Your Guide To TMs In Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go relies on a network of interconnected, active players that engage in Raids, Gym battles, trading, and more! This means that you get to test your Pokemon-training mettle against the entire world.


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TMs, short for Technical Machines, will be a crucial part of your fight to the top. This article details everything you need to know about them, including what they are, how to get them, and when to use them.


What Are TMs For?

When you catch a Pokemon in Pokemon Go, it will usually know two attacks: a Charged Attack and a Fast Attack. The only way to change the attack a Pokemon knows is with a TM for that sort of attack. It’s an item, found in your bag, that you use on the Pokemon whose move you want to change.

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All The Different Types Of Attacks & TMs

Since TMs are used to change your attacks, it would be good to know what they are first! there are two main types of attacks, as well as a special exception:

fast attack Fast Attacks are the Pokemon’s basic move, which is activated when the player taps the screen during a battle. They cannot be blocked by an opponent. Pokemon Start With… 1 Fast Attack
Maximum # 1 Fast Attack
Charged Attacks Charged Attacks are stronger moves which must be charged by using Fast Attacks. It is represented by a slowly-filling bubble at the bottom of the screen when you’re in a battle. Once the move is fully charged, the player can tap on the bubble and then perform a short bubble-popping challenge to determine the quality of the attack. It can be blocked with a shield or by dodging. Pokemon Start With 1 Charged Attack (rare exceptions exist, such as Unown)
Maximum # 2 Charged Attacks (an additional attack can be purchased with Stardust and Candies)
Legacy Attacks Legacy Attacks could be a Fast Attack or a Charged Attack. they are moves that your Pokemon cannot learn under normal circumstances because either:

  • the move was previously available to that Pokemon, but has since been removed from the game, so only Pokemon caught before a certain date can have it
    • For example, a Butterfree that was caught before February 16, 2017 could have had the Fast Attack ‘Bugbite,’ but it was removed, so no Butterfree caught after that date has ‘Bugbite.’
  • the move is only available during an event, and you must catch a Pokemon that has the move while the event is active
    • For example, a Ho-Oh caught during the Pokemon Go Tour: Johto could have the ‘Sacred Fire’ Charged Attack.

Now that you’re educated about attacks, we can review all four kinds of TMs:

TM Moves It Changes Moves It Teaches Move Selection Type
Fast TM’s Your Pokemon’s current Fast Attack Any non-Legacy Fast Attack that is available to the Pokemon’s species Your Pokemon’s new Attack is selected at random
Charged TMs Your Pokemon’s current Charged Attack


(Note: if the Pokemon has two Charged Attacks, you can choose which one will be changed.)

Any non-Legacy Charged Attack that is available to the Pokemon’s species Your Pokemon’s new Attack is selected at random
Elite FastTMs Your Pokemon’s current Fast Attack Any Fast Attack available to the Pokemon’s species, including both types of Legacy Attacks You can choose which new Attack the Pokemon receives
Elite Charged TMs Your Pokemon’s current Charged Attack


(Note: if the Pokemon has two Charged Attacks, you can choose which one will be changed)

Any Charged Attack available to the Pokemon’s species, including both types of Legacy Attacks You can choose which new Attack the Pokemon receives

A Charged TM or Fast TM will never teach the Pokemon the same move that it already has.

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How To Get TMs

How To Get Fast TMs & Charged TMs How To Get Elite Fast TMs & Elite Charged TMs
  • winning RAID battles
  • private completion Research Tasks
  • participating in the Go Battle League and fighting other players

How To Use TMs

There are two methods of using TMs.

The first is to navigate to the Pokemon whose move you’d like to change, then tab the menu, then your Items, then the appropriate TM.

The second way is to go to your inventory and tap on the TM. It will bring up a list of Pokemon where you can choose whose move to change.

You cannot use TMs on Pokemon who only know one move, like Unown.

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Which Pokemon Should You Use TMs On?

Since everyone has different Pokemon collections and gameplay styles, it’s hard for us to give you specific advice about Pokemon that you should give new moves to. However, there are a few things that you should be informed about before making your decision.

As a general rule, we suggest you use TMs on powerful Pokemon with high CPs that you often pull out when battling in Raids or the Go Battle League. Plus, always check how good their current move set is and whether they know any Legacy moves.

Some moves are just bad all around, but the good moves fall into two categories:

  • Attacks that are good for PvP
  • Attacks that are good for Raids and Gym battles

You should consider what exactly you’re planning to use the Pokemon for, then Research which of the Pokemon’s moves are best for that activity. To help with this, you can use…

NEXT: The Worst Pokemon In Pokemon GO

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