Pokemon Sword and Shield PokerusSource: iMore

There are several secrets and rare things within the Pokémon Sword and Shield games, ranging from Hidden Abilities to the complex ways to get some Pokémon to evolve. One of these rare occurrences is the Pokérus virus, which sounds awful but is actually a positive thing to catch. Here's everything you want to know about the Pokérus virus, including how to get your Pokémon infected.

What is Pokérus?

Pokérus is a super rare virus that your Pokémon can contract. Your Pokémon have a 1/21,845 chance of generating the virus. That makes it rarer to catch the virus than it is to catch or hatch a regular shiny Pokémon.

However, unlike human viruses, it's a good thing when your Pokémon catch this one. It causes a Pokémon to gain double the Effort Values (EVs) from battling. For example, a Pokémon with Pokérus might gain two Attack EVs rather than the one they usually get. This is a wonderful thing for hardcore Pokémon trainers because it makes it so you can fully EV train your Pokémon in as little as 10 minutes.

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The virus first appeared in Gen 2 with Pokémon Gold and Silver, but it was incredibly rare, even more than it is now. Starting in Gen 4 with the advent of worldwide trading, it became easier to spread the virus through the internet. Nowadays, you can either get an infected Pokémon in a trade, hatch an infected Pokémon through breeding, or get lucky enough to have the Pokémon generate the infection on its own. Just be aware that this virus doesn't stick around for long.

How to give your Pokémon Pokérus

Trading Pokemon Sword and ShieldSource: iMore

Your Pokémon have a very slight chance of randomly generating the virus after coming in contact with an infected wild Pokémon. However, since Pokérus is very contagious, your Pokémon are more likely to get the virus from a trade. If you put an infected Pokémon in your party it has the potential to spread the virus to any Pokémon adjacent to it after a battle.

What's more, if you trade an infected Pokémon to someone, the virus can get passed on to that trainer's Pokémon as well. So, if you have a few buddies who are all playing Sword or Shield, you'll definitely want to trade an infected Pokemon around if one of you gets one. Finally, you can breed the infected Pokémon at the Nursery in the hopes of infecting its offspring.

How does a Pokémon get cured of Pokérus?

Since Pokérus isn't technically a status condition within the game, you cannot heal the infection with items or by going to a Pokémon Center. The condition automatically clears up after four days and, like Chicken Pox, once your Pokémon is no longer infected, it can never catch Pokérus again.

Pokerus Pokemon Sword and Shield iconsSource: iMore

Any infected Pokémon in your party automatically begins the curing process when a new day starts on your Switch, or when the internal clock on your Switch rolls over to a new day. That means that if you turn off your game one day and turn it on the next day, your infected Pokémon will have begun the healing process.

Pokémon with the virus will have the Pokérus icon next to their stats when you look at them in your boxes. You'll know that a Pokémon has been cured of the virus because the Pokérus symbol won't have an x going through it anymore.

How to tell if your Pokémon have Pokérus

  1. While the game is on, press the X button to bring up the menu.
  2. Select the Pokémon icon.

    Pressing Y Pokemon Sword and ShieldPokemon Sword and Shield menuSource: iMore

  3. Press R to go into your boxes.
  4. Hover over a Pokémon in your party or in your boxes. If it's infected a pink face with an x through it will show up in the box to the right next to the Pokémon's Type.

    Press R Nintendo SwitchPokemon Sword and ShieldSource: iMore

  5. If you want to see a little more info, Press A.
  6. Then go to Check Summary.

    Pokemon Sword and ShieldPokemon Sword and ShieldSource: iMore

    1. If you have an infected Pokémon, it will say the word, "Pokérus" next to the marking options.

      Pokemon Sword and ShieldSource: iMore

Now that you know how to check for the virus, you'll definitely want to run through all of the Pokémon in your boxes to see if you were lucky enough to get an infected Pokémon.

How do I stop a Pokémon from getting cured of Pokérus?

Fortunately, if you put your infected Pokémon in a box rather than having it in your party, it effectively puts the virus in stasis indefinitely. So, you can pull the Pokémon out to infect others and then return it to the box before turning the game off for the day to make sure it stays infected. Something to note is that even after a Pokémon has been cured, it continues to earn twice the EVs as before whenever it engages in battle. It just isn't contagious anymore.

Gotta infect 'em all!

Now you know all about the Pokérus virus. If you're lucky, you'll either hatch an infected Pokémon, get one in a trade, or randomly have one of your Pokémon generate the virus. Good luck with your EV training! I hope you're able to get all of the stats you want from your Pokémon.

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