Each Pokémon falls into either one or two of 15 different Pokémon types. Next to the individual Pokémon stats (such as HP, Strength, Defense, etc), these types determine what each creature's strengths, abilities and weaknesses are. When putting together a party, remember that creating a well-balanced team is the most important skill a Pokémon trainer can have.
The following chart tells you what attacks are effective against what opponent types.
- "+" (green) means the attack is effective and deals twice the damage (ie: a Fire attack causes double damage when used on a Grass type)
- "-" (orange) means it is not effective and will only deal half the damage (ie: a Bug attack is not effective against a Fire opponent)
- "X" (red) means this attack can't hit that particular opponent type (ie: Electric techniques can't harm Ground Pokémon).
Note that a Pokémon that uses an attack that is of its same type (ie: Mewtwo, a Psychic Pokémon, using the Psychic technique) deals 50% more damage than a Pokémon that uses a non-matching attack (ie: Mewtwo, a Psychic Pokémon, using the Thunder technique).
The damage any given attack causes is further determined by each individual Pokémon's Level as well as Attack and Special stats.
Below, you will find a quick listing of the categories, as well as my personal favorite for each Pokémon type. With the exception of a few low-level misfits like Magikarp, Weedle, Caterpie and Kakuna, almost every Pokémon can be a worthwhile addition to your team. It's all about selecting the right moves and raising the Pokémon to a high level. Performance enhancers can also help turning an average Pokémon into a mean fighting machine, so be sure to give the items page a thorough look.
||Pokémon Types Leaders|
Below, you'll find a selection of the best performers for each type, along with a description of each type's strengths.
Normal types may have fewer weaknesses than the other types, but they also lack damage modifiers. The good thing about many of them is that they can learn diverse techniques like Toxic, Blizzard, Seismic Toss, and so on. This makes battling a Normal quite a bit less predictable than going up against a Pokémon of another type. You just never know what techniques its trainer has chosen to concentrate on... Use this fact to your advantage when training Normal types.
Best Pokémon: Tauros, Snorlax
Tauros has got to be the most underrated Pokémon in the game. This multi-tailed bull has very balanced stats, but it's got one major problem: it doesn't learn any decent attacks on its own. That's where your TMs come in. Bring it up to a high level and teach it powerful elemental Fire, Ice, Water, Ground and Electric attacks and it will be virtually unstoppable. Snorlax, on the other hand, is more of a tank. This slow creature can be very effective in tough, long battles. Use its high HP to your advantage. Plus, it learns Rest, which lets it recover all its HP and heal all status changes.
In general, Fire Pokémon are not quite as powerful as Water or Electric types, but they're an excellent choice against Grass, Ice and Bug types. Most players tend to train Charizard the most out of all their Fire Pokémon. Although the flying lizard has good stats, it's also very vulnerable to Electric and Ice attacks. It's better to stick with a single-type Fire Pokémon.
Best Pokémon: Arcanine, Moltres, Flareon
Arcanine rocks. Although Flareon and Moltres are excellent Fire types, this Fire Lion has got the Speed and HP to make a difference in any battle. If you're looking for something with a bit more Special power, try Moltres. The only problem is that it doesn't learn any decent techniques by itself (use TMs) and the fact that it's a dual type, but its stats are awesome. Finally, add Flareon to your team if you want pure Attack power.
Water types are abundant in all the Pokémon games -- which is a good thing if you've got a lot of Electric and Grass Pokémon. But there is simply no better choice against Ground, Rock and Fire types than a powerful Water Pokémon.
Best Pokémon: Blastoise, Gyarados, Cloyster, Starmie
Blastoise remains the most balanced Water Pokémon in the game. With the exception of Speed, it's got all the right stats to knock out those nasty Ground, Rock and Fire opponents. Another favorite is Gyarados. Sure, it's a dual Flying type -- but you wouldn't use a Water Pokémon against an Electric type anyway, right? Gyarados just looks cool and has wonderful Special, Attack and HP stats to boot. Another worthwhile dual Water type is the Ice Pokémon Cloyster. Only the most powerful attacks can get through this floating bad boy's insanely high Defense. Teach it moves like Blizzard and Surf and check out what it can do. You may also want to check out the dual Psychic-type Starmie.
Flying and Water Pokémon are everywhere. Both are vulnerable to Electric attacks, making Electric Pokémon the single most important addition to any team.
Best Pokémon: Zapdos, Jolteon
I suggest you train both a Jolteon and a Zapdos. Jolteon, which is hands-down Eevee's best evolution, is one of the fastest Pokémon in the game and dishes out powerful special attacks. To make things even better, it learns Thunder Wave and Thunder on its own (two very important moves) as well as the Bug technique Pin Missile. This makes it a strong contender against Psychic types as well. The legendary Zapdos, on the other hand combines Flying and Electric attacks. You should teach it Thunderbolt or Thunder as well, as Fly. Two essential choices.
Tangela is the only true Grass type Pokémon. All others are dual types, which makes them vulnerable to a lot of attacks. It doesn't help that Grass types are already vulnerable to four types on their own... Still, a good Grass type can save the day when going up against Electric, Rock, Ground or Water types.
Best Pokémon: Tangela, Exeggutor, Venusaur
Tangela has the advantage that its Grass attacks cause a lot more damage than its fellow dual types' attacks -- even though other Grass Pokémon may have higher stats. Mega Drain and Bind are two of the most useful Grass attacks. Bind can drive your opponent nuts because he/she can't switch and retaliate -- and Mega Drain can be very powerful against Electric, Rock, Ground and Water opponents. All the alternative choices are dual types. The wacky Exeggutor has a ton of HP and can learn both Sleep Powder and Solar Beam. Venusaur has amazing stats, so it's definitely worth your while as well. Just keep it away from Psychics.
Ice Pokémon are rare - and there is no "single Ice type" in the game, only dual types. While that leaves them open to many attacks, these Pokémon often have some of the best attacks. They are also the premier choice against Dragon Pokémon.
Best Pokémon: Articuno, Cloyster
Articuno is an underappreciated powerhouse. Bring it up to level 60 (so it learns Mist) and teach it Blizzard and Fly and you will have the most powerful Dragon slayer in the game. Plus, Ground attacks can't hit it. If you're looking for a Pokémon with higher Defense stats, Cloyster is again a great choice.
I almost never use Fighting Pokémon. Sure, they're fast and take out Normal types better than any other Pokémon, but one Psychic or Flying attack and they're history. The other problem is that there aren't all that many great Fighting techniques. The best, Seismic Toss, can be learned by a lot of non-Fighting Pokémon and causes damage regardless of type anyway.
Best Pokémon: Hitmonlee
No other Fighting Pokémon beats Hitmonlee. Hitmonchan may have slightly higher Special and Defense ratings, but Hitmonlee has got the Speed, HP and Attack stats to punch all other Fighting Pokémon out of the ring. Teach him Hi-Jump Kick.
There aren't many good Poison techniques, which is why many gamers will stay away from this type altogether. To make things worse, they're really, really weak against Psychic and Ground attacks. While I tend to not use Poison types too often, I'm actually a big fan of using Poison techniques to bring down powerful, hard-to-hit foes. The trick is to poison an opponent early on with Toxic, then follow up with Sleep, Bind, Stun or Accuracy-lowering techniques that don't cause that much damage but prevent your opponent from switching or hitting you. Toxic works over time and eventually takes off more and more HP. This can be very effective.
Best Pokémon: Weezing
There are a bunch of good dual types like Venusaur, Vileplume and Gengar, but Weezing is definitely the most powerful "true" Poison Pokémon. Sadly, Weezing doesn't learn Toxic on its own (you need to teach it from a TM) -- which means you might as well teach Toxic to a faster, non-Poison Pokémon and skip this type altogether. However, Weezing's Explosion move can be a really nasty trick to take down someone's star Pokémon.
The best thing about Ground Pokémon is that they can learn Dig. While it's a two-part move, it's a great defensive move to evade your opponent's attacks as well as a very powerful Ground attack. You will definitely need a Ground type at some point, so don't forget to train one -- even if it's slow and weak in the beginning.
Best Pokémon: Golem, Dugtrio
Dugtrio is a true Ground type, whereas Golem is a dual Ground/Rock type -- both can learn the powerful Dig and Earthquake Ground techniques that will instantly knock out Fire, Electric and Poison Pokémon. It's actually a good idea to train both Golem and Dugtrio. Golem is slow, but very powerful (and can use Explosion at level 43) and Dugtrio is a little weaker but very fast. Either one can be the Pokémon of choice against Electric opponents.
Flying Pokémon are cool, but they have one fatal flaw: they are ultra-weak against Electric attacks. There is just no way around it. If you face an Electric opponent, call back your Flying Pokémon. If that's not a choice, then use the evasive Fly move to get out of the way. But use a Flying type against Grass, Fighting and Bug and you can only win. If you ever face an opponent who uses Dig -- switch to a Flying type. Ground attacks can't harm Flying Pokémon.
Best Pokémon: Zapdos, Articuno, Gyarados
Zapdos is amazing. This dual Flying/Electric type is the only Flying Pokémon that has good resistance to Electric attacks (although even it won't last through a Thunder hit dealt by a strong Electric type). Keep it away from Ice and Rock Pokémon and you will find it to be one of the top Pokémon in the game. Articuno is another powerful bird type, just as the flying sea snake Gyarados, but Zapdos is definitely the superstar among all Flying types.
This is perhaps the most important Pokémon type in the whole game. Psychics have very few weaknesses and are absolutely devastating against Poison and Fighting Pokémon. They also dish out some of the best status-altering techniques and are versatile when it comes to learning non-Psychic techniques. A powered-up Psychic with the technique Psychic, Recover, Thunder Wave and a fourth non-Psychic maneuver like Seismic Toss, Dig or Blizzard is almost unstoppable.
Best Pokémon: Mewtwo, Mew, Alakazam, Starmie
No question about it, Mewtwo is not only the best Psychic type, it's the best Pokémon in the game. With the exception of Defense, Mewtwo's stats are simply out of this world. It's also able to learn a lot of great non-Psychic techniques. A powerful Mew -- if you're lucky enough to own one -- is a good contender to a Mewtwo, even though it's not quite as powerful. But Mew can learn EVERY TM and HM in the game, which makes battling a Mew an unpredictable endeavor. Finally, Alakazam is a good choice for players who like to be a little more down-to-earth with their Psychic Pokémon. A Kadabra is also not bad (especially when it comes to speed), but you may want to use a Hypno instead because of its superior Defense stats.
If you want to train a Bug Pokémon, train it for one reason only: to take out Psychic Pokémon. The problem with Bugs is that they have mediocre stats and don't learn many worthwhile Bug techniques. I actually prefer to use a Jolteon equipped with the only decent Bug attack (Pin Missile) instead.
Best Pokémon: Scyther, Parasect
Both are dual types, but there really isn't a decent single type Bug in the game. Scyther is definitely one of the coolest looking Bug types in the game, and it's fast as well. I like using it just because it looks great. Sadly, it learns NO Bug technique at all. Parasect only learns Leech Life (a rather weak Bug attack), but it can use some good status-altering techniques that may help you get the upper hand in a duel with a Psychic.
Talk about a niche Pokémon type. All Rock Pokémon are dual types and there are only two Rock techniques in Blue, Red or Yellow -- Rock Throw (decent) and Rock Slide (good). Rock is great against Fire, Ice, Flying and Bug Pokémon, but it also add plenty of weaknesses to whatever type it's paired up with.
Best Pokémon: Aerodactyl, Golem, Rhydon
Golem is a no-brainer, but you may also want to look into the flying dinosaur Aerodactyl. It's weak against Electric attacks, just like other Flying types, but it's got amazing HP, Attack and Speed stats. On the downside, it doesn't learn any Rock techniques... Doh! Rhydon, on the other hand, can learn Rock Slide. This rather strong Ground/Rock type has high Defense and Attack stats, but because of its low Speed rating it's recommended only for trainers who have a lot of time to level-up almost all their Pokémon.
Another rare type, Ghost Pokémon also only exist in dual form. All three Ghosts in the game are dual Ghost/Poison types. On the upside, the dual Ghost nature doesn't really add any new weaknesses. It actually makes the Pokémon immune against Normal and Fighting attacks. Not bad at all. Sadly, there are also only three Ghost techniques, two of which are decent (Confuse Ray and Nightshade). But Ghost techniques are only strong against other Ghost Pokémon, so you should probably just teach your Ghost Poison and Psychic techniques instead. Standard Poison technique: use Toxic together with Confuse Ray or a Sleep move.
Best Pokémon: Gengar
Gengar all the way. This Ghost not only looks awesome (anyone else think he looks like the Nekobus from My Neighbor Totoro?) but also has great stats. Use the Hypnosis/Dream Eater combo to drive your opponent mad.
This rare Pokémon type can be a powerful foe -- but one Blizzard hit usually spells doom for even the most powerful Dragon. The only problem with Dragon types is that there is only one single Dragon technique in the game, Dragon Rage (deals 40 damage). I personally don't like using Dragons, but they can be a pain if your opponent has one and you don't have an Ice type.
Best Pokémon: Dragonite
It's a toss-up. Do you want a really powerful Flying Dragon who is slightly more susceptible to Rock and Ice attacks or a less amazing fighter who is susceptible to Ice only? In the end, Dragonite's stats are just too good to ignore, making its pre-evolution Dragonair a less popular choice.
To give you a better overview of the total type distribution, here are all 151 Pokémon, listed by type. The (d) means that they're dual type Pokémon.