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A Pokémon battle is one of the main staples of the Pokémon franchise ever since the first two games, Pocket Monsters Red and Green Versions. It involves two or more Pokémon fighting against one another, sometimes with either or both of them in teams. Pokémon battles are often done between two Pokémon Trainers or against a wild Pokémon. Pokémon Trainers usually engage in a Pokémon battle as a sport to try and strengthen their Pokémon.
In the core series titles, whenever the player character challenges a Trainer or encounters a wild Pokémon, the screen changes to a battle scene with the player's Pokémon, the opposing Pokémon, their respective HP bars and a battle menu. The battles are turn-based, and it starts with each Pokémon Trainer automatically sending out the first Pokémon in their party. At the start of each turn, each side can choose to attack, use an item, switch the Pokémon for another in their party, or flee from battle. If both sides attack, the one who goes first is determined by Speed, although some moves, items and effects can override this. If either side chooses any other option, that action is performed before the attacks. Fleeing only works during wild Pokémon battles, and is not intended for battles against other Pokémon Trainers. If the wild Pokémon is considerably stronger than the player's Pokémon in battle, it is often not possible to flee.
Each Pokémon uses moves to reduce their opponent's HP to zero, at which point the Pokémon faints and is unable to battle. If the player's Pokémon wins, it receives experience points; when enough have accumulated, the Pokémon's level increases. If the player's Pokémon faints, he/she may use another Pokémon; in battles against wild Pokémon, the player may attempt to flee instead. If all of a player's Pokémon faint, the player loses the battle. This causes the player to lose some Pokédollars and return to the last Pokémon Center they visited.
Double and Multi Battles
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions introduced Double Battles (ダブルバトル Daburu Batoru ), in which the opposing teams battle with two Pokémon at a time. Though the basic mechanics remain the same, moves may have multiple targets, and some affect the ally as well as the opponents. Additionally, some Abilities work only in Double Battles. Multi Battles (マルチバトル Maruchi Batoru ) were also introduced, with four Trainers in teams of two. The third-generation games only included Double Battles against other Trainers, but Diamond and Pearl introduced Double Battles with wild Pokémon under certain circumstances.
Triple and Rotation Battles
Pokémon Black and White Versions introduced Triple Battles (トリプルバトル Toripuru Batoru ) and Rotation Battles (ローテーションバトル Rōtēshon Batoru ). In Triple Battles, both teams send out three Pokémon at once, with all three battling simultaneously. In Rotation Battles, both sides send out three Pokémon at once, but only use one at a time. The Pokémon which is battling can be switched out with the other two without using up a turn.
Sky and Inverse Battles & Horde Encounters
Pokémon X and Y introduced three new battling mechanics. Sky Battles (スカイバトル Sukai Batoru ) are performed against Sky Trainers and can only be performed with Flying-type Pokémon or those with the Levitate Ability. Horde Encounters (群れバトル Mure Batoru , "Group Battle") are battles where five wild Pokémon attack at once, encouraging the use of moves that hit multiple targets. Inverse Battles (さかさバトル Sakasa Batoru , "Reverse Battle") are like normal battles, but the entire type chart is inverted. This means that an attack which would normally deal double damage instead deals half damage, and vice versa.
SOS and Max Raid Battles
Pokémon Sun and Moon also introduce a new battle type, the SOS Battle. In these battles, the opposing Pokémon may call for allies to assist them, making the battle two-on-one against the player. Pokémon Sword and Shield introduces Max Raid Battles, where a Dynamax or Gigantamax Pokémon appears in a Pokémon den. The player can battle with three CPUs or three other players through wireless connection, where the opposing Pokémon are changed from day to day. If the player is defeated, the Pokémon may be challenged again. If a Pokémon is defeated or caught, the player receives Dynamax candies, which make Pokémon stronger when Dynamaxed, Exp. Candies, Rare Candies, and TRs (single use TMs).
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