Moves are the various maneuvers Pokemon learn as they level up. Every Pokemon has at least one move they know from the moment they’re born. From there, they can learn up to four moves at a time to make up a set of four moves. If you want them to learn a new attack, you’ll have to replace one of the four older ones.
Attacks can be learned a variety of ways. The most common way is by leveling up. Pokemon learn new attacks at select levels. Another common way to learn new attacks is by using technical machines (TMs) that can be found throughout the region. The overwhelming majority of Pokemon can only learn select TMs. Another option similar to TMs are move tutors. For a small price (the fee varies from game to game), a non-player character in the game will teach Pokemon select moves. Finally, moves can be passed down to a baby Pokemon through breeding. The moves passed on through breeding are often called egg moves.
Three Different Move Types
All Pokemon attacks are separated into three categories: physical, special, and status. In the older days, attacks were always physical or special depending on the type they used. From generation four onward, attacks can be either physical or special with any type attached to it.
All physical attacks use the attack stat to deal damage, while the defense stat is used to resist that damage. Similarly, all special attacks use the special attack stat to deal damage, while the special defense stat is used to resist that damage. There may be select moves that crossover the stats, but they’re highly rare.
Status moves modify stats or inflict status conditions on other Pokemon. Types may not play a role when using these kind of attacks. For example, Sand-Attack (a ground-type move) can hit a flying-type Pokemon, but Thunder Wave (an electric-type move) cannot hit a ground-type Pokemon.
Pokemon types are usually the most obvious choice when choosing attacks in battle. Types can easily increase or decrease the power of a Pokemon move. Certain Pokemon types are stronger, weaker, or even completely immune to attack types. See the types page for more information on types.
Remember, types aren’t the only factor when choosing an attack. A Pokemon’s moves and stats are also very important. If a Pokemon is 20 levels below their opponent, or their attack stat is very weak, there’s no point in using an attack with a type that’s super effective against their enemy.
When a Pokemon of a certain type uses an attack of the same type, it will increase the damage of the attack by 50%. For example, if an electric-type Pokemon uses an electric-type attack, that move’s power will increase because it has a “Same Type Attack Boost,” or STAB for short.
There are very few unique attacks where types still follow the rules of immunity (ground can’t hit flying, fighting can’t hit ghost, etc); however, the type is not bound by super effective and not very effective modifiers. Examples include Dragon Rage, Night Shade, and Seismic Toss. Dragon Rage will always take away 40 HP regardless of type match-ups. Night Shade and Seismic Toss will always take away HP that is equal to the level of the Pokemon using it.