Given the vast complexity of competitive Pokémon, there exist numerous possibilities for abstractions which can simplify the problem space. Outside of more general modifications that can be made to almost any game to decrease the difficulty (e.g., increasing the amount of time available per decision), these relaxations can be grouped into three broad categories — those which reduce the scope of the game as a whole, those which increase the amount of information revealed, and those which pare down the state space through arbitrary restrictions.


As detailed in the glossary, the game of competitive Pokémon is made up of a couple mostly orthogonal components — i.e., team-building and piloting (and optionally drafting). Most often these components are treated separately, as attempting to solve competitive Pokémon as a whole approaches general-game playing in terms of difficulty.


Revealing information which is usually hidden or unknown can prove quite effective at making solving competitive Pokémon tractable, though care must be taken as doing so can dramatically impact the nature of the game:

Note that the preceding options aren’t necessarily always mutually exclusive — modifications can be combined to produce different potentially interesting gameplay variants.


Some of the biggest reductions in information set size can be obtained through restrictions on the rules involved with team-building:

As with information, some of these restrictions can be combined to arbitrarily bound the size of the information set (e.g., obi’s 1v1 thought experiment which combines maximum team size restrictions and aspects of drafting).

  title  = "Competitive Pokémon Artificial Intelligence Concepts — Variants",
  author = "",
  month  = "March",
  year   = "2024",
  url    = ""