In Pokémon Go, the term “Movesets” refers to the available attacks each monster can learn. These movesets directly impact how useful that Pokémon will be in the meta game. The goal of a moveset is to optimize a Pokémon’s Damage per Second (DPS) for its dedicated purpose, be it attacking rival gyms, defending gyms for the glory of your respective team, or defeating the fierce raid bosses! That being said, movesets break down into two parts: Fast Attacks and Charge Attacks.

Fast Attacks

The most common attack a Pokémon will use is its Fast Attack. The purpose of this skill is to deal consistent damage to a defender while generating energy quickly to deliver devastating blows with its Charge Attacks. A Pokémon’s Fast Attack can be changed by using a Fast TM item. These attacks can be found in game on a Pokémon’s info page as the first attack from the top.

There are a couple things to keep in mind when selecting a Fast Attack for a Pokémon:

Damage Per Second (DPS)

The formula for calculating this in Pokémon Go is Floor(1/2 * Power *Atk/Def * Effective) +1 (see more at Damage Mechanics in Pokemon GO)

Energy Gain Per Second (EPS)

The formula for calculating this in Pokémon Go is Energy Gain = Energy of attack / Time (in seconds)

These calculations allow Trainers to determine which Fast Attacks do the most damage and generate the most energy the quickest.

Sceptile Damage Cast Time DPS Energy EPS
Bullet Seed Grass 8 1.10s 8.7 14 12.7
Fury Cutter Bug 3 0.40s 7.5 6 15

We can see in the above example that Sceptile has two viable Fast Attack options with Bullet Seed and Fury Cutter, and though they are very close in overall DPS, Fury Cutter generates more EPS which makes it the better option for this Pokémon.

Charge Attacks

Charge Attacks are swift and powerful spike damage attack available once a Pokémon has generated energy from its Fast Attacks. Although, these attacks are used less often than your Fast Attacks, they play a huge factor in how successful your Pokémon will be in battle. A Pokémon’s Charge Attack can be changed by using a Charge TM item. These attacks can be found in game on a Pokémon’s info page below the Fast Attacks; these will have charge meters underneath them as well.

There are a few calculations that assist Trainers to determine the optimal Charge Attack for a Pokémon:

Damage Per Second (DPS)

The formula for calculating this in Pokémon Go is Floor(1/2 * Power *Atk/Def * Effective) +1 (see more at Damage Mechanics in Pokemon GO)

Damage Per Energy (DPE)

The formula for calculating this in Pokémon Go is Damage * Number of Charge uses / 100

Casting Time

The formula for calculating this in Pokémon Go is Animation Time (in seconds) * Number of Charge Uses

Taking these calculations into account, we can now look at our example of Sceptile once again:

Sceptile Damage Cast Time DPS Energy DPE
Leaf Blade Grass 70 2.40s 35 -33 2.1
Earthquake Ground 120 3.60s 33 -100 1.2
Aerial Ace Flying 55 2.40s 22.9 -33 1.65

Sceptile has access to three very different Charge Attacks that can be used for different purposes, however, the highest DPS option is Leaf Blade. Although the use of all three of the Leaf Blade Charge Attacks takes a total 7.20 seconds, a single strike does comparable damage to Earthquake while benefitting from Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB), and uses substantially less energy.

Defending Movesets/Type Coverage:

Some Pokémon have found their place in the meta game as dedicated Gym Defenders. These Pokémon typically have dedicated movesets using the DPS formula with a focus on taking down the specific types to which they are weak. Blissey Normal, for example, is currently the best gym defender in the game. It has amazing stats and access to both a Fast and Charge Attack that are Super Effective against its only weakness, Fighting.

By becoming familiar with your Gym Defenders and their weaknesses you can optimize their movesets based on their available attacks.

Related reading: Type Effectiveness


In some cases, selecting a moveset is based specifically on the attacks available and the potential use of that Pokémon. A great example is Kyorge with access to Thunder Electric, it is a decent option for battling against other Water type Pokémon.

By balancing a Pokémon’s typing with its attack options, you can create interesting movesets that take reduced damage from its target while dealing Super Effective damage at the same time.

Legacy Movesets in Pokémon GO

With meta changes, some Pokémon lost the ability to learn a particular moveset. These are called legacy moveset. For many Pokémon, these were the best movesets available for them to date. If you are lucky enough to have a Pokémon with one of these movesets, you may want to think twice before changing it a TM.

Pokémon Fast Attack Charge Attack
Alakazam Dazzling Gleam
Arcanine Bite Bulldoze
Beedrill Bug Bite
Blaziken Stone Edge
Butterfree Bug Bite
Chansey Psybeam
Charizard Ember
Wing Attack
Charmeleon Scratch
Clefable Pound
Cleffa Psychic
Body Slam
Cloyster Blizzard
Icy Wind
Dewgong Ice Shard
Diglett Mud Shot
Dodrio Air Cutter
Doduo Swift
Dragonite Dragon Breath Dragon Claw
Dragon Pulse
Dugtrio Mud Shot
Eevee Body Slam
Ekans Gunk Shot
Electrode Tackle
Elekid Thunderbolt
Exeggutor Confusion

Zen Headbutt

Farfetch’d Cut
Fearow Twister
Feraligatr Water Gun
Flareon Heat Wave
Gastly Sucker Punch Ominous Wind
Gengar Shadow Claw Sludge Wave
Dark Pulse
Golbat Ominous Wind
Golem Mud Shot Ancient Power
Graveler Mud Shot
Grimer Acid
Gyarados Dragon Breath
Dragon Tail
Dragon Pulse
Haunter Lick Shadow Ball
Hitmonchan Rock Smash Brick Break
Hitmonlee Stomp
Brick Break
Hypno Psyshock
Shadow Ball
Igglybuff Body Slam
Jigglypuff Play Rough
Body Slam
Jynx Pound Ice Punch
Kabutops Fury Cutter
Kangaskhan Brick Break
Kingdra Water Gun
Kingler Mud Shot
Koffing Acid
Kyogre Dragon Tail
Lapras Ice Shard Dragon Pulse
Ice Beam
Loudred Crunch
Machamp Karate Chop Cross Chop
Stone Edge
Machoke Cross Chop
Machop Low Kick
Magby Flamethrower
Magneton Thunder Shock Discharge
Meowth Body Slam
Mew Hurricane
Dragon Pulse
Milotic Water Gun
Moltres Ember
Omanyte Rock Tomb
Omastar Rock Throw Rock Slide
Onix Iron Head
Rock Slide
Parasect Bug Bite
Persian Night Slash
Pichu Quick Attack
Pidgeot Wing Attack Air Cutter
Pikachu Thunder
Pinsir Fury Cutter Submission
Politoed Earthquake
Poliwhirl Scald
Poliwrath Mud Shot Submission
Ponyta Fire Blast
Porygon Quick Attack
Zen Headbutt
Signal Beam
Primeape Karate Chop Cross Chop
Raichu Thunder Shock Thunder
Rapidash Ember
Rhydon Megahorn
Sandshrew Rock Tomb
Scyther Steel Wing Bug Buzz
Seadra Blizzard
Seaking Poison Jab Ice Wind
Drill Run
Seel Water Gun Aqua Jet
Smoochum Frost Breath
Snorlax Body Slam
Spearow Twister
Starmie Quick Attack
Staryu Quick Attack
Suicune Hidden Power
Tangela Power Whip
Togepi Zen Headbutt
Togetic Steel Wing
Zen Headbutt
Venomoth Bug Bite Poison Fang
Voltorb Signal Beam
Weepinbell Razor Leaf
Weezing Acid
Zapdos Thunder Shock Discharge
Zubat Sludge Bomb