The Basic mechanics of Pokemon aren’t too hard to understand. It may seem like much at first but it’s easy to get used to. However, there are more advanced mechanics of pokemon that are meant to make the pokemon unique from eachother. However, many people who train pokemon as a habit or hobby use these mechanics to their advantage to make their pokemon the best of the best. I will explain the basic mechanics first in this section and the more advance stuff in the other sections (IV and V).
First important thing you need to know is catching pokemon. All trainers start with one pokemon at level 5 they receive from a professor in their home town. As you go on your adventure you’ll find wild pokemon in certain areas. The most common area is in tall grass. Other areas are in the water while surfing, in the water while fishing, and in caves. In Heart Gold and Soul silver you can do a special move called Headbutt on some trees that allows you to encounter certain pokemon. Once you “encounter” a wild pokemon you will be thrown into battle with it. To catch the pokemon easily you need to weaken it by lowering it’s HP and if necessary cause some type of status effect like sleep. Once you think it’s ready to be captured, throw a pokeball at it. There are different types of balls with different rates of capturing a pokemon. If the pokemon breaks out of the pokeball you may need to weaken it more or use a better pokeball. You can only catch wild pokemon and if you try to catch a trainer’s pokemon the trainer will block the pokeball and you’ll lose the pokeball you threw. Some pokemon may run away after a certain amount of time so you may want to be quick with catching them. However, the pokemon that run away are usually in the safari zone or are the legendary pokemon entei and raikou.
Battling is simple. First you need to understand “HP” which is short for hit points. Hit points are the points that a pokemon has as health. As they grow they gain more HP. In addition to Hit Points pokemon have certain attacks/moves they can perform. The battling system is based on a turn based system. Both sides choose an attack/move and the pokemon with the higher speed stat, or faster move, hits first. All pokemon can only know 4 moves at a time. As they grow they can learn new movies at certain levels or they can learn new moves through TMs and HMs or a move tutor. If you already have 4 moves known then you have you delete a move to learn a new one. Each move has “PP” which is short for Power Points. It’s the amount of times you can perform a move. Some moves have lots of PP like Tackle which has 35 PP which means you can perform tackle 35 times. Other moves may only have 5 PP. If all your moves run out of PP then you perform a special move called “Struggle.” Struggle is a normal physical attack that has no PP but hurts you a little each time you hurt the enemy. Pokemon face other pokemon and perform attacks or moves on themselves or the other pokemon. Pokemon may do healing moves on themselves to heal their HP or cure themselves of status problems. Of course there are regular damaging moves that hurt other pokemon. If you want to know more about attacks and moves in depth then go to section V.
Battling is a huge if not the main part of pokemon. There are two ways to battle: one on one which is your pokemon vs another player’s pokemon, and two on two which is two of your pokemon vs two pokemon of another players. The pokemon to the left of all your other pokemon in your menu screen will be the first pokemon to come out and do battle. Once you defeat all of the other player’s pokemon you win the battle. If your pokemon gets defeated you can choose the next pokemon you wish to use unless you set your options to automatically choose the next pokemon in your line up. If all your pokemon get defeated then you lose the battle, and are transported to the last pokemon center you were at.
In double battles, 2 vs 2, the pokemon to the left of all other pokemon in your menu section will go out along with the pokemon at the top of the list. Two pokemon face another two pokemon. Some attacks/moves you perform can be done on your teammate pokemon or on the enemy pokemon. Of course you don’t want to perform hurtful attacks on your friendly pokemon only on enemy pokemon, but sometimes there are some attacks like earthquake or explosion that will effect all the pokemon in the battle. Once one pokemon dies another pokemon can come into the battle until there are no pokemon left. It will then be one on two until one of the trainers runs out of pokemon.
While battling pokemon some moves cause status effects. Some moves cause damage and MAY cause status effects. Status effects affect your pokemon in different ways and may last through the battle and at the end of the battle.
Common status effects
Thes status effects are a bit more common and are usually referred to when talking about abilities. If an ability says it will cure a status ailment or something of that manner it’s usually talking about the following.
The status effect “burn” can be caused in many ways. When a pokemon has a burn status, each turn it has will make that pokemon lose 1/8th(12.5%) of their max HP. In addition to the HP loss your pokemon’s attack stat will be cut in half. Meaning all physical attacks you do will do 50% as much damage as it used to.
Confusion is a common status effect. It confuses the enemy pokemon for 1-4 turns. 50% the time, if it works, the pokemon that is confused will attack themselves instead of the enemy pokemon. If the pokemon’s attack stat is raised then it will do more damage to itself. This status does NOT last outside of battle.
Freeze is a rare but effective status effect. A pokemon that is afflicted by the freeze status effect cannot move each turn. Each turn is has a >10% chance of unfreezing. The pokemon cannot make any attacks other than attacks that can unfreeze itself.
Paralysis is a pretty common status effect. When a pokemon has paralysis status their speed is reduced by 25%. In addition to the speed loss, the pokemon cannot attack 25% of the time.
There are two types of poison. There is regular poisoned and badly poisoned. For regular poisoned, each turn a pokemon makes it loses 1/8th (12.5%) of it’s max HP. For badly poisoned, each turn a pokemon makes it loses 1/16th (6.25%) of it’s max HP and adds another 1/16th (6.25%) each turn. So the first turn you lose 6.25% of your max HP, the next turn you lose 12.5%, and the next turn you lose 18.75% all the way until your pokemon faints. Outside of battle your pokemon will continue to lose health. Every 4 steps you take outside of battle, your pokemon that is afflicted with poison will lose 1 HP until it reaches 1 HP.
Sleep is another common status effect. The pokemon that is afflicted with the sleep status cannot attack for 1-7 turns unless the pokemon has one of the special moves “Sleep talk” and “Snore.” Other pokemon will also have the ability to use the moves “Nightmare” and “Dream Eater” on the sleeping pokemon.
Other status effects
These status effects aren’t always considered status effects and are a bit more rare.
Nightmare is considered a status effect to some. It’s a move that is found on very few select pokemon. It can only be used on pokemon that have the sleep status effect on themselves. Each turn the pokemon is asleep and has nightmare on, it will lose 25% of it’s max HP.
Curse is a strange move. When used with most pokemon it raised attack and defense while lowering speed. However, when used by ghosts it can cause a status effect. The ghost pokemon that uses curse loses 50% of it’s HP and afflicts the other pokemon with the curse status effect. This effect hurts the pokemon by 25% their max health each turn. This status does NOT last outside of battle.
Attract is a tricky and effective status effect. Both pokemon in battle must have a gender. The genders have to be opposite because there are no gay pokemon. When one pokemon causes the attract status effect on the other, that pokemon cannot attack 50% of the time. This status does NOT last outside of battle.