Showcase Scores, XXS and XXL Pokémon and How it Works!

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With the recent introduction of XXS and XXL Pokémon, and now Pokéstop Showcases, you may be wondering how Pokémon GO works out which of your Pokémon are the optimal ones to enter in a Showcase. It turns out it is rather a complicated system, so let’s take a look!

Huge shout out to bmenrigh on twitter for their incredible research and twitter threads on this subject, in collaboration with sellyme, minibenoit and LemmoritoSensei. Special mention to LemmoritoSensei who painstakingly gathered all this data together! This sort of research for Pokémon GO takes a lot of work, and is really important. This information is shared will permission from the team.

How Showcase Scores Work

Firstly, the actual system for how the different sizes of Pokémon spawn in the game are much more complicated than you would expect. Over time Niantic may adjust or change this information, but at present, this is what these amazing researchers have uncovered.

For full information on how the sizes of Pokémon are decided, check out this twitter thread by bmenrigh. One of the highlights from that information that we need to note for Showcases is that there are three different XXL max heights for Pokémon, 1.55, 1.75, and 2.00.

The score formula uses three factors:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • IVs

Each of these factors gets scaled and then multiplied by score constants specified in the gamemaster file. The formula is:

score = Scaled Height * 800 + Scaled Weight * 150 + Scaled IVs * 50

The scaling of these parameters is quite complicated. The IVs are the most simple aspect (bmenrigh says simple, this whole thing is really complicated!): IVs are added up and then scaled (divided) by 45 before being multiplied by the IV score constant of 50.

The height scaling depends on the maximum height for the species. Recall that the XXL size for a species comes in three classes: normalized max heights of 1.55, 1.75, or 2.00. This max XXL height is the scale factor used.

The example the research team used for their data was Squirtle. Squirtle has a maximum normalized XXL height of 1.75 (and a mean height of 0.5m). So a 0.84m tall Squirtle has a height component score of: ((0.84 / 0.5) / 1.75) * 800 = 768 height points.

Weight scaling depends on the maximum weight that an XXL of the species can have. Recall that the weight formula for XXL Pokémon is: weight = weight variate + (height – 1) The maximum weight variate is 1.5 and the maximum height is one of 1.55, 1.75, or 2.00.

So the maximum weight for the 1.55 class is 1.5 + (1.55 – 1) = 2.05 For 1.75 it’s 1.5 + (1.75 – 1) = 2.25 For 2.00 it’s 1.5 + (2.00 – 1) = 2.50. Due to odd design choices, the true maximum weight for Pokémon is 2.75 but only XL (not XXL) Pokémon can get that heavy.

Going back to Squirtle, for Squirtle the weight scaling used is 2.25 and Squirtle has a mean weight of 9.0kg So a 16.54kg Squirtle has a weight component score of: ((16.54 / 9.0) / 2.25) * 150 = 122.5 height points.

Finally, using IVs this Squirtle has an IV sum of 7 + 13 = 20 (20 / 45) * 50 = 22.2 IV points.

Putting the three scores together:

  • 768 height points
  • 122.5 weight points
  • 22.2 IV points

Gives us a total showcase score of 912.7 The Squirtle’s true score is 910 because the true height and weight are used and we used the display values which are rounded.

Because XL Pokémon can weigh up to 2.75 times their mean, but weights are scaled by the (lesser) maximum weight for XXL Pokémon, it is possible for an XL Pokémon to receive more than 150 weight points. This is potentially an oversight by Niantic and may be fixed in the future.

The Pokémon species with a maximum height of 1.55 can actually achieve scores above 1000 with very heavy and tall XL Pokémon, whereas XXL can never exceed 1000. It’s max score: (1.5 / 1.55) * (800) + ((((1.5^2 – 1) + 1.5) / ((1.55 – 1) + 1.5)) * 150) + 50 = 1025.41

Since XL Pokémon can receive more than 150 weight points it’s worth looking at XL vs XXL score distributions for each max height class. Note that only 1.55 max heights can exceed 1000.

It’s also worth mentioning that weight is highly correlated with height because the weight formula uses height too. By using height and weight in the formula (instead of the weight variate which has no correlation) height has an outsized role in the score. If the formula were changed to use the weight variate, (which is always between 0.5 and 1.5) the weight scaling factor could be the same for all species and the problem with scores above 1000 would be eliminated.


The team behind this research have done some unbelievable work to figure out how this works, and full credit for the research, much of the wording of the explanation, and the images goes to them. It is interesting to see that IV plays a part in the Showcase Scores for Pokémon, and that at present, XL Pokémon can have scores exceeding 1000 points, whereas XXL Pokémon cannot, due to a potential error in the formula.

Author & tags

Turtwig obsessive, real life Psyduck, Pokémon GO AR Photographer, found footage horror fan and Pokémon GO Hub AR Queen

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