Critical Hits are a common thing seen within battles. Critical Hits increase the damage that is given for any attacking attack. However, there are many variables that alter the chances of Critical Hits as well as the increase in the damage it increases it by, it also completely ignores positive changes in the opponent's stat.
Prior to Pokémon X & Y, Critical Hits increase the damage to be given by a further 100% making it 200% of normal. This calculation is placed after the Type Effectiveness and STAB is calculated, causing even more of an increase in power. There is however a way of increasing it by a further 100% making it 300% of normal. This is done only with Pokémon that have the ability Sniper. This means that a Super Effective Attack will likely completely floor most Pokémon when critically hit.
However, from Pokémon X & Y, the strength of Critical Hits has been drastically reduced. Instead of doubling the damage, the Critical hits will now do 50% more damage from the standard damage. If you have the ability Sniper, this increases to make the move do 225% of its standard damage.
The chances of Critical Hits are done in stages. There are five stages of which the Critical Hit percentage is calculated. All moves are on Stage 1 apart from a handful on Stage 2. However, with various items, abilities and a combination thereof, you can reach Stage 5 and have a 50/50 chance of hitting with a Critical Hit. Below is a list of the stages and their chances of occuring.
|Stage||Gen II-V Percentage||Gen VI Percentage||Gen VII Percentage|
Using Pokémon Amie or Pokémon Refresh also brings an increased chance of Critical Hits
Every move that does damage, either physical or special is part of Stage 1 and thus has a 6.25% chance of causing a Critical Hit. However, there are many things that boost the Critical Hit Ratio.
The following attacks have an increased Critical Hit Ratio;
|10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt||1||195||--||The user, Pikachu wearing a cap, powers up a jolt of electricity using its Z-Power and unleashes it. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Aeroblast||5||100||95||A vortex of air is shot at the target to inflict damage. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Air Cutter||25||60||95||The user launches razor-like wind to slash the opposing Pokémon. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Attack Order||15||90||100||The user calls out its underlings to pummel the target. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Blaze Kick||10||85||90||The user launches a kick that lands a critical hit more easily. This may also leave the target with a burn.|
|Crabhammer||10||100||90||The target is hammered with a large pincer. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Cross Chop||5||100||80||The user delivers a double chop with its forearms crossed. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Cross Poison||20||70||100||A slashing attack with a poisonous blade that may also poison the target. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Drill Run||10||80||95||The user crashes into its target while rotating its body like a drill. Critical hits land more easily.|
|G-Max Chi Strike||10||--||101||A Fighting-type attack that Gigantamax Machamp use. This move raises the chance of critical hits.|
|Karate Chop||25||50||100||The target is attacked with a sharp chop. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Leaf Blade||15||90||100||The user handles a sharp leaf like a sword and attacks by cutting its target. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Night Slash||15||70||100||The user slashes the target the instant an opportunity arises. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Poison Tail||25||50||100||The user hits the target with its tail. This may also poison the target. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Psycho Cut||20||70||100||The user tears at the target with blades formed by psychic power. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Razor Leaf||25||55||95||Sharp-edged leaves are launched to slash at the opposing Pokémon. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Razor Wind||10||80||100||In this two-turn attack, blades of wind hit opposing Pokémon on the second turn. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Shadow Claw||15||70||100||The user slashes with a sharp claw made from shadows. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Sky Attack||5||140||90||A second-turn attack move where critical hits land more easily. This may also make the target flinch.|
|Slash||20||70||100||The target is attacked with a slash of claws or blades. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Snipe Shot||15||80||100||The user ignores the effects of opposing Pokémon's moves and Abilities that draw in moves, allowing this move to hit the chosen target.|
|Spacial Rend||5||100||95||The user tears the target along with the space around it. Critical hits land more easily.|
|Stone Edge||5||100||80||The user stabs the target from below with sharpened stones. Critical hits land more easily.|
There are also several items, attacks & abilities that boost the Critical Hit ratio by a certain amount of stages, pushing the possibility of Critical Hits higher and higher.
The following items boost the Critical Hit ratio up by one level:
|Lansat Berry||A Poffin ingredient. If held by a Pokémon, it raises its critical-hit ratio in a pinch.||Razor Claw||Raises chances of landing a Critical Hit. Evolves Sneasel into Weavile at Night.|
|Scope Lens||Increases chances of landing a Critical Hit|
As of Pokémon Sun & Moon, several moves, when given Z-Power, will result in an increase of the Pokémon's own Critical Hit ratio for the duration of the Pokémon's position in battle. These moves are Z-Acupressure, Z-Foresight, Z-Heart Swap, Z-Sleep Talk & Z-Tailwind.
The following attack also boosts the critical hit ratio two levels. However, you can only get its effect once without fainting or switching out:
|Focus Energy||30||--||--||Focuses power to raise the critical-hit ratio.|
There are also items that boost the Critical Hit level up by 2 levels for specific Pokémon
|Lucky Punch||If attached to Chansey, Critical Hit ratio rises|
|Leek||If attached to Farfetch'd or Sirfetch'd, Critical Hit ratio rises|
There is also one special ability that doubles the Critical Hit ratio stage (If normally 1 it becomes 2, if normally 2 it becomes 4). This ability is Super Luck and is only known by Murkrow, Honchkrow, Absol, Tranquill and Unfezant and with Togepi, Togetic and Togekiss getting it as their Hidden Ability. This is the only way to get a stage 5 percentage, by having them with Super Luck, using a move such as Slash and holding a Razor Claw or Scope Lens. The ability Merciless, known by Mareanie and Toxapex, will make it so their moves will always land a Critical Hit on a Poisoned opponent.
Finally, there are four moves which have a Critical Hit ratio of 7 allowing for a 100% Critical Hit ratio. These moves, barring any abilities or moves preventing it, will always result in a Critical Hit.
|Frost Breath||10||60||90||The user blows a cold breath on the target. This attack always results in a critical hit.|
|Storm Throw||10||60||100||The user strikes the target with a fierce blow. This attack always results in a critical hit.|
|Surging Strikes||5||25||100||The user, having mastered the Water style, strikes the target with a flowing motion three times in a row. This attack always results in a critical hit.|
|Wicked Blow||5||80||100||The user, having mastered the Dark style, strikes the target with a fierce blow. This attack always results in a critical hit.|
Finally, the following moves will cause your subsequent attack to land a Critical Hit.
|Laser Focus||30||--||--||The user concentrates intensely. The attack on the next turn always results in a critical hit.|
In Pokémon Sword & Shield, Critical Hits were also utilised for evolution. With Galarian Farfetch'd, to get it to evolve you need to make 3 Critical Hits in one battle. This can be done in battles against multiple Pokémon or against say a Level 60 Magikarp in the Wild Area.. Once you win the battle, the evolution will be activated.