How to Breed & Catch High IV Pokémon in Sword & Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield is the 20th game (if paired games are counted as one) in the Pokémon video game franchise. Released by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo for Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Sword and Shield are the first games in the eighth generation of the Pokémon series. While the games don’t include all of the previously existing Pokémon, players can still collect and breed Pokémon to get team members with high IVs.

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Individual Values, or IVs, are a Pokémon’s default stats. The only way to influence these stats is to use Hyper Training. IVs can affect a Pokémon’s performance in battle. This is why catching Pokémon with high IVs or breeding them is so important in Pokémon Sword and Shield. IVs can range from 0-31, with 31 being considered “perfect”. Most Pokémon that you come across will have average stats, but catching Pokémon through Max Raids can lead to some pretty outstanding IVs.

To check a Pokémon’s IVs, the main story must be completed first. Then players must challenge the Battle Tower and win six battles. When Rank 4 is reached, the IV checker will be unlocked for the Pokemon Box. Their IVs will be described using six terms: No Good (0 IV), Decent (1-10 IV), Pretty Good (11-20 IV), Very Good (21-29 IV), Fantastic (30 IV), and Best (31 IV).

The best way to catch Pokémon with High IVs is through Max Raids. Start a Max Raid Battle by interacting with a Pokémon Den. If a Den is empty, you can throw in a Wishing Piece purchased from Watt Traders to spawn a random Pokémon. Four trainers can battle against a Dynamax Pokémon to have an attempt to capture it or receive rewards. You can team up with friends, or the game will assign NPC trainers to fill the empty slots. The “host” of the battle always has a capture rate advantage over the other trainers to capture the Pokémon. If the capture fails, the Pokémon will escape.

Pokémon caught in Max Raid Battles will always have at least one perfect IV. The higher the difficulty of the Raid, the more perfect IVs the Pokémon will have. This is indicated by how many stars a Raid has. If you manage to catch a Ditto with high IVs in a Max Raid, you can use this to breed with other Pokémon of your choice and make other high IV Pokémon.

You can also catch a Ditto with high IVs in the wild by finding Dittos with Brilliant Aura. While there is no direct way to make Brilliant Aura Pokémon spawn, the likelihood of spawning a Brilliant Aura Ditto goes up if you have fought or captured a lot of Ditto. It is impossible for a Ditto with Brilliant Aura to spawn if you have never fought or captured one. This approach will get you a Ditto with at least two perfect IVs.

If you have captured the Pokémon of your choice or a Ditto with high IVs, you can start the breeding process to attempt to breed a Pokémon with multiple high IVs. Give the parent Pokémon with the best IVs Destiny Knots to pass down five of their IVs to the child. While the inherited IVs are random, it gives the offspring a higher chance of receiving five perfect IVs.

To get a Destiny Knot, go to the Pokémon Center in Hammerlocke. Next to the Poké Mart, there is a woman selling Destiny Knots in a Battle Points shop. They’re 10 Battle Points each, so buy multiple to use later. If you’re low on Battle Points, head over to the Battle Tower and start battling!

Having a parent hold a Power Item used for EV Training will guarantee that the offspring receives the corresponding stat. If you only have one Pokémon with multiple high IVs and have to breed it with one with lower IVs, you can give the one with lower IVs a Power Item that corresponds to their highest IV to ensure that it transfers. These items can also be purchased in the Hammerlocke Pokémon Center. The Power Bracer will transfer the holder’s Attack IV, the Power Belt will transfer the holder’s Defense IV, the Power Lens will transfer the holder’s Special Attack IV, the Power Band will transfer the holder’s Special Defense IV, the Power Anklet will transfer the holder’s Speed IV, and the Power Weight will transfer the holder’s maximum HP.

The only way to affect a Pokémon’s IVs is to go through Hyper Training. If you have a Lv. 100 Pokémon, you can use a Bottle Cap in the Battle Tower to make an individual stat perform as if it is a perfect IV. You can also use a Gold Bottle Cap to make all of a Pokémon’s IVs perform perfectly. There is no way to pass this on through breeding.

To get Bottle Caps, win battles at the Battle Tower, win Ranked Battles, purchase them for 25 Battle Points at the BP Shop, and win Max Raid Battles. You can also use Pokémon to get Bottle Caps, by paying the Digging Duo in the Wild Area in Bridge Field 500 Watts. This isn’t guaranteed, but they have a chance to get a Bottle Cap. High-level Pokémon with the Pickup Ability can also find Bottle Caps.

Use these tips to create the ultimate Pokémon team and to become the best there ever was- at least in regards to your team’s IVs. Catch and breed Pokémon with high IVs and become the ultimate trainer in the Galar region.

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Pokémon Sword & Shield is available now on Nintendo Switch.

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