How to Breed Pokémon in the Pokémon Games

Updated on January 20, 2018
Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl has been playing Pokémon since 1999. Her favorites include SoulSilver, X, AlphaSapphire, and Sun. She enjoys breeding Pokémon.

What is Breeding?

In the Pokémon games, breeding is a way of getting new Pokémon by pairing two Pokémon together and producing an Egg. Players can then hatch the Egg, resulting in a Pokémon that inherits moves and Individual Values (stats) that can be better than those of Pokémon found in the wild. Some elite Pokémon trainers use breeding to create the most powerful Pokémon teams to battle other players.

Learn the basics of how to breed Pokémon, such as Egg Groups and hatching an Egg.
Learn the basics of how to breed Pokémon, such as Egg Groups and hatching an Egg. | Source

How to Breed Pokémon

Breeding is a great way to enjoy Pokémon after players finish the main storyline and defeat the Elite Four. Some players specialize in breeding Pokémon with different stats, moves and natures to trade with other players. Hatched Pokémon become the first evolution of the female breeding Pokémon.

1. Visit the Pokémon Day Care

The Day-Care Couple help raise your Pokémon for a fee of 100 per level.
The Day-Care Couple help raise your Pokémon for a fee of 100 per level. | Source

Since the Generation II games, the Pokémon Day Care has existed for players to drop off their Pokémon to be raised by the Day-Care Couple or Day-Care Man. Pokémon left at the Day Care level one experience point for every step the player takes. The player must pay 100 Pokémon Dollars for each level that their Pokémon gains to remove them from Day Care. While in Day Care, Pokémon will not evolve and will automatically learn moves as they level up.

Pokémon Ultra Sun - Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Ultra Sun - Nintendo 3DS

Pokémon Ultra Sun features all-new Pokémon, Z-Moves, Ultra Warp Ride, Ultra Wormholes, and more!

 

Games and Locations of Pokémon Day Care

Pokémon Generation
Pokémon Game
Game Location
Generation I
Red, Blue, Green
Route 5
 
Yellow
Route 5
Generation II
Gold, Silver
Route 34
 
Crystal
Route 34
Generation III
Ruby, Sapphire
Route 117
 
FireRed, LeafGreen
Route 5, Four Island
 
Emerald
Route 117
Generation IV
Diamond, Pearl
Solaceon Town
 
Platinum
Solaceon Town
 
HeartGold, SoulSilver
Route 34
Generation V
Black, White
Route 3
 
Black 2, White 2
Route 3
Generation VI
X, Y
Route 7
 
Omega Ruby, Alpha Sappire
Route 117, Battle Resort
Generation VII
Sun, Moon
Paniola Ranch (Pokemon Nursery)

Most Pokémon Day Cares accept two Pokémon at once, making breeding possible. When two Pokémon of the opposite gender are placed in a Pokémon Day Care, there is a chance that an Egg will appear based on the Pokémon’s Egg group. Additionally, there are some Pokémon that cannot be bred at all, such as Legendary Pokémon or Rare breeds. Be sure to research your Pokémon before trying to breed them together!

2. Choose Two Pokémon to Breed

You can choose which Pokémon from your party you want to leave at the Day Care.
You can choose which Pokémon from your party you want to leave at the Day Care. | Source

Once you’ve discovered where your Pokémon Day Care is located, talk to the Day-Care Woman inside to leave two Pokémon behind. The Pokémon you plan on breeding must be in your party - most Day Cares have a PC to make switching out your party easy. In order for your two Pokémon to breed successfully, they must follow the rules below:

  • Pokémon are of the opposite gender

  • Pokémon are of the same egg group

  • Pokémon is bred with a Genderless Ditto

In order for your Pokémon to create an egg, each one must be the opposite gender of the other. You can get around Pokémon genders by breeding a Pokémon of either gender with Ditto. Ditto is a genderless Pokémon, meaning you can breed it with either gender of Pokémon as long as the other Pokémon is not genderless. Breeding Ditto with a Pokémon will produce a copy of the other Pokémon.

Pokémon Egg Group Appearance and Number

Egg Group
Pokémon Appearance
# of Pokémon
Monster
Saurian
75
Water 1
Amphibious
89
Bug
Insectoid
70
Flying
Avian
50
Field
Terrestrial
200
Fairy
Petite
47
Grass
Plant-Like
59
Human-Like
Bipedal
52
Water 3
Aquatic Invertebrates
29
Mineral
Inorganic
54
Amorphous
Amorphous
52
Water 2
Piscine
24
Ditto
Ditto
1
Dragon
Draconic
45
Undiscovered
Unable to breed
81

Furthermore, Pokémon can only be bred together if they are the same species or share at least one Egg Group. The entire purpose of Egg Groups is to specify which Pokémon can breed based on biological traits. Egg Groups are broad, and Pokémon can be members of more than one Egg Group. For example, Ducklett is a member of both the Flying and Water 1 Egg Groups, as it is both a Flying and Water Pokémon.

3. Talk to the Old Man at the Day Care

If you talk to the Day-Care Man, he will let you know the status of your breeding potential.
If you talk to the Day-Care Man, he will let you know the status of your breeding potential. | Source

Once you’ve deposited your Pokémon at the Pokémon Day Care, be sure to talk to the Day-Care Man. He usually hangs around outside of the building and will tell you how well your Pokémon are getting along. If your Pokémon are getting along very well, there is the highest chance that they will make an egg. If your Pokémon don’t even want to play with each other, they are not compatible to make an Egg.

Chances of Receiving an Egg from Breeding

Compatibility
Statements
Percentages
Same species, different ID
The two seem to get along very well
69.3
Same species, same ID
The two seem to get along
49.5
Different species, different ID
The two seem to get along
49.5
Different species, same ID
The two don't seem to like each other
19.8
Not compatible
The two prefer to play with other Pokémon than each other
0

Keep in mind that some Pokémon can produce one of two types of Eggs if they are holding Incense while breeding. For example, if you are breeding a Snorlax with a Ditto, having the Snorlax hold Full Incense will produce Munchlax, while not holding any Incense will simply produce another Snorlax. Breeding these Pokémon with Incense will expand your Pokédex and give you rare pre-evolutions of your parent Pokémon!

4. Pick Up Your Pokémon Egg

In some games you can watch your Pokémon playing together at the Day Care!
In some games you can watch your Pokémon playing together at the Day Care! | Source

After you’ve deposited your Pokémon and checked with the Day-Care Man, all you can do is wait for an Egg to be found. It takes 255 steps to determine whether an Egg is produced - if no Egg is found after that many steps, it starts all over again. The most efficient way to pass the steps is to ride your bicycle up and down a stretch of road. Once an Egg has been found, the Day-Care Man will let the player know by doing a few things:

Behavior of the Day-Care Man in the Games

Pokémon Generation
Pokémon Game
Day-Care Man
Generation II
Red, Blue, Green
Outside the Day Care
 
Yellow
Outside the Day Care
Generation III
Ruby, Sapphire
Out of line with the fence
 
FireRed, LeafGreen
Out of line with the fence
 
Emerald
Out of line with the fence
Generation IV
Diamond, Pearl
Facing the road
 
Platinum
Facing the road
 
HeartGold, SoulSilver
Call player via the Pokegear
Generation V
Black, White
Call player from a distance on the road
 
Black 2, White 2
Call player from a distance on the road
Generation VI
X, Y
Outside the Day Care
 
Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire
Outside the Day Care

You cannot accept a Pokémon Egg if your party is full, so be sure to leave a slot empty before you speak with the Day-Care Man! He will ask the player if they want to keep the Egg that was found with their Pokémon. If the player says yes, they will receive the Egg in their Pokemon party. If they say yes and there is no room, the Day-Care Man will hold on to the Egg until player makes room and asks again. If the player says no, however, the Day-Care Man will get rid of the Egg. So remember to always say yes!

Pokémon Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Ultra Moon - Nintendo 3DS

Pokémon Ultra Moon features all-new Pokémon, Z-Moves, Ultra Warp Ride, Ultra Wormholes, and more!

 

5. Hatch Your New Pokémon Egg

Click thumbnail to view full-size
You can check your Egg's Summary to see how close it is to hatching.When you Egg is ready to hatch, "Oh?" will appear at the bottom of the screen.
You can check your Egg's Summary to see how close it is to hatching.
You can check your Egg's Summary to see how close it is to hatching. | Source
When you Egg is ready to hatch, "Oh?" will appear at the bottom of the screen.
When you Egg is ready to hatch, "Oh?" will appear at the bottom of the screen. | Source

Hatching your Egg takes a certain amount of time depending on the type of Pokémon in the Egg - some Pokémon hatch quickly, while more rare Pokémon take longer. Time is determined by Egg cycle completion, or 255 in-game steps. Once the total amount of steps is reached, the Egg cycle count sets to zero, resetting the step counter to zero. The Egg cycle determines if an Egg is found at the Day Care, and if an Egg in the player’s party hatches - if it doesn't hatch, another cycle of 255 steps must be passed.

Egg Hatching Steps and Status Summaries

Hatching Step
Egg Status
1
I wonder what will hatch from this, it doesn't seem close to hatching
2
It appears to move occasionally
3
Sounds can be heard coming from the egg
4
Oh?

The easiest way to pass a step cycle in most games is to ride your bicycle around until the Egg hatches. The Egg will go through three stages indicating how close the Egg is to hatching, as shown in the table above. A hatching Egg has similar animation to an evolving Pokémon and results in the first evolution of the female Pokémon that was bred. Up until Generation III Pokémon games, Pokémon hatched at level 5 - from Generation IV onwards, Pokémon hatch at level 1.

Some trainers like to breed Pokémon to breed the best stats and abilities!
Some trainers like to breed Pokémon to breed the best stats and abilities! | Source

Why do you breed Pokemon?

See results

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start breeding your Pokémon! Try passing down moves and stats from your female Pokémon, or breeding specific Pokémon to get their pre-evolutionary forms like Picchu from Pikachu or Cleffa from Clefairy. You can breed Pokémon while training your team or battling the Elite Four. You can breed for fun or for creating the perfect fighting Pokémon. The choice is yours!

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Jessica Marello

    Comments

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      • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

        Jessica Marello 

        4 years ago from United States

        Thanks! I don't play Showdown, but I just looked it up - is it the online battle simulator? Because it looks interesting and well worth a try.

      • AaronBurton profile image

        Aaron Burton 

        4 years ago from US

        Nice post! Do you play showdown?

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