Pokémon type chart: Strengths, weaknesses, and resistances

How do type matchups work?

Image via Nintendo

While the Pokémon franchise has evolved significantly since the release of Red and Blue, one mechanic has always stayed the same: type advantage. This rock-paper-scissors style of combat is responsible for much of the series’ depth and strategy.

Each Pokémon and move has its own type that affects the amount of damage it deals to an opposing Pokémon. Moves that are effective against an opposing Pokémon’s type result in increased damage, while moves that aren’t effective against the same Pokémon result in decreased damage.

How do Pokémon types work?

Many Pokémon types are based on elements of the real world—and most of them function the way you’d expect. Water-type moves, for example, are super effective against Fire-type Pokémon. If you use a Water-type move against a Fire-type Pokémon, the move will do double damage to the Fire-type Pokémon. But Grass-type moves aren’t very effective against Fire-type Pokémon. A Grass-type move will do half as much damage to a Fire-type Pokémon.

Some Pokémon have more than one type, like the Rock and Ground-type Geodude. Because both of these types are weak to Water-types, a Water-type move would deal quadruple damage to Geodude. In addition, Pokémon are almost always resistant to their own type, but there are a few exceptions.

You can check out a full list of type advantages and disadvantages in the chart below, posted by Reddit user Tsimmz.

Image via Reddit.com/user/Tsimmz

Notable Pokémon matchups

Because type advantage mechanics function partially as balancing tools in Pokémon, there are a few especially helpful matchups to keep in mind that go beyond the usual halved or doubled damage.

As previously mentioned, dual-type Pokémon can be weak or resistant to the usual matchups from both of their types. If a Pokémon uses a Water-type move against Charizard, a Fire and Flying-type, Charizard will take double damage rather than quadruple since Flying-types aren’t weak to Water-type moves.

The Psychic-Dark-Ghost triangle of advantages is tricky. Psychic-type moves have absolutely no effect on Dark-type Pokémon, which were introduced in Generation II specifically to counter Generation I’s overpowered Psychic-types. Dark-type moves are super effective on both Psychic and Ghost-types. Ghost-type moves are super effective on Psychic-types but not very effective on Dark-types.

Like Psychic-type moves against Dark-type Pokémon, certain move types have no effect on other types. Normal and Fighting-type moves have no effect on Ghost-type Pokémon, but Ghost-type moves also have no effect on Normal-type Pokémon. In a similar fashion, Dragon-type moves have no effect on Fairy-type Pokémon and Poison-type moves have no effect on Steel-type Pokémon.

More realistically, Electric-type moves have no effect on Ground-type Pokémon and Ground-type moves have no effect on Flying-type Pokémon. These combinations, which function as hard counters to certain types (particularly the Dragon-Fairy interaction), prevent any one type from becoming too powerful.

Most moves aren’t very effective against Pokémon of the same type. Electric-type moves, for example, are less powerful against Electric-type Pokémon, But a few types function the opposite way. Dragon-type moves are super effective against Dragon-type Pokémon and Ghost-type moves are super effective against Ghost-type Pokémon.

Normal-type moves are unique in that they aren’t super effective against any other type. To balance this out, Normal-types only have one weakness—Fighting-type moves—and are immune to Ghost-type moves.