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Bug-type Pokemon are really weak no matter which game you pick up. But it's not their fault.

Bug Is The Weakest Type of Pokemon In Any Generation

Bug-type Pokemon are really weak no matter which game you pick up. But it's not their fault.
This article is over 6 years old and may contain outdated information

Any Pokemon player worth their salt has pretty strong opinions about which types are strongest and which are weakest. Some think that Psychic and Fairy types are OP, while others swear by Dragon or Fire types. Similarly, some might argue that ground Pokemon are generally lacking, or that water Pokemon just can’t stay afloat in the competitive arena. 

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But if you ask me, Bug Pokemon are hands-down the weakest type you’ll find in any Pokemon game. I don’t hate all bug-typed Pokemon by any means, but I do think they leave a lot to be desired in terms of gameplay and barely have anything to offer on the battlefield when it comes to team fighting. 

Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons why Bug type Pokemon are basically the worst thing you can pick up in-game. 

1. They scale poorly and their final evolutions are weak. 

This isn’t true for all Bug Pokemon, but it is true for a lot of them. Many of the Bug-type Pokemon that reach their final evolutionary stages early on — like Weedle, Wurmple, or Caterpie — tend to be very weak no mater which stage of advancement they’re in. 

This would be forgivable if it weren’t compounded by the fact that they don’t really scale properly like other Pokemon types do. Bug Pokemon often don’t learn powerful moves until very high levels, long past the point when most trainers would be willing to use them. Which leads me right into my next point…

2. Bug-type moves don’t pack a punch.

Many Bug Pokemon tend to learn very weak moves even in to the late game. The stronger moves they can learn usually don’t become available until long after that Pokemon would be of any use to your party. You have to basically give up a spot that a more competent Pokemon could use to a Pokemon that won’t be useful until you’re nearing the end-game. 

Look at Beedrill, for example. Kakuna evolves into Beedrill at level 10, and getting it to that point is a grind in and of itself because of Kakuna’s limited moveset and usefulness in battle. On top of that, Beedrill doesn’t learn a single worthwhile move until it picks up Venoshock at level 23 — and that’s a poison type move anyway. 

By that point, pretty much any trainer will have a different Pokemon that can take that spot and do a much better job at literally anything — offense, defense, you name it. Bug type Pokemon might be competitive picks if they picked up these types of moves much earlier on, but they’re so slow to become relevant that they’re basically useless for much of your early and mid game. 

3. If you catch a Bug Pokemon in the wild, it may not get any damage-dealing moves. 

This is a big issue with Bug type Pokemon that doesn’t seem to appear as often with other types. If you catch a Pokemon like Cascoon, Silcoon, Metapod, or Kakuna in the wild, it’s likely that it will only know Harden or some similarly useless move. And depending on what level it is when you catch it, it may never learn any other moves that are actually useful — unless you’re able to evolve it into something worthwhile. 

Of course, you might argue that you can just get a Bug type earlier on so it’s a lower level and you can train it to your liking. But if that’s the argument, refer to my points above. Catching an early Bug type and trying to train it into a useful, powerful Pokemon is basically a non-stop grind until it’s almost too late for that to matter. 

Besides, this is just cruel to first-time players or children who don’t know enough about the game to strategize. They might fill up their party with easy-to-get Bug types or waste EXP sharing trying to level them up without any real payoff.  

Good luck evolving that Metapod without EXP share or annoying party-switching.

4. Pure Bug type Pokemon are so weak that they need secondary types. 

This point really speaks for itself. If you take a look at the lineup of Bug Pokemon, you’ll see that most of them have a secondary type that strengthens them and adds skills to their moveset so they aren’t total wastes of space. That in and of itself is a testament to how underpowered this type is. 

But in addition to that, there are only a handful Pokemon that are pure Bug types at the end of their evolutionary cycle. Across all 7 generations, there’s a grand total of 18 pure Bug-type Pokemon. Once you follow these Pokemon through their full evolutionary cycles, only 5 of them remain pure Bug-type Pokemon — and that’s being gracious enough to count Volbeat and Illumise as separate Pokemon, which is a stretch. 

Other than those 5 fully evolved forms (Pinsir, Volbeat, Illumise, Accelgor, Kricketune), literally every other Bug Pokemon out there picks up a second type like Poison or Steel in order to compensate for the Bug type’s general lack of power and boost its poor moveset with actually useful skills. And speaking of a poor moveset…

5. There are basically no Bug-type moves. 

Out of the whopping 719 moves that Pokemon of all types can learn, only 29 of them are Bug-type moves — that’s somewhere around 4%. That’s a small enough piece of the pie, but it gets even worse when you break down the numbers for what types of moves are actually at a Bug Pokemon’s disposal. 

Of these 29 bug-type moves: 

  • 13 (44%) are regular physical moves
  • 6 (20%) are special moves
  • 20 (68%) are damage-dealing moves
  • 9 (31%) are non-damaging status effect moves
  • 1 (3%) of them is a Z-Move

Although this might seem like a pretty damage-heavy lineup of options, it’s worth noting that the most powerful of these damaging moves deals 120 damage — and there are only 2 Bug type Pokemon that can learn it. This becomes even more underwhelming when you consider that the top-damaging moves for most other types are significantly higher, like:

  • Normal: 150-250
  • Water: 150-195
  • Psychic: 160-185
  • Dragon: 130-150
  • Electric: 195-210
  • Fire: 150-180
  • Fighting: 130-150
  • Ghost: 180-195

This fact, combined with the poor scaling and general uselessness of pure Bug types until the latter half of any Pokemon game means that the grind to get the most powerful Bug moves is going to be difficult — and even when you do, there isn’t much payoff due to the low power. 

Bug Pokemon aren’t really to blame for the fact that they’re the worst type. If you ask me, this is an interesting Pokemon type that simply hasn’t gained enough popularity for it to get the development love that it deserves. Hopefully in future Pokemon games we’ll see changes made that will better balance the Bug type and make it a viable fit for nearly any Pokemon party. 

Do you agree? What type of Pokemon do you consider to be the weakest? Let me know down in the comments! 

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