A Pokémon Battle is when two Trainers battle each other with Pokémon. In the games, when two trainers lock eyes, a battle starts. Each trainer can bring up to six Pokémon into a battle. The highest ranked battler in the games is a called a Champion, while in the anime a Pokémon Master is said to be the highest rank. NPC trainers usually refrain from using items on their Pokémon, but some classes such as Scientists, who use stat enhancing items such as X Attack, Gym Leaders, the Elite Four, and the Champion use items in battle.
When a battle starts in the games, a small translation happens to the battle screen. The translation varies depending on several factors. These factors include where you are and who you're fighting. Then, you come to the battle screen.
At the battle screen you and your enemy will send out their Pokémon (if it's wild it'll just stand there). You will then be able to choose whether you want to Fight, Switch Pokémon, Use Items, or Flee from battle. If you choose Fight, you will be able to select one of four moves. Moves vary from offensive attacks like Tackle to defensive moves like Harden to moves that change yours and/or your opponent's Stats like Sand Attack and Growl. Some moves inflict status effects on the target like Poison and confusion. Turn order is decided by the Speed of the two Pokémon. The fastest goes first. Those using Items go before attacks, as does Switching Pokémon. Some Pokémon have moves that require them to go unhit while they "charge," so even if they're faster they still have to wait until the other Pokémon have executed their moves.
If you choose to Switch your Pokémon, you get a list of 6 Pokémon. Choose one to Switch it with your current Pokémon.
If you choose to use your Items you will go to the Item list. Items vary from health Potions to Poké Balls to Items that increase your stats. You can only use Poké Balls in wild Pokémon battles. If you use them in Trainer battles the opposing Trainer will bat the Poké Ball away. In some cases item use is not permitted. Healing/Stats items can be used on any of your 6 Pokémon, in cases such as throwing out a weak Pokémon while you revive another stronger one.
If you choose to Run you will make an attempt to flee. You cannot flee from Trainer battles. Sometimes you will fail to flee. This can be because of Pokémon attacks or Abilities. If you try to flee a wild battle and fail, your turn is over.
If it's a wild Pokémon battle, when you get to the battle screen it will say at the bottom "A Wild <insert name here> Appeared!" If it's a trainer, it will say "<insert name here> wants to battle!"
Winning/Losing a fight
You win a fight when your enemy is out of usable Pokémon. Defeat Pokémon by decreasing their HP (Hit Points) to Zero.
If all your Pokémon have fainted, you will lose the battle.
In some cases, both Trainers/you and the wild Pokémon are both fainted at the same time, you will always "lose" the battle (i.e. You and the opponent each have 1 Pokémon left, and your Pokémon uses Self-Destruct. You faint, but your opponent's Pokémon faints too. It will end in a loss for you).
In the Aftermath of a fight, several things can happen.
If you win, all the Pokémon you used in the fight will gain Experience Points (Exp.). If it's a Trainer you were fighting, you will gain some money too.
If you catch a Pokémon, you will not gain Experience Points, unless you are playing in Generation VI. You will be asked if you want to name your Pokémon, and then it will say where the Pokémon will be stored.
If you lose, you will "black out" (retreat) to the nearest Pokémon Center where all your Pokémon will be fully healed.
If you "black out", whether from a Trainer battle or a wild Pokémon battle, you will lose a portion of your money (prior to FireRed/LeafGreen, you would lose half of your money if you lost.).
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