

Box Trick

Battle Damage

Type Chart

This page discusses factors relevant to how Pokémon cause damage to one another.
Physical, Special, and Calculated Attacks

Physical Attacks cause damage as a function of the Attack
statistic of the attacking Pokémon and the Defense stat of the defending
Pokémon. Most damaging moves of the types Normal, Fighting, Flying,
Ground, Rock, Bug, Ghost, and Poison are physical attacks.
Special Attacks cause damage as a function of the Special stats
of the two battling Pokémon. Most damaging moves of the types Water,
Grass, Fire, Ice, Electric, and Psychic are special attacks.
For Calculated Attacks, damage is calculated via some method
other than the Battle Damage Formula described below. The Attack, Defense,
and Special statistics of the combatants are not relevant, nor is the Type
of the calculated attack, in most cases. For example, Seismic Toss inflicts one HP of
damage for every Level of the attacker, regardless of all other factors.
Furthermore, despite the fact that it is a Fighting attack, it is
effective against Ghosts, and Fighting Pokémon like
Poliwrath do not receive a sametype
attack bonus (see next section) when using it.
Other examples of calculated attacks include Psywave, which does a
randomlydetermined amount of damage, and Dragon Rage, which always does
exactly 40 points of damage.
SameType Attack Bonus (STAB)

To help maximize damage, you should match the Type of your Pokémon with
the Type of the attack. For physical and special (but not
calculated) attacks, this provides a 1.5x damage boost as compared to a
nonmatching Pokémon using that attack. Thus, while
Magmar can learn Psychic, it's better suited for
Hypno. For dualtype Pokémon, only
one of their types need match to get the 1.5x bonus. Also, note that
typematching can only help, not hinder, the amount of damage you do. So a
Water Pokémon learning Thunderbolt won't be penalized
because it is using an Electric attack: it simply won't receive any
bonus.
The damage caused by physical and special attacks is also influenced by
how the attack Type interacts with the defender's Type(s). For example,
you've probably noticed that when your
Pikachu
uses Thundershock on a
Pidgey, the game displays the
message, "It's super effective!", and it seems to do a lot of damage. It's
true that Pikachu gets STAB when using Thundershock, but something more is
happening here: because Pidgey is a Flying Type, it is taking double the
damage that it would otherwise receive.
Unfortunately, the messages displayed by the game can be misleading
when the enemy has more than one Type. Take for instance Low Kick, a Fighting attack, used
against Articuno, an Ice/Flying
Pokémon. When Low Kick is used, the game may display the message, "It's
not very effective", but what's actually happening is Ice's weakness and
Flying's resistance are cancelling each other out. The lesson here is that
both of the enemy's Types factor into damage. Check out the Type Modifier Chart for a complete account of how
the Types match up.
Keep in mind that it is the Type of the attack, not of the
attacker, that is relevant. A
Sandslash using Submission will get the same Type
Modifier bonus against Clefable that
Machop would. (However, the former
would not get STAB.) Conversely, a Machop using Body Slam will get no particular
bonus against Clefable, just because he is a Fighting
Type.
The Battle Damage Formula

This is the formula for predicting the damage that will be done by any
physical or special attack. If you remember the formula that was here
before, this will look a little different! The previous formula was not
extracted from the game code, but was "reverseengineered" by examining
many examples of actual damage. Though it was very accurate, it was
sometimes a point or two off. This formula does come from the game
code*, and should therefore predict damage perfectly (to date, no test has
found any discrepancy between predicted and actual damage).
If this seems like more math than you want to learn in order to play a
video game, don't worry! You don't have to be able to use the formula to
be successful in battles, any more than an archer has to understand
calculus to hit the bullseye. However, an understanding of all the factors
that produce a final damage value will make you a better player in the
long run. You may also find the BDF useful for estimating how your Pokémon
would fare against specific adversaries.
Here's the formula:
((2A/5+2)*B*C)/D)/50)+2)*X)*Y/10)*Z)/255
A = attacker's Level
B = attacker's Attack or Special
C = attack Power
D = defender's Defense or Special
X = sameType attack bonus (1 or 1.5)
Y = Type modifiers (40, 20, 10, 5, 2.5, or 0)
Z = a random number between 217 and 255
Full explanations of each variable follow.
This is the Level of the attacking Pokémon. In the event of a Critical
Hit (see below), A is doubled.
In the absence of any statistic modifiers, B
is equal to the Attack or Special (depending upon whether it is a physical
or special attack being used) of the attacking Pokémon, while D is equal to the Defense or Special of the defending
Pokémon.
However, an extremely important aspect of combat is that attacks like
Meditate and Tail Whip can change the values of
B and D, respectively,
by increasing or decreasing the statistics of the combatants. D is also subject to change through the use of Reflect and Light Screen. The effects and
interactions of these and similar moves make for quite a long story, and
are therefore addressed separately on the Statistic Modifiers
page.
This is simply the Power value reported in the Attacks Section for the physical or
special attack being used. For example, if the attack is Surf, C =
95.
X is described above in the section on STAB:
if the attacker's Type (or at least one of them, for dualTypes) is
identical to the Type of the physical or special attack, X has a value of 1.5 — if not, the value is
1.
As explained on the Type Modifier Chart page, attacks that are
supereffective against the current enemy's Type multiply damage by 2,
while those that are not very effective multiply damage by 0.5. Attacks
that are totally ineffective multiply damage by 0. If the enemy has two
types, both are taken into account, and the multipliers for each Type are
multiplied together. Thus, the full range of possible Type Modifier values
is as follows:
4, 2, 1, 0.5, 0.25, 0
However, as you will note from the above statement of the BDF, the game
code apparently multiplies these values by 10 in order to produce the
Y variable (which therefore has 40, 10, 5, 2.5,
and 0 as its possible values). It's not clear why the programmers chose to
do this, but in any case it makes no difference, because the formula
immediately divides the result by 10! If you wish, you can simplify the
BDF for your own use and ignore this step. If you choose to do this, Y will range from 4 to 0, and you won't have to divide
by 10 at the next step.
Damage is variable for all physical and special attacks. If you're
using an attack that the formula predicts will do a maximum of 115 points
of damage, you could easily use that attack 30 times and not have exactly
115 points come up once. The values you get will range from 97 to 115
points.
To calculate the upper limit, make Z equal to
255. The right tail of the formula will now look like *255/255: this is obviously equal to 1, and will
therefore not affect the predicted damage. To calculate the lower limit,
make Z equal to 217. Multiply the total produced
by the formula to that point by this value. Then, divide by 255, dropping
any remainder.
If you wish to compute a damage value by hand, start with the term
(2A/5+2) and work your way outwards (ie, the
next step is to multiply by B, then C, etc.). To obtain an accurate value, you must round
down to the nearest whole number at every step that produces a
number with a decimal remainder.
Alternately, you can use this calculator to determine the precise
maximum, minimum, and average damage that will be caused by any physical
or special attack.
Critical Hits have two important effects. First, an attack that is a
Critical Hit will cause approximately double the normal damage. It is not
quite double, because the game code does not simply take the final
damage value and multiply it by 2. To accurately predict the damage that
will be caused if a move Critical Hits, you should multiply variable
A by 2.
Second, Critical Hits ignore the effects of any statistic
modifications, as well as Reflect or Light Screen. Thus, when using the
BDF to predict the damage caused by a CH, you should reset variables B and D to their original
values (if they have changed).
For example, perhaps your opponent is using a
Slowbro, and has Amnesia'd to the point where even
Electric attacks aren't finishing him off. If you switch to a Grass
Pokémon armed with Razor Leaf
(which has a high Critical Hit rate), you'll still have an attack that is
strong against Water, and it will do damage as if the Amnesias had never
happened. On the other hand, don't bother trying to boost Slash by Sword Dancing first, or Razor
Leaf by using Growth.
* Thanks to Bret Larwick and Andy Heroff for the
extraction of most of the formula, and to our friends across the Pacific
at TeamPA (now defunct) for the complete version (and to NeoSyrex for pointing it
out!).
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