PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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A Pokemon's Speed determines who goes first in battle. A Pokemon with 200 Speed will move before a Pokemon with 199 Speed.
Some moves have "priority". A move with a higher priority will move before one with lower priority. For example, if a Pidgeot with 300(just an example) speed went against a Deoxys with 301 speed, the Deoxys would normally move first. But if Pidgeot used Quick Attack, and Deoxys used Light Screen, Pidgeot would move first because Quick Attack has higher priority. If two Pokemon use a move with the same priority, the Pokemon who has more speed will move first. Example, Pidgeot and Mew. Mew uses Quick Attack, and so does Pidgeot. If Pidgeot or Mew has lower speed than the other, that one will move last.
If two Pokemon with the same speed use a move with the same priority, whoever moves first is determined randomly.

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Well in most games, speed decides which Pokemon will move first in a battle. So if a Pokemon had a speed stat of 80 and the other had a speed stat of 50, the first Pokemon would move first.

However, in gen 1, Pokemon with a higher speed stat would also land critical hits more often than a Pokemon with a lower speed stat.

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Sorry, was typing, I wanted to explain priority because that messes up the speed rule.
same here.I didn't see your answer when I was typing
It's annoying when that happens :/
well,yes a bit
Up vote everybody! :P
I'm slow at typing so people always anwser an unawsered question while I'm typing an anwser.
2 votes

Simple. the Pokemon with the the bigger speed stat will go first in battle.Example: A Sceptile and a Starmie are battling.Sceptile has 250 Speed stat and Starmie has 235.Then Sceptile will go first in battle.Speed can also work with moves too.Gyro ball's power depends on how low the speed of the user is.Also there are some moves that do not work with speed.Like Quick Attack.Quick attack always allows the user to attack first when using that move.
I will edit if I find some more.