Resource BBP Beginner's Guide (NEW PLAYERS START HERE)

Not open for further replies.


is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Data Audit Tables (All Pokemon information can be located here)
Player's Handbook
All rules regarding BBP and/or data information can be located between these two threads, with some exceptions that are found in our ruling thread.


Welcome to the world of Battle-by-Post! In this forum game, users raise and train Pokemon to fight battles, to trade, and to go on quests. It’s arguably the most competitive forum-based Pokemon battling community on the Internet; we feature an incredibly detailed index for every move, ability, type, and nature available in the game. Damage is dealt with hard numbers and energy costs, making each move of every battle a challenging risk. That's not to say that there isn't room for flavor though. We focus on giving each Pokemon unique attributes, and the option of creating a story with your battles is always available. We also offer a compelling Combination system, which allows battlers to use two moves concurrently, which creates an entirely new level to the battling system. Whether you're adventuring with your Pokemon to find a legendary hidden within a volcano, or battling in a heated match against one of our Gym Leaders, you're in for a great time.

Also unique to Battle-by-Post here on Smogon is our use of the Create-A-Pokemon Project's creations directly in our battles. That project aims to create a Pokemon that is used within the competitive Overused metagame. They are implemented on our simulator, Pokemon Showdown, and used in real matches! The community there is entirely open; literally anyone can walk in and submit a movepool, stat spread, ability, or typing for our new Pokemon. Each step is carefully discussed and voted upon as a community. The project's six year length has yielded 26 Pokemon (not including pre-evolutions) at the time of this article’s writing, and all of them are available for use within Battle-by-Post. You can read about the Create-A-Pokemon Project here to get more information.

About the Pokemon

The first step in getting started is to choose what Pokemon you want. But... which Pokemon do you choose? One of BBP's greater characteristics is that it does a decent job in equalizing Pokemon, so the natural choice should be to pick your favorites! While some Pokemon are still naturally better than others, in BBP almost every Pokemon has a unique quirk, combination, or trait that you can viably use.

Initially, you will start out with three unevolved Pokemon of your choosing (barring Legendaries, Ultra Beasts, certain Event Pokemon, etc). As you progress, you will have the opportunity to purchase and train many other Pokemon in addition to your first three.

How to read a Pokemon's Profile

In BBP, the information on each individual Pokemon is contained in its profile. During battle, you will need to study your opponent's Pokemon's profiles in order to make good decisions. The following is an example of what a Pokemon's profile might look like:

Wingull (Male) (Gulliver)
Stage: 4*
Types: Water / Flying

Keen Eye / Hydration / Rain Dish (H) [UNLOCKED]

Nature: Modest (+SpA, -Atk)

HP: 70
Atk: 1 (-)
Def: 2
SpA: 4 (+)
SpD: 2
Spe: 85
Size Class: 1
Weight Class: 1


Level Up

Water Gun
Wing Attack
Water Pulse
Quick Attack
Air Cutter

Knock Off

Ice Beam
Rain Dance
Shock Wave

Icy Wind
Sky Attack

1. Hide Tags. The Hide tag is used to identify Pokemon at a glance, keeping the majority of the data hidden until it is needed.

2. Sprite image. The second indication of what Pokemon you will use. Sprites can be obtained from sites including Google Images, Veekun, or Bulbapedia, as well as custom sprites of your own design.

3. Pokemon / Gender / Nickname. In BBP we encourage personalization of your Pokemon. The first entry here is the species of your Pokemon, identifying which Pokemon you are using. Following that is the gender of the Pokemon, if applicable, crucial for interactions with moves such as Attract. Finally you have the nickname of your Pokemon, the moniker you can use to refer to your partners in crime.

4. Stage. Indicates how much training a Pokemon has undergone. You can think of it as being similar to a Pokemon's Level in the cartridge games. Pokemon are obtained at Stage 1* and can be trained over time to a maximum of Stage 5*. The higher a Pokemon's Stage, the more moves, Abilities, and techniques are available to it.

5. Types. A simple section, you simply indicate the typing of your Pokemon, with dual typings separated by a slash. Each typing also corresponds to certain effects a Pokemon gains for STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus), the effects of which can be found in the Data Audit Tables.

6. Ability. Here the abilities of your Pokemon are listed by name, also separated by a slash. The individual ability descriptions are not listed, and are instead referenced in the Data Audit Tables. Each Pokemon's Hidden Ability will be listed last and denoted by a (H). Hidden Abilities are locked at Stage 1* and become available from Stage 2* onward.

7. Nature. The nature of your Pokemon and its effects are listed in this section. For example if your nature were Adamant you would write it as (+Attack, -Special Attack). If it were a Naive nature you would write (+Speed, -Special Defense, +x% Accuracy). The specific nature effects can be found in the Data Audit Tables. Pokemon at Stage 1* always have a Nature of "Serious" (no change) and may unlock a different Nature at Stage 4*.

8. Stats. The values that determine a Pokemon's inherent strength in BBP. The (+) and (-) signs are used to indicate any stats that are affected by the Pokemon's nature. Once again, each Pokemon's stats can be found in the Data Audit Tables.

9. Moves. Moves are what truly makes your Pokemon. They determine what you are able to do in battle and how you can battle against an opponent. Typically, they are sorted according to how the Pokemon learns them. At first, a Pokemon only knows its Level-Up moves (from all Generations), but each time its Stage advances it gains access to more moves.

Battle Overview

OK, so you've picked out your Pokemon. One of the next questions is "how to battle with them?" In almost every type of BBP battle, battles will take place over several rounds where players will alternate sending in orders. Here is a brief explanation of how to do that.


Each round of an BBP battle is just what happens from the players' orders. In singles and doubles battles, rounds will be comprised of 3 "actions," where an action is a move (like Flamethrower), command (like Dodge), or combination attack (like Flamethrower+Ember). Triple battles and formats above that will usually only have 2 actions per round, though depending on the arena this can change. After players issue their orders, the match referee will ref and summarize the contents of the round.


As explained above, rounds consist of a set of orders from each player in the match. A player's orders is just a listing of which move or command they want their Pokemon to use on each action of the round. Here is an example of an order:

Example said:
Bulbasaur: Leech Seed ~ Razor Leaf ~ Sleep Powder
In the above example, Bulbasaur will use Leech Seed on action 1, Razor Leaf on action 2, and Sleep Powder on action 3. Note that for this order to be legal, Bulbasaur has to have each of the 3 moves listed (if Bulbasaur didn't, the illegal moves would be replaced with Struggle). Also, if it was a doubles battle or above, a target would need to be specified for both Leech Seed and Sleep Powder (Razor Leaf hits all opponents so it wouldn't need to have its target specified). If you fail to specify a target for doubles+ battles, the target will be randomly selected out of all Pokemon the move could hit. Often this will include your partner, so it's important not to forget!

On some rounds, you will order before your opponent, and on others you'll order after them. Usually the way this works is that it will alternate every round (so if there are two players A and B, on one round A will order first, and on the next B will order first. Then on the third round, A will order first, and on the fourth, B, and so on). When this is not the case, it will be noted in the the arena description or the referee will let you know.

Substitution commands

As BBP Pokemon have access to more than just 4 moves, ordering first can be tricky. If the opposing Pokemon has a lot of moves, it can seem impossible to come up with orders that will be useful. Luckily, substitution commands can be used to give your Pokemon alternate orders if the opponent uses a certain move. Here's a detailed explanation of how substitution commands work:

Before a match begins, battlers must agree on the maximum number of substitutions battlers allowed per set of actions. It is the referee's job to determine the legality of substitutions and to ignore them when they don't adhere to BBP's specific rules regarding substitution legality.

A substitution is most basically comprised of an IF (conditional) THEN (action) – if the conditional is true when the Pokemon moves, then whatever action follows will activate. Usage of the boolean operator AND is permitted and will not contribute to the substitution count, while usage of the boolean operator OR is permitted and will add one to the substitution count unless in a Frequency Clause. The conditional section of each substitution is made of Attack Clauses, Chance Clauses, KO Clauses, and Frequency Clauses, while the action section should have some argument related to the Pokemon's action set.

Most battles have two substitutions per action set, though sometimes you may see more or less. For the details about substitutions and their various clauses, check the Player Handbook's Substitution section.

Here's an example to help illustrate:

Example said:
Bulbasaur: Leech Seed ~ Razor Leaf ~ Sleep Powder
IF (a protective/evasive move is used) THEN (use Growth and push actions back)​
[ONCE] IF (Taunt is used) THEN (use Protect and push actions back)​
The first substitution command tells Bulbasaur to use Growth if the opponent uses a protective/evasive move. This is helpful as it stops the opponent from using something like Teleport (Evasive) or Protect to avoid Leech Seed or Sleep Powder. The second substitution tells Bulbasaur to use Protect is the opponent uses Taunt, but only to do so once. Protect will block Taunt, which would otherwise stop Leech Seed and/or Sleep Powder from being executed. However, Protect can't be used two actions in a row. The substitution tells Bulbasaur to only do this once to prevent Bulbasaur from using a pointless Protect should the opponent use Taunt twice in a row.

As it states in the substitution section of the Player Handbook, having illegal subs is different from having illegal orders. When your orders are illegal, the illegal moves will be replaced with Struggle. However, if just a substitution is illegal, that sub will just be ignored.

Substitution commands are one of the defining aspects of Smogon's BBP. A player's skill is almost directly tied to how well they can use substitutions, so learning how to make good subs is very important!

Go fight!

As with competitive Pokemon battling on Pokemon Showdown, the best way to learn about battling is to participate in one! And you're in luck: the Battle-by-Post community is one of the friendliest communities you could meet. Once you've registered your Pokemon in the Registration Tower, you’re going to want to head over to the Battle Tower, which is located in the Network Center subforum. Make sure to read the original post of that thread thoroughly to get an understanding for how to request a battle. The general idea is this: your goal in Battle Tower is to find an opponent and a referee. You can make it an open offer available to any BBP battler, or a specific challenger towards a particular player. You're going to want to note the following things in your battle request post:

Beginner Battle – This indicates that you are new to BBP, meaning that only new Pokemon are allowed into the battle.​
Number of Pokemon Per Side – The traditional amount is 3 versus 3, but any amount can be indicated here.​
Match Type – Singles is typically played here at BBP, but don't feel shy to branch out to double, triple, or even rotation battles!​
Disqualification Time – Time is of the essence, so it's important that everyone who is participating in your match understands your expectations for when to post actions and referee the round. You can usually expect a 2 or 3 day DQ time.​
Number of Substitutions – If you don't understand what this is, read up in this article; it explains it quite thoroughly. Most matches allow two substitutions.​
Number of Recovers and Chills – You'll want to check out the original post of the Battle Tower on which moves count specifically as a recovery move. Chill is an action that, when performed, gives your Pokemon 12 extra energy. Set these values when posting your challenge; usually 2 recovers and 5 chills per match is a good place to start.​
Arena Selection – Most matches in BBP are played out in the BBP Arena, which is an open battle field where anything is possible and the resources to use moves occur naturally. I'd highly recommend starting your first matches in the BBP Arena. If you're feeling confident after some time, you can use others arenas, or create one of your own!​
Switch Rules – Again, you should check out the Battle Tower for the most accurate information, but there are two basic switching rules: Switch = OK and Switch = KO. The former allows trainers to switch Pokemon whenever they would order first, while the latter requires a Pokemon to stay in when sent out, or else it will faint.​
Ability Number – BBP is unique in that it allows a Pokemon to use all of its abilities simultaneous (which leads to some powerful combinations). Most matches allow all abilities, but you can limit it to only one or none if you’re so inclined.​
Items – The two options here are On or Off. You’re going to want to select Items Off until you own a few Items and have trained your Pokemon to at least Stage 3*. Items On is typically for more experienced battlers.​

Now, here's a piece of advice from me to you: try to catch another new player to battle against for your first matches. Seasoned battlers have many of the intricate details of BBP mechanics memorized (nerds), and most of them will use that to their advantage. There are advanced techniques that a battler can utilize here in BBP, and many veterans utilize them. Finding someone at your level not only gives you a better chance of winning, but will allow you to learn more.

That being said, there aren’t always new users available to battle. If you've listed that you're looking for a Beginner Battle, then the old timers should avoid you well enough. Below, I'm going to recommend three regulars that would be great users for you to fight your first matches against:
Elevator Music – As one of the oldest members of BBP, Elevator Music has been around the block. He can explain the history of this forum game to you while battling, and is more than willing to give advice when needed. Finally, he's one of the best referees for introducing new users to Battle Hall, so feel free to ask him what that is!​
Toon - Easily one of our best battlers here in BBP, he'll make sure to leave you satisfied if you are craving a true learning experience. He's also one of our friendliest members here and our most prolific ref to boot, featuring a great reffing format that leaves no battler curious as to what happens in their battles, and helps to fill the gaps as new players arrive. Great opponent, great referee, and a great resource for all new players that want help in learning how to spice their battling up.​
JJayyFeather - And lastly, myself! As a talented battler myself, I'm always able to explain any and all the questions you may have regarding the intricacies of the battle, as well as explain to you any of the processes that are going on around the community in case you want to get involved! I love helping new users get involved and fall in love with this system, and I definitely would love to help you too.​

Of course, there are many friendly users in the BBP community, and you're bound to make friends with them as you begin your journey. The above three users are merely suggestions. What matters is that you find opponents who will use it as a learning opportunity for you to hone your battle skills.

That's about it! Again, I cannot emphasize enough that you should get out there and battle. It's the best way to learn how to play the game. Sitting on the sidelines won’t teach you anything, so find a match and get chuggin'.

The Final Frontier: The Community

So. You've gotten yourself registered for BBP, you've had a couple games and maybe even managed a win or two. In short, you're feeling pretty good about yourself! But what's next for the aspiring BBPer, or maybe even first? One of the greatest aspects of this game is the community that has grown with the game. Omnipresent on Discord, there is a constant presence of BBPers old and new waiting to welcome the newest users into the game. The discord is a terrific source of knowledge to learn about aspects of the game as well as being a generally fun place to hang out! The culture in the community is very laid back, show that you're willing to learn and we're more than willing to help you out!

If you're made it this far you've reached the end, and you're ready to get out into the wide world of BBP! Any questions you have can be answered either in the Players Handbook, the Data Tables or Discord, and don't be afraid to ask questions. With that said, get out there and have fun!
Last edited:
Not open for further replies.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)