For over 25 years, Pokémon trainers have been catching ’em all based on a complex rock-paper-scissors style type match-up system. But for new trainers just starting their adventures, learning the intricate strengths and weaknesses between the 18 Pokémon types can be daunting.
This beginner’s guide will teach you the basics of the Pokémon type chart so you can build the most powerful and balanced teams.
An Introduction to Pokémon Types
Every Pokémon is assigned at least one type that determines its attacks, abilities, and vulnerabilities in battle. Some examples:
- Water – Squirtle, Gyarados, Milotic
- Fire – Charmander, Moltres, Torkoal
- Grass – Bulbasaur, Shaymin, Sceptile
- Electric – Pikachu, Ampharos, Electabuzz
There are 18 types total, with most Pokémon having either one or two assigned types.
When you match your Pokémon types effectively against opponents, you score super effective damage, while mismatches leave you weak to counterattacks. Mastering these relationships is key to victory.
The Type Chart Explained
The Pokémon type chart shows you at a glance how each type stacks up offensively and defensively against all the other ones.
Each type either deals regular, super effective, not very effective, or no damage to opposing types, depending on the built-in strengths and weaknesses.
For example, Fire is super effective against Grass, but Grass resists Fire, making match-ups lopsided.
The chart can seem chaotic at first, but follows some core rules:
- Most types are super effective against one or two other types, and weak against one or two others as a trade-off.
- Many types resist themselves, taking half damage from same-type attacks.
- Certain type combinations give you wide coverage with minimal weaknesses.
Learning these relationships is crucial when assembling your team. You want broad super effective coverage offensively while limiting defensive vulnerabilities.
Using the Chart for Offense
Let’s examine some examples of how you can use the type chart for offensive advantage:
- Water beats Fire, Ground and Rock types, all of which are weak to it.
- Grass Pokémon can take down Water, Ground and Rock types efficiently.
- Fire scorches Grass, Bug and Ice opponents by dealing extra damage.
- Electric shocks Water and Flying creatures for super effectiveness.
As you can see, you’ll want to carry Pokémon with types that can exploit common opponents for your story progression and battles.
Prioritize offenses that can counter the Gym Leaders and Elite Four members you are struggling against. A water specialist can wash away rock and fire roadblocks, for example.
Balancing Weaknesses Defensively
Just as important is covering your defensive vulnerabilities so you don’t get one-shotted by super effective attacks.
- Water types are susceptible to Electric and Grass moves.
- Fire Pokémon will easily fall to Water, Ground and Rock.
- Grass creatures are weak to Fire, Ice, Poison, Flying and Bug.
- Electric monsters fear Ground attacks.
You want to avoid stacking too many of one weakness on your squad. A team of just water types will crumble to grass and electric enemies. Mix and match to cover each other.
Water balances grass. Fire resists grass. Rock handles fire. You get the idea!
Expert Type Combinations
Once you master the basics, look at which dual type Pokémon can cover the most bases.
- Water/Ground – Just one weakness (Grass) while resisting five types.
- Electric/Steel – Resists a whopping 11 types. Vulnerable only to Fighting, Ground and Fire.
- Ghost/Dark – The “no weakness” combo neutralizes all of Ghost’s vulnerabilities.
- Fairy/Steel – Steel eliminates all the weaknesses had by Fairy types.
These hybrids take what makes a single type strong and cover its natural weaknesses. Building your team around these sturdy combinations will serve you well on both offense and defense.
Answering Common Pokémon Type Questions
If you’re struggling to grasp the type chart, don’t worry! Here are answers to some FAQs novice trainers often have:
Why are certain types strong or weak against each other? Sometimes the relationships make intuitive sense, like water extinguishing fire. Others are more abstract and based on balance, like psychics being weak to bugs. Just focus on memorizing the relationships rather than overanalyzing them.
How can I remember all these matchups? Print out a type chart cheat sheet for easy reference during battles. You’ll gradually memorize the common strengths and weaknesses through practical experience.
What’s the best offensive type? There is no universally “best” offensive type. You want a diverse combination to hit a wide range of potential opponents super effectively. Aim for four to five offensive types distributed across your party.
What’s the best defensive type? The bulkiest types are Steel, Water, Ground, and Fairy based on key resistances. Focus on covering your weaknesses by pairing these defensively sturdy types together.
Start Battling with Type Advantage
And that covers the basics of how to leverage the Pokémon types chart to your advantage. With these tips, you’ll be able to build balanced teams that can dish out super effective damage while surviving opponent counters.
Soon you’ll be able to glance at the type matchups and immediately recognize critical strengths to exploit and weaknesses to shore up. That instinct will serve you well on your journey to catch ’em all and become a Pokémon Master!
Now pick your starter, stock up on Pokéballs, and start your epic quest to catch ’em all armed with your new type chart knowledge!