First there was nothing, then Arceus created the Heavens and the Earth. Then there was Mega Evolution. Now there are Z-Moves. These specialized moves, being introduced in Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, can be utilized once per battle, much like Mega Evolution, to deal a huge portion of damage. It is the combination of a Pokemon and its trainer’s combined will and determination to gain victory that generates the awesome power exhibited in the Z-moves. I guess it can be considered as the next step up in the bond between a Pokemon and its Trainer.
HOW DO Z-MOVES WORK?
Z-Moves are highly powerful Pokemon moves that can be utilized once per battle, as I have stated earlier. However any type of Pokemon can learn a particular Z-Move, if they have at least one other move that is the type of the desired Z-Move. For example (because I know that was slightly convoluted), if Pikachu wishes to utilize Gigavolt Havoc, it will need to have at least one Electric Type move in its arsenal (shocking I know), but if it wishes to learn the Grass Type Z-Move, Bloom Doom, it will need to know a Grass Type move such as Grass Knot. So, in essence, your Pokemon can utilize as many Z-Moves as they wish, as long as they have one alternate move of its matching type.
However that's not the only thing you will require in order to activate a Pokemon’s Z-Move. Similar to Mega Evolution, there needs to be something that channels the power of the intense ability and this comes in the form of a Z-Ring and its corresponding Z-Crystals. The Z-Ring is directly parallel in functionality to the Mega Ring, in that it brings forth a hidden power. There are 18 general Z-Crystals, one for each type, as well as some that only function with a specific Pokemon, such as Alolan Raichu and Snorlax.
In order to use a Z-Move in battle, the Pokemon in question will need to be holding a specific Z-Crystal, presumably called after the type or the Pokemon. For example, Snorlax’s Crystal is known as Snorlium Z, so perhaps the Electric Z Crystal will be called Eleclium Z or something similar.
Pokemon Sun and Moon are really going to make you work for it if you want these ultra powerful moves, requiring you to not only seek out the Z-Crystal to set into your Z-Ring, but also needing you to find the Z-Crystal that can be held by a corresponding Pokemon. So in summary you need both of the Crystals in order for them to resonate with each other and skyrocket your Pokemon’s power.
HOW WILL THE Z-MOVE FUNCTION?
This has not been confirmed yet but my hypothesis is that once you have the two correct Z-Crystals for your Pokemon, and you select the right type of move (Electric type move for Electric Z-Move, etc) you will be given another option that you can select whether you want to activate the Z-Move on that turn. If you do not want to utilize your Z-Move, you can select the option that just allows you to use your basic move.
On the flip slide, there could be an option, much like the current Mega Evolution that you can select. This of course will black out the moves that cannot be used concurrently with the equipped Crystal. However, if this is the method that Z-Moves will be introduced, we may lose Mega Evolution in the process. Hopefully this will not be case because I and many other people, quite like Mega Evolution.
If for nothing else, Z-Moves will allow us to see the build up of energy that Snorlax has accumulated over his 20 years of almost constant sleep.