi Battle mode the player can team up with either another player via DS Wireless Communication or with one of the stat Trainers (Cheryl, Mira, Riley, Marley, and Buck). In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, these partner Trainers will only appear after the player finishes exploring with them in their areas.
- In Pokémon Black and White, in the Battle Subway on the Multi Train the player can team up with either another player via DS Wireless Communication or with Hilbert/Hilda.
- In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, in the Battle Subway on the Multi Train the player can team up with either another player via DS Wireless Communication or with Nate/Rosa.
- In Pokémon X and Y, in the Battle Maison during the Multi Battle mode the player can team up with either another player via 3DS Wireless Communication, an NPC avatar of another player on the player's Friend List, or with Tierno, Trevor, or Shauna.
- In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, in the Battle Maison during the Multi Battle mode the player can team up with either another player via 3DS Wireless Communication, Brendan (if the player is female)/May (if the player is male), Wally, Steven, and MaxieOR/ArchieAS.
In the anime
Ash and Dawn with Turtwig and Piplup, preparing for a Tag Battle
Tag Battles have been featured in the anime since the second episode, with Jessie and James initiating the first Tag Battle. At this time, Misty stated that Tag Battles were against the official league rules. Team Rocket continues to challenge the main protagonists in Tag Battles regularly.
Tag Battles have become more common in the anime as of the Advanced Generation series. Notably, on two occasions, Ash has paired up with two of his female companions. The first time was in The Bicker the Better, with May and The Champ Twins!, with Dawn. In both situations, Ash had gotten into an argument with his partner and ended up making up with them and becoming in sync with them during battle.
Ash and Brock have also been shown to work well together as a team, with Pikachu and Sudowoodo easily taking down a Snorlax/Munchlax husband/wife combination in A Full Course Tag Battle. In the same episode, May and Dawn teamed up and were also victorious in their Tag Battle. Bagged Then Tagged! also featured a Tag Battle, with Ash and Dawn defeating Lyra and Khoury.
Hearthome City has its own special competition known as the Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition. Trainer pairs are chosen randomly, with each Trainer receiving a card with a number on it and partnering with the Trainer whose number is paired with their number. Ash won this tournament paired with Paul, despite the two working very poorly together.
In Lost at the Stamp Rally!, Ash and Cilan fought in a Tag Battle against Ingo and Emmet, which Ash and Cilan lost despite fighting excellently. In Evolution Exchange Excitement!, Ash and Cilan battled and won against Bianca and Professor Juniper. Ash and Cilan also fought together in a Tag Battle against two brothers named Soren and Rocko in A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team! and managed to win here as well. In New Places... Familiar Faces!, Ash and Nanette battled against Iris and Cilan, though the battle was interrupted by Team Rocket in their attempt to capture Pikachu.
A special type of Tag Battle was introduced in Battling Into the Hall of Fame! known as a Team Battle, which consists of 3, 5 or 7 Trainers battling as a team using various types of formations. These battles usually occur when many Trainers get together, and are often accompanied with a strategy meeting which involve comparing personalities and skills of Pokémon while deciding on battle formations and battle-combo moves. In this episode, Ash, Serena, and Clemont were victorious against Shauna, Tierno, and Trevor in a Triple Tag Battle with Pikachu, Fennekin, and Chespin facing Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
Tag Battles were uncommon prior to Generation III and IV due to the fact that they hadn't been formally introduced yet, although multiple Trainers battling a single opponent (such as Sabrina vs. Red, Blue, and Green or Bill and Lt. Surge vs. Bruno) were common. The first true Tag Battle occurs when Gold and Crystal fought against Sham and Carl's two Pokémon together.
Much later, as with the then recently-released Emerald version which fully introduced this feature, the two protagonists of the Ruby & Sapphire chapter, named appropriately after the two games, would fight together against Archie and Maxie in both the Seafloor Cavern and after Groudon and Kyogre's return to their slumber. Silver and Yellow also fought against two opponents, but as Yellow didn't begin to attack until after the former was losing, it is dubious as to whether it can be called a true Tag Battle.
Several Tag Battles also occur during the Diamond & Pearl chapter, including those of two pairs fighting many opponents.
- When battling alongside Steven in Emerald, his Pokémon are shown to gain experience after the defeat of an opponent Pokémon. This does not happen to a partner's Pokémon in the Multi Battles of Generation IV.
- Having the player's party be defeated in the Multi Battle with Steven will cause the player to white out. This was also changed in Generation IV, where a white out will not occur until both the player's and the partner's Pokémon are all knocked out.
- The Multi Battle against Mars and Jupiter in the Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum games has the potential to be a twelve-on-six fight, due to Barry's full party. All other Multi Battles in the game have numbers that are more even.
- There are no battles in which the player character and a partner Trainer battle against a single opponent.
- In Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, when the player chooses either the Multi Battle or Super Multi Battle format in the Battle Maison, they can team with Maxie in Pokemon Omega Ruby or Archie in Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.