After this team of six is filled, newly-acquired Pokémon are sent to a PC or equivalent to be stored. Trainers may have any Pokémon in their party, and newly caught Pokémon will automatically fill empty slots in the party. Some games have the Pokémon Box Link system, allowing players to change their party at almost any time. Other games require players to travel to a Pokémon Center, base camp, or another PC-enabled place to access the Pokémon Storage System or equivalent.
In the games
The interface used to manage a player's party is known as the Pokémon List (Japanese: ポケモンリスト Pokémon List).
When entering a Single Battle, the first Pokémon that has not fainted in the party list is the one that will be drawn first. For Double Battles, the first two Pokémon that have not fainted in the party list are the ones that will be drawn first by the Trainer. Likewise, the first three Pokémon that have not fainted in the party will be sent out first when entering a Triple Battle or Rotation Battle. If there are not enough conscious Pokémon to battle, then the player will simply be unable to participate in the battle. During battle, if "Shift" is selected in Options, Trainers can switch the participating Pokémon with another in the party when one of the opponent's Pokémon are defeated. This is not the case during Double Battles, Triple Battles, Rotation Battles, the Battle Tower, and other similar areas.
Outside of battle
All Pokémon in a Trainer's party will slowly gain trust towards them as the Trainer walks around. Every 256 steps, the party Pokémon gain friendship. Also, if there is an Egg in the party, it will slowly hatch according to steps taken. Different Eggs take different amounts of distance, but to hatch they must be in the party. Eggs cannot participate in battle, therefore a Trainer may only carry a maximum of five Eggs at a time.
Some Abilities have an out-of-battle effect, and these can only be activated if they are in a Trainer's party. Most of these Abilities only work outside of battle when the Pokémon with the Ability is leading the party.
Viewing the party in the menu will display their name, icon, current HP, status condition, and level in all games. From the party, it's possible to visit the Pokémon's summary. When not in battle, it's also possible to give or take a held item (from Generation II onwards), and also change the order of the Pokémon in the party.
In the Generation I games, there was no gender*, and so this is absent. Also, on the Pokémon summary screens, there are only two screens: Stats, and Moves. The Moves section only shows the name, and the PP of each move. The icons were extremely limited, and the only Pokémon that had its own, unique icon was Pikachu (in Pokémon Yellow only).
In Generation II, the icon range became higher than in Generation I, although it still remained low. The screen was colored similarly to Pokémon Yellow, with all Pokemon icons sharing a common palette.
New to the party screen were a box-like icon obscuring the lower left quarter of a Pokémon's own icon if the Pokémon was holding an item (if the item in question was mail, the icon looked like an envelope instead) and a "Cancel" item.
The Moves section of the summary allowed switching orders and power to be shown along with type. PP was still visible, and the party screen itself kept the same format. In Pokémon Crystal, some Pokémon got unique party sprites, such as Snorlax.
In Generation III, the party screen was overhauled, now with the first Pokémon on the left. Each and every Pokémon had its own unique icon, and all in color. The Pokérus status is visible on the party, unless another status condition is present. The Moves section is again updated, with a page for Pokémon Contest properties, such as Appeal and Jam Points, and another for the moves when used in battle. The battle moves now show accuracy, power, type, and added effects. However, Shiny Pokémon do not show the alternate colors in the party screen.
In Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, the party screen is changed again, showing the party Pokémon from left to right and top to bottom. All other things stay similar, with unique icons, but it adds condition to the summary pages. The party can also be viewed through the Pokétch, to see either HP and items, or friendship.
In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the party screen is essentially the same as in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, however, it is moved to the bottom screen. The Pokémon that leads the party follows the player around, like the Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow.
In Black and White Versions, the party screen is now fully able to interact with the Nintendo DS's touch screen, by being placed on the bottom of the screen. It functions similarly as it did in previous games. The player can view the back sprite of a Pokémon by tapping it while viewing information on it. Sliding the stylus up and down or left and right causes the Pokémon to jump, and drawing circles around the Pokémon makes it levitate.
In X and Y, the party screen is almost the same except Pokémon in party are now always jumping unless fainted, in which fainted Pokémon just sit still. While all Pokémon have their unique icons updated, these icons are no longer animated. Sprites were replaced by models (players can no longer view the back but by tapping it causes it to perform one of the Pokémon's species-based attack animations instead), can move from one Pokémon to another by sliding the stylus or tapping the Poké Balls located on the right of the summary screen, can move from one item to another by sliding the stylus and no longer drawing circles around the Pokémon to levitate.
Additionally, Pokémon with field moves display an icon like that of a TM or HM that opens the Pokémon option list with the field moves expanded, Pokémon can be switched by touching a Pokémon until it detaches from the grid or by touching a swap button and using either quicker drag-and-drop or button navigation and items can be moved more easily by pressing an item swap button. Both the item swap and the Pokémon swap must be disengaged using the back icon or B button before the menu can be closed. The party Pokémon can be seen and interacted with by using both Pokémon-Amie and Super Training, but the party order is not affected by them.
In Sun and Moon, the party screen works almost the same as it does in Generation VI. The ability to drag a Pokémon to move it remains, along with the ability to swap items. However, Pokémon placement can be done by pressing the Y button. The X button no longer closes the menu, as it is replaced with swapping held items around party members instead. A Pokémon's EVs can be seen by pressing the Y button on their status screen. Pokémon can have their Markers changed to both blue and pink colors within this screen. Their Ability and Held Item descriptions can be viewed by pressing a blue circle with an "i" next to it via touch screen. Ribbons can still be viewed, although Contest stats from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have been removed, due to the lack of Pokémon Contests in the games. Having been completely abandoned as a mechanic, field moves can no longer be selected or used.
Party Pokémon can be interacted with and healed in Pokémon Refresh, replacing Pokémon-Amie. This can be done after battles to heal status conditions and groom the Pokémon. The Pokémon currently sent out in battle will be the first one to appear in Refresh. Otherwise, it will always be the Pokémon in the front of the party.
In Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, the party screen is displayed in a more horizontal manner, with Pokémon organized in two rows of three, instead of two columns. From these games onwards, Pokémon icons are no longer restricted to the same size, and some of the icons (mostly those of fully evolved or Legendary Pokémon) were replaced with larger ones.
In Sword and Shield, the party screen reverted to its original form, with the entire party presented as a single column. The rest of the screen displays the Pokémon's moves if shown in battle, otherwise its model is shown. If a Pokémon is holding an item, the item's specific icon is shown instead of a generic box.
In Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Pokémon and item icons have been redrawn in a higher resolution.
In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Pokémon are shown as portraits instead of icons. Held items are not shown, being completely absent in this game. New to the party screen are Poké Ball icons which glow when a Pokémon is ready to evolve, experience bars with points required to level up, as well as markers specific to Alpha Pokémon. The party can appear on two different screens: outside of battle, it shares a screen with the satchel, with items on the left and the party on the right; during battles, it is possible to switch to another screen, where the party appears on the left, while the right side of the screen lists the moves the currently selected Pokémon can use.
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Reason: Console games
In the anime
In the anime, Trainers can only carry six Pokémon at a time just like in the games. When a Trainer catches a new Pokémon while having a full party, the new Pokémon cannot be used until the Trainer switches it with a Pokémon currently in the party. In Mystery at the Lighthouse, the Poké Ball of Ash's newly-caught Krabby teleported away, while in Sewaddle and Burgh in Pinwheel Forest!, the Poké Ball in which Ash captured his brand-new Sewaddle simply shrank and locked itself with a red light until he had switched out one of his other Pokémon. In A Snow Day for Searching!, however, Goh was seen immediately sending out his newly-caught Cubone despite having six Pokémon on hand, suggesting that there are no strict party limits outside of battle in Pokémon Journeys: The Series, similar to Pokémon GO.
Unlike in the games, it is possible for Trainers to carry an Egg while they have a full party of six Pokémon with them. This was seen in the original series when Ash traveled with Larvitar while he had a full party already. (This might, however, have been because Larvitar was never officially Ash's Pokémon, as he never actually caught it in a Poké Ball.)
In this canon, official battles between Trainers usually involve each person using the same number of Pokémon. For example, most Gym battles require both the Gym Leader and the challenger to use the same number of Pokémon. There is also a battle variation known as a Full Battle, in which both Trainers are required to use all six Pokémon. In Pokémon Showcases, Performers are allowed to use up to six Pokémon while delivering a Freestyle Performance, although this was never shown.
In the manga
In Pokémon Adventures, there are technically no limits to how many Pokémon a Trainer can have on hand beyond what the Trainer can physically carry. However, Trainers are still limited to a maximum of six Pokémon for official battles, such as in the Pokémon League. In A Flaaffy Kerfuffle, Professor Oak explained that the Pokémon Association determined six to be the ideal maximum at which a Trainer could give all Pokémon on hand sufficient care and attention.
The concept of a full party of six Pokémon was brought up in Besting Buizel II, where Crasher Wake told Pearl that he should catch an additional two Pokémon to fill out his team of four before confronting Team Galactic. Pearl's full team was revealed by the end of the next round.
- Assuming there are 898 unique Pokémon species known, if any Pokémon can only appear once in a party of 1 to 6, there are 721,075,636,720,323 possible parties.
- Assuming the party contains 6 unique Pokémon, there are 716,236,263,669,472 possible parties.
- Assuming the party contains 5 unique Pokémon, there are 4,812,337,717,824 possible parties.
- Assuming the party contains 4 unique Pokémon, there are 26,914,640,480 possible parties.
- Assuming the party contains 3 unique Pokémon, there are 120,288,896 possible parties.
- Assuming the party contains 2 unique Pokémon, there are 402,753 possible parties.
- Assuming the party contains 1 Pokémon, there are 898 possible parties.
- In the anime, only four main characters have ever held full teams of six Pokémon at any time: Ash, Misty, Dawn, and Goh.
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.|