Pokémon Go moves have been an integral part of the game - and franchise itself - since its inception, from the damage counters of the Trading Card Game through to the bombastic Z-Moves of Pokémon Sun and Moon.

In Pokémon Go, how moves work and their own effectiveness has changed drastically over time. Now, with PvP Battling in the game as well as TMs, Raids, and standard Gym combat, there are several different uses for your Pokémon's moves, and several different ways to think about how they work - or indeed which moves are the best.

Here, we'll keep things as simple as possible, explaining how to get a second charge move, as was introduced with PvP, as well as how Fast TMs and Charge TMs work and how to get them, and anything else worth knowing about moves' DPS and choosing moves in general.

How to get a second charge move in Pokémon Go

Adding a second charge move to your Pokémon is now possible, since the addition of PvP Battling in late 2018.

Actually getting the second charge move is pretty simple, too - which makes a nice change - but what isn't so easy, as you'll see, is stacking up the resources to afford one.

To get a second charge move on your Pokémon, simply head to that Pokémon in your storage and, by its moves, you'll see the option "New Attack", with a Stardust and Candy cost next to it. Simply press the button and confirm, pay the price, and your Pokémon has a new, alternative charged move! This can indeed be used in Gym and Raid battles, too.

That cost changes from Pokémon to Pokémon, and appears to be broken down into four tiers:

  • 10,000 Stardust and 25 of that Pokémon's Candy
  • 50,000 Stardust and 50 of that Pokémon's Candy
  • 75,000 Stardust and 75 of that Pokémon's Candy
  • 100,000 Stardust and 100 of that Pokémon's Candy

At the time of writing it's not absolutely confirmed what affects those tiers, but it appears to be broadly related to a Pokémon's buddy walking distance. Pokémon that only take 1km of walking to grant a Candy are all in the 10,000 Stardust tier, for instance, whilst all 20km buddy distance Pokémon - namely legendaries and Mythicals - are in the 100,000 Stardust tier. We'll update this page when we have absolute confirmation!

Pokémon Go Fast TMs and Charge TMs explained

TMs
We've raided a lot, but TMs are hard to come by.

Introduced with the first Raids were TMs, special items that allow you to change your Pokémon's moves - or more specifically "reroll" your Pokémon's moves, seeing as it's decided at random when you use one.

Using a TM on a Pokémon will randomly reselect one of its moves, with a Fast TM giving you a different fast move and a Charge TM a different Charge move. You're guaranteed to get a different move each time you use a TM, but of course you can only get a move that said Pokémon can learn in the first place. You're not going to get Hyper Beam on that Weedle any time soon (or ever).

How to get TMs in Pokémon Go

There's just the one reliable way to earn TMs in Pokémon Go at the moment: raiding. Completing a raid, of any kind, will earn you a chance at being rewarded with Fast and Charge TMs. You don't get many though, and you don't get them very often at all, so use them wisely when you do.

There are other less reliable sources however, namely the occasional piece of Field Research and Special Research tasks that offer them as rewards, but if you want to reliably keep stocks high, raiding is the way to go.

We advise you save them for the most powerful Pokémon you have, that you'll be using a lot, and that have very high IVs, too. That way you know they're not going to be rendered obsolete when you catch a better version down the line!

DPS and other factors to bear in mind when choosing the best Pokémon Go moves

  • The big PvP Battling Update changed a lot - There have been plenty of big updates that change the way moves work in Pokémon Go, but the addition of PvP is the latest. We've decided to stop listing the best moves by their stats as a result, as they actually work out differently in PvP to Gym battling, which brings us onto our next point.
  • DPS is different for moves in PvP versus Gym and Raid battles - that's a tweak largely to do with balance, we suspect, but likewise because in PvP, you need to 'charge' your charge attack when you actually use it, by mashing the screen, as well as charging it up before that by using fast attacks.
  • Type effectiveness is now more important than ever - known as 'coverage', it's now more important than ever that your Pokémon have attacks which can deal Effective, Super Effective or Double Effective damage to as wide a range of Pokémon as possible. When choosing second charge moves, try to hit one of the following combinations, which are resisted by either no Pokémon or very few:
    • Fire and Dragon
    • Ice and Electric
    • Rock and Ground
    • Ghost and Fighting
    • Dark and Fairy
    • Ghost and Fairy
  • Note that Pokémon recieved before each update will keep their current movesets, unless you evolve them in which case their moves are taken from their Gen 2 movepool. We have a Dragonite with Steel Wing and Dragon Pulse, for example, which now isn't possible to acquire post-update.
  • Same type attack bonus, or STAB, is an important factor in deciding a move's strength. A move's power is multiplied by 1.20 - so a 100 Power move is instead 120 Power - when the Pokémon using it is the same type as the move, so it's well worth adding that to your thoughts on how to kit out your squad. We also have a full Pokémon Go Type Chart for your ease of use, alongside details on how to catch Pokémon according to their Type locations, too.
  • Another factor to consider now is the weather. Similarly to STAB, a beneficial weather condition adds a 1.2 multiplier to moves of a certain type. See our Pokémon Go Weather page for more on that!
  • Your Pokémon's Attack stat does of course modify the strength of a move by a considerable amount, so it's worth checking out our list of the best, most powerful Pokémon in Pokémon Go where we rank them according to Attack, Defense, and a combination of all stats if you're building a team from scratch. The exact formula for how Attack affects the damage dealt is still unknown at this point, however.
  • Some moves are better for defending Gyms than attacking, as Gym defense is automated. The AI will automatically use a Fast Attack every two seconds when defending, and no faster, whilst it will use Special Attacks as soon as they're available, regardless of their strength. That means the likes of Confusion - which has a decent DPS thanks to is high power and slow Animation Time - is instead a very strong move when defending, as all moves' Animation Times are effectively brought up to 2 when defending anyway.
  • Back in earlier versions of the game, some Special Attacks had such a low DPS that it's actually not even worth using them compared to your Pokémon's Fast Attacks. Icy Wind, for example, had a measly 6.58 DPS, meaning that you'd actually have dneo better chipping away with your Articuno's Frost Breath than you would be using it's Special. That controversial, free Articuno handed out and then revoked back in the game's early days was an example of that rather unfortunate moveset in action, and those kinds of ratios may yet return.

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About the author

Chris Tapsell

Chris Tapsell

Staff Writer

Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Staff Writer, its newest Chris, and a keen explorer of the dark arts of gaming, from League of Legends to the murky world of competitive Pokémon.