Easy Ways To Remember Pokémon Weaknesses In X And Y

Easy Ways To Remember Pokémon Weaknesses In X And Y

Pokémon may seem like a simple game to outsiders, but fans know how complex it can really get. With the release of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, there are now a total of 718 pocket monsters to choose from. Each one can learn dozens of different attacks, and their strengths and weaknesses can vary greatly.

The relationships between different Pokémon types — what's weak to what, in other words — is one of the most important elements of the Pokémon battle. Yet with 18 types (thanks to X and Y's new fairy type), it can also be one of the most difficult aspects to master.

The thought of memorising the many ways different types of Pokémon react to various attacks is daunting. Many pocket monsters have two types simultaneously, which can make it even more difficult to remember what attacks will be effective against them. And the new Pokémon games introduced confusing "inverse battles", a new type of battle in which all type relationships are reversed.

It can make you crazy trying to remember them all. There are countless charts online (the fan-made one in this Reddit thread is the most readable I've seen), but there are other ways of mastering Pokémon types. Since I started playing Pokémon Red as a kid I've been using a subconscious mnemonic technique to keep track of the rock-paper-scissors-bug-dark-dragon-etc. game of Pokémon battling.

Easy Ways To Remember Pokémon Weaknesses In X And Y

It was only recently, when I was forced to consider why the new fairy Pokémon are weak to steel and poison, that I became aware of what I've been doing. My mind immediately connected these abstract Pokémon types to something more familiar, and I realised I'd been doing the same thing for years.

Some of the relationships between Pokémon types are relatively obvious, like water dousing fire or rocks crushing bugs. But others are more of a stretch, and for those I've come up with the following analogies to help me remember.

Poison and steel vs. fairy So why is the new fairy type weak to poison and steel? It's simple, really. Think back to the story of Peter Pan. Captain Hook locks Tinker Bell inside a metal lantern, and in the original version (not the Disney film) she drinks poison to save Peter's life. That's all you have to remember!

Easy Ways To Remember Pokémon Weaknesses In X And Y

Fairy vs. fighting, dark and dragon Fairy attacks are great against fighting, dark and dragon Pokémon. But why? I've begun imagining a nimble fairy flitting around the head of a big dumb dragon or a hulking, evil knight, who vainly coughs fireballs and take swipes in its direction.

Bug vs. psychic and dark Bug attacks are super-effective against dark and psychic Pokémon. To explain that I picture buzzing insects breaking the concentration of an evil sorcerer as he tries to cast an incantation. It's cheesy, but it works.

Dark vs. psychic and ghost I like to imagine the battle between dark and psychic Pokémon as a fight between two wizards, one good and one evil. The evil one (dark) will win through treachery. Similarly, the dark sorcerer summons spirits and ghosts and controls them with nefarious magic; hence dark attacks being powerful against ghost Pokémon.

Easy Ways To Remember Pokémon Weaknesses In X And Y

Fighting vs. dark and normal The relationship between fighting attacks and normal and dark Pokémon is like a high school brawl to me. As the other critters stand around in a circle cheering, a big jock beats the piss out of a normal-looking nerdy kid and a shifty-looking scrawny kid. Another cliché, but clichés are what they are because they're easy to remember.

Ground vs. electric Electric Pokémon being weak to ground attacks feels natural to some, especially if you know a thing or two about electricity. But when I need help remembering it I imagine an earthquake toppling telephone poles and severing underground power lines.

Dragon vs. dragon Most types are ineffective against themselves. It's easy to see why when you picture two fish splashing water at one another or two psychics locked in a mental standoff. But two dragons fighting an awesome war in the sky? That's epic, so dragon attacks are powerful against dragon Pokémon.

Easy Ways To Remember Pokémon Weaknesses In X And Y

Ice vs. dragon Dragons are like dinosaurs. Dinosaurs can't survive an ice age. Easy.

Electric, fire, water, and grass vs. dragon Dragon is a great typing for many reasons, not least because it's resistant to electric, fire, water, and grass attacks, four very common types. The way I see it, dragons are relatively unscathed by Pokémon's four main elements because in a lot of fantasy you can't kill a dragon through natural means — only with magic.

Electric and ice vs. flying Picture a bird in a hailstorm or a lightning storm. It's pretty self-explanatory.

Easy Ways To Remember Pokémon Weaknesses In X And Y

Fighting vs. ice, rock and steel Ice, rock and steel are the three hardest elements in the world of Pokémon. But they're not as hard as Machamp's muscles. Case closed.

Ghost vs. ghost Ghost type attacks are super-effective against ghosts. This makes little sense, until you make things weird and start to imagine that ghost-type Pokémon exist partially in some other realm or dimension — a spirit world or something — in which they interact with one another on a more powerful level. Yeah, I never said these would make total sense.

Easy Ways To Remember Pokémon Weaknesses In X And Y

Poison vs. grass The street on which I grew up had beautiful trees that provided lots of shade and gave the cul-de-sac a sheltering atmosphere. Then the trees came down with some sort of tree disease and city workers came and cut them all down. It was a sad day, but it helps me remember that poison attacks are super-effective against grass monsters.

Ground vs. poison Why are ground attacks super-effective against poison Pokémon? Ask yourself this: why did Atari bury all those old E.T. cartridges out in the desert? The earth defeated that game's poisonous mediocrity.

Psychic vs. poison Psychic Pokémon use powers of the mind, so why are they super-effective against poison critters? Because mind is stronger than body, and mental prowess can overcome physical ailments like poison. Not really, but that's how I remember it.

Easy Ways To Remember Pokémon Weaknesses In X And Y

Psychic vs. steel I had to include psychic's ineffectiveness against steel Pokémon because it's the one pairing I disagree with. Psychics can bend spoons; why not Steelixes?

Do you folks have any other tricks to help you remember what's weak to what in Pokémon?


    Dark, Psychic and Ghost annoys me. I could understand Psychic being strong against Ghost or Ghost being strong against Psychic, but when you throw Dark in the mix it makes it feel like they should all be just neutral with 1x.

      Psychic isn't strong against Ghost, I think you're confusing it because Psychic hits Gastly/Haunter/Gengar for 2x damage, but that's because of their Poison secondary type. Psychic is weak to Bug, Ghost and Dark because they are common childhood fears.

        I just meant that in theory I'd understand if they made it so that Psychic was strong against Ghost.

        That said Gengar being weak to Psychic annoys me. He's one of my favourite Pokemon so I want one on my team, but there's always someone on the Elite Four that will drop him. Hypnosis covers it a little but it's not a reliable solution.

        Do you remember a long time ago (this was back when I was just a kid) when Ash had to fight Sabrina and he couldn't beat her so he had to go and fight her with the Gengar he found so he could beat her? That is the way I've always remembered it

      The reason why Psychic is weak against bug, dark, and ghost is because they are modeled after common human fears.

    Wow. Thank you Kotaku, I did not know that there was a Mega Alakazam till reading this article.

    Thanks for the spoilers.

    Also, Dragons are no longer weak against Ice.

      my Garchomp begs to differ

      Last edited 12/11/13 2:37 pm

      Spoilers?? The game has been out for a month. If you're still at such an early stage of the game that you're avoiding spoilers, why would you read an article that's clearly about pokemon? Take some responsibility for yourself.

      the game has been out for a month now. If you don't know it by now you've yourself to blame
      also, yes, dragons ARE weak to ice

      the fairy type Frikken messes up my head!

      Last edited 03/03/14 5:30 am

    I get the complex rock/paper/scissors, but the part I don't get yet is how to figure out what an opposing Pokemon is. Unless you've already captured them and can remember their type.

      it's called a pokedex app! Or bulbapedia, serebii, google etc etc etc

      Originally it wasn't too hard. 151 and most of them were designed to show off their type. A few of them you wouldn't guess (what the hell is Jynx?). Then they added more and more so now it's mostly just knowing your Pokemon and using Bulbapedia/Serebii.net the first time you encounter one you can't guess. The games do tend to feature the obvious ones more than the lesser known Pokemon. You'll see stuff like Pidgey (obvious Flying type) more. You'll also see patterns in the Pokemon of trainers in particular areas and trainers using Pokemon you commonly encounter in the wild.

      It sounds dumb but it adds a certain real world skill to it. The game is surprisingly deep and rewards knowledge and hands on experience a lot more than you'd expect from it if your main idea of Pokemon comes from the TV show. Breeding Pokemon is a whole science in itself.

    The rock/paper/scissors thing used to be fine for me since you could logically deduce that 'Fire burns grass which absorbs water which puts out fire.' But all these new weaknesses and types forced me to have the Bulbapedia chart on my phone while I was playing through Y. Then there's the matter of all the new, unfamiliar and forgettable Pokemon whose types I can never remember.

    I've always thought the poison/psychic thing should be reversed. It makes more sense to me that something whose strength is primarily in their mind would be weak to something that attacks the body. Plus, it would actually make poison a half way decent type.

    If it helps, in mythology the Fae, faeries sidhe seelie unseelie take what you will, were vulnerable to cold iron. Since there is no iron type, steel is the next best thing, so it makes sense to me. :)

    I like that chart a lot better than the header one, which I can never seem to use properly.

    I've always justified Bug > Psychic & Dark by saying that Bugs are too dumb to be concerned with such advanced battle techniques.

    Psychic being ineffective against Steel, which was originally for balance purposes, is probably one of the most ridiculous type match ups. It can really only be justified by just assuming Steel resists everything (which it almost does) then remember a few exceptions.

      Psychic vs. steel - Professor X can't read Magneto's thoughts

    Psychic Vs Steel - a bunch of steel types are close enough to robots, robots have no actual mind so therefore psychic powers don't work on them ;)


      Fighting versus flying... Honestly, you technically can punch a bird (especially if it doesn't see you coming at it!), but you can think of the context as Flying being the air. Now that is one thing that you truly cannot punch! Air won't feel a thing!

    Bug, Ghost, Dark strong against Psychic: All are basic fears which mess with the mind
    Psychic/Poison weak against Steel: A metal thing has no brain/organs
    Bug strong against Dark: Fireflies light up the dark
    Fairy strong against Dragon: In a fairy tale, the dragon dies
    Normal/Flying weak against Steel: Birds and people can't cause damage to a steel beam
    Fighting strong against Dark: Archetype of battling/conquering dark forces

    I can remember all the rest for far more obvious reasons, bar Ground effective to Poison. Makes no sense at all, and neither does the mnemonic the article provides.

    One thing that has always confused me is how one type can be supereffective against another type, but if you were to switch it around, that type isn't always ineffective against the original attacker. Take bug for example: it's not good at attacking fire, fighting, flying, ghost, poison, steel and fairy, yet out of all those, only flying and fire are supereffective against bugs. And where the hell did rock come from? Shouldn't that make bugs weak at attacking rocks? Stuff like this means I need a companion app at all times

      My guess as to why rock doesn't resist bug is that many bugs live under rocks in the real world. It's a bit of a stretch, though.

    My biggest problem is trying to guess what the next Pokemon's type is. I hadn't played since red and blue so am a bit out of the loop. I can guess weaknesses pretty well though.... So far....

      The types should be obvious by looking at the pokemon.

      Fire types use red/orange as main colors, rock types use mainly gray, Electric types are yellow, water types are blue, dark types are black, ghost types are translucent, flying types have bird-like wings, Bug types have bug-like wings (Usually small in proportion to body size), steel types use a steel blue color scheme (Not to be confused with Steel Blue footwear!) and I am not sure about the fairy types but they should be obvious when you see them. Take care whatever the type because it is quite easy for pokemon to learn moves out of their type. One pokemon I have uses a moveset of 2 fighting, 1 fire and 1 dark attack. (A rather versatile all-rounder)

      Last edited 31/12/13 9:52 am

        What about those double type pokemon? -.-

      a little bit? you've missed almost everything.

    I get how fighting is super effective against fighting, like a ninja K.O-ing another ninja right?

    Last edited 03/03/14 5:28 am

    Psychic's weaknesses are actually quite simple. The psychic type represents the mind, what's the easiest way to take down the mind? Fear. Therefore, psychic's weaknesses are common fears: the dark, ghosts and bugs (personally, I think they could've justified putting fire in there too, but I'm glad they didn't).
    Also, fairy types are weak to steel because apparently fairy lore/mythology states that you can kill a fairy using cold iron. Not too sure about this one, but that's what I've heard.
    I think the reason behind steel's resistance to psychic typing is simple enough, I mean, yes they can bend spoons, but that's silver. Steel is considerably harder than silver.
    In Japan, the dark has a strong connotation with evil, so in movies the hero often beats the villain by fighting him. From my understanding, that's why fighting is strong against dark. As for bug, your guess is as good as mine.

    Ice vs Dragon
    Reptiles are typically cold blooded and seek heat sources to remain active. Too much cold means hibernation/death.

    The scaly hide of a dragon protects from what is detrimental to the thin skinned. I.e. fire water grass all just roll slip over the surface without phasing them.

    Ground vs Poison
    I've always imagined pouring poison on the ground. Trying to severly distort/kill dirt this way is absurd. How I made sense of ground's efficacy against poison.

    Psychic vs Steel
    Bending the silvers and alloys most spoons are made of is poor practice for going up against the superior properties of steel. Going further, only Alakazam knows for sure but maybe the bending process manipulates molecules, weakening integrity not unlike oxidization. Rust free stainless steel FTW.

    Bug vs Dark
    Roaches scatter when you turn on a light but thrive confidently left in the dark. In this case, when attacking dark.

    When it comes to poison vs ground, I just imagine the dirt clotting and making the poison unable to spread.

    I noticed that no one has pointed out that there are moves that blatantly disobey the type match ups: freeze-dry, for example, which is an ice attack super effective against water.

    Also, we have an unsuspecting move called trick or treat, which adds ghost typing to the target, creating the potential of triple-type pokemon.

    I have always though of rocks putting out a fire, ice freezing a bird's wings, lighning frying a chicken, and fairy being the "light" in the dark.

    I instantly learned the three-type cycles for fire-water-grass and fighting-psychic-dark. The first is pretty self-explanatory, but for some the second may be strange. Off the top of my head, there are two main ways to remember the second cycle as long as you know the first one. If you associate water with psychic for being serene and meditative (and then as a powerful, special force such as a tsunami), then you can go on to say that fighting is fiery or heated, such as fire. This way, psychic beats fighting's hotheadedness with its mental power much like a wave would crash upon a flame. For dark, grass is most akin if you visualize the depths of growth on Earth. Areas of plant-growth can be fairly dense and dark (albeit damp and warm) such as a jungle. Hence, the acres of woodland could contribute to grass and darkness. Fighting can beat dark due to its recklessness and penetrative power (superhero vs. shadowy villain), while dark can beat psychic with its foul charms and trickery, disrupting the mental concentration and causing flinching, confusion, etc (when the shadowy villain bullies the meek, intelligent beings). Thanks to @MIKE ROUGEAU for this sweet discussion! :)

    I meant @mikerougeau! :)

    1/10 didn't mention fern gully in the Fairy vs. Steel/Poison

    fighting types are stronger then dark types because, just imagine a body builder,a body builder is so tough he will never be scared of the dark.

      this is not true because it is easy for a body builder to get scared in the dark

    I just want to know what steel is weak too!!!!

    wait never mind im good but why is this game cunfusing now but then, strange

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