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"Pokémon Go" Appraisal & IV Guide

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What are IVs and how do you appraise them?

What are IVs and how do you appraise them?

Individual Values (IVs)

In Pokémon Go, each individual Pokémon has a set of stats that are not visible within the game. This is why you can have Pokémon of the same level but different combat power (CP). These stats are referred to as individual values, and they boost a Pokemon's base stats. They range from 0 to 15 on attack, defense, and stamina (stamina affects your Pokemon's hit points).

They are most often referred to as a percentage rather than a specific number. Meaning if you have 15 on all three stats, it's called a 100% IV Pokémon. Most trainers are chasing 80%+ IVs, or a combined total of at least 36 of the 45 possible stats. Unsurprisingly, most trainers tend to prefer the highest attack stats possible over defense or stamina.

Understanding Appraisals

While the IVs, or bonus stats, are not explicitly shown or identifiable in Pokémon Go, Niantic did eventually implement the 'appraisal' option for people to roughly understand the IVs of Pokémon. The appraisal option, found when hitting the button in the bottom right corner of the screen when viewing a Pokémon, can be used to have your team leader say a few things about your Pokémon. They will cover four different things:

  1. A phrase about the overall IVs of your Pokémon
  2. Which stat or stats are the best for your Pokémon
  3. A phrase roughly representing the value of that best stat
  4. A statement about the size of your Pokémon.

Apart from several badges requiring various sizes of Pokémon, the exact impact of size is unknown, and the leading theory is that it does nothing.

Each team leader has their own things to say, so in order to interpret those statements, you need to know what they are for each team. Check the chart below.

This is a chart to map your appraisal to your Pokemon's Individual Values (IVs)

This is a chart to map your appraisal to your Pokemon's Individual Values (IVs)

Are IVs Just Random?

A Pokémon's IVs are random, but they will vary a bit based on how you catch the Pokémon. An encounter in the wild can be any IV. However, egg hatches, for example, will have at least 10 to each stat, making it at least a 67% IV Pokémon.

One of the best ways to chase high IV Pokémon is trading, and if you're fortunate enough to land a Lucky Pokémon, not only is powering it up discounted, it's guaranteed to have at least 80% IVs!

Refer to the chart below for more details on where you can get the highest likelihood of high IV Pokémon.

Minimum IV chart

Minimum IV chart

The 80%+ Goal

As mentioned, most trainers are chasing Pokémon with 80%+ IVs. This is somewhat rare, but not so rare that you'll never get it. Most people are comfortable with investing candy and stardust into an 80%+ IV Pokémon, whereas something lower may feel like a waste if you eventually do find one higher.

This is obviously influenced by that being the mark where the team leaders say different things. You'll regularly hear people refer to their Pokémon by that phrase, such as a blue team member saying their Pokémon is a "wonder." If that's your focus point, you're really just looking to see these words:

  • Valor: Overall, your (Name) simply amazes me. It can accomplish anything!
  • Mystic: Overall, your (Name) is a wonder! What a breathtaking Pokémon!
  • Instinct: Overall, your (Name) looks like it can really battle with the best of them!

If you don't want to bother with anything else, just remember these three phrases!

How Much Does It Matter?

While most people are chasing 80%+ IVs just so their appraisals look good, you have to ask just how important it is. On one hand, if you're going to be investing stardust and candy into a Pokémon, you might as well choose the best one. On the other hand, is it ever going to be the difference between winning or losing?

The difference from 0% IV to 100% is going to be about a 10% to 20% impact on your total CP. That type of impact wouldn't be that noticeable. On occasion, you would find some meaningful impact if some combat numbers rounded in your favor. However, in the same vein, rounded combat numbers could also make that impact meaningless. It is worth noting that IVs are number bonuses to your Pokémon's base stats, so it will have a more noticeable impact on lower CP and lower level Pokémon, but that's not really where people are focusing their effort.

Now, consider that it should be very easy to find yourself a 60%+ IV Pokémon and really, it's not too important to chase high IVs as the difference between 60% and 100% would not likely be noticeable and very unlikely to be the difference between a win or loss. You may just save seconds here and there.

Still, it's fun to chase the best numbers, especially if you already have multiple of a certain Pokémon and getting a higher IV is your next goal! For people who want to maximize everything, it's a good way to keep chasing value in the game. Think of it like a shiny, it may not impact much, but it's certainly a lot cooler.