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Pokémon Go guide: Elite TMs, Charged TMs, and Fast TMs

You’ll need TMs to be the best of the best

Photo: James Bareham/Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

To make the most powerful Pokémon in Pokémon Go, you’ll likely need to use the different types of TMs (Technical Machines) to give your Pokémon the best moves. Our Pokémon Go guide will talk about where to find and how to use Elite TMs, Charged TMs, and Fast TMs.

Fast TMs can teach your Pokémon random new fast moves. Charged TMs can teach your Pokémon a random new charged move. The Elite versions of these TMs allow you to pick which move the Pokémon learns and pick from Legacy moves. Legacy moves come from events, like Community Days or special raids, and you can’t otherwise learn them outside of these events.

How to get Pokémon Go TMs

You can get regular Fast and Charged TMs from raids or as rewards for Special Research Tasks, like the set of quests that reward you with Jirachi. Events that have Timed Research Tasks may also give TMs as a reward.

Elite TMs can also be rewarded from event Timed Research, but the main way to get them is to buy them in bundles. Community Day bundles in the shop, which need to be purchased with coins, often have Elite TMs. This makes Elite TMs a rarity, especially among free-to-play players.

A menu showing a list of moves to possibly teach Mewtwo using an Elite Charged TM Image: Niantic/The Pokémon Company via Polygon

How to use TMs

To use a TM, tap on the Pokémon you want to use it on, open the menu, and select “Items.” Then tap on the TM you’d like to use. Normal TMs ask if you’re sure that you want to replace the Pokémon’s current move with a random one. Elite TMs give you a list of moves to pick from.

The best moves to use Elite TMs on

Because Elite TMs are so rare, don’t squander them by teaching Pokémon moves that they can learn from normal TMs. Save them specifically for raid Legacy moves.

For example, any Mewtwo caught during raids at one point came with the move Shadow Ball, but this move is not obtainable using normal TMs. Shadow Ball is one of the two best move choices on Mewtwo, meaning it’s definitely worth using an Elite Charged TM for. Getting the best move on one of the strongest Pokémon in the game is a good way to use an Elite TM.

Community Day moves like Blast Burn or Hydro Cannon could also be a good use of Elite TM. However, based on past years, there tends to be a Community Weekend in December that allows you to learn older Community Day moves when you evolve relevant Pokémon during the event. Depending on how far off that is and how urgent it is for you to get that move, it might be worth saving the Elite TM for something else.

Ultimately, go with your gut. If you really want that Frenzy Plant Venusaur and you want it now, use your Elite Charged TM on it. You’ll get another Elite TM down the line from an event, and if you end up never using it, that’s a much bigger waste.