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Contact

Contact or direct attack is a term used to describe the condition when one Pokémon in a battle physically touches the opponent in order to deal damage with a move.

Contact is distinct from whether a move is physical or special in nature, but most moves that make contact are physical moves, while most special moves do not make contact; status moves do not make contact in any case.

The use of contact-based moves can trigger various Abilities of the foe, such as Cute Charm and Effect Spore. It can also trigger certain items, and can be used to spread Pokérus.

Hitting a substitute does not make contact with the Pokémon behind it.

Note that Ancient Power and Overheat make contact in Generation III only.

List of physical moves that do not make contact

These are physical moves that do not make contact. (This does not include moves such as Hyper Beam, which belonged to physical-based types before Generation IV reclassified them as special.)

Move Type
Attack Order  Bug  Status {{{3}}}
Barrage  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Beat Up  Dark  Status {{{3}}}
Bonemerang  Ground  Status {{{3}}}
Bone Club  Ground  Status {{{3}}}
Bone Rush  Ground  Status {{{3}}}
Bulldoze  Ground  Status {{{3}}}
Bullet Seed  Grass  Status {{{3}}}
Earthquake  Ground  Status {{{3}}}
Egg Bomb  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Explosion  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Feint  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Fissure  Ground  Status {{{3}}}
Fling  Dark  Status {{{3}}}
Freeze Shock  Ice  Status {{{3}}}
Fusion Bolt  Electric  Status {{{3}}}
Gear Grind  Steel  Status {{{3}}}
Gunk Shot  Poison  Status {{{3}}}
Ice Shard  Ice  Status {{{3}}}
Icicle Crash  Ice  Status {{{3}}}
Icicle Spear  Ice  Status {{{3}}}
Magnet Bomb  Steel  Status {{{3}}}
Magnitude  Ground  Status {{{3}}}
Metal Burst  Steel  Status {{{3}}}
Natural Gift  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Pay Day  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Poison Sting  Poison  Status {{{3}}}
Pin Missile  Bug  Status {{{3}}}
Present  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Psycho Cut  Psychic  Status {{{3}}}
Razor Leaf  Grass  Status {{{3}}}
Rock Blast  Rock  Status {{{3}}}
Rock Slide  Rock  Status {{{3}}}
Rock Throw  Rock  Status {{{3}}}
Rock Tomb  Rock  Status {{{3}}}
Rock Wrecker  Rock  Status {{{3}}}
Sacred Fire  Fire  Status {{{3}}}
Sand Tomb  Ground  Status {{{3}}}
Secret Power  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Seed Bomb  Grass  Status {{{3}}}
Self-Destruct  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Sky Attack  Flying  Status {{{3}}}
Spike Cannon  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Smack Down  Rock  Status {{{3}}}
Stone Edge  Rock  Status {{{3}}}
Twineedle  Bug  Status {{{3}}}

Also, while confusion damage is physical, it does not make contact.

List of special moves that make contact

These are special moves that do make contact. (This does not include moves such as Fire Punch, which belonged to special-based types before Generation IV reclassified them as physical.)

Move Type
Draining Kiss  Fairy  Status {{{3}}}
Final Gambit  Fighting  Status {{{3}}}
Grass Knot  Grass  Status {{{3}}}
Infestation  Bug  Status {{{3}}}
Petal Dance  Grass  Status {{{3}}}
Trump Card  Normal  Status {{{3}}}
Wring Out  Normal  Status {{{3}}}

Effects involving contact

Moves

Name Effect
King's Shield Decreases an attacker's Attack two stages if it used a contact move on the defending Pokémon.
Spiky Shield Damages an attacker for 1/8 of its max HP if it used a contact move on the defending Pokémon.

Abilities

Name Effect
Aftermath An attacker loses 1/4 of its max HP if the Pokémon with this Ability faints.
Cute Charm Has a 30% chance of infatuating an attacker on contact.
Effect Spore Has a 30% chance of inducing one of poison, paralysis, or sleep in an attacker on contact.
Flame Body Has a 30% chance of burning an attacker on contact.
Gooey Lowers an attacker's Speed by one stage on contact.
Iron Barbs Damages an attacker for 1/8 of its max HP on contact.
Mummy Replaces an attacker's Ability with Mummy on contact.
Pickpocket Steals an attacker's held item on contact if the defending Pokémon has none.
Poison Point Has a 30% chance of poisoning an attacker on contact.
Poison Touch Each hit from a contact move from a Pokémon with this Ability has a 30% chance (20% chance in the Japanese versions of Black and White) of poisoning the target.
Rough Skin Damages an attacker for 1/8 of its max HP (1/16 of its max HP in Generation III) on contact.
Static Has a 30% chance of paralyzing an attacker on contact.
Tough Claws Boosts the power of contact moves used by this Pokémon by 33%.

Items

Name Effect
Bag Rocky Helmet Sprite.png Rocky Helmet Damages an attacker for 1/6 of its max HP on contact.
Bag Sticky Barb Sprite.png Sticky Barb Damages the holder each turn for 1/8 of their max HP. Transfers to an attacker on contact.

Trivia

  • In Pokémon Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness, battle animations for contact moves do not show the attacking Pokémon hitting the defending one at all. As in the Stadium series, physical blows usually utilize quick camera cuts between the attacking and defending Pokémon to imply direct contact.

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.
Last modified on 17 August 2014, at 19:42