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A critical hit (Japanese: 急所 pressure point) is a (generally) random event that multiplies the damage of a damage-dealing move. When one occurs, the game will display the message "A critical hit!" (Japanese: 急所に 当たった！ Hit a pressure point!) after the damage is dealt.
In Generation I
When a move lands a critical hit, the attacker's level will be doubled during damage calculation, which approximately (but not quite) doubles the damage dealt. A rough formula for the damage multiplier is
(2L+5)/(L+5) where L is the attacker's level; as a result, lower-leveled Pokémon have a smaller critical hit boost than higher-leveled Pokémon. For example, a level 5 Pokémon will inflict about 1.5× damage on a critical hit, while a level 20 Pokémon will inflict 1.8× and a level 95 Pokémon will inflict 1.95×.
Critical hits ignore all stat stage modifiers and the halved Attack from burn. This includes beneficial stat modifiers as well, making it possible for a critical hit to deal less damage than a non-critical hit if the attacker has at least doubled their Attack/Special or the target's Defense/Special is at least halved.
Whether a move scores a critical hit is determined by comparing a 1-byte random number (0 to 255) against a 1-byte threshold value (also 0 to 255); if the random number is less than the threshold, the Pokémon scores a critical hit. If the threshold value is T, then this means the probability (P) of scoring a critical hit is
P = T / 256. (It is impossible for a critical hit to be guaranteed; there will always be at least a 1/256 chance that a critical hit will not be scored.)
T = BaseSpeed / 2or
P = BaseSpeed / 512
TFE = BaseSpeed / 8or
PFE = BaseSpeed / 2048
THighCHR = BaseSpeed * 4or
PHighCHR = BaseSpeed / 64
Both effects may also be active at the same time. This would result in:
TFE+HighCHR = BaseSpeedor
PFE+HighCHR = BaseSpeed / 256
At all times, the maximum value for T is 255 (which equally means the maximum value for P is 255/256). All operations that factor into T are also integer operations (meaning divisions are rounded down to the nearest whole number). (Note that the division in
P = T / 256 is not rounded.) Due to the process the game uses to compute T, BaseSpeed is also effectively rounded down to the nearest even number.
In Pokémon Stadium
In Pokémon Stadium, the threshold value T is determined by a different formula.
For a normal move, T is:
T = ( BaseSpeed + 76 ) / 4or
P = ( BaseSpeed + 76 ) / 1024
Focus Energy is slightly more complicated than in the core games, but it does correctly raise the chance of a critical hit instead of lowering it:
TFE = ( BaseSpeed + 236 ) / 2or
PFE = ( BaseSpeed + 236 ) / 512
THighCHR = ( BaseSpeed + 76 ) * 2or
PHighCHR = ( BaseSpeed + 76 ) / 128
If both effects are active at the same time, then:
TFE+HighCHR = ( BaseSpeed + 236 ) * 4or
PFE+HighCHR = ( BaseSpeed + 236 ) / 64
Since 236 * 4 is well beyond 255, any Pokémon will have a maximum chance to score a critical hit if both effects are active.
As with the core games, the maximum value for T is always 255 (or 255/256 for P) and any divisions that factor into T are rounded down to the nearest whole number. Due to the process the game uses to compute T, BaseSpeed is also effectively rounded down to the nearest multiple of 4.
Generation II onwards
In Generation II, when a move scores a critical hit, all stat stage modifiers, the halved Attack from burn, and the defensive boosts from Light Screen and Reflect are ignored if the target's defending stat stage (Defense or Special Defense) is greater than or equal to the attacker's attacking stat stage (Attack or Special Attack). From Generation III onwards, when a move scores a critical hit, the attacker's negative stat stages, the defender's positive stat stages, and the defensive boosts from Light Screen, Reflect, and Aurora Veil are always ignored. However, the halved Attack from burn is no longer ignored.
- If the attacker is using a physical move and is at +2 Attack stages while the target is at +1 Defense stage...
- Gen II: a critical hit will not ignore either stat. (Damage with a critical hit will have an 8/3× modifier.)
- Gen III-V: a critical hit will ignore the Defense boost. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 4× modifier.)
- Gen VI+: a critical hit will ignore the Defense boost. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 3× modifier.)
- If the attacker is using a physical move and is at -1 Attack stages while the target is at -2 Defense stage...
- Gen II: a critical hit will not ignore either stat. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 2.64× modifier.)
- Gen III-V: a critical hit will ignore the Attack drop. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 4× modifier.)
- Gen VI+: a critical hit will ignore the Attack drop. (Damage with a critical hit will have a 3× modifier.)
If a Pokémon with the Sniper Ability gets a critical hit, the damage dealt will be multiplied by an additional factor of 1.5.
The probability of landing a critical hit is no longer based on the attacker's base Speed, but rather is based on a fixed formula for all Pokémon. Similar to stats, there are temporary in-battle stages used to determine the probability that a particular move will be a critical hit.
|Stage||Chance of critical hit|
|Gen II-V||Gen VI||Gen VII onwards|
|+0||1/16 (6.25%)||1/16 (6.25%)||1/24 (~4.167%)|
|+1||1/8 (12.5%)||1/8 (12.5%)||1/8 (12.5%)|
|+2||1/4 (25%)||1/2 (50%)||1/2 (50%)|
|+3||1/3 (~33.3%)||Always (100%)||Always (100%)|
|+4 and above||1/2 (50%)|
An attacking move will start out at stage 0, but there are several ways to increase a move's stage as detailed in the table below.
|Change||Attack property||Held item||Ability||Triggered|
|+1 stage|| Moves with a high critical-hit ratio
(Gen II: +2 stages)
| Razor Claw
|Super Luck||G-Max Chi Strike|
|+2 stages||10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt|| Stick/Leek (for Farfetch'd or Sirfetch'd only)
Lucky Punch (for Chansey only)
|—|| Focus Energy / Dire Hit|
(Gen II: +1 stage)
Z-Foresight, Z-Sleep Talk, Z-Tailwind, Z-Acupressure, Z-Heart Swap
Dire Hit 2 (Wonder Launcher only)
| +3 or more
|—||—||—||Dire Hit 3 (Wonder Launcher only)|
An effect cannot stack with an effect in the same column (including itself), with the exception of G-Max Chi Strike, whose effect can stack with anything (including more uses of itself). A Pokémon may acquire the effect of a Lansat Berry even if it is already holding another item, through the use of Baton Pass, Pluck, Bug Bite, or Fling; or by obtaining another item after consuming the Berry, such as via Thief or Symbiosis.
The Abilities Battle Armor and Shell Armor prevent Pokémon from landing critical hits on the Pokémon with that Ability. Lucky Chant prevents Pokémon from landing critical hits on the Pokémon it is protecting.
The moves Storm Throw, Frost Breath, and Zippy Zap will always result in a critical hit (unless prevented by one of the above effects). The move Laser Focus guarantees the next move to score a critical hit.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon
Critical Hits will only do 50% more damage, unless (in Mystery Dungeon 2) the Pokémon has Sniper, in which case it will do double damage (Sniper, however, will not increase the base power, unlike the main games). Furthermore, in Mystery Dungeon 2, provided that the defender can receive critical hits (i.e. they do not have Battle Armor, Shell Armor, the Lucky Chant status, or the Critical Dodger IQ skill), male or genderless Pokémon will have a 50% less chance of dealing critical hits prior to modifiers (Super Luck, Scope Lens, Patsy Band, the Sharpshooter IQ skill, or the Type-Advantage Master IQ skill). Focus Energy will guarantee that all hits will be criticals while the status is active, provided the defender can receive criticals.
In other languages
|This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.|