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What's the difference between Attack and Special Attack?

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I've always wondered what the difference was between Attack and Special Attack, I know that one is special but what would be considered a "special attack"? Would it be something like Superpower or Hidden Power?

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2 Answers

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>A special move is one in which the user does not necessarily have to make contact with its opponent in order to deal damage. - Bulbapedia
A physical move is one in which the user uses its physical strength or solid projectiles in order to damage its foes. - Bulbapedia
A special move is a move like Flamethrower, where the user does not make contact with the target. A physical move is a move like Hammer Arm, where the user does make contact with the target.

Special Attack boosts the power of Special Moves, whereas Physical Attack boosts the power of Physical Moves.

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lol a expert edits a mods answer
The end is nigh
The shrekoning has begun.
The above answer is NOT 100% accurate and will lead to a lot of confusion. Contact and Physical are 100% different from each other, and has no baring on whether the move is special or physical at all. A move that makes contact can be either physical or special. For example, Fire Punch is a physical move and Draining Kiss is a special move. Both make contact with the target and thus could be effected by contact related items (ex: Rocky Helmet), abilities (Iron Barb), etc... On the flip side, there are also physical and special moves that do NOT make contact, such as Earthquake or Fire Blast, respectively. While it is true that the majority of moves that make contact are physical, not all are physical. Correlation does not equal causation.
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Special Attacks are non-physical moves - Surf, Aura Sphere
Physical Attacks are physical moves - Superpower, Strength (There are some exceptions to this rule - Earthquake, Rock Slide )

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