Pokemon Gender Mechanics

By Matt

Gender is a small mechanic that makes Pokemon more unique. Each Pokemon has its own gender ratio, which is a percentage that compares the male and female population, respectively. Usually, Pokemon found in the wild have a 50/50 ratio, but some Pokemon have a more distorted ratio. For example, all starters have a 7:1 ratio, or 87.5/12.5%. I think that this is strange, since starters can go either way in terms of gender. Some male and female sprites feature gender differences, which are small changes in appearances, like color, or the size of a certain part of an appendage, like a horn.

There are also Pokemon that exist without gender. These are known as genderless Pokemon, which are usually legendaries and Steel-types. Pokemon that are genderless are excluded from a few things, such as breeding compatability and gender-based moves (which could be a good thing), but it really doesn’t make a difference unless you decide to use those game mechanics. The world of Pokemon also has a few kinds of moves that deal with gender.

The first one is Attract, which is the most common gender-based move, is one that works only with two Pokemon of different genders. This gives the target the status of infatuation, which one has to take a mental note, since it does not show up, like confusion. This also means that a Pokemon can have a major status problem (paralysis, poison, etc.) and be infatuated at the same time. Infatuation is like confusion, but instead of attacking itself, the Pokemon trying to attack will be “immobilized by love” and can’t attack. Like confusion, this can be removed by switching out your Pokemon. However, Attract will not work on genderless Pokemon.

Another move depending on gender is Captivate, which also must work on a Pokemon the opposite gender of the user. This will lower the target’s Special Attack by two levels, but with the many kinds of Pokemon, this move can either be a great help, or a waste of a move. So far, only one hold item exists that deals with gender. This is the Destiny Knot, which can be obtained in Pokemon Black and White. The person who gives it to you says that if the holder falls in love, the user of that move will also fall in love. It’s a tough concept to master, but it could come in handy against… Trainers who like to use one gender of Pokemon.

Finally, the last topic dealing with gender is Abilities. Two Abilities dealing with gender is Rivalry and Cute Charm. Rivalry increases Attack if the target is the same gender as the Pokemon with this Ability, and decreases if the opponent is the opposite gender. Cute Charm has a chance of infatuation on physical contact. Remember, moves that look like physical are; Earthquake is a physical move, but deals no contact, thus breaking through the Ability. No matter what your preference is, gender is something we can’t deny in Pokemon.


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