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Potential Abilities for Pokémon in GO

Abilities have been present in Pokémon since the 3rd generation, and continue to introduce tons of gameplay elements that go beyond the basic stats and attacks. From simply powering up moves of a specific type to completely altering forms of Pokémon, abilities have near infinite potential to further vary our Pokémon.

As it stands now, the gym game is very simple. Stemming from the original Pokémon games, some of the simplest abilities come from each and every starter - and are exclusive to them. Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent increase the power of grass, fire, and water moves respectively by 50% when the Pokémon is below a third of its health. Suddenly, that Venusaur you’ve been shredding multiple Vaporeons with got a burst of strength to power through the gym’s last defending Pokémon! However, due to GO’s simplified nature, the boost given by these abilities would likely have to be toned down to an increase of 10-20%, similar to how super effective moves only deal 25% of extra damage in GO (as opposed to double like in the main series games).

The popular original Eeveelutions - being Vaporeon, Flareon, and Jolteon - also have thematic abilities from the main series games that can be implemented into GO. They possess abilities called Water Absorb, Volt Absorb, and Flash Fire respectively, making them immune to their own typing! Full immunity isn’t present in GO, so these abilities could simply further reduce the damage these Pokémon take from their own type.

The amount of small damage-altering abilities are fruitful. To list off a few more examples, Nidoqueen and Nidoking possess an ability called Rivalry, making them deal more damage to Pokémon of the same gender, but less to Pokémon of opposite genders. Snorlax has Thick Fat, reducing the damage it receives from fire and ice-type attacks. Beedrill, Scizor, and several other bug-types have Swarm, which boosts the power of their bug-type attacks when they’re below a third of their HP (seems like it would be crazy good with Scizor’s Fury Cutter!). Golem, Skarmory, Steelix, Magneton, Forretress, Shuckle, and Donphan have Sturdy, making them immune to being knocked out in one hit (obviously this wouldn’t apply to GO, but here’s my thinking: perhaps this ability could prevent them from being knocked out with a charge attack?).

Moreover, Pokémon can have one of either two or three different abilities, further differentiating them from others of their species. And while a couple of light damage-altering passives would be unlikely to shake up the meta as much as we’d like, it’s important to start somewhere. But there is so so so much more to abilities than what I’ve presented here, and that potential will only evolve with the game. To make this a relatively short start, I’ll be writing about abilities that could interact with future changes that we can expect to see sometime in GO’s future, such as weather and status effects, tomorrow night (likely going to be an edited add-on to this post, but there’ll be soooo much more to theorize!).


Just as non damaging moves, abilities would make the game more lasting. The search for a good IV with the right ability would basicly start over again for most pokemon. the only thing i’m worried about is the good IV one’s we’ve already maxed out with suddenly a “bad” ability.

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I think abilities would be an amazing addition that would add more depth to the core combat, especially for Pokemon like Slaking (Truant makes him attack once in 2 moves). Not much to add here, abilities are great game design that has proven itself over more than 20 years.

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True. I’d hope Niantic would implement an item from the main series games called the Ability Capsule, which changes the ability of a Pokemon.

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But those items should be something not obtainable via pokestops. Maybe via a promocode after winning a raid, or something in that trend. To implement more items in a pokestop would make a pokeball more rare, which would be (certainly for the rural players) not handy in a catch game.

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i think having read both your posts - i love the ideas BUT wait Niantic still believes in the casual attraction of pokemon go, what you are asking for might be TOOOO deep for them lol

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I think there should be like an offline mode to train your mons…niantic has wasted that part of the game. Maybe i want to play while im at home resting from a long as walk with my dogs in the hot sun.Maybe I want to play during my lunch.

I am hoping for a turn based battle system at the very least for PVP and Gyms that way we can actually do all these things like abilities and etc…

Eevee’s adaptability will make my favorite pokemon of all time a surprisingly great attacker for gyms/raids if ailities were added! Wigglytuff’s cute charm would also be an interesting ability for gym defense.


I agree with you 100% People want Gen 3 but without abilities most of them will be trash only pokedex fillers. We need Abilities ,Gen 3 , Battle System rework for PvP in that order. I think niantic should drop between updates something like all Shinies, Team Rocket NPCs, Solo OPs, scavenger hunts etc. Just to keep the game from being boring and stale. This game could 100× better. I can honestly see this game being played 5 years down the line. But these and the rural trainers issues need to be addressed. Or else this game will not last long.

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Would this topic helps to improve Pokemon GO?

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Nice you have alot of good ideas

Its a risk im willing to accept…it will make me want to play more and grind even harder for that 100% IV Houndoom with the a good ability.

That’s not all of my ideas. You should also thanks to @Elderscroller, @bagguille, @ElectroBlade, @HeracrossVille and a lot more people who have suggested their ideas in ‘Things we want in Pokemon GO’. Thing we want in Pokemon Go