Mystery Dungeon game mechanics

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The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series mechanics differ from those used in the core series Pokémon games. The Mystery Dungeon games are dungeon-crawlers in nature; as a result, some staple elements of the main Pokémon series have been altered or excluded entirely.


There are a number of differences between the mechanics of Pokémon in the core games and those of Mystery Dungeon.

Base stats

  • Effort values (EVs) and individual values (IVs) are not elements of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. Instead, each Pokémon has a set of base stats, which increase by fixed amounts when they level up. Stats may further increase through the use of Gummis, health drinks, Sitrus Berries, and other items. Non-HP stats can be raised to a maximum of 255; HP can be raised to at most 500 in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, or 999 in other games.
  • Prior to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, each Pokémon has a fixed body size that is represented as a number from 0 to 4. When taking a team into a dungeon, the combined body size of the Pokémon in the team may not exceed a certain amount (at most of any dungeon, 6). Note that certain dungeons may restrict this further, and may also restrict the sheer number of Pokémon allowed in the dungeon.
  • The Speed stat did not exist prior to Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon. The Speed stat varies in effect from the core series as it affects accuracy, along with affecting moves like Electro Ball. In Rescue Team DX, the Speed stat also affects the chance of a Pokémon using a move twice instead of once in a single turn.
  • Travel Speed is an aspect of all Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, not to be confused with the Speed stat. Travel Speed determines the number of actions that can be taken in a turn. Travel Speed can be altered by moves and Abilities that affect Speed in the core series, such as Agility, Scary Face, or Speed Boost. Paralysis cuts Travel Speed in half, and Ice-type Pokémon will have increased Travel Speed in snowy weather.
  • Stat changes from natures do not exist in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.


Main article: Evolution (Mystery Dungeon)

Evolution does not occur automatically; instead, it must be manually triggered. There are a number of evolution-related mechanics and items that are different from the core series games.


Main article: Recruitment

Instead of catching Pokémon (as in the core series games), Pokémon may be recruited to the player's team. Recruitment rates are different for each Pokémon and can be increased by factors such as the level of the team leader and any items being held. Some dungeons may prevent recruitment while some Pokémon must be recruited by special means. In Super Mystery Dungeon, Pokémon are no longer recruited, but must be connected with using the Connection Orb; this was changed in the game's successor, Rescue Team DX, going back to the previous method.


The Mystery Dungeon series introduced Level 1 Pokémon, an aspect which was not introduced until Generation IV of the core series. Wild Pokémon, guest Pokémon, or new Pokémon who ask to join after a mission is completed may be level 1. Evolved Pokémon may also be encountered at lower levels than those at which they would have evolved. In Rescue Team DX, however, the minimum level that Pokémon can be is Level 5.

Most Ghost-type Pokémon, as well as Darkrai, can walk through wall tiles; notable exceptions include Sableye and Froslass. While on a wall tile, they cannot be attacked by ordinary moves and attacks, but can attack their foes. Certain moves such as Vacuum-Cut, Lava Plume, and Thunderbolt can affect Pokémon that are on a wall tile. However, their belly empties at a rate of 5 per step.

Flying-type Pokémon can move over air tiles, while Water-type or Flying-type Pokémon can move over Water tiles. Fire-type or Flying-type Pokémon can move through Lava tiles, but Flying-type Pokémon will sustain a Burn if they do not also have a primary or secondary Fire typing.

In the Mystery Dungeon series, the player's party size is limited to four Pokémon at a time, instead of the standard six. Starting with Super Mystery Dungeon, this is reduced to three, but with a seemingly unlimited number of guest Pokémon at times. In Rescue Team DX, the player's main party is limited to three Pokémon, but escort or recruited Pokémon in a dungeon can increase the party size up to a maximum of eight members.


Main article: Pokémon battle (Mystery Dungeon)

Battles in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon differ considerably from the core series games. Attacks, damage, Abilities, status conditions, and experience all have mechanical differences, and items can be thrown to achieve varying effects.


Held Berries take one turn to consume (which must be done manually in many cases), as opposed to being consumed automatically in the same turn that they are needed.

The Oran and Sitrus Berries play slightly different roles. The Oran Berry heals 100 HP (rather than 10 HP in the core series), while the Sitrus Berry heals all HP (rather than only 30 HP or ¼ of the Pokémon's total HP in the core series).

  • Sitrus Berries can also increase the player's total HP by 2 points if consumed at full health.
  • Starting in Super Mystery Dungeon, eating an Oran Berry will increase maximum HP by 10 for the current adventure, but only if the Pokémon consuming the item has a maximum HP of less than 100, or is at full health.

The elements of hunger and IQ led to the adoption of the concepts of Food and Gummis, respectively. The only human-made items present that are also present in the core series games are Max Elixirs and TMs. Other items include Wonder Orbs and Scarves, the latter of which were removed and somewhat replaced by Looplets in Super Mystery Dungeon.

In addition, any Pokémon can hold any item.

Throwing items

Main article: Throwing item

Throwing items are stackable items that can be thrown at foes to deal damage from a distance. Most throwing items are tossed in a straight line, and damage the first Pokémon they hit. Under normal conditions, they stop after flying 10 tiles or upon hitting a wall. Other items, such as Geo Pebbles, Gravelerocks, and Rare Fossils fly in arcs and over walls when thrown, and inflict fixed damage. Enemies are also capable of throwing items, and can occasionally catch thrown items, instead of being damaged by them.

Buried items

Buried items may appear in Sparkling Floor tiles in Rescue Team DX. They are also present in the wall tiles of some dungeons. These items can be seen by equipping the X-Ray Specs and can be obtained by having most Ghost-type Pokémon walk over the tile. They can also be obtained by destroying the wall tile using the IQ skills Super Mobile (in Red and Blue Rescue Team) or Absolute Mover (in Explorers of Time, Darkness, and Sky), or the Rare Quality Forge a Path (in Rescue Team DX). However, if the walls are destroyed by explosions, buried items in the walls will also be destroyed.

Looplets and emeras

Main article: Looplet
Main article: Emera

In Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, a new class of held items were introduced. Looplets are items to be held by a Pokémon which can boost certain stats, protect from status and weather, or other effects. In addition, each Looplet has a certain number of slots to equip Emeras onto. Emeras are items which can be found scattered around dungeons. They can be used to temporarily boost a particular stat for the duration of the dungeon, or equipped onto a Looplet for various effects. Emera effects can include boosting attack power, adding a chance to inflict status effects, or allowing the user to see all enemy Pokémon or items on the floor. All effects and stat boosts from Emeras disappear upon leaving the dungeon.

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