Pokémon battle (Mystery Dungeon)

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Pokémon battles in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series have different mechanics compared to the core series Pokémon games.

Regular attack

Main article: Regular attack

The regular attack deals typeless damage and does not expend PP when used. It is usable by all Pokémon in addition to the four moves it can have.


Main article: Move

Moves may be linked together, wherein the linked moves are done in succession (in which case one PP is taken from each move). Moves can be linked at the Gulpin Link Shop in Blue and Red Rescue Team and Rescue Team DX, and at the Electivire Link Shop in Explorers of Time and Darkness. In other Mystery Dungeon games, the ability to link moves was replaced by alternative mechanics. Gates to Infinity introduced Team Attacks, large-scale attacks used by every member of the team in a dungeon, while Super Mystery Dungeon introduced Alliances, a simultaneous attack by all party members on a single target.

Many individual moves have differences from the core series games. For example:

  • Some attacks that inflict specific HP damage (like Sonic Boom) have a different set HP.
  • Prior to Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, Transform only changes the form of the user, not their moves.
  • Self-Destruct and Explosion will not necessarily knock out the user of the move. Instead, any team Pokémon within range (one tile for Self-Destruct, two for Explosion) will have their maximum HP cut in half, and any opposing Pokémon within range will receive 40 damage for Self-Destruct and 80 for Explosion. Note that Fire-types will receive only half damage from these moves. Any items within range are destroyed, and any wall tiles in range are converted to floor tiles.

There are two attacks specific to the Mystery Dungeon series: Wide Slash and Vacuum-Cut. No Pokémon learn either naturally, but all Pokémon that can use TMs can learn them through TM.

Moves that may be used by team members in dungeons can be switched on or off, meaning they are selected or deselected for use. Certain tactics are also available which will direct how teammates attack and traverse through dungeons. In Blue and Red Rescue Team and Explorers of Time, Darkness and Sky, the availability of tactics depends on the team leader's level.


Main article: Damage

Type effectiveness has been changed from the core series games:

  • "Super effective" attacks will only deal 1.4× damage instead of 2× damage as in the core games.
  • Attacks that are "not very effective" will deal 0.7× damage instead of 0.5× as in the core games.
  • Attacks to which the attacked Pokémon is "immune" (called "ineffective attacks" here) deal 0.5× damage instead of no damage as in the core games. However, as in the core games, Pokémon may be immune to certain status conditions based on its type (for example, Arbok remains immune to Toxic). Note that the effects of Abilities remain unchanged (for example, Ground-type attacks still have no effect against Pokémon who can Levitate).

Type effectiveness

Standard attacks are considered to have no type, and will attack Pokémon of all types equally. Against Wonder Guard, standard attacks will only do 1 damage.

Like the main games, special attacks are affected by types, although the multipliers are different.

In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team, the type affinities are as follows. Multipliers stack multiplicatively against dual-type Pokémon:

  • Super-effective attacks, such as Grass attacks on Water, deal 150% of normal damage.
  • Not very effective attacks, such as Fighting on Psychic, deal 90% of normal damage.
  • Attacks of little effect, such as Ground attacks on Flying, deal 50% of normal damage.

In Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness the multipliers are instead 50%, 70% and 140%, unless either the attacker or the defender has Erratic Player IQ skill, which changes them to 25%, 50% and 170%.

In Super Mystery Dungeon and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, attacks that are ineffective against an opponent Pokémon do no damage, as in the core series.

Note that type affinity changes brought forth by moves or abilities do not use the above – Levitate will still render Ground attacks useless, for instance.

Critical hits

The damage bonus that critical hits provide is only 1.5×, instead of the 2× modifier in the core games prior to Generation VI.

Each move has an inherent Critical Hit rate, which may be modified with items (such as the Scope Lens) or IQ abilities (like Type-Advantage Master). The use of Focus Energy ensures that special attacks used within a few turns become Critical Hits.

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 1.5×.
  • 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


Prior to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, Pokémon with two Abilities will have both at the same time (instead of just one). From Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity onward, all Pokémon have only one Ability. In Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, Pokémon with two possible Abilities can have their Ability changed at Hawlucha's Slam School if the player has a Lucha Token. No Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series games have included Hidden Abilities.

In addition, some Abilities differ from their counterparts in the core series:

Status conditions

Main article: Status condition (Mystery Dungeon)

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon introduced its own series of status conditions, of which any number may occur at once. These range from the conventional statuses (Paralysis, Poison, etc.) to "pseudo-statuses" (Confusion, Attraction, Flinching (here called Cringing), etc.). Statuses may be inflicted to account for two-turn attacks (i.e. SolarBeam or Sky Attack), low-priority moves (i.e. Counter, Endure, or Vital Throw), or moves whose effects last multiple turns (Mist, Safeguard, Charge, Perish Song, Taunt, Encore, etc.).

  • The duration of status conditions may also differ between Mystery Dungeon and the core series; most notable is that Paralysis, Leg Hold (affected from Arena Trap or Magnet Pull), and most other statuses are temporary. Burn and Poison remain permanent, however all status conditions are removed upon entering the next floor of a dungeon. In addition, Pokémon may be affected with both Sleep and Paralysis, and (much like in the TCG) other status ailments may replace previous ones. For instance, a Poisoned Pokémon may become Paralyzed instead.
  • Pokémon will never attack themselves while Confused. However, they may move or attack in a random direction (including hitting teammates). Note that Confusion does not affect thrown items.
  • Mystery Dungeon introduces a new, exclusive status called hunger. Hunger occurs when the Pokémon's Belly drops to zero. Before the player's belly drops to zero, starting at 20 Belly, the game will begin displaying the message "Getting hungry...". Then, at 10 Belly, the game will display "Getting dizzy from hunger...". Once the player's Belly reaches zero, the screen will begin flashing yellow around the perimeter, with the game displaying "Oh, no! Your Belly's empty!" / "Hurry! You've got to eat something!" / "You'll faint from hunger!" From this point forward, the Pokémon cannot recover HP naturally, and each turn that passes while the Pokémon's Belly is empty, it will lose 1 HP (or 3 HP in Rescue Team DX), eventually causing the Pokémon to faint. Eating a food item such as an Apple will remedy this status condition.


Main article: Experience
  • Defeating a Pokémon using at least one special move will yield twice as much experience. Note that an opposing Pokémon using moves on itself (for example, Synthesis) counts towards receiving the experience bonus when that Pokémon is defeated, but using special moves that miss the opponent (or that hit, but inflict no damage) does not count.
  • Defeating a Pokémon using linked moves will yield 50% more experience.
  • If an enemy were to faint by means other than the party attacking it (such as by the effects of a sandstorm), the members of the party will not gain any experience points.
  • All team members in the party gain experience, whether or not they attack the opponent.
  • In Gates To Infinity and Rescue Team DX, all Pokémon on the player's team will receive experience, regardless of whether or not they were in the party that entered the dungeon.
    • However, in Rescue Team DX, if a team member has the Rare Quality XP Boost, only Pokémon that are on the team in the dungeon receive double the experience points; all other Pokémon left in rescue camps still gain experience points but only obtain the normal, unboosted amount of experience.
  • Pokémon require significantly more experience to level up than in the core series games.

Throwing items

Main article: Throwing item

Much like in the Safari Zone of the core series games, where the player is able to toss Bait or throw a Rock (or Mud) at Pokémon, throwing items in Mystery Dungeon deals damage. The player is able to stock up to 99 units of a throwing item in a single item space in contrast to other items, where multiple items take up multiple spaces in the item list.

  • This does not apply to Unown Stones.
  • Wands were an item introduced in Super Mystery Dungeon. They behave similarly to thrown items, but can only be stacked up to 40. While some deal damage, they have varying effects such as Warping the target or causing various Status Conditions.

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