Move (GO)

The moves in Pokémon GO are divided into two classifications: Fast Attacks (Japanese: ノーマルアタック Normal Attack) and Charged Attacks (Japanese: スペシャルアタック Special Attack).

Move menu showing the same move sets for the two modes of battles

At the start, every Pokémon knows one of each kind of move, randomly chosen from their species' possible move pool. A Pokémon's Fast Attack or Charged Attack can be reselected using a TM. When a Pokémon evolves, its moves are randomly rerolled.

For a full list of moves in Pokémon GO, see List of moves (GO)

Battle mechanics

A Fast Attack can be cast at any time by simply tapping on the screen; they generally deal smaller amounts of damage and also grant energy to the user. Charged Attacks are usually much stronger, but require a minimum amount of energy to be consumed.

There are two modes of battles in Pokémon GO, each with separate battle mechanics: 1) Gyms & Raids and 2) Trainer Battles. Moves may have different attributes between the two modes.

Power

A move's power is used to determine how much damage that move will deal upon completion. It is the only numeric value that is visible on a Pokémon's move menu for both Fast Attacks and Charged Attacks. Since the physical/special distinction from the core games does not exist in Pokémon GO, both Fast Attacks and Charged Attacks use the attacking Pokémon's Attack and the defending Pokémon's Defense stats to determine how much damage is dealt.

See also: Damage→Pokémon GO

In addition to the base power, some power modifiers are visible on the move menu, if active:

  • If the move has a weather-boosted type, its power is boosted by 20% in Gyms and Raids only
  • For Shadow Pokémon, a 20% Shadow Bonus is applied for all battles

Energy

Every Fast Attack has a value for energy gained per use, and every Charged Attack has a value for energy consumed per use. On a Pokémon's summary view, its Charged Attacks' energy costs is denoted by segmented bars, each segment representing a Charged Attack that can be cast with a full 100 energy. Since February 1, 2019, energy costs for Trainer Battles are also displayed as bars on the summary screen, but energy costs often vary between moves with identical energy bars.

The following table shows the numeric energy cost associated with each energy bar.

Energy bar Energy costs
Gyms & Raids Trainer Battles
0
  33
  50 ≤50
  100 >50

Gyms & Raids only

Duration

In Gyms & Raids, each move has a duration, measured in seconds or milliseconds, that determines how much time must pass before casting a next move. Duration is important to consider because an attack with a higher power may not necessarily deal more damage per unit of time if it takes that much longer to cast. A move's duration is not visible in game.

Damage window

Within each moves total duration is a damage window, during which the damage from executing a move is applied. If the user of a move is knocked out before the damage window starts, then its damage will not be applied. In addition, if a player's Pokémon dodges within 0.7 seconds before the damage window begins, then 75% of the move's damage will be mitigated.

When Pokémon GO was first released, damage from an attack was applied evenly across the full damage window, and whatever part of it that overlapped with the player's dodges was 100% mitigated. (100% mitigation was impossible for damage windows longer than the 0.5-seconds dodges.) After the mechanics were reworked, the full damage is applied at the damage window's start time, and the window's end time is no longer significant for dodging.

Trainer Battles only

Turns

In Trainer Battles, instead of a time-based duration, the length of Fast Attacks is measured in turns, which are 0.5 seconds each. Damage is applied at the end of an attack's final turn. Charged Attacks are not measured in turns; instead, the user plays a 7-second minigame to power up the attack, while the target decides whether to use a Protect Shield to fully mitigate damage. However, Charged Attacks do not pause the battle's timer, so the duration will still count against cooldown timer to recall Pokémon.

When a Pokémon uses a Fast Attack...

  • If the Pokémon is knocked out before its Fast Attack's final turn, then the move's damage will not be applied.
  • If the foe casts a Charged Attack before the Fast Attack's final turn, and the Fast Attack's user is not knocked out, then Fast Attack's damage will be applied immediately after the Charged Attack completes, regardless of how many turns were remaining.
    • Charged Attacks always have priority over Fast Attacks. If a Fast Attack and Charged Attack are cast at the same time, the Charged Attack will go first. If Fast Attack's user is not knocked out, then the Fast Attacks's damage is applied immediately after.
    • In Team GO Rocket battles, the Fast Attack's damage will instead always be canceled by a Charged Attack.

Stat modifiers

Several Charged Attacks have a chance to apply stat modifier to the user and/or the target. These stat modifiers are not blocked from Protect Shields.

Learning moves

Players can use a Fast TM or a Charged TM to randomly reroll a Pokémon Fast Attack or Charged Attack, respectively. Using an Elite Fast TM or Elite Charged TM allows the player to choose which move to learn, including legacy moves. If the Pokémon knows two Charged Attacks, then upon Charged TM or Elite Charged TM on it, the player will first be prompted to select which of the two moves to replace.

The player can spend Stardust and Candy to teach a Pokémon a second Charged Attack. Upon evolution, both Charged Attacks will be randomly reselected. Caterpie, Metapod, Weedle, Kakuna, Magikarp, Ditto, Wynaut, Wobbuffet, Smeargle, Wurmple, Silcoon, Cascoon, Taillow, Feebas, Beldum, Kricketot, Burmy, Combee, Scatterbug, Spewpa, and Wimpod cannot learn a second Charged Attack.

The cost varies depending on the Pokémon species and largely corresponds with the distance needed to walk for a Buddy Pokémon to find a Candy. In addition Shadow Pokémon, compared to their base forms, requires 1.2× Stardust and Candy to learn a second Charged Attack, while Purified Pokémon require 0.8× the base amounts.

Buddy distance Stardust Candy
1 km  10,000  25
3 km  50,000  50
5 km  75,000  75
20 km  100,000  100

In addition, these are the exceptions to the above:


  This article is part of both Project Sidegames and Project Moves and Abilities, Bulbapedia projects that, together, aim to write comprehensive articles on moves and Abilities in the sidegames.