10 Best TMs in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl & Platinum (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
With gen IV’s incredible remakes, the nostalgia for these games are at an all-time high.
And if you’re going back to play around in Sinnoh, you’ll definitely need a refresher on some of the better TM’s to help you through the story.
Remember, DPPt is home to Cynthia and her powerful Garchomp. We wanna make that fight as easy as possible.
So I’ll be ranking some of the most useful TM’s you can snag in the Sinnoh region. Specifically, I’m ranking them based on usefulness, while keeping in mind where you’ll get each TM in your playthrough.
10. TM27 (Return)
If you have a Pokémon that’s still using their generic initial move like Tackle or Pound, Return is a better option.
With enough Happiness, Return’s base power can rival moves like Surf and Earthquake.
And it’s more powerful than Take Down or Body Slam once Happiness is maxed out.
Do keep in mind that this is a Normal-type move, so it has no super-effective matchup. But definitely worth looking into for a critter you plan to level up with.
How to get: Sandgem Town after talking to Professor Rowan (Platinum), Lost Tower 4F
9. TM89 (U-Turn)
U-Turn is a useful move to keep the momentum on your team’s favor.
Basically you’re damaging the opponent while switching out at the same time, possibly to a better matchup. Or even for a sacrificial ‘mon, like your HM Mule.
U-Turn also has a respectable Base Power of 70, as well as a good distribution, including Staraptor.
As a Bug-type move, you can use it nice against Lucian, the Psychic-type Elite Four member. But since you do switch out after, it’s not super reliable as a consistent damage-dealing move.
How to get: South of Canalave City (require Surf)
8. TM54 (False Swipe)
At a certain point in the game, you might find a great Pokémon you’d like to add to your team.
But its level might be way below than your team’s average. So you dish out one move and you might KO the Pokémon in one hit!
False Swipe helps you catch Pokémon by making sure your foe’s HP always stays at 1 HP.
Add a status like the paralysis from Thunder Wave, and you’ll increase the catch rate substantially.
You’ll want to have False Swipe for sure, especially if you encounter a random shiny in your gameplay. We’ve even ranked some of the better Pokémon to teach False Swipe to, if you’re looking for recommendations there.
How to get: Veilstone Department Store for 2000 PokéDollars
7. TM60 (Drain Punch)
Fighting-type moves are some of the best types in the game, hitting 5 types super-effectively, tied with Ground-type for the most types.
Well Drain Punch has a respectable 60 Base Power, and it also heals your HP. So that’s a no-brainer right?
The only issue with Drain Punch is its limited compatibility, hence its lower placement here.
The best Pokémon you can teach this move to is Riolu, specifically the one you get for free from Riley in Iron Mountain (via Canalave City)
How to get: Defeat Maylene (Veilstone Gym)
6. TM30 (Shadow Ball)
Either Dark Pulse or Shadow Ball was gonna get this spot.
I chose Shadow Ball because you can’t get Dark Pulse until Victory Road.
Both Shadow Ball and Dark Pulse cover Psychic and Ghost types great, so either one is fine.
But Shadow Ball is placed here because it’s only use is to cover Lucian, the Elite Four Psychic type specialist.
His Pokémon’s weaknesses are restricted to Ghost, Dark, and Bug, but Ghost and Dark gets a nod since both have more powerful and accessible moves.
Also, some of your Pokémon might already have a great Dark-type move like Crunch. So Shadow Ball might be a luxury rather than a necessity.
You can also use it against Fantina (Diamond/Pearl) and Candice’s Froslass (Platinum) as well, so it’s definitely worth looking into. But not a must-have.
That said, we’ve also ranked some of the best shadow ballers so if you want suggestions for Pokémon to teach this to, well, we’ve got you covered.
How to get: Foggy Area of Route 210 (requires a Bike and Rock Smash)
5. TM80 (Rock Slide)
Rock Slide is one of the most reliable Rock-type moves in the game.
It has better accuracy than Stone Edge, with the added possibility of flinching the opponent, as well as hitting both Pokémon in Double Battles.
It pairs well with Ground-type moves, and both Stone Edge + Rock Slide actually cover the last two remaining gyms, Aaron and Flint.
This makes Rock Slide a lethal coverage move for sure.
With Rock Slide itself, you can use it against Candice, Aaron and Flint, as well as Cynthia’s Togekiss (Platinum)
How to get: Mt Coronet 2F (Northeast of Route 207 Exit, requires Strength)
4. TM35 (Flamethrower)
Flamethrower is the best Fire-type move in the game.
And it can be easily found once you have access to Surf.
If you didn’t pick a Fire-type starter, TM35 is a great option for DPPt. Since fire is such a strong offensive type.
It’s actually almost a necessity in Diamond and Pearl if you don’t pick the Fire-type starter, since the only other Fire-types available before the Pokémon League are Ponyta and Rapidash.
This lack of Fire-types is rectified in Platinum, though.
But you can use Flamethrower against Byron, Candice, and Aaron, as well as Lucian’s Bronzong, and Cynthia’s Roselia and Lucario.
How to get: Fuego Ironworks (West of Route 205, North of Floaroma Town)
3. TM28 (Dig)
As mentioned earlier, Ground-type moves are some of the best types in the game.
While Dig is not the most powerful Ground-type available via TMs (we’ll talk about Earthquake later), I’d argue that Dig is the most useful for a TM.
Outside of battles, Dig acts like an infinite Escape Rope that teleports you outside caves. And even teleports you out of some buildings (including Gyms).
In battle, it has a base power of 80. Not bad. And its effect of hitting on the second turn is not really a disadvantage, since most opponents lack Protect or Disable to abuse Dig
You can get the most use out of Dig against Byron, Volkner, and Flint, as well as some of Bertha’s Pokémon and Cynthia’s Lucario.
How to get: Maniac Tunnel in Route 214 (south of Veilstone City)
2. TM13 (Ice Beam)
Ice Beam is the best Ice-type move available in a TM.
By the time you get TM13, it won’t be useful until the Elite Four though. Specifically the Champion Cynthia, who has three Pokémon weak to Ice, including the infamous Garchomp.
Garchomp is known to be both fast and bulky, and has access to Flamethrower (Platinum) or Brick Break (Diamond/Pearl) to beat Ice-types.
But since Garchomp has a double weakness to Ice-types, it’s basically required to have an Ice-type move to beat Cynthia.
Without this, you would rely on Dragon-type moves like Dragon Claw and Dragon Pulse, which can be taught to only a few Pokémon, most of which are Dragon-types themselves.
How to get: Route 216 (requires Climb) / Veilstone Game Corner (10,000 Coins)
1. TM26 (Earthquake)
Earthquake is possibly most powerful move in the Sinnoh titles, with no negative effects on the user, and a static Base Power.
It also has a better distribution, since it can be taught to all three starters.
But with 100 Base Power, it can also act like a safer general attack if the foe has no resistance.
It’s also available early in Platinum, since you can access the Wayward Cave Secret Room once you have a Mach Bike.
Much like Dig, you can use Earthquake effectively against Byron, Volkner, and Flint, as well as some of Bertha’s Pokémon and Cynthia’s Lucario.
How to get: Wayward Cave Secret Room (requires Mach Bike and Rock Smash, plus Strength in Diamond Pearl)