Combat Basics

There are three main types of combat actions you can perform:

  • Quick Move
  • Charge Move
  • Dodge

Each of these actions has a cooldown, and while any action is on cooldown, no other action can be performed. Dodging has a 0.5 cooldown, while quick moves and charge moves each have their own cooldowns.

Other non-combat actions include swapping Pokémon when fighting an enemy gym (1 second cooldown), or running from combat.

The enemy Pokémon takes a 2 second pause between each a quick move or a charge move cooldown.

Using a move that is the same type as your Pokémon gives you a 1.25x damage bonus called a "same type attack bonus" (STAB).

Quick Moves

The simplest way to fight is to tap repeatedly, spamming quick moves which are your fastest attacks. Using quick moves charges your charge bar by the amount of energy specified by that move.

Charge Moves

Tap and hold to start activating your charge move. When the new bar fills, if you don't currently have any move on cooldown, then your charge move will activate, so make sure to time it properly to fill after your other actions complete or it won't do anything!

What is Dodging

Have you noticed the yellow indicator that flashes before or during an enemy's attack? To dodge, swipe left or right a moment after the yellow indicator appears. Swiping too early after it appears won't work, so practice a bit without attacking to get the hang of the timing.  Our video analysis indicates this dodge window to be approximately 250-400ms after the yellow flash, regardless of the attack animation.  All that matters is the yellow flash.

A successful dodge reduces damage received by 75%.  Once you learn to dodge reliably, you will be able to defeat some Pokémon that are much higher than you in CP.

Using Dodging

When combat begins, enemy Pokémon leads off with two quick moves, and then begin a cycle of pausing for 2 seconds between each attack. After they have built enough energy, they will also interleave charge moves into their attack patterns.

Once you get the hang of dodging, depending on the attack speed of the moves your active Pokémon has, you can usually get in between 1 and 3 quick attacks between each of their attacks.

Type Effectiveness

Like in the games, types have strengths and weaknesses. The numbers are different from the games however.

Using a move that is super-effective deals 1.25x damage, and using a move that is not very effective deals 0.8x damage. Complete immunity has been simplified to 0.8x damage.

Multiple type effectiveness stacks. For example, Gyarados takes x1.25x1.25 = x1.5625 more damage from Electric attacks, due to its Flying/Water typing. See Pokemon Type Chart for how different types match up against each other, or individual Pokemon pages for specific matchups.

Same type attack bonus (STAB) also applies, giving you a 1.25x bonus to damage when using moves that are your Pokémon's type, which is lower than the 1.5x from the games.

Damage Calculations

Qmike solved how Pokémon GO calculates damage:

Damage =

$$Floor( ½ Power \frac{Attack}{Defense} STAB * Effectiveness) + 1$$