A Beginner’s Guide To EVs and IVs In Pokemon

A Beginner’s Guide To EVs and IVs In Pokemon

So, You Want To Be A Pokemon Master…

The journey is over – the world is safe, and Team Skull is thwarted. “Now that the story’s done, I’ll hop online and see how I do.” After having your team destroyed in your first online match, you’re probably wondering 2 things:

1.) Why is everyone using nothing but legendaries, and

2.) Why didn’t my team even stand a chance

There’s not much we can do about problem one, but with a little work, you can beat those predictable chumps easy. And that gets us to question 2: why DIDN’T your team fare well online?

The secret is EV’s (effort values) and IV’s (Independent Values). These are the qualities that make one Pikachu have an attack stat of 100, and the other have an attack stat of 150. And here’s how they work.

Effort Values

Every pokemon starts with no effort values. By the time a pokemon is fully trained, it will have 510 EV’s total.

A pokemon gains effort values by fighting other pokemon. Every pokemon has a specific EV yield. So, for example, Geodude yields 1 EV every time it faints. You can find the EV of any pokemon on Bulbapedia, aloung with many other pokemon resources online. There are also a number of helpful guides online that can tell you the best places to EV train.

Each of a pokemon’s stats, HP, Attack, Defense, Sp Attack, Sp Defense, and Speed, can have a maximum of 252 EVs invested in them. Usually, it’s best to invest all 252 EVs in 2 stats, and then the last 4 in another stat.

So, for example, if you want a Weavile that focuses on attack (a good choice for the strong, fast but defensively weak Weavile), you would invest in Attack, Speed, and put the last 4 evs wherever you feel it needs them most, probably into one of its defensive stats.

One important thing to note is that EV investments become less useful the higher a pokemon’s base stats are. So, for a pokemon like Avalugg, with 185 base defense, investing in Defense might not be as beneficial as investing in HP, which only has a base of 95.

When it comes to gaining EVs, there are a few tricks you can employ to make it go faster. First, spend money on the vitamins you can buy from shops: Protein, Iron, etc. Use 10 of these on whatever stats you want to boost to get them started at 100 EVs.

Then, equip the training pokem0n with a Power item (Power Bracer, Power Lens), which you can buy with BP. These will increase your EVs gained from fainting pokemon. Lastly, chain pokemon, and keep fainting the pokemon in the chain. All of these things increase EV yield from fainted pokemon, making the process go MUCH faster.

Independent Values

IVs are much simpler to understand, albeit just as important. Each pokemon is born with an IV for every stat (except HP). These IVs range from 0-31, and 31 is the best. After beating the game and hatching 10 eggs, there’s a man at the battle tree you can talk to who will unlock the ability to “Judge” your pokemon in the PC. This is how you check your IVs in (Ultra) Sun and Moon.

The actual number doesn’t really matter for your purposes, you’ll always be shooting for “best”, or 31. In the old days, this meant breeding pokemon and waiting a long time for the perfect hatch – until Sun and Moon, when IVs became trainable.

In these games, you’ll want to collect bottle caps. There’s a man in the Hau’oli city mall who will “Hyper Train” your pokemon for one bottle cap. What this means is he’ll maximize the IV of your choice.

Having perfect IVs is really important to battling at the upper levels. It’s not crucial for most fights, but if you’re working with below-perfect IVs, you’ll be fighting at a disadvantage in a game where a single Hit Point can make the difference between a win and a loss.

Are You Ready To Meet And Defeat The Elite?

Using these two building blocks to your advantage, aloung with a solid understanding on battling, you should see a real increase in your performance. Always assume your opponent is coming at you with an optimized team of perfect pokemon; make sure to even the odds by doing the same.

As for all those Lugias, Primal Kyogres and Mega Rayquazas on the online battlefield… Just remember, legendaries use tired, predictable strategies. Your team of unique. well thought out pokemon can win the battle. Be creative, learn what works, and don’t just follow the trends. Make your team your own, and never stop trying to improve it. That’s how you get to be the very best, like no one ever was.

And Remember… Gotta Catch ‘Em All

This was a very basic guide for those who are curious about EVs and IVs. Theres a lot of math that goes into the game on a much deeper level, but that usually isn’t required unless you’re considering serious tournament play.

If we missed something, or you have more questions, feel free to comment below!

Looking for strategies to help shape a team you love? Check out Smogon. They have a number of strong strategies for creating useful pokemon teams. Don’t take everything on there at face value though – they structure their team building around specific tiers that don’t apply to regular online battling. Still, there’s plenty of cool strategies to look up. Just, take them with a grain of salt.

And to hear us rant and rave about Pokemon and much more on a weekly basis, check out Infendo Radio!


Gamer by day, game designer by night - Lukas studied Digital Arts in school, and grew up in the age of the N64 and Gamecube. He's the youngster of the bunch, but that doesn't keep him from shouting out at every available opportunity on Infendo Radio. He often finds himself at the edge of counter-culture (hates Metroid Prime, loves Other M), but isn't afraid to dive into the next big budget AAA title with the best of 'em. Favorite game: Sonic Adventure 2 Battle/Skyward Sword/Ocarina of Time/Zero Escape 2/You get the idea