After you’ve caught a few Pokémon in Pokémon Go, you can battle them at a local gym. Pick up to six Pokémon that you’ve caught, and challenge other players.
Like the other Pokémon games, winning battles isn’t just about having the strongest Pokémon. There’s a lot of strategy involved. The most important piece of that strategy is type advantage.
There are 18 different known types of Pokémon in the Pokémon universe. Those Pokémon types usually correspond to what kinds of moves they know. For example, a water-type Pokémon tends to learn water-type moves. A fire-type Pokémon tends to learn fire-type moves. And so on.
When Pokémon battle each other at the gym, they use moves against each other, and some types have advantages or disadvantages over others. They’re usually pretty logical. Water-type moves are super effective against fire-type Pokémon, because water puts out fires. Ground-type moves aren’t very effective against grass-type moves, because grass grows in the ground, or something.
So when you battle other Pokémon, keep types in mind, because they may just be the key to winning the battle.
You can check out a Pokémon’s type by tapping on it from the menu of Pokémon you own in the game. Here’s my Staryu, who’s water-type.
If you scroll down, you can see the Pokémon’s moves. My Staryu knows a water-type move and a rock-type move.
In other Pokémon games, the moves are also stronger if they’re used by a Pokémon of the same type. That means that when Staryu uses a water-type move, it will be stronger than if a non-water-type Pokémon used it. It’s not yet clear if that applies in Pokémon Go, because there aren’t too many different Pokémon available yet, and the range of moves is much smaller than in the traditional Pokémon games, but it’s something to keep in mind.
The game also becomes more complicated when Pokémon have multiple types. My Staryu is just water-type, but Bulbasaur, for example, is both grass and poison-type. Having multiple types increases the range of move types that a Pokémon is protected against, but it also increased the range of move types that a Pokémon is vulnerable to.
I know, it can get confusing. There are 18 types of Pokémon, so there are hundreds of different effectiveness combinations. To keep track of it all, Bulbapedia, the Pokémon encyclopedia, has a handy chart:
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