Z-Moves are here!

“Z-Moves” are Pokémon Sun and Moon’s new battle mechanic.

A super-cool trailer for Pokémon Sun and Moon has just been released!

So now we know the purpose of the new diamond-shaped stones and the fifth move slot! They represent “Z-Moves”, and they’re in the latest trailer. The relation to X/Y can’t be ignored, either.

The Z-Ring is used to activate Z-Crystals, allowing for Z-Moves.
The Z-Ring is used to activate Z-Crystals, allowing for Z-Moves. The Pokémon Company

The bracelet worn by the Sun and Moon protagonists, has been named! It’s called the Z-Ring, as revealed by the official Sun/Moon website, and it, along with one of many Z-Crystals, each representing different Pokémon types can be used to activate Z-Moves. We can probably assume that these moves occupy the fifth slot seen in screenshots of the game so far.


With a Fire-type Z-Crystal, we can activate the Z-Move "Inferno Overdrive". Note the full-screen and Inazuma Eleven-style special move text.
With a Fire-type Z-Crystal, we can activate the Z-Move “Inferno Overdrive”. Note the full-screen and “Inazuma Eleven”-style special move text. The Pokémon Company

The trainer executes a special pose and “resonates” with their Pokémon, allowing for the execution of a Z-Move. A Pokémon needs to have a move of the same type as a Z-Crystal, and the Pokémon must be holding that corresponding Z-Crystal. There are a variety of different Z-Moves we’ve seen so far — Pikachu’s “Gigavolt Havoc” Z-Move has finally been named. Rowlet learns a Z-Move called “Bloom Doom”, Litten learns “Inferno Overdrive”, and Popplio learns “Hydro Vortex”.

It’s curious why they’re being called Z-Moves. Are they perhaps of any relation to the special moves (and appearance) of Ash-Greninja in the Pokémon XY&Z anime? Are they a callback to the fact Pokémon Z doesn’t exist? Or is it because “Z” is super-cool?

Z-Moves are just one of the many things we can look forward to in Pokémon Sun and Moon. The games release in the US, Japan and Australia November 18 this year, and November 23 in Europe. Own a Japanese or North American 3DS? Support the PokéCommunity by pre-ordering their copy using our affiliate links:

Pokémon Sun (GameStop, North American version)
Pokémon Moon (GameStop, North American version)
Pocket Monsters Sun (Play-Asia, Japanese version)
Pocket Monsters Moon (Play-Asia, Japanese version)