Pokémon Contests

Pokémon Contests are special events that you can put your Pokemon in. These were introduced in Generation III and were continued into the Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum games with adjusted mechanics to incorporate the features of the Nintendo DS. Contests have no regard to how high level a Pokemon is and it is based on 5 statistics. These 5 statistics are Cool, Beauty, Cute, Smart, and Tough. These statistics help you in the appeal round of Contests. In Hoenn, you would blend Pokéblocks to boost these stats while in Sinnoh, they're called Poffins. For both, berries are key. There are differences in the mechanics of Hoenn and Sinnoh Contests.


Hoenn Contest Mechanics

Popularity Round

The Popularity Round, for lack of a better way to describe it, is where you show your Pokemon to the audience. This is where all the Pokéblocks you have fed your Pokemon comes into play. Depending on the type of contest you're in, having a high rating in a statistic can help. The higher score you get, the better your chances are of winning as none of the other participants can influence this.

Appeal Round

The Appeal Round is the main way in determining a winner in a Contest. There are 5 turns in which you have to use moves that your Pokemon knows in order to gain points. Choose your moves wisely as some work better than others in certain situations. Use moves that match the Contest type you're currently in to gain more points.


Combos were done away with in Sinnoh Contests, but in Hoenn Contests, they allow you to make seemingly impossible comebacks if you're way down in the standings. A combo is started by using a move to appeal with. If there is at least 1 move that can be learned that combos with the move you just used, the judge will "watch you expectantly". When choosing a move in the next round, if you have a move that completes the combo, it will be highlighted in a different color than usual. When you complete the combo on the 2nd turn, you'll earn double points for using the combo. Be wary though as there are some moves that can cancel the affects of a combo before it can be completed.

Sinnoh Contest Mechanics

Visual Competition

This replaced the Popularity round to some extent. It is still fairly dependent on how good your Pokemon's Contest statistics are. Then, you will go backstage and dress up your Pokemon with Assecories that you have gotten in your travels. Each time, there will be a theme and the more in tune with that theme you are, the more points you score in this round.

Dancing Competition

This is the addition that incoporates the bottom screen of the Nintendo DS. In the Dancing Competition, each Pokemon will perform as the main dancer twice in a row with the backup dancers doing their best to mimic the movements of the main dancer. If you hit it perfectly, then an "Excellent!!" sign will pop up above your Pokemon's head after its move. If you barely miss it, you'll see a "Good!" sign pop up above your Pokemon's head. Miss the move entirely, and a "Miss." sign will pop up. Go for Excellent as this will give you more points. After each Pokemon has taken its turn as the lead dancer, the current leader will be announced as the rest of the standings will be revealed in the order of Round 1 appeals.(2nd goes 2nd, 3rd goes 3rd, and last goes last)

Acting Competition

Basically the Appeal Round renamed. In Sinnoh though, there are only 4 rounds and there are much fewer "added effects" moves have that affect the other competitors. There are also 3 judges instead of 1. Each round, you will pick a move to perform for a judge. At the end of each round, the judges will hand out extra points to the Pokemon that performed to them. If only one Pokemon performed for a judge, it gets 3 points. 2 points each if 2 Pokemon performed for that judge, and only 1 point if 3 Pokemon performed for a judge. Use your moves wisely to gain more points.

Secondary Effects of Moves


A Jam is the term used to refer to a move that will cause the Pokemon who appealed in front of you to lose points. Some have a set number of points that will be lost while others vary depending on the type of move a Pokemon used or how many points the Pokemon earned. Moves that will drop the points of Pokemon in front of the current user are Stun Spore, Thunder, Ice Beam, and Strength. The only way this can be avoided is by using a move that will put you under the "Oblivious" condition for the rest of the round. Moves like Shadow Ball will jam any Pokemon attempting to setup a combo by turning the judge's attention away from that Pokemon. It's best to use these moves when you're appealing 3rd or 4th in that round. No Jam moves in Sinnoh Contests.


Oblivious is the term used to refer to the condition a Pokemon can attain for the rest of the round. Under this condition, moves that will normally cause a Pokemon to lose points will have no effect. Moves like Double Team will prevent just 1 move from affecting the Pokemon while moves like Fly will prevent any move from costing the Pokemon points for the rest of the round. These moves give very few points to the user, but in turn, will protect the user from losing points. These moves are best used when you have to appeal first or second that round. No Oblivious moves in Sinnoh Contests.


Nervous is the term used to refer to a Pokemon that has been unnerved earlier that round. Moves like Attract and Mean Look attempt to unnerve the Pokemon that have yet to appeal that round. There is a 50/50 chance of the move working on each individual Pokemon. A Pokemon with a heightened condition via the use of moves like Bulk Up and Amnesia stand a better chance of being unaffected. Like the Oblivious moves, these moves are best used when appealing first or second in that round. No unnerving moves in Sinnoh Contests.

Extra Points

Some moves give out Extra Points for being used at a certain time in a round. Some moves like Aerial Ace and Shock Wave will give 4 extra points just for using it when you appeal 1st in a round. Moves like Growl and Tail Whip give the same amount of extra points when they are used last in a round. Other moves like Wing Attack and Steel Wing will give extra points if the Pokemon that appealed before you used a move of the same type. Use these moves at the right time to try and make a comeback or to seal a win. In Sinnoh Contests, there are other ways to gain extra points. Using a move that excites a judge, after a Pokemon has gotten maximum voltage, or even using a move on a judge that no one else performs for can earn extra points.

Move Earlier next Round

Some moves will only affect the Pokemon using it. Move like Quick Attack will ensure that the user will move first in the next round no matter the point totals for that round. This is great for using moves that give you extra points for moving first in a round. If 2 or more Pokemon use a move with this effect, then the last one to use it will go first next round.

Move Later Next Round

As there are moves that allow you to move earlier in the following round, there are moves that let you move last in a round. Moves like Vital Throw will force the user to move last no matter the point totals of the current round. This can setup for the use of moves that work great when you appeal last or for messing up all the other Pokemon with a Jam move.

Scramble Appeal Order of Next Round

Moves like Supersonic and Confuse Ray will scramble the appeal order of the following round. When something like this is used, the order of appeals in the following round will be impossible to know until it is revealed. This cancels the effects of moves that let Pokemon move earlier or later in the round. Conversively, those moves can cancel out the effects of a scrambling move. For that reason, it's best to use these kinds of moves when appealing 3rd or 4th.

More Conscious of Others That Round

These moves are extremely risky. Moves like Take Down and Double-Edge will give you a great deal of points, but if a jam move is used at any time after that for the rest of the round, you will lose double the amount of points you normally would. For that reason, it's best to use these moves when appealing last so there is no risk factor involved. No moves involve this status in Sinnoh Contests.

Can't Appeal Next Round

These moves are usually Jam moves that will give you lots of points and take a lot away from the others. The most common example is Hyper Beam. Although these moves can really hurt the other competitors, you will not be able to appeal at all in the next round. You will, however, be immune to all Jam moves next round as you are unable to perform that round. These are great moves to use in the final round of appeals. No moves with this effect in Sinnoh Contests.

Can't Appeal for the Rest of the Competition

Only Selfdestruct, Explosion, and Destiny Bond have this effect. You will gain 8 points for the appeal, but will be unable to appeal again. For that reason, it's best to use these moves in the final round of appeals since there will be no backlash effect. No moves with this effect in Sinnoh Contests.

Contest Types


In Cool Contests, moves that are considered "cool" will excite the judges and earn you an extra point.(in Hoenn Contests only) While "cool" moves will excite the judges/audience, there are two kinds of moves that will disappoint the audience/judges and cause you to lose a point(Hoenn only). "Cute" and "smart" moves will have a negative impact while "beauty" and "tough" moves will have no effect on the audience or judge.


In Beauty Contests, moves that fall under the category of "beauty" will earn you an extra point(Hoenn Contests only) and excite the judges. Conversively, a "smart" or "tough" move will have a negative impact on the judges/audience while "cool" and "cute" moves will have no added impact on the judge/audience.


In Cute Contests, moves that are considered "cute" will earn you an extra point(Hoenn Contests only) and excite the judges. Keep in mind that a "cool" or "tough" move will have a negative impact on the judges/audience. "Smart" and "beauty" moves have no added impact on the judge/audience.


In Smart Contests, moves that are considered "smart" will earn you an extra point(Hoenn Contests only) and excite the judges. Remember that a "cool" or "beauty" move will have a negative impact on the judges/audience. "Tough" and "cute" moves have no added impact on the judge/audience.


In Tough Contests, moves that are considered "tough" will earn you an extra point(Hoenn Contests only) and excite the judges. Moves that are in the "cute" and "beauty" categories will have a negative impact on the judge/audience. "Cool" and "smart" moves have no added impact on the audience/judge.

Contest Ranks


This is the base level of contests. Any Pokemon can be entered into a normal rank Contest. These are the easiest contests as most Pokemon in these contests aren't trained for contests very well.


Super Rank Contests are slightly more advanced than Normal Rank Contests. In Sinnoh Contests, these are called Great Rank Contests. Pokemon in these contests are only eligible if they have won the Normal Rank Ribbon for that Contest type. A few combos are used and the trainers here are a little smarter than the ones in Normal Rank Contests.


Hyper Rank Contests are for skilled co-ordinators who have adequate experience in contests already. These are renamed Ultra Rank Contests in Sinnoh Contests. These are difficult contests where many combos and setup moves are used to gain points. In Hoenn, harsher jam moves such as Hyper Beam are used on occasion. Combos are quite common in these contests so have a few of your own ready to use. Pokemon are only eligible for entry if they have won a Normal Rank and Super/Great Rank Contest in that Contest type already.


The Master Rank Contests are the ultimate goal for Pokemon in Contests. A Pokemon can only be entered in Master Rank Contests if it has already won the other ribbons available for that contest type. Many combos are used in Master Rank Contests. In Hoenn, it is often times better to play defense if you appeal early as many jaming moves are used. These contests are best suited for co-ordinators who have lots of experience in Contests and have Pokemon that can use good combos.

The Nature Effect

A Pokemon's nature has an indirect effect in Contests. While natures won't affect a Pokemon during a contest, it does effect which of their Contest stats will grow quicker. Natures that boost Attack will help a Pokemon's Cool stat grow quicker. Defense boosting natures help the Tough stat grow quicker, Speed boosting natures aids the growth of the Cute stat, Special Attack boosting natures will help the Beauty stat(which is key in evolving Feebas into Milotic in Generation III and Generation IV.), and Special Defense boosting natures will help the Smart condition. Conversively, natures that lower these respective stats will hinder the growth of the same Contest statistics.

The Pokéblock/Poffin Effect

Pokeblocks(renamed Poffins in Sinnoh) are the things you feed your Pokemon to enhance their contest stats. Like stat boosting items like Iron and Calcium, you can only feed your Pokemon a certain amount of Pokeblocks before it will not be able to eat any more. For that reason, it's best to feed Pokeblocks to your Pokemon that enhance the Contest stats that help in the type of contests you want your Pokemon to be in. You will need berries to make Pokeblocks and the better you are at blending, the better the resulting Pokeblock will be. Once a Pokemon hits max sheen, it will be unable to eat any more Pokeblocks. There is no way to take Pokeblocks back once you feed them to your Pokemon so make every single one count.

Audience/Judge Excitement

Audience/Judge Excitement plays a major role in the Appeal/Acting round of a Contest. On the 5th star that a judge gets, the audience goes wild and the Pokemon that made the move will receive many extra points. Playing to this can often seal victories or help lead to a massive comeback. You should only try playing to this when you're certain that you'll get the 5th star on that move as inadverdantly setting up an opponent for this can lead to your demise. Even if you can't time it in your favor, you can use a jam move if you move late to cushion the effects of this, or you can try to unnerve a Pokemon that will likely get the 5th star that turn. Either way, this is the wild card in Contests and you just have to hope that it goes in favor of you or doesn't even happen at all.

Moves that show Coolness in Contests

Moves that show Beauty in Contests

Moves that show Cuteness in Contests

Moves that show Smartness in Contests

Moves that show Toughness in Contests

Note that all classifications for moves in contests are for Sinnoh Contests only.

Items usable for Contests

There are 5 items that are usable in Contests.
The Red Scarf will slightly boost a Pokemon's Cool condition when held during a contest.
The Blue Scarf slightly boosts a Pokemon's Beauty condition when held during contests.
The Pink Scarf will help boost a Pokemon's Cute condition slightly for contests.
The Green Scarf will give a slight boost to a Pokemon's Smart condition in contests.
The Yellow Scarf slightly boosts a Pokemon's Tough condition in contests.
All of these items help during the first stage of a contest and should only be used in the Contest type the respective Scarf helps with.

Related Threads

[On-Topic]Pokemon Diamond Contest Thread[Contests] - last post by @ Nov 2, 2006
2nd Official Who Would Win Contest Thread Contest#12 All Fire Starters - last post by @ Jun 27, 2007
Pokemon Platinum Trainer Card Contest II - New Beginning Round [23rd] - last post by @ Dec 24, 2008
Pokemon Diamond Sprite Contest XV {Theme} Evolutions[22nd] - Thanks Chaz - last post by @ Feb 22, 2009
Pokemon Diamond Sprite Contest IX Requesting Closure - last post by @ Jul 23, 2008
Last edited by Eon80 on 22 February 2011 at 11:27
This page has been accessed 3,273 times.