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Pokemon Go technical machines: charged TM, fast TM and how to teach Pokemon new moves

Rise of the technical machines.


One major new addition to Pokemon Go in the latest massive update to the game is the technical machine / TM system - one major facet of the traditional Pokemon games that has been missing from Pokemon Go for quite a while now.

Technical Machines / TMs are items in the classic Pokemon games that teach Pokemon new moves, giving you more control over a Pokemon's move set. Pokemon move lists and battles are of course streamlined in Pokemon Go, but with the addition of raid battles in this latest update controlling what moves your Pokemon has access to and its overall movelist has never been more important. TMs can help you to take care of this.

If you've never played a classic Pokemon game but are a Go addict these might be all new to you - and even Pokemon veterans will find they're very different in Pokemon Go. Let's get into why and how that is.

How to get a fast TM or charged TM in Pokemon Go

TMs are drops from the newly-added raid battles - so players who participate in these large-scale battles in Pokemon Go's gyms will have a chance to see these new items drop as a reward.

  • A Fast TM can drop from Pokemon gym raids for players level 15 and above. For the initial deployment of Pokemon raids, all players should be well over this level anyway.
  • A Charged TM can drop from Pokemon gym raids for higher level players - level 25 and above. Right now, this is the minimum level for taking part in gym raids anyway.

Using a fast TM or charged TM in Pokemon Go

Once you've got your hands on a TM, head to your item bag and find the TM in question. Longer-time Pokemon fans will notice that these TMs don't list a specific move - just 'fast' or 'charged' - the two types of move in Pokemon Go. Fast moves are the moves that come out when you tap the screen, will charged moves require the meter to charge and require you hold the screen, in case you've forgotten.

TMs in Pokemon Go belong to one of the two categories, and the actual move taught will be partially random based on the Pokemon in question and its existing move set. A Pokemon must always have one fast move and one charged move, too, so learning one will replace the current fast or charged move that Pokemon knows.

Despite being random, the move will always be new and not the same one you already had. Every Pokemon in the game has a 'pool' of moves that it can learn. The game searches this pool every time it generates a live version of this Pokemon to be caught or from an egg, or when a Pokemon evolves. This decides its move set.

For instance, Charizard can have four possible quick moves (Fire Spin, Air Slash, Ember, Flying Attack) and four possible charge moves (Overheat, Fire Blast, Dragon Claw, Flamethrower), and which you get is random. Using a TM on Charizard will force it to learn another of the four potentials in that category.

We have a list of the best pound-for-pound DPS (Damage per second) moves in the Pokemon Go in both category, plus a list of the best pound-for-pound DPS Pokemon - combine the two with TMs and you're well on your way to training an unstoppable beast.

Once in the bag, hit the TM and your Pokemon screen will open - at that point, you need to select the Pokemon you want to teach a move to. Voila!

About the Author

Alex Donaldson avatar

Alex Donaldson

Assistant Editor

Alex started out his career in the games media as an over-eager kid working on fan sites, and now has decades of experience. He's the resident expert on esoteric matters such as Pokemon Go, gaming hardware, and genres like RPGs, fighters, and strategy games. Outside of VG247 he's the co-founder of genre-dedicated website RPG Site. He also collects original arcade machines, Lego, and considers himself a whiskey buff.

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