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- This article is about the battle variation. For the battle mode found in the Pokémon Cable Club in Generation III or the Pokémon Communication Club Colosseum in Generation IV, see Double Battle (Battle Mode).
A Double Battle (Japanese: ダブルバトル Double Battle), also known as a two-on-two battle, is a Pokémon battle with each side featuring two Pokémon at once. Debuting in the games in Generation III, and featuring occasionally in the anime prior to this, they may feature up to four Pokémon Trainers. A Double Battle with two Trainers per side who each control one Pokémon is called a Multi Battle.
In the games
In a Double Battle, two teams of two Pokémon face each other in battle. One Trainer may control both Pokémon on either side of the battle, or two Trainers may cooperate on one or both sides of the battle, each controlling their own Pokémon (meaning that anywhere from two to four Trainers may take part in a Double Battle).
Some specific Trainer classes, such as Sis and Bro and Sr. and Jr., automatically engage the player in Double Battles; in Generation III, they will only battle if the player steps on the tile directly in front of them, from Generation IV to VI they can move towards the player to initiate such battles, and in Generation VII they can battle the player from afar but remain stationary (like all other Trainer classes in those games). If the player has only one conscious Pokémon, Trainer classes who will only engage the player in Double Battles will ignore the player and comment that the player should bring two Pokémon to battle them with.
From Pokémon Emerald to Generation V (as well as in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl), two independent Trainers who see the player at the same time will engage the player in a Double Battle. If the player has only one conscious Pokémon, the two Trainers who see the player at the same time will take turns battling the player in two Single Battles, with the second Trainer approaching and battling the player immediately after the first Trainer is defeated.
In Pokémon Colosseum, all battles that the player participates in are battled as Double Battles. The only way to engage in a Single Battle in Pokémon Colosseum is to do so in battle mode. However, the player does watch a Single Battle between Eagun and Skrub.
In Pokémon XD, the majority of battles are Double Battles, similar to Colosseum. However, the first two battles in the game—against Chobin and Naps—are Single Battles, as are all wild battles and one optional battle against a Supertrainer at the entrance to the Pokémon HQ Lab. Some Trainers in Mt. Battle only use one Pokémon, so it is possible to battle them in a Single Battle. The player also watches two Single Battles involving Zook—one with Ardos and one with Biden.
From Generation IV onward, moves that target multiple Pokémon resolve in order of the target's respective Speed stats. If a Pokémon faints, it is not replaced until the end of the turn, rather than immediately after the Pokémon is knocked out, making it possible for a Pokémon's move to fail due to a lack of target if both of the opposing Pokémon are knocked out before it attacks.
In Generation IV and V, some NPCs (most notably the stat Trainers in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum) accompany the player while they explore certain areas. In these situations, all wild Pokémon encounters are Double Battles against two Pokémon. In such situations, it is impossible to use a Poké Ball to capture a Pokémon unless the other is knocked out first. The NPC Trainer will heal the player's team after every battle. The player cannot use movement-based field moves such as Surf or Rock Climb while accompanied by an NPC.
In Generation V, many routes contain dark grass, in which the player has the ability to encounter two wild Pokémon at a time, initiating a wild Double Battle. Similar to the wild Double Battles of Generation IV, it is impossible to use a Poké Ball to catch a Pokémon unless the other Pokémon is knocked out first.
The HP of Pokémon is not displayed numerically on the player's side in Generation III and Generation IV handheld games—only the bar will be shown to save screen space. The numeric amount of HP can be toggled with the Start button.
Effects on moves
Several different moves are made specifically for Double Battles, such as Helping Hand. Some others, such as Surf, can have noticeably different effects. In Generation III, if there is more than one target, moves that can hit both foes (but not moves that hit all Pokémon on the field, such as Earthquake) have their damage reduced by 50%. In subsequent games, if there is more than one target, any move that can hit multiple Pokémon has its damage reduced by 25%. This damage reduction only takes effect if there are multiple targets when the move is executed; only a slot with no Pokémon in it does not count as a target. For instance, a Pokémon with the Ability Levitate counts as a target for Magnitude, even though they cannot be hit by the move under normal circumstances.
The moves After You, Quash, Helping Hand, Ally Switch, Follow Me, Rage Powder, Aromatic Mist, Hold Hands, and Spotlight have no effect in Single Battles, but do in Double Battles.
The move Flame Burst takes away 1/16th of the maximum HP of the other Pokémon on the same team as the target Pokémon. This damage is not treated as an attack.
The move Acupressure, while in a Double Battle, can target the ally instead of the user.
The moves Outrage, Petal Dance, Thrash, Uproar target the user when selected, but are used against one random foe when executed.
This chart displays all moves that work differently in Double Battles.
Effects on Abilities
Many Abilities are also adapted especially for Double Battles. These Abilities are:
- Lightning Rod - If a single-target Electric-type move is used, it will be forced to strike the Pokémon with this Ability, regardless of the Pokémon originally selected as the target and regardless of the move's accuracy. Moves that target multiple Pokémon cannot be redirected. In Generation V and beyond, the move will raise the Special Attack stat of the Pokémon and deal no damage to it, unless the Pokémon is immune to the attack by nature of being a Ground-type.
- Plus - If a Pokémon with Plus is in battle on the same side of the field as a Pokémon with Minus, its Special Attack stat will be boosted by 50%. In Generation V and beyond, the effect is also present if another Pokémon on the same side has Plus.
- Minus - If a Pokémon with Minus is in battle on the same side of the field as a Pokémon with Plus, its Special Attack stat will be boosted by 50%. In Generation V and beyond, the effect is also present if another Pokémon on the same side has Minus.
- Storm Drain - If a single-target Water-type move is used, it will be forced to strike the Pokémon with this Ability, regardless of the Pokémon originally selected as the target and regardless of the move's accuracy. Moves which target multiple Pokémon cannot be redirected. In Generation V and beyond, the move will raise the Special Attack stat of the Pokémon and deal no damage to it.
- Flower Gift - The physical Attack and Special Defense stats of Pokémon with this Ability and their ally are increased by 50% during harsh sunlight.
- Healer - At the end of each turn, an ally's status condition has a 30% chance of being cured.
- Friend Guard - Damage done to allies is reduced by 25%.
- Telepathy - A Pokémon with this Ability will avoid damage from any moves used by its ally, whether they directly target it or target it as well as opponents.
- Victory Star - The accuracy of moves used by Pokémon with this ability and their ally are increased by 10%.
- Aroma Veil - Pokémon with this Ability and their ally cannot be afflicted by Taunt, Torment, Encore, Disable and Cursed Body, Heal Block, and infatuation.
- Flower Veil - Prevents stat drops and status conditions for Pokémon with this Ability (if Grass-type) and a Grass-type ally.
- Sweet Veil - Pokémon with this Ability and their ally cannot fall asleep.
- Queenly Majesty, Dazzling, Armor Tail - Prevents opponents from using priority moves against the Pokémon or its allies.
- Battery - The base power of allies' special moves is increased by 30%.
- Receiver - If an ally faints in battle, Receiver will be replaced by the fainted Pokémon's Ability.
- Power of Alchemy - If an ally faints in battle, Power of Alchemy will be replaced by the fainted Pokémon's Ability.
- Power Spot - The base power of allies' moves is increased by 30%.
- Steely Spirit - The base power of Steel-type moves used by the Pokémon and its allies is increased by 50%.
- Commander - When a Tatsugiri with this Ability is on the same side of the field as a Dondozo, it will enter the Dondozo's mouth and the latter will have its Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed raised by two stages each, at the cost of being unable to switch out. No moves can hit Tatsugiri while it is inside Dondozo's mouth, but the Trainer cannot select any moves for it to execute.
- Costar - When the Pokémon enters a battle, it copies an ally's stat changes.
In the anime
While Team Rocket had conducted "illegal" Double Battles since the third episode, the first official Double Battle occurred in Pokémon Double Trouble. In order to win the Jade Star Badge, Ash had to defeat Luana's Marowak and Alakazam in a Double Battle at the Kumquat Gym. Though Ash's Pikachu and Charizard were initially unwilling to cooperate, they eventually overcame their differences in order to win the battle. A notable difference about this Double Battle compared to the ones introduced later is that winning the match requires only defeating one of the opposing Trainer's two Pokémon.
After the release of Ruby and Sapphire, Double Battles were seen in the anime more often. The first took place in All in a Day's Wurmple. Forrester Franklin introduced the concept to Ash, and they had a battle that Ash won. As in the games, Ash's Gym battle against Tate and Liza was a Double Battle. Additionally, in order to qualify for the finals of the Ever Grande Conference, competitors must win three Double Battles in the preliminaries.
Ash had a Double Battle against Tucker at the Battle Dome in Tactics Theatrics!!. He used his Corphish and Swellow against the Frontier Brain's Swampert and Arcanine and was able to win the battle, earning the Tactics Symbol, his third Symbol overall.
From The Bicker the Better onwards, Ash teamed up with other Trainers to conduct Tag Battles.
A Double Battle can also be conducted under Contest Battle rules; more specifically, the battling stage of every Grand Festival uses the Double Battle style. Additionally, with the introduction of Double Performances in Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, Coordinators have to use two Pokémon in both the Performance Stage and the Battle Stage of Pokémon Contests following the format.
In Strategy Begins at Home!, Dawn challenged her mother, Johanna, to a Double Battle. Despite having developed a strategy which her Piplup and Pachirisu managed to pull off during battle, Dawn still had trouble dealing with Johanna's skills as a Top Coordinator and her well-trained Glameow and Umbreon. As a result, she lost the battle. In Double-Time Battle Training!, Dawn faced off against Zoey in a Double Battle, using her Mamoswine and Cyndaquil against her rival's Kirlia and Leafeon. During the battle, Dawn attempted to use a newly developed combination, but it failed and Zoey emerged victorious.
In Battling the Bully!, there was a pretend Double Battle between Mick and Glenn, both using borrowed Pokémon.
Ash battled Shamus, Tepig's original Trainer, in a Double Battle in Evolution by Fire!. During the battle, Tepig evolved, giving him enough power to earn victory for his new Trainer.
Serena battled Aria in a Double Battle in Battling with Elegance and a Big Smile!. During the battle, Serena's Fennekin evolved into Braixen, allowing her and Pancham to even the playing field. However, Aria had to cancel the battle because of an urgent phone call.
Ash battled Olympia in a Double Battle in All Eyes on the Future! at the Anistar Gym. The battle ended in Ash's victory, earning him the Psychic Badge.
In Trials and Determinations!, Ash's grand trial battle against Olivia was a Double Battle. The battle eventually ended in Ash's victory, earning him a Rockium Z.
Gladion battled Faba in a Double Battle in Mission: Total Recall! at a motel. The battle ended in Faba's victory after he defeated both of Gladion's Pokémon and put him asleep with his Hypno's Hypnosis.
Ash battled Kiawe in a Double Battle in Acting True to Form! at Pokémon School. However, the battle was called off after Ash's Pikachu discovered Meowth trying to steal Ash's Rowlet.
Ash battled Ryuki in a Double Battle in Aiming for the Top Floor! at the Kantonian Gym, eventually emerging victorious.
In Sword and Shield: "From Here to Eternatus!", Ash engaged Chairman Rose in a Double Battle at Hammerlocke Stadium while Leon left to confront Eternatus. The battle concluded in the next episode, with Ash winning thanks to his newly evolved Lucario.
In The Future is Now, Thanks to Strategy!, Ash had a Double Battle with Clemont at the Lumiose Gym to try out his Sirfetch'd's newly learned Meteor Assault. During the battle, Ash's Dracovish also ended up learning Dragon Rush, earning Ash a swift victory over his former traveling companion.
In the manga
The Electric Tale of Pikachu
Similar to the anime, Double Battles appeared in The Electric Tale of Pikachu before they were formally introduced in the games.
Ruby & Sapphire chapter
In Adding It Up with Plusle & Minun I, Ruby challenged a Plusle and a Minun aboard the Abandoned Ship.
In On the Loose and Hyper With Zangoose and Seviper I, Ruby and Swimmer Jack battled a wild Seviper and Zangoose.
In Rayquaza Redemption I, Wally faced Norman in a Double Battle during his training.
In You Can Fight Day or Night With Lunatone & Solrock, Tate and Liza explicitly stated Double Battle tactics during their battle with Blaise, but were overwhelmed by their opponent's illusions.
FireRed & LeafGreen chapter
In Red and Blue Make Purple Opponents and Double Dealing with Deoxys, Red and Blue were pitted against each other in a Double Battle by Ultima as her final trial for the two before they could learn her ultimate moves. While battling, the two Trainers had to travel through a corridor, which had two independently moving sides that changed speed and even direction depending on how much damage each of them dealt on their opponents. However, Red and Blue managed to reach the end of the corridor simultaneously, meaning the battle ended in a tie.
In As Luck Would Have It, Kirlia and Moving Past Milotic, Emerald faced several Double Battles against virtual Trainers during his Battle Pike challenge.
Diamond & Pearl chapter
In Ring Around the Roserade II, Platinum faced Gardenia in a Double Battle.
In Dramatic Drapion & Crafty Kricketune I, Diamond and Platinum battled two Scientists at Lake Valor.
Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire chapter
In PS608 and PS609, Sapphire briefly engaged Zinnia in a Double Battle.
In PS615, Ruby and Sapphire faced Zinnia in a Double Battle, with Zinnia's Salamence teaming up with Aster's Noivern.
In the TCG
A 2-on-2 Battle format used to be listed in the Pokémon Trading Card Game ruleset during the EX Series as an unofficial game mode . Players could have up to two Active Pokémon in play (and four in the Bench), and should have the maximum number of Active Pokémon whenever possible. Only one Pokémon could attack during a player's turn, and players would choose which Active Pokémon would attack, defend or receive the effects of cards that targetted the Active spot. Some cards printed during this period also had effects that targetted both of a player's Active Pokémon for this format.
In other languages
|Pokémon battle variations|
|Double Battle • Multi Battle • Triple Battle • Rotation Battle • Horde Encounter • SOS Battle • Support Play • Max Raid Battle • Full Battle|
Contest Battle • Launcher Battle • Sky Battle • Inverse Battle • Battle Royal • Dynamax Adventure • Auto Battle • Tera Raid Battle
|This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.|