Pokémon Go: Best Movesets August 2021

Pokemon Go Moltres movesetSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

While it may seem like Combat Power (CP) or stats (IVs) are the most important factors in Pokémon Go, movesets play a critical role as well. Movesets are the combination of the fast attack and charged attack your Pokémon uses in battles.

The wonderful, terrible thing about movesets is that they're usually determined at random. The good news is that, with Technical Machines (TMs) and Elite TMs, you change your old, terrible moves. But how do you know which movesets will help your Pokémon win at PvP Trainer Battles and decimate Gyms and Raids and which will make a fight simply unwinnable? Here's the newly updated list! And be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories to take your game to the next level!

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What are the best Pokémon Go movesets?

While we won't go into the best movesets for every single Pokémon — after all, even with the best moves, a Pidgey isn't getting you very far — we do have the best moves for all the Legendary and Mythical Pokémon, as well as the best non-Legendary Pokémon. And now, with the introduction of Mega Evolution, we've got your Mega Pokémon too!

Mega Pokémon

Mega Evolution has finally made its way to Pokémon Go and it's quite the game changer! Mega Evolution gives your Pokémon a huge stat boost, as well as boosting other Pokémon you battle with during Raids.

While there are some Trainers who have entire teams of each Legendary Pokémon, Legendaries and Mythicals are some of the rarest Pokémon in the game. On top of that, they require the most walking to earn Candies, so it can be extremely time-consuming and outright expensive to power them up and teach them new moves. However, they're also some of the most powerful Pokémon in the game, so you'll want them to have the best possible movesets.

Most other species of Pokémon can be found more easily than Legendary and Mythical Pokémon. Many are featured in Community Days and other events, so earning Candies for these Pokémon is easier. You probably won't want to waste Elite TMs on most of these Pokémon, but normal TMs can definitely get you some really good moves. While we won't tell you every single Pokémon's best moves (because, let's face it, even with the best moves and top CP, Pidgey isn't going to serve you well in any sort of fight,) here are some of the best non-Legendary Pokémon in the game, along with their ideal movesets:

Legacy Moves are indicated with an asterisk.

Shadow Pokémon

With the latest rebalance of Shadow Pokémon and the addition of events where you can change Frustration for another Charged attack, there are Shadow Pokémon that you will want in your roster too. You can only change a Shadow Pokémon's Charged attack during specific events, but once it knows a normal attack, you can change it again and again. Here are the Shadow Pokémon worth keeping and investing in:

  • Shadow Mewtwo
  • Shadow Metagross
  • Shadow Salamence
  • Shadow Machamp
  • Shadow Mamoswine
  • Shadow Raikou
  • Shadow Dragonite
  • Shadow Weavile
  • Shadow Tyranitar
  • Shadow Moltres
  • Shadow Swampert
  • Shadow Hariyama
  • Shadow Zapdos
  • Shadow Electivire
  • Shadow Magnezone
  • Shadow Aerodactyl
  • Shadow Entei
  • Shadow Torterra
  • Shadow Venusaur
  • Shadow Tangrowth
  • Shadow Gyarados
  • Shadow Honchkrow
  • Shadow Exeggutor
  • Shadow Charizard
  • Shadow Alakazam
  • Shadow Staraptor
  • Shadow Gardevoir
  • Shadow Scizor
  • Shadow Pinsir
  • Shadow Blaziken
  • Shadow Gallade
  • Shadow Mismagius
  • Shadow Shiftry
  • Shadow Arcanine
  • Shadow Banette
  • Shadow Victreebel
  • Shadow Houndoom
  • Shadow Magmortar
  • Shadow Omastar
  • Shadow Porygon-Z
  • Shadow Cacturne
  • Shadow Sharpedo
  • Shadow Blastoise
  • Shadow Flygon
  • Shadow Scyther
  • Shadow Absol

Note: While most Shadow Pokémon have the same ideal movesets as their normal counterparts, Shadow Mewtwo is in a class unto itself. It is by far the strongest Pokémon in the game. As such, many of its Charged attacks are well worth having. Shadow Ball is exceptionally useful against other Psychic types. Psystrike makes it the most powerful Psychic-type attacker. Even some of its other attacks, like Ice Beam, Flamethrower, and Thunderbolt are very useful in particular Raids and PVP fights. Focus Blast and Hyper Beam are the only Charged attacks without good uses.

What if you don't have the best movesets in Pokémon Go?

Since the introduction of the Raid Battle system in June 2017, you can get Technical Machines to change your movesets. Two of the possible rewards for beating Raid Bosses are Quick TM and Fast TM, which can be used to change Quick Moves and Charge Moves respectively. Regular TMs are completely random and cannot access Legacy Moves.

Legacy Moves are special moves that were once available for a Pokémon but are no longer. Sometimes they were removed when Niantic re-balanced the game. Some were only available on Community Day or in special Raids. Either way, if a Legacy Move happens to be the best possible move for a Pokémon and you don't have it, you cannot get it with a normal TM. Before you use a TM on any Pokémon, you should always check to see if the move you're changing is a Legacy Move and if that move is worth having. A lot of Legacy Moves don't perform well, but some of them are the best moves in the game.

More recently, Niantic introduced Elite TMs. These TMs are rare, and often difficult to get or expensive, but allow you to choose from any move a Pokémon can have, including Legacy Moves. They aren't random either. You get to choose the move. Because of how hard it is to get Elite TMs, you'll want to save them for your very best Pokémon, but hey, now you can have a Mewtwo with Shadow Ball and Psystrike!

How do you change movesets in Pokémon Go? With Technical Machines (TM)!

What about Types in Pokémon Go?

It's also important to keep in mind types! While some Pokémon only have one type, most have two and all Pokémon can learn moves from multiple types. Although most Pokémon have a single moveset that is the best for their whole species, there are some Pokémon who have multiple sets. Take Chandelure, for example; Chandelure is a Fire and Ghost type and can be one of the best of either. If you're using your Chandelure as a Fire type, you'll want it to know Fire Spin and Overheat, but if you're going for Ghost type, you'll want Hex and Shadow Ball.

What about secondary Charge Moves in Pokémon Go?

With PvP Trainer Battles, Niantic also introduced secondary Charge Moves. You can buy them with Stardust and Candy, and TM them to whatever it is you need. So, what do you need? Typically, variety. If the best Charge Move is a full bar, get a secondary that's multi-bar. If there are two possible types for the Charged move, get both. For example, a Mewtwo with Shadow Ball or Psystrike is incredible, but one with both? Gamebreaker! However, adding a second Charge Move is expensive (up to 100K Stardust on the Legendaries) so make sure there is a good secondary move before spending on this upgrade.

Your best movesets in Pokémon Go?

These are the best Pokémon Go movesets I've seen for the toughest Pokémon and best counters currently in the game. If you have a favorite that didn't make the list, let us know in the comments. And be sure to check out our Best Portable Battery Packs so your phone never runs out of juice on the way to becoming a Pokémon Master!

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