Image: The Pokémon Company
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is something of a clipping, textureless aquarium, but it’s finally out and arguably playable. If you will yourself to see beyond appearances, NPC apparitions, and Pokémon trapped behind walls, and try not to imagine all the high-performance McChickens you could have instead bought with $60, you’ll find an alluring open world adventure with story options, challenging gym leaders, and a cute Spanish piggy. That piggy and those gym challenges are subject to the same type chart you’ll recognize from other Pokémon games, but as you wander Scarlet and Violet’s wobbling Paldea region, you might find yourself in need of a refresher.
A Pokémon’s type (fire, water, or something else) puts it either at an advantage (“it’s super effective!”) or disadvantage (“it’s not very effective…”) in battle against another type. All 18 Pokémon types are subject to this natural order—some of it does feel natural, like fire-types igniting grass-types or water dunking fire—and capable of utilizing their double-damage strengths or half-damage weaknesses. This remains true in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, but becomes a bit more complex with dual-type Pokémon (the Bug/Steel type Scizor, for example, or Electric/Fairy type Dedenne), which take on both its types’ strengths and weaknesses—unless one type has a resistance that cancels out the other’s weakness.
Like most Pokémon games, Scarlet and Violet’s type system adds a quirk in the form of its its Terastallizing mechanic, but it otherwise adheres to the franchises’ usual chart. Here is the basic rundown, courtesy of Ari Notis’ 2021 Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl coverage just one day short of a year ago (time flies when it’s clipping in Pokémon):
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Attack Chart
Bug beats grass, dark, psychic but is weak against fairy, fire, fighting, flying, poison, steel, ghostDark beats ghost, psychic but is weak against dark, fairy, fightingDragon beats dragon but is weak against steel and doesn’t affect fairyElectric beats flying, water but is weak against electric, grass, dragon and doesn’t affect groundFairy beats fighting, dark, dragon but is weak against fire, poison, steelFighting beats dark, ice, normal, rock, steel but is weak against bug, fairy, flying, psychic and doesn’t affect ghostFire beats bug, grass, ice, steel but is weak against dragon, fire, rock, waterFlying beats bug, fighting, grass but is weak against electric, rock, steelGhost beats ghost, psychic but is weak against dark and doesn’t affect normalGrass beats water, ground, rock but is weak against bug, dragon, fire, flying, grass, poison, steelGround beats electric, fire, poison, rock, steel but is weak against grass, bug and doesn’t affect flying at allIce beats dragon, flying, grass, ground but is weak against ice and waterNormal beats absolutely nothing, doesn’t affect ghost at all, and is weak against rock, steelPoison beats fairy, grass but is weak against ghost, ground, rock, poison and doesn’t affect steel at allPsychic beats fighting, poison but is weak against bug, steel and doesn’t affect dark at allRock beats bug, fire, flying, ice but is weak against fighting, ground, steelSteel beats fairy, ice, rock but is weak against electric, fire, steel, waterWater beats fire, ground, rock but is weak against dragon, grass, water
O! For a Muse of fire, that would ascend / The brightest heaven of Fuecoco.Image: The Pokémon Company
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Defense Chart
Bug loses to fire, flying, rock but is tough against fighting, grass, groundDark loses to bug, fairy, fighting but is tough against dark, ghost and isn’t affected at all by psychicDragon loses to dragon, fairy, ice but is tough against electric, fire, grass, waterElectric loses to ground but is tough against electric, flying, steelFairy loses to poison, steel but is tough against bug, dark, fighting and isn’t affected at all by dragonFighting loses to fairy, flying, psychic but is tough against bug, dark, rockFire loses to ground, rock, water but is tough against bug, fairy, fire, grass, ice, steelFlying loses to electric, ice, rock but is tough against bug, grass, fighting and isn’t affected at all by groundGhost loses to dark, ghost but is tough against bug, poison and isn’t affected at all by fighting, normalGrass loses to bug, fire, flying, ice, poison but is tough against electric, grass, ground, waterGround loses to grass, ice, water but is tough against against poison, rock and isn’t affected at all by electricIce loses to fighting, fire, rock and steel and only resists iceNormal loses to fighting but isn’t affected at all by ghostPoison loses to ground, psychic but is tough against bug, fairy, grass, poisonPsychic loses to bug, dark, ghost but is tough against fighting, psychicRock loses to grass, ground, fighting, steel, water but is tough against fire, flying, normal, poisonSteel loses to fire, fighting, ground but is tough against (deep breath) bug, dragon, fairy, flying, grass, ice, normal, psychic, rock, steel and isn’t affected at all by poisonWater loses to electric and grass but is resistant to fire, ice, and water
But about that quirk: Scarlet and Violet most notably alter the type chart experience with the introduction of Terastallizing, a process that can turn any Paldea Pokémon into gleamy, crystallized versions of themselves once per battle. It requires a smooth onyx Tera Orb, which is unfortunately single use, but can be recharged with Pokémon Center visits or by touching Terastal energy crystals you may find in your journeying.
Terstallizing is not a purely cosmetic reshuffling—it unleashes a Pokémon’s Tera Type, viewable in the Pokémon menu, which can diverge from its usual type, but will still be one of the 18 you already know (bug, dark, dragon, etc.). You can use them strategically. In an early blog post about Scarlet and Violet, developers Game Freak noted that players can give water-weak Coalossal, a dual Rock/Fire type, a Water Tera Type to “take less damage […] when it gets hit by a Water-type move.”
Tera Types are also individualized, so you could have multiple electric-type Pawmi with all different Tera Types. You can additionally change your Pokémon’s Tera Type by taking down Medali gym leader Larry and then paying the chef at Treasure Eatery 50 Tera Shards, found organically by completing Tera Raids, or available as gifts.
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Tera Types’ strengths and weaknesses seem to correspond to their non-Tera types, too, so just keep your well-worn 18 flashcards handy, and you’re ready for battle.