A Gym Badge (Japanese: ジムバッジGym Badge), commonly referred to as simply a badge (Japanese: バッジbadge), is an item that serves as proof of a Pokémon Trainer's victory in a battle against a Gym Leader at a Pokémon Gym.
Trainers need to collect a certain number of Gym Badges in order to qualify for a region's Pokémon League. Young Trainers usually begin their initial Pokémon journey by traveling from city to city in order to collect them. Badges are small enough to fit easily between one's thumb and index finger and can be pinned to a shirt or kept in a badge case.
In all core series games that feature badges except Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Badge is consistently written in title case (or ALLCAPS in Generations I to III, which frequently render proper nouns in ALLCAPS). Some examples:
"Those BADGEs have amazing secrets! Now then... Which of the 8 BADGEs should I describe?" (Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow)
In Pokémon Masters EX, this is consistently written as lowercase badge, including PML badge, except the title-case Gym Badge is sometimes mentioned. As in the core series games, the badge names themselves are written in title case as well, such as Fairy Badge. Some examples:
"As Gym Leaders, it's part of our job to award badges to Trainers who've proven their skill." (Morty)
"The badge I give out is called... the Fairy Badge. It's a really beautiful badge, too." (Valerie)
"So instead they faced me in their first battle for a Gym Badge." (Brock)
A selection of familiar and unfamiliar badges can be seen in early character artwork by Ken Sugimori. It appears that the original concept of badges was more similar to an embroidered patch than the pinned badge they are portrayed as in the anime and subsequent game entries. While some of these patches do resemble badges seen in the final game like the Cascade Badge, the Volcano Badge or even the RainbowBadge, others don't appear to be based on anything, and may have only been made for the sake of aesthetics, much like real-life embroidered patches, such as Red's "LeafBadge" or Silver's "Artsy Badge".
Other instances of embroidered "badges" can be seen in the cover art for the Games That Stand Out Collection magazine, with the male Trainer's rock or diamond badge and the female Trainer's teardrop badge, which shares a resemblance to the Cascade Badge. However, given the nature of this illustration (the designs were made specifically for this cover and weren't intended to be used in the franchise), it is likely that these designs were chosen randomly. The latter badge's resemblance to the Cascade Badge was most likely a coincidence, given it is a stylized drop of water.
In Generations I-III, some badges boost a certain stat or stats of the player's Pokémon. This boost is applied only in internal battles, not link battles. In Generations I and II, the stat or stats are increased by 12.5%; in Generation III, the stat or stats are increased by 10%. This boost does not exist from Generation IV onward.
In Generation I, this boost is reapplied whenever the player's Pokémon's stats are raised or lowered, allowing boosts to be stacked (this stacking effect is lost if the Pokémon levels up). In Generation II, if the attack is a critical hit and the attacker's used offensive stat stage is less than or equal to the opponent's defensive stat stage, all badge boosts are ignored.
Note that in Generation I, the game states that the Thunder Badge raises Speed and the Soul Badge raises Defense, but these are not the actual effects caused.
In Generation II, every badge boosts the power of the moves of a certain type by 12.5% (1/8), despite never being referenced in the games. The type strengthened matches the type theme of the Gym (for example, Zephyr Badge boosts the Flying type); despite the Viridian Gym no longer having a type theme in Generation II, the Earth Badge boosts Ground-type moves.
These boosts work similarly to the way same-type attack bonus (STAB) boosts work, and are, in fact, calculated in-between weather modifiers and STAB. Just like stat boosts, type boosts are not applied in link battles.
Badges affect a Pokémon's behavior. Outsider Pokémon over a certain level will refuse to obey the player without the appropriate badge. In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, obedience is determined by the number of badges, not which specific badges the player has. Starting in Legends: Arceus, this applies even to non-outsider Pokémon, but is based on the level the Pokémon was met at when caught (as displayed on the Summary screen), rather than its current level. This prevents a Pokémon from suddenly becoming disobedient once it exceeds a player's current obedience level (listed below), as long as it was caught at or below that level. In Generation IX if a Pokémon is received in a trade, the level at which it was traded instead becomes the level it was met at, even if traded back to its Original Trainer.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield, the player cannot catchwild Pokémon above a certain level without appropriate badges. Such uncatchable wild Pokémon are described as being "very strong-looking" upon encounter, and attempting to use a Poké Ball displays the message, "You can't throw a Poké Ball! It won't let its guard down!"
While Trainers can teach their Pokémon HM moves and use them in battle, Trainers require the appropriate badge to use them in the overworld in GenerationsI through IV as well as Generation VI. In Generation V only, badges are not needed to use HM moves in the overworld.
Poké Mart stock
From Generation IV onwards, the number of badges a Trainer possesses affects which items Poké Marts sell. The more badges, the more items that become available for purchase, with more expensive items generally appearing after more badges are obtained.
In the games, in order to enter the Pokémon League and challenge the Elite Four and Champion, the player must have all eight badges from that region (in the case of the Indigo Plateau, either Kanto or Johto; for Paldea, only the badges earned from the Gyms are accepted by the League, as the others are unofficial designs merely meant to resemble the proper badges). In Unova, Kalos, and Generation I, III, and VII Kanto, badges are checked individually through a series of badge Check Gates; in Hoenn, Sinnoh, and Generation II and IV Kanto, badges are checked all at once.
List of badges
In Generations IV and VII, these badges do not affect stats.
This badge is not obtainable until the player has cleared out Team Rocket HQ. In Generation II, due to a bug, the Special Defense boost is not applied if the (pre-boost) Special Attack stat is in between 206 and 433 (inclusive).
It is shaped like three raindrops arranged in a triangle.
When badges are touched in the games, they play a single note, and will make a musical C major scale when all eight badges are collected. When a player rubs the stylus across them numerous times to polish them (as they gradually tarnish), they will begin to shine. This process can be continued until four sparkles are visible. The musical notes are also the most clearly defined and accurately tuned when there are four sparkles.
Unlike other generations, it is the number of badges that determines which outsider Pokémonobey the Trainer, rather than the badges themselves (this distinction is important because the order in which the Cobble, Fen, and Relic Badges are obtained differs between Diamond/Pearl and Platinum). For every second badge the maximum level of obeying Pokémon increases (0 badges—level 10; 2 badges—level 30; 4 badges—level 50; 6 badges—level 70; 8 badges—level 100). The number of badges collected also affects the items that the player can purchase in Poké Marts.
Unlike previous badges, the level at which traded Pokémon will obey the player goes up by ten per badge, rather than the previous system of rising twenty levels after every even-numbered badge. They can be polished like Sinnoh's badges, although they do not make different notes when polished at the same level. Instead, the picture of the Gym Leader from whom the badge was earned gets grayer.
In Black 2 and White 2, the badges no longer dull over a period of time, and Sinnoh's notes were reintegrated into the badge screen.
Although badges are not required to use any of the HMs outside of battle, some HMs cannot be obtained until after obtaining certain badges. However, as they are not required, traded Pokémon that have learned an HM move in another game can still use the HM move before acquiring any badges.
It is shaped like a bow tie, similar to those worn by the Striaton Gym Leaders. It may also bear a resemblance to an opened pea pod, which contains two large peas; one green and one blue, with a smaller red pea at the center.
The Gym Leader who gives the badge is the same one who was battled.
It is shaped like a snowflake with an iceberg in the center.
Unlike previous badges, these badges are not pins or kept in a case, but pieces of a gold-colored medallion placed into a metal ring to stay in place. Once all badges are set, the completed reverse side shows the Gym Challenge logo.
On it is a design shaped like a dragon's face and neck when viewed from the side.
Unlike in previous games, where badges can only be obtained through defeating Gym Leaders, badges in Paldea can be obtained by progressing through the three storylines in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. There are a total of 18 badges to collect: eight Gym Badges from the Victory Road storyline (which involves defeating Gym Leaders as in previous games), five Star Badges from the ★ Starfall Street ★ storyline (which involves defeating Team Star Bosses), and five Titan Badges (which involves defeating Titan Pokémon) from the Path of Legends storyline. Only the Gym Badges are officially recognized by the Paldea League; the Star Badges were crafted by the leaders of each of Team Star's five squads as symbols of authority within the group, and the Titan Badges were crafted by Arven to commemorate the defeat of the five Titans of Paldea.
The obediencelevels listed below are based on the amount of Gym Badges the player has instead of which specific badges they have.