10 Best TMs in Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen (And How To Get Them)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen are incredible games. They’re very faithful to the original Gen I titles, yet they’ also take on a life of their own.
And you’ll quickly notice that the TMs are different this time around.
Mega Punch and Mega Kick are no longer TMs. Copycat no longer gives you the Mimic TM. And there’s quite a few new locations for TMs as well.
If you’re booting up FireRed/LeafGreen and looking for some of the best TMs to grab, this list should help.
We’ll be ranking some of the best FRLG TMs, organized by their usefulness, reliability, and overall coverage throughout your playthrough.
10. TM46 (Thief)
Thief is useful for stealing held items from wild Pokémon.
Held items weren’t even a thing in Gen I, but they make a big difference in the FRLG remakes.
This move is helpful for getting some of the rarest held items in the game, like Lucky Egg, which doubles XP gains. And TwistedSpoon, which is a held item that boosts Psychic-type moves.
Thief also helps you get lots of TinyMushrooms and BigMushrooms from Paras, without catching a bunch of them. Easy money.
Where to get: Mt. Moon B2 (Room on the 2nd Ladder)
9. TM02 (Dragon Claw)
Dragon Claw is great option to use against Dragon-types.
While it is available later in the game, you would only have to face Dragon-types during the Elite Four, and pretty much nowhere else.
The move has a respectable 80 Base Power, so it’s worth snagging. But only a few Pokémon can learn it before the Elite Four, one being the Charmander line.
You’ll find it in Kanto’s Victory Road (arguably the least fun Victory Road out there). But this means you’ll have it before the E4 so you can use it against Lance’s Dragon-types.
Where to get: Victory Road 1F (Northern Part)
8. TM28 (Dig)
Dig is an okay Ground-type move in battle. But its best use is for escaping tunnels, caves, you name it.
When you need to get to a Pokémon Center as soon as possible, Dig can help you get out, without needing any escape ropes.
But honestly, it’s also a pretty decent move in battle. Since there are tons of Poison-types and Electric-types in Kanto, you can take ‘em out pretty fast.
Think of it like a mid-game Ground-type attack, before you get Earthquake.
And you’ll get it before leaving Cerulean, so you can use it against Lt. Surge, as well as Blaine’s party, Koga’s Muk, and Giovanni’s Rhyhorn.
Where to get: Cerulean City (beating Team Rocket Grunt)
7. TM27 (Return)
Return is a great neutral move to have hanging around in your team.
While its Normal-typing may put you off from using it too often, its 102 Base Power and 20 PP means that it’s a powerful move among the long TM roster in FRLG.
And you can use it while grinding up levels for newer Pokémon in your party.
Return is also a great alternative if you lack a powerful and reliable Physical attacker, and if you don’t care for super effective matchups.
Where to get: Route 12 (Lavender Town Gate 2F)
6. TM19 (Giga Drain)
Giga Drain is quite possibly the best grass-type move you could learn, since it also heals your HP while dealing damage.
This is useful not only while traveling (fewer stops to heal up), but it also helps your Pokémon stay alive in lengthy battles, without using up all your Hyper Potions.
While it’s not super useful right when you get it from Erika, it’s still worth keeping in your inventory.
Because once you’re past Blaine, it’s really useful for that final stretch of the game. Surf will be better in most cases, but you might prefer Giga Drain for its healing effects.
You can use it against Giovanni, some of Lorelei’s Pokémon, Bruno’s Onix, and your rival’s Blastoise (if you choose Charmander).
Where to get: Celadon Gym Reward
5. TM13 (Ice Beam)
Ice Beam is one of the few TMs that can be bought in the Celadon Game Corner. It comes at a pretty high cost, and for a good reason.
Most of those TMs are among the best in the game, including Ice Beam.
I’d say Ice Beam’s main draw is that it covers Dragon-types beautifully, specifically Dragonite.
It also has great distribution since almost all Water-type Pokémon can learn it, and even some Normal and Ground-types can learn it too.
Try using this against Giovanni and Lance, as well as Bruno’s Onix, Agatha’s Golbat, and your rival’s Pidgeot, Rhydon, and Exeggutor/Venusaur.
But jeez, winning that many coins in the game corner, or even saving enough to buy that many coins? It’s gonna take some effort.
Where to get: Celadon Game Corner (4000 coins)
4. TM26 (Earthquake)
Earthquake is hands-down worth getting, since it’s one of the best offensive types in FRLG.
Even on neutral matchups, Earthquake is powerful, since it has a 100 Base Power on a 100 Accuracy stat. This is only rivaled by Return.
But unlike Return, Earthquake has super-effective matchups.
While Poison-types are prevalent in Kanto, by the time you get Earthquake, you’ve missed a lot of the key battles that Earthquake would be good against… and there are some better options to beat the remaining Pokémon that’ll stand in your way through the rest of the story.
Still, you can use it against Bruno’s Onix, Agatha’s Arbok, and Blue’s Rhydon and Arcanine.
Where to get: Viridian Gym Reward
3. TM24 (Thunderbolt)
Thunderbolt is another TM that can be bought at the Celadon Game Corner.
While it doesn’t have the distribution that Ice Beam has, I’d say Thunderbolt is still a great move to use against the Elite Four.
You cover almost half of the Elite Four’s Pokémon, and possibly half of your rival’s team.
It’d be really valuable against Lorelei, as well as Agatha’s Golbat, Lance’s Gyarados and Aerodactyl, and your rival’s Pidgeot, Gyarados/Blastoise, and Charizard (if you chose Bulbasaur).
Where to get: Celadon Game Corner (4000 coins)
2. TM30 (Shadow Ball)
Shadow Ball is the last TM on this list that can be bought at the Celadon Game Corner.
And even with its high cost, Shadow Ball is this high in my ranking since it’s the most reliable counter to the most broken type in this game: Psychic-types.
Since there are no Dark-types in Kanto, the only reliable Pokémon to beat Psychic-types would be Psychic-types themselves.
So you can teach this to your Psychic-type Pokémon and just clean house.
Or if you want some unique suggestions, we also have a list of great Shadow Ball Pokémon.
You can use it really well against Lorelei’s Psychic-types, Agatha’s party, and your rival’s Alakazam. But if you’re not prepared for that Alakazam, it might sweep your team fast. So get a game plan for that final battle.
Where to get: Celadon Game Corner (4500 coins)
1. TM29 (Psychic)
Psychic is hands-down the best TM in FRLG, and you should absolutely seek it out as soon as you can get into Saffron.
It beats the common Poison-types in Kanto, and unlike Earthquake, TM29’s Psychic is available rather early. Pretty much right before the 4th Gym.
You don’t actually need to teach it to your Psychic monsters, either. Since most of your Psychic-type ‘mons will eventually learn Psychic by leveling up.
So in this case you can teach TM29 to another Pokémon in your party, just to spread the Psychic coverage.
And once again, if you want a few suggestions for this move, we’ve picked out our favorites you could teach Psychic to. There’s a few Psychic-types in that list, but there’s also a few distinctive ideas in there too.
Where to get: Saffron City (Mr. Psychic’s House – Southeast)