Multi Battle

Fighting two Team Yell Grunts in a Multi Battle in Pokémon Sword and Shield

A Multi Battle (Japanese: マルチバトル Multi Battle), referred to as a Tag Battle (Japanese: タッグバトル Tag Battle) in the anime, is a type of Double Battle in which each of the four Pokémon is controlled by a separate Pokémon Trainer.

Starting with Generation III, Multi Battles occur when the player has teamed up with another Trainer. If the player has teamed up with another Trainer as part of the storyline, their Pokémon total as well as that of their opponents may exceed the limit of six Pokémon per team imposed by party restrictions for other types of Pokémon battle.

In Generations VI and VII, Multi Battles allow a player to Mega Evolve a Pokémon even if their partner has already done so during the same battle.

In Generation VII, like with Mega Evolution, a player may use a Z-Move even if their teammate has already done so during the same battle.

In Generation VIII, each team may only Dynamax or Gigantamax once per battle. Each turn, only one specific player from each team is given the opportunity to Dynamax a Pokémon; if a player skips their opportunity to use Dynamax, then their teammate will get the opportunity to on the next turn.

In the games

Multi Battle mode

A Multi Battle in Generation IV

In Generation III, up to four players can battle with each other in a Multi Battle via Game Link Cable by choosing the "Multi Battle" mode in the Pokémon Cable Club Colosseum. Players decide which side to battle. This is the only way to have a Multi Battle in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen

In Generation IV, the Pokémon Cable Club Colosseum was renamed to the Pokémon Communication Club Colosseum, but Multi Battles can still be conducted by selecting "Multi Battle".

In Generation V, Multi Battles can be conducted through the IR section of the C-Gear, and you can select an opponent and pair with somebody through the IR function.

In Generation VI, the player accesses Multi Battles with the Player Search System's Battle option. After selecting a connection type, the player must then change the number of players to four, and select three other players on the touch screen.


Pokémon Center Receptionist

"Multi Battle is for four Trainers with one or more Pokémon each."
"Each Trainer can have one Pokémon in battle at a time."

In-game events

Since Pokémon Emerald, Multi Battles have been possible at various points throughout the games.

  • In Pokémon Emerald, at the Mossdeep Space Center the player battles Maxie and Tabitha of Team Magma alongside Steven.
    • This is the only battle when a partner Trainer receives experience points from defeating a Pokémon. It is also the only Multi Battle in which the player can use items on the partner Trainer's Pokémon or knock out the partner Trainer's Pokémon to get experience points.
A Multi Battle in Generation V
A Multi Battle in Generation VI
A Multi Battle in Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon

Battle facilities

Since Pokémon Emerald, Multi Battles have been possible in battle facilities.

In the anime

Ash and Dawn ready for a Tag Battle

While Ash has been involved in many "illegal" Tag Battles conducted by Team Rocket long before the concept was introduced to the games, his first official Tag Battle was in The Bicker the Better, when he teamed up with May to battle against Oscar and Andi. At first, Ash had gotten into an argument with May but ended up making up with her and becoming in sync with her during battle.

Hearthome City has its own special tournament known as the Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition, which took place from Tag! We're It...! to Smells Like Team Spirit!. Tag teams are chosen randomly, with each Trainer receiving a card with a number on it and partnering with the Trainer whose number is paired with their number. The tournament was entered by Ash, Dawn, and Brock, who were respectively paired with Paul, Conway, and Holly. Ash and Paul managed to win the tournament despite working very poorly together.

Ash and Dawn have teamed up on numerous occasions over the course of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl. Their first Tag Battle together took place in The Champ Twins! when they faced off against Ryan and Bryan. They initially had trouble working in sync, but after both of them acknowledged their flaws, their teamwork improved and they managed to defeat the twin brothers in a rematch.

In Bagged Then Tagged!, Ash and Dawn had a Tag Battle against Lyra and Khoury inside the Lilypad Colosseum. They managed to defeat the Johto Trainers despite the unexpected Evolution of Khoury's Totodile. While visiting Emeragrove Town in Once There Were Greenfields, Ash and Dawn paired up to battle James and Gardenia. Using their Aipom and Pachirisu against James's Cacnea and Gardenia's Turtwig, they won the match.

Ash and Brock have also been shown to work well together as a team. In A Full Course Tag Battle!, the two went up against the owners of the Seven Stars Restaurant, Roman and Kylie. Their cooperation proved successful and they managed to win the battle. In the same episode, May and Dawn teamed up and were also victorious in their Tag Battle. In Hot Springing a Leak!, Dawn and her childhood friend Leona went up against Ash and Brock. Their battle ended in a draw.

In Lost at the Stamp Rally!, Ash and Cilan fought in a Tag Battle against Ingo and Emmet, which Ash and Cilan lost despite fighting excellently. In Evolution Exchange Excitement!, Ash and Cilan battled and won against Bianca and Professor Juniper. Ash and Cilan also fought together in a Tag Battle against two brothers named Soren and Rocko in A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team! and managed to win here as well. In New Places... Familiar Faces!, Ash and Nanette battled against Iris and Cilan, though the battle was interrupted by Team Rocket in their attempt to capture Pikachu.

In Tag Team Battle Inspiration!, Ash and Tierno partnered up against Serena and Shauna, but the battle was called off.

In Party Dancecapades!, Monsieur Pierre prepared a surprise Tag Battle for the Performers attending his dance party. Entrants were given a card upon registration, and four of these cards had a special mark so the people who received them would take part in a Tag Battle. The special cards ended up with Ash, Serena, Miette, and James and they faced off near the end of the party, with the team of Ash and Serena emerging victorious.

In When Regions Collide!, Lana and Mallow had a Multi Battle against Misty, while Sophocles and Lillie had a Multi Battle against Brock. However, both of these battles were called off.

In The Young Flame Strikes Back!, Kiawe had a Multi Battle against Viren and his henchmen, but he ended up losing the battle.

Tag Battles have been featured in a few Pokémon movies as well. In Destiny Deoxys, Ash visited the LaRousse City Battle Tower where he battled alongside Tory against Sid and Rafe. Due to Tory's fear of Pokémon and lack of battling experience, he and Ash ended up losing the match. In Arceus and the Jewel of Life, Ash and Dawn defeated Kiko and Kato using their Pikachu and Piplup against a Beautifly and Heracross.

In the manga

Pokémon Adventures

A Multi Battle in Pokémon Adventures

Ruby & Sapphire chapter

The first official Multi Battle was featured in The Beginning of the End with Kyogre & Groudon X, where Ruby and Sapphire took on Archie and Maxie in Seafloor Cavern. Although they were able to defeat the villainous team leaders, they were unable to retrieve the Red and Blue Orbs from them before they could merge with their holders.

FireRed & LeafGreen chapter

In Surprised by Sneasel and A Well-Journeyed Jumpluff, Silver and Yellow faced Sird and Orm of Team Rocket in a Multi Battle in Viridian City. Orm's Jumpluff surrounded the two Pokédex holders with a cloud of spores that could cause any kind of status condition, making it impossible for them to send out a Pokémon without it getting a status condition the instant it came out. Yellow, however, used her ability to control the Poké Ball at the end of her fishing line to move Omny outside of the spore cloud and then unleash it to use Blizzard, instantly freezing both Jumpluff and the spores. As the two Team Rocket members then kidnapped Silver and escaped with him, the battle was left unresolved.

Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire chapter

In Omega Alpha Adventure 11, Red and Green teamed up in a Multi Battle against Archie and Maxie, with all four Trainers utilizing Mega Evolution. Although Red and Green eventually won the battle, Archie and Maxie still succeeded in making Kyogre and Groudon undergo Primal Reversion in the meantime.

In the aforementioned round, Ruby and Emerald also briefly engaged Blaise and Amber in a Multi Battle, but they were soon caught in Blaise's Slugma's illusions, allowing the villains slip away.


  • When battling alongside Steven in Emerald, his Pokémon are shown to gain experience after the defeat of an opponent Pokémon. This does not happen to a partner's Pokémon in the Multi Battles of Generation IV.
    • Having the player's party be defeated in the Multi Battle with Steven will cause the player to white out. This was also changed in Generation IV, where a white out will not occur until both the player's and the partner's Pokémon are all knocked out.
  • The Multi Battle against Mars and Jupiter in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum as well as the battle against Flint and Volkner in Pokémon Platinum have the potential to be twelve-on-six fights, due to Barry's full party.

In other languages

Multi Battle

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 多人對戰 Dōyàhn Deuijin
Mandarin 多人對戰 / 多人对战 Duōrén Duìzhàn
French   Canada Combat multi*
  Europe Combat Multi
  German Multikampf
  Italian Lotta Multipla
  Korean 멀티배틀 Multi Battle
Portuguese   Brazil Batalha Múltipla
  Portugal Combate Múltiplo
  Spanish Combate Múltiple

Tag Battle

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 聯手對戰 Lyùhnsáu Deuijin *
雙打對戰 Sēungdá Deuijin *
Mandarin 聯手對戰 / 联手对战 Liánshǒu Duìzhàn *
雙打對戰 / 双打对战 Shuāngdǎ Duìzhàn *
雙人合作賽 / 双人合作赛 Shuāngrén Hézuò Sài *
接棒決戰 / 接棒决战 Jiēbàng Juézhàn *
兩人戰鬥 / 两人战斗 Liǎngrén Zhàndòu *
二對二的決鬥 / 二对二的决斗 Èr-duì-Èr-de Juédòu *
  Danish Dobbeltkamp*
  Finnish Pariottelu (Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire)
Tag-ottelu (Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl-present)
  Korean 태그배틀 Tag Battle *
태그시합 Tag Sihab *
복식 배틀 Boksik Battle *
  Norwegian Tag-kamp
  Polish Dwuwalka
  Brazilian Portuguese Batalha em Dupla
Batalha de Duplas (XY090)
Batalha de Dupla (BW099)
  Russian Двойная битва Dvoynaya bitva*
Битва два на два Bitva dva na dva*
  Spanish Combate Mixto
Combate de Dobles*
  Swedish Tag-strid*

Pokémon battle variations
Double BattleMulti BattleTriple BattleRotation BattleHorde EncounterSOS BattleSupport PlayMax Raid Battle
Full BattleContest BattleLauncher BattleSky BattleInverse BattleBattle RoyalDynamax Adventure
Battle modes

Battle Modes at Pokémon Communication Club Colosseum
Battles for Two Single BattleDouble BattleMix BattleFlat Battle
Battles for Four Multi Battle
Specific Rule sets
Standard Cup • Double Cup
Fancy CupGS CupLight CupLittle Cup

  This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.