Struggle (move)

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わるあがき Vain Struggle
Struggle VIII.png
Type  Normal
Category  Physical
PP  1 (max. 1)
Power  50
Accuracy  %
Priority  {{{priority}}}
  • Makes contact
  • Affected by Protect
  • Not affected by Magic Coat
  • Not affected by Snatch
  • Not affected by Mirror Move
  • Affected by King's Rock
Foe Foe Foe
Self Ally Ally
Affects the user
Introduced  Generation I
Condition  Cool
Appeal  4 ♥♥♥♥
Jam  0  
A highly appealing move.
Condition  Cool
Appeal  3 ♥♥♥
A basic performance using a move known by the Pokémon.
Condition  Tough
Appeal  4 ♥♥♥♥
Jamming  0  
Quite an appealing move.

Struggle (Japanese: わるあがき Vain Struggle) is a damage-dealing move introduced in Generation I. It is a move that every Pokémon can use when none of its moves are usable, although no Pokémon can naturally learn it.


Generation I

Struggle inflicts damage, and the user receives recoil damage equal to ½ of the damage done to the target. Struggle will automatically be used by a Pokémon that has no usable moves but is ordered to attack. Struggle is capable of striking a critical hit.

Struggle has 10 base PP, though no PP would ever be deducted from it.

Struggle has an accuracy of 100%.

If the user of Struggle attacks first and knocks itself out due to recoil damage, the opponent will not attack or be subjected to recurrent damage during that round. If Struggle breaks a substitute, the user will take no recoil damage.

Self-inflicted recoil damage from Struggle from the previous turn can be countered if the opponent did not make a move on the following turn.

Struggle deals Normal-type damage in this Generation, meaning it is not very effective against Rock-type Pokémon and ineffective against Ghost-type Pokémon. If the only usable move is disabled by Disable, the affected Pokémon will use Struggle.

In Stadium, no recoil damage is taken if Struggle knocks out an opponent.

Generations II and III

Struggle now has a maximum of 1 PP instead of 10 (16 with PP Ups), and its recoil damage is equal to ¼ of the damage the attack did to the opponent. Although still classified as a Normal-type move, Struggle is now unaffected by types, inflicting neutral damage to Steel-, Rock-, and Ghost-type Pokémon and being unaffected by STAB. Struggle can hit through Wonder Guard. Its target is a randomly selected opponent in Double Battles.

The user will take recoil damage even if Struggle breaks a substitute, or if its Ability is Rock Head or Magic Guard.

If a Pokémon holding a Choice Band is affected by Disable, Taunt or Imprison such that it cannot use the move that the Choice Band forces it to, it will not be able to use a move other than Struggle as long as the item and effect both remain active. If a Pokémon is holding a Choice Band and is affected by Torment, the Pokémon will use Struggle every second turn.

Generation IV

The user now takes ¼ of its maximum HP as recoil damage, regardless of how much damage the attack did to the opponent. This ¼ is rounded down except in the case of Shedinja, who will knock itself out with recoil damage.

Struggle now bypasses accuracy checks to always hit, unless the target is in the semi-invulnerable turn of a move such as Dig or Fly.

Despite being considered a recoil move, Struggle will not gain a boost by Reckless.

Struggle can no longer be copied by Mirror Move.

Generation V onward

Struggle's ¼ calculation is now subject to standard rounding; for example, a Pokémon with 201 maximum HP using Struggle will have its recoil round down to 50, but 202 or 203 HP will round up to 51 recoil damage.

Struggle is unaffected by a held Normal Gem (and will not consume it).

Even if the user is affected by Electrify, Struggle is still considered typeless.

If a Pokémon is forced to use Struggle, it will not be able to Mega Evolve, Ultra Burst, power up a move into a Z-Move, or Dynamax on the same turn, as the menu from which those options would be selected never appears. If a Dynamax Pokémon is forced to use Struggle, it will not turn into a Max Move.

If a Pokémon only knows unusable moves, it will use Struggle.


Games Description
Stad Used only if the user runs totally out of PP. The user is hit with 1/4 of the damage it inflicts.
Stad2 Used only if the user is totally out of PP. The user is hit with 1/4 the damage it inflicts.
GSC Used only if all PP are exhausted.
RSE Used only if all PP are gone. Also hurts the user a little.
FRLG An attack that is used only if there is no PP. It also hurts the user.
Colo.XD Used when all PP are gone. Also hurts the user a bit.
An attack that is used in desperation only if the user has no PP. It also hurts the user slightly.
XYORAS An attack that is used in desperation only if the user has no PP. This also damages the user a little.
This attack is used in desperation only if the user has no PP. It also damages the user a little.


No Pokémon can learn or know Struggle directly, but all Pokémon can use Struggle when they cannot use any other moves, such as by them all having 0 PP, if they are all incapacitated through any of Disable, Taunt, Torment, Imprison, Heal Block, Cursed Body, Assault Vest, or Choice items, or if the only moves the Pokémon knows are unusable moves. Also, some moves, such as Belch, cannot be selected unless specific conditions are met, so can also cause the Pokémon to Struggle if they are the only moves with PP.

In the Mystery Dungeon series, the only way to use Struggle is to use a move when none of the Pokémon's moves are usable for one or another reason (like running out of PP). The move deals 1/4 of the total HP of that Pokémon.

In other games

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series

In Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team and Explorers of Time, Darkness, and Sky, Struggle has 30 base power, and 100% accuracy. The attack can be used when the Pokémon runs out of PP for its moves and the Pokémon attempts to use one of its moves. The user attacks enemy in front and receives recoil damage equal to ¼ of their maximum HP.

In Gates to Infinity recoil damage is 20% of max HP instead. When used by a Gigantic Pokémon, the move can damage nearby enemies in a 1 tile range around the user if used by a mobile Gigantic Pokémon, or enemies in the same room if used by stationary Gigantic Pokémon (such as Lugia and Ho-Oh).

Pokémon GO

GO Normal.png Struggle
Charged Attack
Gyms & Raids
Power 35
Energy cost 0
Duration 2.2 seconds
Damage window 1.2 - 2 seconds
Struggle GO.png
Trainer Battles
Power 35
Energy cost 100 100
Secondary effect  ?
Effect chance  ?%
Eligible Pokémon:
Standard eligibility

Caterpie Metapod Weedle Kakuna Magikarp Ditto Unown Wurmple Silcoon Cascoon Beldum Kricketot Burmy (Plant Cloak) Burmy (Sandy Cloak) Burmy (Trash Cloak) Tynamo Scatterbug

By Elite Charged TM
By GO Snapshot


As Shadow Pokémon
As Purified Pokémon
Formerly eligible


Gyms & Raids
  • July 30, 2016
    • Energy cost: 20 → 0
  • February 16, 2017
    • Power: 15 → 35
    • Energy cost: 0 → 33
    • Duration: 1.695 → 2.2 seconds
    • Damage window: 0.8 - 1.5 → 1.2 - 2 seconds
  • February 21, 2017
    • Energy cost: 33 → 0


Games Description
MDRB Inflicts damage on the target. However, the user also takes damage one quarter of its maximum HP.
MDTDS Inflicts damage on the target. But it also inflicts damage on the user in the amount of 1/4 of its maximum HP.
BSL てきポケモンに ダメージをあたえる しかし じぶんも さいだいHPの 1/4の ダメージをうける
MDGtI It damages an enemy, but it also damages you. (If there's no move available, your move will be Struggle.)
It damages nearby Pokémon. The user also takes damage. (If the Pokémon tries to use a move when it has no move available, the move will be Struggle.)*
It damages even faraway Pokémon. The user also takes damage. (If the Pokémon tries to use a move when it has no move available, the move will be Struggle.)*
SMD It damages an enemy, but it also damages you. If you have no moves available, your move will be Struggle.
MDRTDX When you have no PP left, this move comes out instead. It damages an enemy, but it also damages you.

In the manga

In the Pokémon Adventures manga

In other generations

Core series games

Side series games

Spin-off series games


  • Even though Struggle can only be accessed by the loss of all PP, it was given Contest, Super Contest, and Contest Spectacular stats.
  • Along with Chatter and Sketch, Struggle is one of three non-Shadow moves that cannot be copied by Sketch in any generation.
  • In Generation I, Struggle was the only move that could not be called via Metronome, besides Metronome itself.
  • Struggle has the lowest base power of all recoil-causing moves.
  • Because it deals typeless damage, Struggle is the only damaging Normal-type move which can hit a Ghost-type opponent without the aid of Odor Sleuth, Foresight, a Ring Target, or Scrappy.
  • Along with Barrage and Kinesis, Struggle is one of three moves introduced in Generation I that have not been featured in the main series anime.
  • Certain glitch Pokémon, including Generation IV hybrids, 'Ng'Mp, 'ゥ., and 4, ゥァ (DD), can learn Struggle by level up.
  • Should a player hack Struggle onto a Pokémon, it will not be displayed correctly in Pokémon Stadium 2's lab (not the case for the previous game) and will be highlighted, as if it was a Generation II move. This does not happen when selecting a team for battle.
  • In Pokémon Stadium, the move description erroneously states that Struggle inflicts recoil to the user equal to ¼ of the damage inflicted; the correct number in Generation I is ½.
  • In Generation I, a glitch can occur making it impossible for a Pokémon to use Struggle if it has previously used Transform followed by either Metronome or Mirror Move. This renders the Pokémon completely unable to battle until its PP is restored.[1]

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 掙扎 Jāngjaat
Mandarin 掙扎 / 挣扎 Zhēngzhá
The Netherlands Flag.png Dutch Spartel
France Flag.png European French Lutte
Germany Flag.png German Verzweifler
Greece Flag.png Greek Αγώνας Agúnas
Italy Flag.png Italian Scontro
South Korea Flag.png Korean 발버둥 Balbeodung
Brazil Flag.png Brazilian Portuguese Insistência
Serbia Flag.png Serbian Opstanak
Spain Flag.png European Spanish Forcejeo*
Thailand Flag.png Thai ดิ้นรน


Project Moves and Abilities logo.png This article is part of Project Moves and Abilities, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on two related aspects of the Pokémon games.