Transform (move)

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へんしん Transform
Type  Normal
Category  Status
PP  10 (max. 16)
Power  —
Accuracy  —%
Priority  {{{priority}}}
  • Does not make contact
  • Not affected by Protect
  • Not affected by Magic Coat
  • Not affected by Snatch
  • Not affected by King's Rock
Foe Foe Foe
Self Ally Ally
May affect anyone adjacent to the user
Introduced  Generation I
Condition  Smart
Appeal  3 ♥♥♥
Jam  0  
Can be repeatedly used without boring the Judge.
Condition  Smart
Appeal  1
Earn +3 if the Pokémon gets the lowest score.
Condition  Smart
Appeal  0  
Jamming  0  

Transform (Japanese: へんしん Transform) is a non-damaging Normal-type move introduced in Generation I.


Generation I

Transform changes the user's current type, current stats, current stat levels, current moves, current species, and current cry to that of the target's.

Each move copied by Transform will have 5 PP. With this in mind, if a Ditto encounters another Ditto in this game, both Ditto will continually Transform into each other, replenishing the 5 PP constantly and making the battle seemingly endless.

Transform does not copy the target's status ailments, level, current or maximum HP, base experience, palette colors, catch rate or the generic minimize image. The current stat changes due to Transform will be ignored by critical hits, because critical hits are based upon the Pokémon's original stats. Transform affects the user and not the target, so it is not affected by modification to the accuracy stat and evasion stat. However, Transform cannot be used on a target that is in the semi-invulnerable turn of a move such as Dig or Fly.

In-game, if a wild Pokémon uses Transform and is subsequently caught, it will become a Ditto, regardless of what species it originally was. It will then have all the stats and moves of a Ditto, except for its current HP, which will remain unaltered by this change.

In Stadium, Transform will not work if the target's current species is Ditto.

Generation II

Transform, if used by a Shiny Pokémon, will cause the Pokémon species transformed into to appear Shiny. Likewise, a normal Pokémon transforming into a Shiny target's species will appear as a normal version. A transformed Pokémon retains its original species for determining if it is boosted by Pokémon-specific stat-enhancing items, with the exception of Metal Powder, which uses the target's species.

Transform will now fail if used on an opponent who has already transformed. Wild Pokémon are now treated as their original species upon capture after transforming, rather than being treated as Ditto like in Generation I.

Generation III

Transform does not copy the target Pokémon's Ability.

Generation IV

Unlike Generations II and III, the user of the move instead copies the target's coloration and form; therefore, if the target is Shiny, then the user's transformed state will be Shiny as well. If Transform is used on a Spiky-eared Pichu, then the Pokémon who used it will transform into a Spiky-eared Pichu. If the alternate form requires holding an item, such as with Origin Forme Giratina or Arceus, and the Pokémon who used Transform is not holding the required item, the Pokémon will first transform to its target's current form, then immediately revert to the form dictated by the transformed Pokémon's held item; therefore, if it transforms into an Arceus but holds a Plate, it will first assume the target Arceus's form, then immediately change to the form corresponding to its Plate.

A transformed Pokémon retains its original species for determining if it is boosted by Pokémon-specific stat-enhancing items, with the exception of Metal Powder and Quick Powder, which use the target's species.

Generation V

Transform will fail if used on a Pokémon behind a Substitute or a Pokémon under the effect of Illusion. If Transform is used on an Origin Forme Giratina the Pokémon who used Transform will remain in Origin Forme even if it is not holding a Griseous Orb, instead of reverting to Altered Forme. If Transform is used by a Pokémon not holding a Plate or not holding the same Plate on an Arceus holding a Plate, the Pokémon will retain the target Arceus's typing and not revert to the type corresponding to its held Plate (or lack of one), but its own Judgment will depend on the Plate it actually holds.

Imposter, an Ability introduced in this generation, automatically causes the user to transform into the opponent.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon

When Transform is used, it merely takes the form of a random Pokémon on the dungeon's floor. It does not copy that Pokémon's moves, typing, Ability or stats, and has only 1 PP, leaving the user only the basic attack and Struggle left to use (unless the user knows moves other than Transform).


Games Description
Transforms the user into a copy of the target, including the type. All moves have only five PP each.
The user assumes the foe's guise.
RSE Alters the user’s cells to become a copy of the foe.
FRLG The user transforms into a copy of the foe with even the same move set.
Alters the user’s cells to copy the target.
The user transforms into a copy of the foe right down to having the same move set.
The user transforms into a copy of the target right down to having the same move set.


By leveling up

# Pokémon Type Level
132 Ditto Ditto Normal Normal -- -- -- -- -- '
151 Mew Mew Psychic Psychic 10 10 10 -- -- '
Bold indicates a Pokémon gains STAB from this move.
Italics indicates a Pokémon whose evolution or alternate form receives STAB from this move.


Because Transform takes on the exact form of the Pokémon transformed into, strange things can occur when a Pokémon uses the move to become another. Specifically, Pokémon with multiple forms cause the transforming Pokémon to behave oddly.

Gastro Acid

If the Pokémon that is Transforming has previously had Gastro Acid used on it and then subsequently uses Transform without switching out beforehand, the Pokémon that it transforms into will not regain its Ability, and thus will not change forms if the Ability of the Pokémon transformed into causes this.

Origin Forme Giratina

In Generation IV, when a Pokémon transforms into Origin Forme Giratina, they will retain this form only briefly, and then will revert to Altered Forme. This is because only Giratina can hold the Griseous Orb, which forces this form outside of the Distortion World. Note that if the player is able to have a Pokémon that can transform when battling Giratina for the first time in the Distortion World, that Pokémon will be able to retain its transformation into Origin Forme (due to being inside of the Distortion World).

In contrast, in Generation V, when a Pokémon transforms into Origin Forme Giratina, it will retain the Origin Forme.


In Generation IV, when a Pokémon transforms into Arceus, it will become Arceus in its Normal form, unless it is holding a Plate. Holding a Plate, the transformed Pokémon will at first take Arceus's current form, and then subsequently transform into the alternate form dictated by the Plate.

In contrast, in Generation V, when a Pokémon transforms into a Plate-holding Arceus, it will retain the Arceus's appearance and type, but Judgment will remain Normal unless the transformed Pokémon is holding a Plate itself, as the move copies the Plate's type rather than the holder's.

Transform loop

In Generation I if Ditto (or another Pokémon with only Transform) faces another Pokémon with Transform in a Trainer battle where neither Trainer has any items and no Pokémon besides the Pokémon with Transform, the battle will never end. This is because when Transform is used, the Pokémon will turn into its opponent, resulting in a Transform moveset of, again, only Transform. Since every time Transform is used, it gives the Pokémon using it the target's moveset with 5 PP each, Transform will continue to Transform into itself, restoring the PP every time it is used. Due to this, one will never reach a point where it can only use Struggle, unlike Wynaut and Wobbuffet in later generations who, although they too have no directly damaging moves, will eventually run out of PP and thus be able to use Struggle. This is likely why few Trainers have Ditto in the Generation I games.

This issue is not present in any other games because of a change in Transform mechanics: from Generation II onwards, it is not possible to Transform into a Pokémon that is the Transformation of another Pokémon.

PP restoration

While transformed, any attempt to use a PP restoring item on the moves acquired during transformation will fail. However, if the transformed Pokémon is holding a Leppa Berry, a copied move low on PP will be restored.



Main article: -- (move)

In Generation I, if a Pokémon transforms into another Pokémon that knows more moves and, while transformed, switches the position of the move in the slot of a legitimate move and one which should contain no move, after reverting to its original form, it will have access to the glitch move --.

Ditto glitch

Main article: Mew glitch

The primary method of the Mew glitch involves having a wild Ditto transform into the player's Pokémon, as this copies the Special stat, which is used to modify the species of Pokémon encountered.

Transform assumption glitch

In Generation I and II, any Pokémon that uses Transform is regarded as a Ditto in its new form; this means that if the player catches a Mew or a glitch Pokémon which has used the move Transform, or a Pokémon which has used Transform via Mirror Move, instead they will obtain a Ditto. Mew turning into Ditto was not an issue, because wild Mew could not have been be legitimately encountered. This system was later changed in Generation III, where wild Mew could be encountered.

Shiny Ditto glitch

Main article: List of glitches in Generation II

The Shiny Ditto glitch requires a game from Generation I and Generation II, but only has an effect on a Generation II game. In Generation I, if a Pokémon uses the move Transform while already transformed, after being caught it will retain the IVs of the Pokémon it transformed into. Due to Shininess being determined by IVs in Generations I and II, this allows the player to make a wild Ditto Shiny by having it use Transform while already Transformed; this can be accomplished by either having a Shiny Pokémon that knows Transform (Mew, certain glitch Pokémon, or another Ditto), or by teaching a Shiny Pokémon Mimic, then having the wild Ditto use Mimic on the move Transform. While Shiny Pokémon do not exist in Generation I, due to being determined by IVs, this Ditto will be Shiny when traded to Generation II.

Sketch glitch

Main article: Sketch glitch

In Generation II, if a Pokémon uses Sketch while transformed, it will permanently learn the Sketched move.

Transform held item glitch

Main article: List of glitches in Generation IV

In Japanese versions of Diamond and Pearl, if a Pokémon holding an item uses Transform and has its item stolen, as long as it does not faint before the end of the battle, both the transforming Pokémon and the thief will retain the item after the battle.

Mimic glitch

Main article: Mimic glitch

In Japanese versions of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, if a Pokémon uses Transform via Mimic then faints, it will keep the moves it learned via Transform.

Rage glitch

Main article: Rage glitch

In Generation IV, if a transformed Pokémon uses Rage and causes the message "Rage is building" to appear, then defeats or captures the opponent, the Pokémon will permanently learn the moves it knew while transformed.

In the anime

Duplica Ditto Transform.png Drake Ditto Transform.png Mew Transform.png Narissa Ditto Transform.png
Duplica's Ditto Drake's Ditto Mew Ditto One and Two
The user transforms into a copy of the foe right down to having the same move set.
Pokémon Method
User First Used In Notes
132 Ditto Ditto's body glows white, multicolored or yellow, then transforms into the opponent.
Duplica's Ditto Ditto's Mysterious Mansion Debut
Drake's Ditto Hello, Pummelo! None
Duplica's Mini-Dit Imitation Confrontation None
Brodie's Ditto Unfair-Weather Friends None
A wild Ditto Pikachu's Ghost Carnival None
Narissa's Ditto One Dealing With a Fierce Double Ditto Drama! None
Narissa's Ditto Two Dealing With a Fierce Double Ditto Drama! None
151 Mew Mew's body glows multicolored, then it transforms into any Pokémon.
Mew (M08) Lucario and the Mystery of Mew None

In the manga

In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga

In the Pokémon Adventures manga

In the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga

In other generations

Transform I.png Transform II.png Transform III.png Transform IV.png
Generation I RBY Generation I
Generation I
Generation II Generation II
Generation II
Crystal Generation III Generation III
Generation III
RS FRLG FRLGE Generation IV Generation IV
Generation IV
PtHGSS HGSS Generation V BW B2W2 Generation V
Generation V
Generation VI XY ORAS Stadium (Jap) Stadium Stadium 2 Colosseum XD Battle Revolution Battle Revolution
(alternative animation)
Battrio Mystery Dungeon PMD: Red and Blue PMD: Time, Darkness, Sky Rumble Rumble Blast


  • In the German version of the Generation II games, this move was renamed from Wandler into Verwandler. The reason for this is unknown. Even though the difference in meaning is minimal, this change was retracted in the following generations.
  • Transform is the only way to see the battle animation of Cherrim's Sunshine Form prior to Generation V, as Cherrim sent from a Poké Ball will always be sent out in Overcast Form, and Cherrim is not available in the wild in Generation IV. A Ditto that transforms into Cherrim, however, will play the animation of the alternate form if it escapes from a thrown Poké Ball.
  • With the help of Transform, Pokémon can legitimately have more than 510 total effort values: if the target has EVs in some stats beside HP and the Transform user has EVs in HP, after transforming the total number of its EVs can exceed 510 due to HP not being copied.

In other languages

Language Title
Mandarin Chinese 變身 Biànshēn
The Netherlands Flag.png Dutch Transformeer
Finland Flag.png Finnish Muuntautuminen
France Flag.png French Morphing
Germany Flag.png German Wandler
Verwandler (Gen II only)
Greece Flag.png Greek Μεταμόρφωση
Indonesia Flag.png Indonesian Transformasi
Italy Flag.png Italian Trasformaz.
South Korea Flag.png Korean 변신 Byeonsin
Brazil Flag.png Brazilian Portuguese Transformar
Serbia Flag.png Serbian Transformacija
Spain Flag.png Spanish Transformación

Project Moves and Abilities logo.png This article is part of Project Moves and Abilities, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on two related aspects of the Pokémon games.