Pokemon games have a long history of hiding vital game information from players, and Pokemon GO is no different. As you probably have guessed, Pokemon GO IV system is a big part of that.
What are IVs?
IV stands for Individual Values. IVs are a mechanism to introduce diversity in a group of same species Pokemon. IV influences various other Pokemon stats, like the amount of Health Points, attack power, etc…
A good metaphor for IV is to think of them like Pokemon genes.
Not all Pokemon are born equal. Some Rattats are bigger, some Pidgeys attack harder and some Kakunas have more defense. In order to facilitate this diversity, IVs were introduced in the original Gameboy games and hidden away from the general player base. There are only 3 main IVs that you should remember:
- Attack IV
- Defense IV
- Stamina IV
IV values go from 0 to 15. IVs are not the same thing as base stats. Even though base stats also depend on the specie, they increase when a Pokemon evolves – IVs always stay the same.
IVs play a big role in determining the true power and strength of every Pokemon you encounter in the wild. They are especially important when comparing same species Pokemon with similar Combat Power.
IVs and possible IV combinations are often displayed with a simple table:
How do I calculate Pokemon IVs?
You either calculate them by hand or you use a handy IV calculator like this one. Don’t calculate them by hand, some Pokemon have a lot of IV combinations. A lot.
What is IV Score?
IV Score is a calculated number that shows how good is the combination of genes/IVs a Pokemon has. IV Score can range anywhere from 0% to 100%, where 0% is the worst possible combination of IVs and 100% is the perfect combination of IVs for that species.
As a lot of game information is hidden in Pokemon GO, it is often impossible to determine the exact IV score a Pokemon has. This is why the IV score is always accompanied with a table showing possible IV combinations for a specimen with that CP, HP and Upgrade cost.
What is IV Perfection?
IV Perfection shows how close to a perfect IV score a given IV combination is. An IV combination consists of three values: Attack, Defense and Stamina IV. When you compare that combination to a perfect combination of IVs for that Pokemon level, you get “perfection”. Perfection is also showed as a percentage value, ranging from 0 to 100%.
Is Pokemon GO IV connected to CP?
In Pokemon GO, CP (Combat Power) is also secretly controlled by three stats you might find familiar:
- Attack (ATK)
- Defense (STA)
- Stamina (DEF)
As you probably have noticed, these stats are the exact stats that comprise IVs. So, yes – IV is connected to CP, but it’s not that simple. Bear with us.
The approximate* formula for calculating Pokemon GO CP is as follows:
The actual expression is far more complex, but this simplified form shows the gist of it. As you can see, CP is heavily influenced by Attack value, and a lot less by Defense and Stamina.
This results with an interesting fact: Pokemon with higher Attack IV can often have higher CP than their bulkier counterparts.
* Full CP expression: CP = (Base Atk + Atk IV) * (Base Def + Def IV)0.5 * (Base Stam + Stam IV)0.5 * Lvl(CPScalar)2 / 10
Are IVs important?
It’s up for you to decide. IVs are as important as you want them to be. If you want to have the strongest possible Pokemon, then yes, they are important. If you are not interested in that avenue of play, then no, they are not.
The difference between Pokemon GO IV with 0% and 100% IV score is 10% in terms of CP and general battle performance. It’s not a lot by any means, but it is important for hardcore players.
Does IV score influence the move set Pokemon gets when evolving?
No, it does not. IVs are values that only influence Pokemon mathematical stats. What moves a Pokemon learns when evolving is not influenced by IV in any way. Nor does it guarantee a better/worse move set.
Yes, unfortunately it is possible to have a 100% IV Pokemon evolve into the worst possible move set. But that’s life, Jimmy! You need to farm more and get another one with 100% IV score and the perfect move set.
Pokemon GO IV is not perfect, but when life gives you lemons, you make a lemonade Jimmy. Now go and farm my son, farm!