When doing battle at a gym, messages appear next to both your Pokemon and the enemy Pokemon. Some messages are obvious, like "Dodged" appears above your Pokemon when you successfully dodge.

What is not so clear (at least to me) is when a message like "Not Very Effective" appears above my Pokemon, does that mean my Pokemon's attack was not very effective? Or the attack that is hitting my Pokemon is not very effective?

Whatever the answer to that is, I assume it applies to the messages above the enemy Pokemon in a complementary fashion?

  • Not a Pokémon GO player, but I'd be very surprised if "Not very effective" and "Super effective" didn't work in essentially the same way as they do in the mainline Pokémon games: that they indicate your attack's type effectiveness against the target's type(s). For more information, see this answer.
    – bwDraco
    Jul 23, 2016 at 12:30

3 Answers 3


It means the attack hitting your Pokemon is not very effective. As you suggested when it's complementary, when you launch a not very effective attack, it appears above enemy pokemon.

kadabra attacking nidoran

as you can see here kadabra's psychic attack is super effective against nidoran as she's a poison type pokemon.

  • I went back and forth but ended on accepting this answer because it beat the other helpful one by 50 seconds. Also pictures. :) Jul 22, 2016 at 15:52
  • 3
    The CP difference between the two Pokémon is sad Jul 22, 2016 at 17:08
  • 3
    Don't externally link images - use the uploader tool to put them through stack-imgur so they're hosted forever. Your image is already experiencing the same level of brokedness as the Pokemon Go servers.
    – corsiKa
    Jul 22, 2016 at 20:18
  • Excellent. This proves that "Super Effective" is still... in effect...
    – Nelson
    Jul 23, 2016 at 1:46
  • Drowzee what you did there...
    – clabacchio
    Jul 23, 2016 at 14:51

When a message appears above your Pokemon in battle it is referring to the enemy's attack against you. And the reverse is true, when it pops up above the enemy it's referring to your attack against them.

The "super effective" and "not very effective" refers to the type of attack and the Pokemon type that is hit. There are many different types of Pokemon and these types often have advantages or disadvantages against each other. For example fire is super effective against grass type, but weak against water.

This is a chart that shows all of the relationships between the types. Pokemon Type Chart But in Pokemon Go there is a slight difference and there is no 1/4 effectiveness or immunity, only X1/2 (not very effective) and X2 (super effective).

  • 4
    In Pokemon Go not very effective is 0.8 or 0.75 and super effective is 1.25
    – Aequitas
    Jul 22, 2016 at 15:36
  • @Aequitas Is there documentation of that somewhere? I thought it was 1/2 and 2x also. The type chart in Wondercricket's answer also says 2x and 1/2x, but there's no indication of whether that chart is official or adapted from another Pokemon system. Jul 22, 2016 at 15:49
  • @ToddWilcox reddit.com/r/TheSilphRoad/comments/4t8seh/…
    – Aequitas
    Jul 22, 2016 at 15:53
  • 2
    @Aequitas Interesting, you're almost certainly correct. Here's the relevant quote from your link: "After looking at the dumps, I parsed out the type advantage chart, and put them into my spreadsheet here. Basically, it's like Gen VI, except the multipliers are reduced to 1.25 and 0.8, and immunities are removed (changed to not very effective)." 'The dumps' meaning the source code, I'm sure. It's not corraborated by anyone else, but also not contradicted. Assuming this is true, a lot of people have it wrong. Jul 22, 2016 at 15:57

The messages "Not Very Effective", "Its's Super Effective", etc.. is based of the Type of the attack your using. Every type is strong against another type, and every type is weak against other. Other types have full immunity to other types.

Pokemon Go Pokemon Type Chart lays it out quite nicely in Pokemon Go standards

enter image description here

  • Yes, I have that chart, but this answer doesn't explain which message applies to which attack. Jul 22, 2016 at 15:48

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