From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Recalling (Japanese: ポケモンチェンジ Pokémon change) a Pokémon is taking it out of battle. It is also referred to as withdrawing, switching out, returning, and retreating.
In the games
There are several methods of recalling Pokémon in the games.
If one of the player's Pokémon faints in a battle against another Trainer, it must be recalled. If it faints in a battle with a wild Pokémon, there is also the option of fleeing. If fleeing fails, another Pokémon must take the first one's place. Trainers can voluntarily recall their Pokémon by selecting another in their party to take its place. Moves such as Whirlwind, Roar, and Dragon Tail cause the target to be forcibly recalled; U-turn, Volt Switch, and Baton Pass let the user return to the party. Unless the Pokémon has been fainted, it will be eligible to return to battle later.
Just as moves exist that can cause a Pokémon to be recalled, there exist those that prevent recall. Mean Look, Spider Web, and Block (among others) prevent a Pokémon from leaving battle, as do the Abilities Shadow Tag and Arena Trap. These traps can be countered by moves that allow escape, or alternatively an Ability such as Run Away.
Electing to recall a Pokémon has a priority of +6. This means it will come before all moves, except Pursuit if used on an opponent switching out and Helping Hand when used by a faster Pokémon with the Ability Prankster. If a Trainer recalls his Pokémon during the middle of a battle, the new one will "lose" a turn; this is because switching is the Trainer's move for that round of battle. However, if a Pokémon faints, no turn will be lost when the new Pokémon is sent out.
Experience will be fairly divided among Pokémon that participated in a battle against an opponent that has not switched out (variations may exist due to experience-affecting items, being traded, and, in Generation V, Pokémon gaining more experience the larger the level difference). Pokémon that faint do not gain any experience; however, if they are revived before the Pokémon they fought is defeated or switches out, they will still gain experience.
In Single Battles against non-player character Trainers (excluding Battle Tower Trainers), if the Battle Style in the Options menu is set as "Shift", the player is given the option to recall after one of the opponent's Pokémon is defeated, with a notification of what the opponent's next Pokémon will be. The new Pokémon will not lose a turn, and experience will not be shared. In Double Battles or Triple Battles, or if the "Set" is selected as the Battle Style, this choice is not present.
By use of Baton Pass, a Pokémon can pass all of its stat changes, such as raised Defense, to another. Various volatile status ailments and conditions, such as Substitute and confusion, are also passed. The newly sent out Pokémon still loses a turn.
In the anime
In the anime, if the Trainer does not send out a replacement Pokémon, he or she must forfeit the match (although running from battles is illegal in the games).
It appears as though a Pokémon can actually refuse, or even dodge a Trainer's recall command. While this usually is a result of disobedience, it can sometimes be a sign that the Pokémon is concerned for its Trainer, such as in Snow Way Out!, or another person or Pokémon, as seen in Cottonee in Love!.
In the TCG
- Main article: Retreat cost
This is a list of cards in the TCG related to switching.