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Everything you need to know about Pokemon types

An important part of battling in any version of Pokemon is knowing all 18 Pokemon types and how they interact with one another. 

Right from the start of each game, players are introduced to this with a round of rock-paper-scissors in the form of choosing a fire, water, or grass Pokemon as their first partner. From there, other types like flying, bug, and rock all appear which benefits some of these choices, and can harshly punish others.

This introduces fans to one of the core mechanics of the Pokemon series, and also serves as the foundation for every installment in the franchise including Pokemon GO and the Pokemon TCG. With that in mind, it’s worth looking at and memorizing each type and how they interact with one another.

Pokemon type chart

What are the 18 types of Pokemon?

The full list of Pokemon types includes:

  • Normal
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Grass
  • Electric
  • Ice
  • Fighting
  • Poison
  • Ground
  • Flying
  • Psychic
  • Bug
  • Rock
  • Ghost
  • Dragon
  • Steel
  • Dark
  • Fairy

In the first generation, there were just 15 types of Pokemon. Starting with Pokemon Gold and Silver, the steel and dark types were added in part to serve as a check to the psychic type, which was very powerful at the time. In generation 6, which began with Pokemon X and Y, the fairy type was added to serve as a counter to many of the powerful dragon types such as Dragonite, Garchomp, and Salamence.

There is also the special Shadow typing which was only included in Gamecube titles Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. These Pokemon could be captured from opponents and then purified, restoring them to their standard typing. This later served as the basis for the special Team GO Rocket Pokemon seen in Pokemon GO, but shadow is not categorized as a unique type unto itself in Pokemon GO.

What is the rarest Pokemon type? What is the most common type?

Ice type is technically the rarest type in the Pokemon series. Of the 898 Pokemon, just 51 are ice type.

That said, the type most common among legendary and mythical Pokemon is psychic. Though one might parse how to classify “legendary” Pokemon, there are more than a dozen psychic-type Pokemon that are story-critical like Solgaleo and Lunala, can only be encountered once during a save like Mewtwo and Azelf, or can only be obtained through promotions like Mew, Jirachi, and Victini. This list grows even further with different variants and unevolved Pokemon.

The most common Pokemon type by a significant margin is water, of which there are 144 as of Pokemon Sword and Shield. This makes up more than 16% of all Pokemon. The next most common is normal, with a total of 115 different normal-type Pokemon.

However, the most common typing is pure normal Pokemon followed by pure water at 69 and 68, respectively. That said, a case could also be made that pure water should also be recognized as the most common typing as there are three unique normal Pokemon who have the ability to change form in Arceus, Type: Null, and Silvally.

Can Pokemon have three types?

No, Pokemon can only have one or two types. Pokemon can change types as they evolve or change forms, but each iteration of a Pokemon has a maximum of two types at any given moment.

For example, Pupitar is a rock-ground dual-type Pokemon but evolves into Tyranitar, which is rock-dark. The ground typing is dropped entirely on Tyranitar. Similarly, Gyarados is water-flying type but Gyarados can mega evolve into Mega Gyarados. Mega Gyarados' type then changes to water-dark, but it remains a dual-type Pokemon by dropping its flying affinity entirely. It does not become a water-flying-dark Pokemon.

What is the best Pokemon typing?

The best typing in Pokemon is likely dark-ghost dual types, with Sableye and Spiritomb falling into this category. The typing has just one weakness in fairy, and is immune to fighting, normal, and psychic attacks. Offsetting that very advantageous typing is the fact that Sableye has very low stats and Spiritomb has a limited arsenal of attacks. 

What is the strongest Pokemon?

Arceus, Eternatus, Zacian, Zamazenta, Mega Mewtwo X and Y, and Kyurem all rank among the strongest Pokemon in the series thus far, but for different reasons.

From a lore and story perspective, Arceus is akin to a god-like character in Pokemon. Though it's not portrayed this way across the Pokemon franchise consistently, there are allusions to Arceus having created the entire universe of Pokemon and having formed the Sinnoh region specifically. Despite the lofty expectations that might set for its in-game strength, Arceus lacks the firepower of "special" legendary Pokemon like Lugia, Palkia, and Solgaleo.

Throughout every iteration of the Pokemon video game series, the strongest creature encountered thus far is Eternamax Eternatus. This version of Eternatus has the strongest HP, defense, and special defense stats in the series with very high attack and speed stats to go along with them. Unfortunately, this version of Eternatus is exclusively shown as a boss in Pokemon Sword and Shield, with its normal version being among the strongest, but just a bit shy of that mark.

The strongest Pokemon in the game series from a statistical perspective depends on a few different factors. If counting in-game transformations, Mega Mewtwo X and Y have the best stats of any Pokemon that is available to trainers in games. With Mega Stones not included in Pokemon Sword and Shield, Zacian and Zamazenta have the highest stats of any Pokemon that are available for use by players in generation, but only in their Crowned forms. Without relying on in-battle form changes of Pokemon, the strongest Pokemon is Black and White Kyurem. 

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