Escape prevention

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There are multiple forms of escape prevention in a Pokémon battle.


If a Pokémon is prevented from escaping, it must remain in battle with as there is no option to switch out or flee.

The trapped Pokémon can still switch out if it is holding a Shed Shell; uses U-turn, Volt Switch, or Baton Pass; or is hit by Whirlwind, Roar, Dragon Tail, or Circle Throw. Prior to Generation V, if a Pokémon that can't escape or the Pokémon that trapped it uses Baton Pass, the Pokémon (or its replacement) still can't escape; from Generation V onward, the effect can be passed only by the Pokémon that can't escape.

From Generation III onward, a Pokémon that can't escape can still flee or Teleport from a wild battle if it is holding a Smoke Ball or has the Ability Run Away.

Starting in Generation VI, Ghost-type Pokémon can switch out and flee regardless of the can't escape status.


A Pokémon can be trapped when struck by any of the following moves.

Move Type Category Power Accuracy Notes
Anchor Shot Steel Physical 80 100%
Block Normal Status —%
Fairy Lock Fairy Status —% Prevents all Pokémon on the field from switching out or fleeing during their next turn
G-Max Terror Ghost Varies —% Exclusive G-Max Move of Gigantamax Gengar
Jaw Lock Dark Physical 80 100% Prevents the user and the target from switching out or fleeing
Mean Look Normal Status —%
No Retreat Fighting Status —% Raises the user's Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed by one stage each. Prevents the user from switching out or fleeing
Octolock Fighting Status 100% At the end of each turn, the target's Defense and Special Defense are lowered by one stage each
Shadow Hold Shadow Status 80%
Spider Web Bug Status —%
Spirit Shackle Ghost Physical 80 100%
Thousand Waves Ground Physical 90 100%


A Pokémon can be trapped when afflicted by any of the following abilities.

Name Foes unaffected Generation
Arena Trap Flying- and Ghost-type* Pokémon, levitating Pokémon, Pokémon affected by Magnet Rise, Telekinesis, or holding an Air Balloon III
Magnet Pull Non-Steel-type Pokémon, Ghost-type* Pokémon III
Shadow Tag Other Pokémon with Shadow Tag*, Ghost-type* Pokémon III

In the anime

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Oshawott failing to return to his Poké Ball after being hit by Mean Look
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