For long-time fans of Pokémon games, IVs are a familiar part of maximizing your team’s strength. They represent hidden stats that may make a Pokémon slightly better than its otherwise identical peers. Not too long after the release of Pokémon Go, it was discovered that IVs made their way into Niantic’s hit title, as well.
So how do Pokémon Go IVs work and how can you make the most of them in your team? Keep reading for our full guide to Pokémon Go IVs!
What are Pokémon Go IVs?
Pokémon Go IVs (or Individual Values) are hidden stats that are randomly generated when a Pokémon is caught or hatched. IVs have existed in Pokémon games in the past, but they work a bit differently in Pokémon Go. IVs are between 0 and 15, with a separate value for each stat. If you’re lucky, they can increase a Pokémon’s base stats by roughly 10 percent.
Just like in classic Pokémon titles, each type of Pokémon has base stats. In Pokémon Go, however, there are only three stats: Attack, Defense, and HP (formerly Stamina). Attack and Defense are obvious, but the final HP stat affects both HP and how long a Pokémon can defend in a gym before needing to rest.
So in other words, while every Squirtle might have the same base stats, their final stats vary due to IVs. These are Squirtle’s base stats compared with perfect IV stats:
- Attack – 94 vs 109
- Defense – 122 vs 137
- HP – 88 vs 103
These stats are then put together into CP (Combat Points), which is the main way a Pokémon’s strength is displayed in Pokémon Go. However, CP also takes Pokémon levels into account, so a 500 CP Squirtle may not have better IVs than a 150 CP Squirtle. The only way to know the true potential of a Pokémon is to check its IVs.
It’s also worth noting that IVs remain the same through evolution, so feel free to evolve that perfect IV Squirtle into a Blastoise.
How to check Pokémon Go IVs
An update to the app back in 2019 improved the in-game system to check Pokémon Go IVs. Now it’s easier than ever to check how strong your latest catch is and compare duplicate Pokémon. Note that this update also renamed the Stamina stat to HP, but it has the same effect as before the update.
- Tap on the Pokemon you want to check.
- Expand the menu on the bottom right.
- Tap Appraise.
- After a short message, a graph displaying your Pokémon’s IVs will appear.
If the stamp above the graph has three stars and a red stamp, you’ve got yourself a perfect IV Pokémon. Three stars and an orange stamp is just short of perfect, but still very high and worth using. Each tick on the bar is five points, so you can estimate how close your Pokémon is to the golden number of 45 IV points.
To make things even easier, you can swipe left and right to check the quickly check your other Pokémon’s IV values. By sorting by Pokémon type, you can find out which of your duplicate Pokémon has the best IVs and transfer the rest.
If you want to know exactly what the IVs of your Pokemon are or run some IV calculations, there are several tools at your disposal. Be careful before you start Googling and installing apps, because some of them are against the Pokemon Go terms of service and will get your account banned. To help, we’ve assembled a list of the best Pokemon Go IV calculators out there, although the in-game IV checker is still our top recommendation.
For external Pokemon Go IV checkers, there are two types. The first is an online calculator, and the second is an app with similar functionality. Essentially, you input your Pokemon’s stats and it figures out the exact values using a mathematical formula. You may need to level up very low-level Pokemon a few times to make sure it’s accurate.