Critical hit

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This article is about the random event. For the video podcast, see It's Super Effective (podcast) → Related podcasts.
Rinto's Gallade taking a critical hit from Fury Cutter

A critical hit (Japanese: 急所 pressure point) is a (generally) random event that multiplies the damage of a damage-dealing move. When one occurs, the game will display the message "A critical hit!" (Japanese: 急所に 当たった! Hit a pressure point!) after the damage is dealt.

Generation I

Damage

When a move lands a critical hit, the attacker's level will be doubled during damage calculation, which approximately (but not quite) doubles the damage dealt. A rough approximation for the damage multiplier is where L is the attacker's level; as a result, lower-leveled Pokémon have a smaller critical hit boost than higher-leveled Pokémon. For example, a level 5 Pokémon will inflict about 1.5× damage on a critical hit, while a level 20 Pokémon will inflict 1.8× and a level 95 Pokémon will inflict 1.95×.

Critical hits ignore all stat stage modifiers and the halved Attack from burn. This includes beneficial stat modifiers as well, making it possible for a critical hit to deal less damage than a non-critical hit if the attacker has at least doubled their Attack/Special or the target's Defense/Special is at least halved.

Probability

Whether a move scores a critical hit is determined by comparing a 1-byte random number (0 to 255) against a 1-byte threshold value (also 0 to 255). If the random number is strictly less than the threshold, the Pokémon scores a critical hit. For a given threshold value , the probability of scoring a critical hit is .

If the threshold would exceed 255, it instead becomes 255. Consequently, the maximum possible chance of landing a critical hit is 255/256. (If the generated random number is 255, that number can never be less than the threshold, regardless of the value of the threshold.)

Core series

In the Generation I core series games, the threshold is normally equal to half the user's base Speed. If the move used has a high critical-hit ratio (Crabhammer, Karate Chop, Razor Leaf, or Slash), the move is 8 times more likely to be a critical hit (up to a maximum of 255/256). If the Pokémon has used Focus Energy or a Dire Hit, due to a bug, the user is 1/4 as likely to land a critical hit.

The threshold has the following values, depending on the move used and whether the user is under the effect of Focus Energy or a Dire Hit. The probability of landing a critical hit is simply these values divided by 256.

Threshold
Normal move High critical-hit ratio move
Normal status
Focus Energy

Pokémon Stadium

In Pokémon Stadium, the threshold is normally equal to 19 plus one quarter of the user's base Speed. If the move used has a high critical-hit ratio (Crabhammer, Karate Chop, Razor Leaf, or Slash), the move is 8 times more likely to be a critical hit (up to a maximum of 255/256). If the Pokémon has used Focus Energy or a Dire Hit, the user is more likely to land a critical hit (the exact increase is slightly complicated).

The threshold has the following values, depending on the move used and whether the user is under the effect of Focus Energy or a Dire Hit. The probability of landing a critical hit is simply these values divided by 256.

In Pokémon Stadium, the threshold value T is determined by a different formula. If T would exceed 255, its value instead becomes exactly 255.

Threshold
Normal move High critical-hit ratio move
Normal status
Focus Energy

Generation II onwards

Damage

From Generation II to V, a critical hit deals 2 times the normal damage. From Generation VI onward, a critical hit deals 1.5 times the normal damage. In Generation II only, this is done by doubling the user's level during damage calculation; from Generation III onward, the damage is multiplied directly.

In Generation II, when a move scores a critical hit, all stat stage modifiers, the halved Attack from burn, and the defensive boosts from screens (Light Screen and Reflect) are ignored if the target's defending stat stage (Defense or Special Defense) is greater than or equal to the attacker's attacking stat stage (Attack or Special Attack).

From Generation III onward, when a move scores a critical hit, the attacker's negative stat stages, the defender's positive stat stages, and the defensive boosts from screens are always ignored. However, the halved Attack from burn is no longer ignored.

Examples
  • If the attacker is using a physical move and is at +2 Attack stages while the target is at +1 Defense stage...
    • Gen II: a critical hit will not ignore either stat. (Damage with a critical hit will have an 8/3× modifier.)
    • Gen III-V: a critical hit will ignore the Defense boost. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 4× modifier.)
    • Gen VI+: a critical hit will ignore the Defense boost. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 3× modifier.)
  • If the attacker is using a physical move and is at -1 Attack stages while the target is at -2 Defense stage...
    • Gen II: a critical hit will not ignore either stat. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 2.64× modifier.)
    • Gen III-V: a critical hit will ignore the Attack drop. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 4× modifier.)
    • Gen VI+: a critical hit will ignore the Attack drop. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 3× modifier.)

Other effects

If a Pokémon with the Sniper Ability gets a critical hit, the damage dealt will be multiplied by an additional factor of 1.5.

If Galarian Farfetch'd lands three critical hits in a single battle, it evolves into Sirfetch'd.

Probability

The probability of landing a critical hit is no longer based on the attacker's base Speed, but rather is based on a fixed formula for all Pokémon. Similar to stats, there are temporary in-battle stages used to determine the probability that a particular move will be a critical hit.

Stage Chance of critical hit
Gen II-V Gen VI Gen VII onwards
+0 1/16 (6.25%) 1/16 (6.25%) 1/24 (~4.167%)
+1 1/8 (12.5%) 1/8 (12.5%) 1/8 (12.5%)
+2 1/4 (25%) 1/2 (50%) 1/2 (50%)
+3 1/3 (~33.3%) Always (100%) Always (100%)
+4 and above 1/2 (50%)

If a Pokémon has maximum affection, the probability from above is multiplied by 2.[1]

An attacking move will start out at stage 0, but there are several ways to increase a move's stage as detailed in the table below.

Change Attack property Held item Ability Triggered
+1 stage Moves with a high critical-hit ratio
(Gen II: +2 stages)
Razor Claw
Scope Lens
Super Luck G-Max Chi Strike
+2 stages 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt Stick/Leek (for Farfetch'd or Sirfetch'd only)
Lucky Punch (for Chansey only)
Focus Energy / Dire Hit
(Gen II: +1 stage)
Lansat Berry
Z-Foresight, Z-Sleep Talk, Z-Tailwind, Z-Acupressure, Z-Heart Swap
Dire Hit 2 (Wonder Launcher only)
+3 or more
stages
Dire Hit 3 (Wonder Launcher only)

An effect cannot stack with an effect in the same column (including itself), with the exception of G-Max Chi Strike, whose effect can stack with anything (including more uses of itself)[2]. A Pokémon may acquire the effect of a Lansat Berry even if it is already holding another item, through the use of Baton Pass, Pluck, Bug Bite, or Fling; or by obtaining another item after consuming the Berry, such as via Thief or Symbiosis.

Moves that cannot score a critical hit

Generations II and III introduced a handful of moves that cannot score a critical hit. They are denoted by the ✔ symbol in the table below.

In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, moves used during the first battle with Starly at Lake Verity cannot score critical hits.

Starting in Generation V, all damaging moves, except moves that deal direct damage and confusion damage, can score a critical hit.

Other factors

The Abilities Battle Armor and Shell Armor prevent Pokémon from landing critical hits on the Pokémon with that Ability. Lucky Chant prevents Pokémon from landing critical hits on the Pokémon it is protecting for a span of five turns.

Pokémon with the Ability Merciless will always score critical hits on poisoned Pokémon (unless prevented by one of the above effects).

The moves Storm Throw, Frost Breath, Zippy Zap, Surging Strikes, and Wicked Blow, along with any move used by a Pokémon that is under the effect of Laser Focus, will always result in a critical hit (unless prevented by one of the above effects).

In side-games

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon

Rescue Team and Explorers

There are some differences from how critical works in main series:

  • Critical hits do only 50% more damage, unless the Pokémon has Sniper, in which case it will do double damage.
  • Male or gender unknown Pokémon will have the move's base critical hit rate multiplied by 1.5x.
  • Scope Lens, Patsy Band, Sharpshooter IQ skill and Super Luck add a flat modifier to the move's critical hit rate (30% in Red/Blue Rescue Team, 15% in Explorers).
  • Type Advantage Master will set the critical hit rate to 40%, ignoring all other effects.
  • Focus Energy will guarantee critical hits, provided the critical hits are not prevented by exclusive items, Abilities, Critical Dodger IQ skill or Lucky Chant.
Moves Chance of critical hit
Pin Missile, Fury Attack, Fury Swipes, Comet Punch and Rock Blast 1%
Ice Ball, DoubleSlap, Bullet Seed, Twineedle, Barrage, Arm Thrust, Icicle Spear, ThunderShock, Spike Cannon, Triple Kick and Bone Rush 2%
Double Kick 3%
Other moves 12%RB/8%TDS
Moves with a high critical-hit ratio* 50%RB/30%TDS

Pokémon Masters EX

Here are some notable qualities of critical hits in this game:

  • Critical-hit rate is treated as a stat like Attack or evasion, except critical-hit rate can only be raised to a maximum of three stat ranks (or to +3). A few moves, such as Snatch, can lower a sync pair's critical-hit rate unless that pair has Steady Aim.
    • Attack moves passively have their base critical-hit rates set to 0, which means that using one with its user's critical-hit rate raised to three stat ranks yields an 100% chance to land a critical hit (per target).
    • Damaging-dealing sync moves their base critical-hit rates set to -1, which means that using one with its user's critical-hit rate raised to three stat ranks normally yields an 80% chance to land a critical hit (per target).
  • Some effects allow critical hits to land more easily [from attack moves like Slash or Spacial Rend, sync moves like Moonlight Leaf Blade, or skills like Zero In 1, Soften Up 1 (only for sync moves), Dire Rain 1, etc.].
    • Attack/Sync moves with this effect passively raise their own critical-hit rates by +1.
    • Each skill with this effect is always accompanied by a one or a two, and if that skill's conditions are met, then it passively raises critical-hit rate by that number.
  • Applying the Critical Hit Next effect on a sync pair guarantees that their next attack/sync move will be a critical hit, except in certain circumstances.
  • Critical hits do +50% (or ×1.5) damage, unless the sync pair has Critastrophe [X] (during sync moves) or Critical Strike [Y]; in which case, it will do even more damage by a factor of +(X × 10)% or +(Y × 10)%, respectively. (X and Y are numbers between one and nine.)
    • Multiple copies of Critical Strike stack additively. For example, if a sync pair has Critical Strike 9 (+90% damage) and Critical Strike 2 (+20%), then the skills will stack to become a factor of +110% (or ×2.1).
  • Critical hits ignore effects of physical damage reduction (from Reflect etc.) and special damage reduction (from Light Screen etc.).
  • Critical-Hit Defense effects temporarily protect all pairs in its field of play from critical hits. The move Defog removes this effect from opposing fields of play.
  • Skills such as Vigilance protect their users from critical hits. A few moves, such as Sunsteel Strike, and a few skills, like Piercing Blows, bypass these effects.
  • Chances to land critical hits with attack moves, ignoring certain circumstances, are as follows:
Stage Chance to land

critical hits

-1* Never (0%)
+0* 1/8 (12.5%)
+1 1/2 (50%)
+2 4/5 (80%)
+3 Always (100%)

In the anime

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Incomplete episode list.
Trip's Tranquill landing a critical hit on Ash's Tepig with Aerial Ace

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 要害 Yiuhoih
Mandarin 要害 Yàohài
Finland Flag.png Finnish Kriittinen osuma (BW010)
Kriittinen isku (AG130)
France Flag.png French Coup critique
Germany Flag.png German Volltreffer
Italy Flag.png Italian Brutto colpo
South Korea Flag.png Korean 급소 Geupso
Brazil Flag.png Brazilian Portuguese Golpe crítico
Russia Flag.png Russian Критический урон Kriticheskiy uron
Spanish CELAC Flag.png Latin America Golpe Directo
Spain Flag.png Spain Golpe crítico (II - VII)
Ataque crítico (I)
Sweden Flag.png Swedish Kritiskt slag
Vietnam Flag.png Vietnamese Đòn chí mạng


See also

References


Project Games logo.png This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.