how to figure out ivs in pokemon go
Everyone loves a tl;dr: Pokemon have hidden stats that make them much stronger in the long run. A high-level pokemon with poor stats will have much higher CP than a low-level pokemon with perfect stats. Don’t automatically transfer low-CP pokemon; use the tools the community has made to check their IVs first. (Edit to clarify: It is not possible for a low-IV pokemon to reach the same max CP as a high-IV pokemon, because eventually you’ll hit the level cap.)
Here’s an FAQ:
- What are IVs? This is explained in the post. Every Pokémon gets a random boost from +0 to +15 to each of the three stats.
- Do IVs change with evolution? No. IVs are stable across a Pokémon’s life.
- How do I check my IVs? You have to use one of the calculators at the end of this post.
- Why are there a bunch of possible combinations? The math can give the same CP with different IVs because of rounding, especially at low levels. Jot down the combinations, power it up, and run it again. Narrow it down by knocking off the ones that don’t stay after powering up. Repeat as necessary.
- The calculator said my Pokémon is level 19, but I’m only level 15, and Pokémon level can’t exceed trainer level! The game counts levels 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc. Some calculators count 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Check the dust cost against the spreadsheets below. Pokémon level cap is trainer level + 0.5.
- Are these IVs good? Dead average is a total of +23. Attack IVs are more important to CP than defense and HP. +38 puts you in the top 3% of that species.
- What about moveset? This is still incredibly relevant. Fun > species > moveset > IVs > current CP.
- Is it worth it? IVs are confusing and frustrating! Only if you care. If you don’t want to min/max for the long run, don’t bother and just enjoy the game.
- I’ve heard about a random multiplier to CP when you evolve a Pokémon, how does that relate? That’s just not how the game works. IVs, level, and species are the only things to determine CP. This multiplier is trying to account for change in species, but is being thrown by change in IVs and the fact that all three stats are not weighted equally. (In fact, using IVs, you can narrow it down to a handful of possible CP and HP combinations after evolution, while the “random multiplier” can only give a range that may be inaccurate.)
I’ve seen a bunch of people around here deciding to not spend their stardust until they hit level 30, because “I can always catch higher CP pokemon in the wild later”.
Edit: If you are hording your stardust like this and tossing out low CP pokemon because “they’re worse”, this post is for you! If you don’t care about gyms or about getting the best pokemon out there, don’t worry about it.
Don’t make yourself sad! There’s a handful of reasons why you shouldn’t do this, but they all rely on hidden mechanics.
The very first reason is, a bunch of people simply won’t find it fun. There’s a bunch of grind to get to 30, and unless you’re doing gyms very seriously or you come from RuneScape, it’s probably not worth it. After all, high CP doesn’t really mean much outside bragging rights and gym battles.
But even when it comes to gym battles, there’s very good reason to pay attention to low CP pokemon. Let me explain a few things first:
Maybe you know about pokemon level. Each pokemon has a hidden level; when you power up a pokemon, you are leveling it up. Two powerups is +1 level, to a maximum of (your level + 0.5). You can guestimate a pokemon’s level by looking at how much stardust is required to power it up; I’ve made a quick spreadsheet (thanks to the spreadsheet below for providing the data).
As you can see, a higher trainer level means you will find higher level pokemon in the wild.Just like in the original games, higher level pokemon have higher stats, which Pokemon Go translates to higher CP. But just like in the original games, higher level doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Pokemon Go has simplified stats since the original games; each pokemon has stats for attack, defense, and stamina (HP). The base for these stats are consistent across each species (pokedex number) of pokemon; for example, every Bulbasaur starts out with 126 attack, 126 defense, 90 stamina. From there, you multiply stats based on level to get final values. Here’s a spreadsheet (suspiciously similar to mine above) if you’re interested (though for some reason this one increases level by 1 for each powerup instead of by 0.5).
But we know that not every level 2 Zubat is the same. That’s because of Individual Values, or IVs. The overarching idea is, every individual pokemon gets a bonus of 0-15 to each of its stats. Going back to our Bulbasaur example, the worst possible Bulbasaur would have 126 attack, 126 defense, 90 stamina; the best possible one would have 141 attack, 141 defense, 105 stamina. The vast majority will be somewhere in between.
In the long run, a low IV pokemon will be much, much weaker than a high IV pokemon. Don’t release pokemon of a species you want to evolve until you check their IVs. I didn’t learn about this until recently, and given how many Eevees I’ve released, I’m sure I’ve passed up a perfect Vaporeon at some point. Higher level pokemon can appear stronger (because their level outweighs the bonus from IVs), but you can have a 0/0/0 level 10 with higher CP than a 15/15/15 level 3. But after dropping north of 260k stardust and 300 candies on the level 10, it will have much worse stats than if you had leveled the level 3 for another 2200 stardust and 7 candies.
That’s not quite everything. Here’s a great spreadsheet that compares pokemon in various ways. (Don’t take it as gospel; we don’t know how attack and defense affect damage.) Most notable is the difference in moves; part of the reason why Vaporeon and Snorlax are so scary right now is that Lick and Water Gun do so much more damage than almost every other move in the game (check the moves tab). So from this we learn that a 900 Jinx with Frost Breath should beat a 1300 Hitmonlee with Rock Smash, because Rock Smash is such a poor move.
The community here is great. Here’s a few tools to help you out:
- IV spreadsheet calculator: Google Docs — make an editable copy
- IV web app calculator: PokeAssist.com
- PokeGoIV for Android: APK download (And a CNET guide to installing it)
- thesilphroad made a calculator.
- iPhone users: Sorry, no app for iOS yet!
I am summarizing a lot of things because this post is already huge. Please feel free to ask questions and correct me — I’d love to learn more and help out more!