Learn what moves will enable you to take down gyms easily.
As well as Pokemon having elemental types, hidden stats and other in-depth details that determine their fighting strength, battles in Pokemon Go are also determined by one other major factor: the moves and moves sets that your Pokemon have at their disposal.
Pokemon Go Guide & Tips
If you need more tips for Pokemon Go including more information on how to catch and evolve a variety of the beasts, be sure to check out the rest of our Pokemon Go guides.
Moves are much like Pokemon themselves: All moves in the world of Pokemon Go are of a specific type, and that factors into the type strengths and weaknesses we’ve detailed in-depth elsewhere in our guide – a water move will do more damage against a fire Pokemon and so on and so forth.
Here’s the basis behind their impressive science and calculations: Moves in Pokemon Go have a duration, which is of course how long they take to execute. Moves also have a damage window, which is how long the period of time where they can do damage is. The upside of the duration is that long moves mean you have to wait longer before you can do your next move, while the damage window stat detail is that longer ones are theoretically better, as moves that are potentially damaging for longer are harder to dodge.
On top of these are two equally crucial stats – move power, which determines just how strong the move is at its base, and for Charge Moves (the second move on any Pokemon) what chance it has to deal out a critical hit and do more damage.
Throw these factors together and what you’re able to work out is an average DPS – damage per second – for each move in the game.
DPS is a good way of measuring a move’s potential. The grass-type move Power Whip is 50% more powerful than the dragon-tytpe move Dragon Claw, but thanks to Dragon Claw being a far faster move you can execute Dragon Claw more frequently. On balance Dragon Claw is thus the more damaging move, and it also has a far higher critical hit chance.
Here’s the slightly annoying things about moves in Pokemon Go: You currently can’t teach a Pokemon moves or replace old ones. Each Pokemon has a pool of moves it can use, and the ones it actually gets from that pool are determined at random. If you want a Charmeleon with a specific move-set, for instance, you simply have to keep hatching, catching or evolving them until you get the desired move set.
With all that explained, we’ve listed the best 15 moves in both the standard move and charge move categories below along with type, DPS and the Pokemon that can have it. You can find the full move list complete with all their stats over on The Silph Road’s website.
This page was updated on April 4, 2017 to bring it up-to-date with the latest Pokemon Go balance patches and changes.
The best Quick (Normal) Moves in Pokemon Go
- Steel Wing (Steel / 13.75 DPS)
Available to Pidgeotto, Pidgeot, Fearow, Dodrio, Scyther, Aerodactyl, Dragonite, Togetic, Skamory, Ho-oh
- Iron Tail (Steel / 13.64 DPS)
Available to Nidoking, Dewgong, Dratini, Dragonair, Steelix, Tyranitar
- Dragon Tail (Dragon / 13.64 DPS)
Available to Gyarados, Dragonite, Steelix, Lugia
- Rock Throw (Rock / 13.33 DPS)
Available to Geodude, Graveler, Golem, Onix, Omastar, Sudowoodo, Shuckle, Slugma, Magcargo
- Counter (Fighting / 13.33 DPS)
Available to Mankey, Machamp, Hitmonchan, Sudowoodo, Wobuffet, Heracross, Ursaring, Donphan, Hitmontop
- Razor Leaf (Grass / 13 DPS)
Available to Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur, Oddish, Gloom, Vileplume, Weepinbell, Victreebel, Bayleef, Meganium, Bellossom, Sunkern, Sunflora
- Shadow Claw (Ghost / 12.86 DPS)
Available to Haunter, Gengar, Typhlosion
- Fire Spin (Fire / 12.73 DPS)
Available to Charizard, Ninetales, Rapidash, Flareon, Moltres, Entei
- Confusion (Normal / 12.5 DPS)
Available to Butterfree, Venonat, Venomoth, Golduck, Kadabra, Alakazam, Slowpoke, Slowbro, Drowzee, Hypno, Exeggcute, Exeggcutor, Mr. Mime, Jynx, Mewtwo, Espeon, Slowking, Girafarig, Celebi
- Poison Jab (Poison / 12.5 DPS)
Available to Beedrill, Nidoqueen, Nidorino, Nidoking, Tentacruel, Grimer, Muk, Seaking
- Fire Fang (Fire / 12.22 DPS)
Available to Charizard, Arcanine, Houndoom, Entei
- Dragon Breath (Dragon / 12 DPS)
Available to Seadra, Gyarados, Dratini, Dragonair, Dragonite, Kingdra
- Scratch (Normal / 12 DPS)
Available to Charmander, Charmeleon, Sandshrew, Paras, Diglett, Meowth, Persian, Mankey, Kabuto, Totodile, Sentret, Aipom, Teddiursa
- Bite (Dark / 12 DPS)
Available to Wartortle, Blastoise, Raticate, Abrok, Nidoran F, Nidorina, Nidoqueen, Zubat, Golbat, Meowth, Growlithe, Arcanine, Gyarados, Aerodactyl, Feraligatr, Crobat, Dunsparce, Snubbull, Granbull, Larvitar, Pupitar, Tyranitar
- Vine Whip (Normal / 11.67 DPS)
Available to Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur, Bellsprout, Tangela, Chikorita, Meganium
The best Charge (Special) Moves in Pokemon Go
- Brave Bird (Flying / 45 DPS)
Available to: Pidgeot, Doduo, Dodrio, Skamory, Ho-oh
- Future Sight (Psychic / 44.44 DPS)
Available to: Alakazam, Hypno, Xatu, Espeon, Lugia
- Close Combat (Fighting / 43.48 DPS)
Available to: Primeape, Machamp, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Pinsir, Granbull, Heracross, Ursaring, Hitmontop
- Stone Edge (Rock / 43.48 DPS)
Available to Nidoqueen, Dugtrio, Machamp, Graveler, Golem, Onyx, Hitmonlee, Rhydon, Kabutops, Sudowoodo, Quagsire, Shuckle, Magcargo, Piloswine, Hitmontop, Tyranitar
- Petal Blizzard (Grass / 42.31 DPS)
Available to Venusaur, Gloom, Vileplume, Meganium, Bellossom, Sunflora
- Blizzard (Ice / 41.94 DPS)
Available to Tentacruel, Dewgong, Cloyster, Seadra, Lapras, Articuno, Mew, Pilitoed, Slowking, Kingdra
- Gunk Shot (Poison / 41.94 DPS)
Available to Ekans, Abrok, Muk, Octillery
- Thunder (Electric / 41.67 DPS)
Available to Pikachu, Raichu, Electabuzz, Jolteon, Zapdos, Mew, Lanturn, Ampharos, Raikou
- Megahorn (Bug / 40.91 DPS)
Available to Nidoking, Rhydon, Seaking, Ariados, Heracross, Stantler
- Hurricane (Flying / 40.74 DPS)
Available to Pidgeot, Dragonite, Mew
- Focus Blast (Fighting / 40 DPS)
Available to Alakazam, Gengar, Hypno, Mewtwo, Mew, Ampharos
- Overheat (Fire / 40 DPS)
Available to Charizard, Ninetales, Flareon, Moltres, Typhlosion, Macargo, Entei
- Hyper Beam (Normal / 39.47 DPS)
Available to Raticate, Wigglytuff, Electrode, Lickitung, Aerodactyl, Snorlax, Dragonite, Mewtwo, Mew, Furret, Ursaring, Porygon2, Blissey, Celebi
- Hydro Pump (Water / 39.39 DPS)
Available to Wartortle, Blastoise, Golduck, Poliwrath, Tentacruel, Cloyster, Seadra, Starmie, Gyarados, Vaporeon, Omastar, Feraligatr, Lanturn, Azumarill, Politoed, Kingdra, Suicune, Lugia
- Zap Cannon (Electric / 37.84DPS)
Available to Magneton, Porygon, Zapdos, Ampharos, Porygon2