EV Training is a compelling part of the Pokémon franchise, but if you're not familiar with it, it's pretty easy to be confused about what to do.
In fact, it's very possible to play through Pokémon games without ever knowing what it means to EV Train your squad! Even if you are familiar and you've gone through this process in the past, some things have changed with Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, and not all of the old methods will work anymore.
If you're confused, don't worry, we're here to help. Here's the best way to EV train in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: What are EVs?
While all Pokémon have different visible stats, there's also a set of somewhat-hidden numbers called Effort Values, or EVs. Each EV point your Pokémon earns boosts one of its six stats (through some complicated math): HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, or Speed. No Pokémon can have more than 510 EVs, and no stat can have more than 252 EVs.
EV training refers to making an effort to improve your Pokémon's EV stats. Doing this can make your Pokémon even stronger than before in a particular area or can help cover up weaknesses that would otherwise be present. It opens up new strategies and is a fun way for veterans of the Pokémon to get more out of the games. It is not recommended for beginners unless they are extremely passionate about min-maxing their Pokémon team's potential.
How to check a Pokémon's EV stats
While you can't see the exact numbers, it is possible to see a basic idea of how these points are distributed in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Follow these easy steps:
- Press the X button to open the menu.
- Select Boxes.
- Click on a Pokémon whose stats you want to see.
- Select Check Summary.
- Go over to the Moves and Stats tab by pressing the right button on the D-pad once.
- Press L.
- Check the yellow chart that replaces the blue one.
Just check this chart like in the image above, and you can see the current rough distribution of EVs for the chosen Pokémon. If a stat gets maxed out, you'll see a small sparkle, indicating you've hit the cap of 252 values. When your Pokémon has reached 510 EVs, the chart will change from yellow to light blue, informing you that EV training is no longer possible and the Pokémon is maxed out.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: How to EV train
There are a few different things you can do to gain EVs or change your Pokémon's current EVs. Here are the best ways to EV train in Scarlet and Violet.
1. Battle or catch tons of Pokémon
Your Pokémon will earn EV points by beating other Pokémon. Simply defeat a Pokémon in battle (or catch them) and your entire current team will get anywhere from 1 to 3 EV stats as a reward. Since you can catch wild Pokémon, this means you don't need to stress if you end up facing a Shiny Pokémon. It's important to note that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's brand-new Auto Battles, allow you to earn EXP, but do not reward EVs. So make sure you battle the old-fashioned way with turn-based battles in order to EV train.
The bad news is that each Pokémon gives different EVs when beaten and none of this information is actually recorded anywhere in-game. As such, it's highly recommended you go in on a fresh save following this guide, knowing what you intend to do from the start.
2. Alter EV stats using berries
You can remove EVs using berries on your established Pokémon to hopefully allow them to gain EVs on other stats when they battle again. Here's the list of berries you can use:
- Pomeg Berry reduces HP EVs
- Kelpsy Berry reduces Attack EVs
- Qualot Berry reduces Defense EVs
- Hondew Berry reduces Sepecial Attack EVs
- Grepa Berry reduces Special Defense EVs
- Tamato Berry reduces Speed EVs.
3. Increase your odds with picnics and sandwiches
Certain Pokémon do increase specific EV values when battled or caught, so it's helpful to go after these specific creatures if they have the stat you want to improve upon. To make this easier, hold a picnic and eat sandwiches to increase the encounter rate of a particular Pokémon or a particular type of Pokémon in an area. We've gathered a quick list of the Pokémon you'll want to fight to earn specific EVs.
- HP: Chancey and Marill
- Attack: Shinx and Flamigo
- Defense: Scatterbug and Orthworm
- Special Attack: Psyduck and Mareep
- Special Defense: Floette and Gothorita
- Speed: Rookidee and Cyclizar
While there are of course others, these Pokémon are mostly easy to find in the early stages of the game. It will take time, but if you dedicate yourself to going after the right Pokémon you can do a lot towards improving upon its EVs.
4. Buy items that increase EV gain and stats
There's a variety of items you can buy that'll help your Pokémon grow their EVs more rapidly. Simply head to Delibird Presents in Mesagoza, and go to the "General Goods" area where these items are ₽10,000 each. Each item increases EV gain by +8, so if defeating a Pokémon would normally give 2 EVs, it'll give 10 EVs while your Pokémon are under the influence of the item in question. For extremely obvious reasons, this is highly recommended for quickly EV training your team, and can speed the process up by several hours.
|What it does
|An item held by a Pokémon. Holding this weight reduces a Pokémon's Speed in battle but allows its Speed stat to grow more quickly.
|An item held by a Pokémon. Holding this weight reduces a Pokémon's Speed in battle but allows its Sp. Def stat to grow more quickly.
|An item held by a Pokémon. Holding this weight reduces a Pokémon's Speed in battle but allows its Defense stat to grow more quickly.
|An item held by a Pokémon. Holding this weight reduces a Pokémon's Speed in battle but allows its Attack stat to grow more quickly.
|An item held by a Pokémon. Holding this weight reduces a Pokémon's Speed in battle but allows its Sp. Atk stat to grow more quickly.
You can also change your Pokémon's stats using mints. Mints can be purchased from Chansey Supply stores and cost ₽20,000 each.
|What it does
|Increases Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed at an equal rate.
|Increases Attack and lowers Defense.
|Increases Attack and lower Special Attack.
|Increases Attack and lowers Special Defense.
|Increases Attack and lowers Speed.
|Increases Defense and lowers Attack.
|Increases Defense and lowers Special Attack.
|Increases Defense and lowers Special Defense.
|Increases Defense and lowers Speed.
|Increases Special Attack and lowers Attack.
|Increases Special Attack and lowers Defense.
|Increases Special Attack and lowers Special Defense.
|Increases Special Attack and lowers Speed.
|Increases Special Defense and lowers Attack.
|Increases Special Defense and lowers Defense.
|Increases Special Defense and lowers Special Attack.
|Increases Special Defense and lowers Speed.
|Increases Speed and lowers Attack.
|Increases Speed and lowers Defense.
|Increases Speed and lowers Special Attack.
|Increases Speed and lowers Special Defense.
What about Pokérus?
Another way in which Pokémon Scarlet and Violet shake up the traditional formula is through the removal of Pokérus. This virus used to be a mainstay of the series. Pokérus was even in Sword and Shield. It allowed players to infect their Pokémon and improve the rate at which EVs were earned, speeding up the entire process. Unfortunately, it's not available in Scarlet and Violet.
Check your Pokémon's stats with the IV Checker
Once you make it to a certain point in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, it will become possible to check your Pokémon's IV stats, or Individual Values. IVs are essentially a Pokémon's stat genetics, and can be passed on through breeding. IVs determine the range of a Pokémon's strength in a particular stat and the IV Checker can tell you how good your Pokémon's stats are overall.
Each individual IV stat is somewhere between 0 and 31 points, with higher numbers being better. Here's what the words for each range mean:
- Best — 31
- Fantastic — 30
- Very good — 26 - 29
- Pretty Good — 16 - 25
- Decent — 1 - 15
- No good — 0
If you're curious about what the word summarizing the range of stat points mean, we've got the range of values explained below:
- Amazing stats! — 151 - 186
- Great stats — 121 - 150
- Good stats — 91 - 120
- OK stats — 0 - 90
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet EV training: How to unlock the IV checker
To unlock the IV Checker in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, you'll need to follow a few basic steps.
- Defeat all Titans, Gym Leaders, Elite Four, and Team Star Bases to become Champion.
- Finish the main story.
- After watching the credits roll, head to a Pokémon center.
- Speak with the receptionist, who will grant you the Judge Feature.
- To use it, press the X button to bring up your menu.
- Select Boxes.
- Hover over a Pokémon to examine it. The IV Checker will tell you how good your Pokémon's overall stats are.
- For detailed numbers, press the + button twice while hovering over a Pokémon.
You can also get a closer look at these numbers by clicking on a Pokémon, selecting Check Summary, and then tapping the right D-pad button once. Just like that, you can see the IV values for your Pokémon listed on the right side of the screen underneath your Pokémon's stat chart.
An open world packed with activities
Using EV training, you'll be able to build a powerful team of Pokémon, but it can be difficult. Plan everything out and you'll have a lot more fun, but it's a good idea to take breaks and have fun with any Pokémon that you aren't as concerned with EV training as much as possible. Don't forget to do other things in the game as well, such as partaking in Tera Raid Battles or just exploring.
EV training can take a long while, so make sure to save often and exit from time to time, which will help improve your Nintendo Switch performance playing Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance gaming writer who started working for iMore and its sister sites Windows Central and Android Central in July 2019. He handles news, previews, reviews, and exclusive original reporting, and has also been featured on TechRadar.
With a background studying engineering before he shifted his focus to gaming journalism, he's skilled at identifying technical advantages and disadvantages provided by different hardware. If he’s not writing something, he’s off playing video games, spending time with his pets, exercising, or reading. He's also fond of trying to draw things with his iPad.
- Rebecca SpearGaming Editor
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