From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Jump to navigationJump to search
This article is about the damage caused by some moves. For the beta name of Magneton, see Magneton (Pokémon).
Not to be confused with the Recoil status condition in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.
Submission, a recoil move, is used.

Recoil (Japanese: 反動 recoil) is the damage taken by the attacking Pokémon when successfully using certain risky moves. In most cases, recoil damage is proportional to the damage dealt to the opponent, but some moves (most notable Struggle) cause the user to take damage proportional to their own HP.


Moves that have recoil are damage-dealing moves that cause the user to take damage after being used.

For most recoil moves, the amount of recoil damage is proportional to the damage dealt (the exact proportion varying between moves); however, for Struggle (from Generation IV onward) and Shadow Rush (in Colosseum only), the recoil damage is proportional to the user's maximum HP, while Shadow End has recoil proportional to the user's current HP.

In Pokémon Stadium only, if a recoil move knocks out the opponent, then the user will not take recoil damage.

Several Abilities affect recoil moves. None of them affect Struggle, Shadow Rush, or Shadow End.

  • The Ability Rock Head prevents the Pokémon that has it from taking recoil damage.
  • The Ability Reckless increases the power of moves with recoil by 20%, except Struggle. (Due to increasing the damage dealt, this also increases the recoil by the same proportion.)
  • The Ability Magic Guard prevents the Pokémon that has it from taking indirect damage (including recoil damage).

Recoil is not considered an additional effect by Sheer Force. Even if a recoil move does have a secondary effect that is suppressed by Sheer Force (such as Flare Blitz), Sheer Force does not prevent the user from taking recoil damage.

Similar mechanics

Some moves have crash damage, a similar concept where the user takes damage only if the move fails to affect its target. This damage is not recoil damage.

The item Life Orb causes its holder to take damage whenever it uses a move, but this damage is not recoil damage. Additionally, unlike recoil damage, this damage can be prevented by Sheer Force (if the move used has an additional effect).

Moves with recoil damage

Name Type Category Power Accuracy Recoil Notes
Brave Bird Flying Physical 120 100% 1/3 of damage dealt
Double-Edge Normal Physical 100 (Gen. I)
120 (Gen. II+)
100% 1/3 of damage dealt (Gen. III+)
1/4 of damage dealt (Gen. I-II)
Flare Blitz Fire Physical 120 100% 1/3 of damage dealt 10% chance of burning the target.
Head Charge Normal Physical 120 100% 1/4 of damage dealt
Head Smash Rock Physical 150 80% 1/2 of damage dealt
Light of Ruin Fairy Special 140 90% 1/2 of damage dealt
Shadow End Shadow Physical 120 60% 1/2 of user's current HP
Shadow Rush (Colosseum) Shadow Physical 90 100% 1/16 of user's maximum HP More likely to land a critical hit when the Pokémon is in Hyper Mode
Does not have recoil in Pokémon XD
Struggle Normal Physical 50 100% (Gen. I-III)
—% (Gen. IV+)
1/4 of user's maximum HP (Gen. IV+)
1/4 of damage dealt (Gen. II-III)
1/2 of damage dealt (Gen. I)
Hits Ghost-type Pokémon in Pokémon Stadium and from Generation II onward
Submission Fighting Physical 80 80% 1/4 of damage dealt
Take Down Normal Physical 90 85% 1/4 of damage dealt
Volt Tackle Electric Physical 120 100% 1/3 of damage dealt 10% chance of paralyzing the target
Wild Charge Electric Physical 90 100% 1/4 of damage dealt
Wood Hammer Grass Physical 120 100% 1/3 of damage dealt

In the anime

Infernape damaged by recoil

Recoil has been noted multiple times in the anime, most notably after Pikachu uses Volt Tackle. Brock has stated many times that Volt Tackle causes recoil and is very risky.

Ash's Staraptor and Reggie's Staraptor both know Brave Bird, which was stated to do recoil damage, making it a very risky move. The same goes for Flint's Infernape and Ash's Infernape, who both know Flare Blitz, and Roark's Rampardos, who knows Head Smash.

Take Down is referred to as a risky move numerous times in the anime, along with Double-Edge. However, in some early anime episodes, such as The Battle of the Badge, where Ash's Pidgeotto used Double-Edge, it apparently took no recoil damage.

In The Moment of Lumiose Truth!, Bunnelby was revealed to have learned Wild Charge. However, immediately after using Wild Charge, Bunnelby used Dig to cut down on the effects of recoil damage.

In A Legendary Photo Op!, Ash's Talonflame attempted to use its newly learned Brave Bird to protect Ash and his friends from a wild Moltres. The recoil from the attack exhausted Talonflame, rendering it unable to fly, and it nearly fell into the volcano they had been fighting over.

In other languages

Language Title
Denmark Flag.png Danish Rekylskade
Finland Flag.png Finnish Takapotku*
France Flag.png French Contrecoup
Germany Flag.png German Rückstoß
Italy Flag.png Italian Contraccolpo
South Korea Flag.png Korean 반동 Bandong
Norway Flag.png Norwegian Støtskade
Poland Flag.png Polish Obrażenia zwrotne
Spanish CELAC Flag.png Latin America Daño Colateral
Spain Flag.png Spain Daño de retroceso
Sweden Flag.png Swedish Rekylskada

See also

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.