"Pokemon Let's Go" IV & Judge Guide
What Are Individual Values (IVs)
Individuals values, referred to as IVs, are hidden stat bonuses applied uniquely to each Pokemon. In other words, two otherwise exactly identical, equal level, Pokemon can have different IVs and thus different stats in total. An IV ranges from a bonus of 0 up to 31 to each major stat category. Each Pokemon will then have some bonus stats to each of the following:
- Special Defense
- Special Attack
These stat bonuses are not visible to the player by default. However, it is possible to unlock an ability called "Judge" that does let you view your Pokemon's stats.
How to "Judge" Your Pokemon
In order to check your Pokemon's IVs, you need the special ability "Judge" to do so. To unlock Judge you have to:
- Have captured at least 30 species of Pokemon
- Go to Route 11, east of Vermilion City
- Go all the way to the building that connects Route 11 and Route 12 (It's the walkway building that has a guard in it)
- Go up the stairs
- Talk to Professor Oak's assistant
- He'll enable Judge in your Pokedex
At that point, IV appraisal is simple.
- Go into your Pokemon Box and select a Pokemon.
- Choose Check summary
- Hit the Y button (or shake the Pokeball)
- You'll now see a screen that shows a diagram for your Pokemon's IVs similar to the image below
What IVs Are Considered Good?
Unsurprisingly, you want to have as high IVs as possible, but getting 100% is maybe a little unreasonable for a goal. As mentioned, each individual stat can vary from 0 to 31, but in Pokemon Let's Go they get categorized as the following:
- 31: Best
- 30: Fantastic
- 26-29: Very Good
- 16-25: Pretty Good
- 1-15: Decent
- 0: Not Good
Similarly, in the top left corner of the screen you'll see a badge summarizing the quality of the sum total of your stats.
- 151-186: Amazing
- 121-150: Great
- 91-120: Good
- 0-90: Ok
If you need a target to aim for, try to invest in 'Amazing' Pokemon.The odds of finding a 100% IV Pokemon are incredibly low, but it's not as difficult to find an 'Amazing' Pokemon that you can level up, feed candy, and put in your team.
The Best Way to Get High IV Pokemon
IVs are randomized upon catching a Pokemon, but there is a great way to ensure your IVs come in at a minimum level. As you increase your catch combo (catching the same Pokemon repeatedly without losing one or catching something else in-between), caught Pokemon start having guaranteed max IVs. For example, if you have a catch combo of 11, the Pokemon you caught will have at least 2 stats maxed at Best (+31). Refer to the table below:
# of Maxed IVs
Knowing How Catch Combos Work Is Critical!
Catch combos are the best way to land yourself a high IV Pokemon. Get yourself up to a 31+ catch combo and then keep catching until you find something you think is satisfactory. I personally settle at an "Amazing" Pokemon, which is easy to find if you have 4 stats guaranteed to be maxed out at 31. You need an additional 27 stats combined between the 2 remaining stats that are not guaranteed.
For more details about Catch Combos, and the other amazing things they impact, such as shiny Pokemon, experience gains, items, and more, check out my Catch Combo & Shiny Guide.
Bottles Caps & End Game IV Maxing
For those of you who are at the end of the game, there is one more option for you to get high IVs. You can Hyper Train your level 100 Pokemon at the Daycare to max out one or all of their IVs. After beating the game you'll be able to speak to Mr. Hyper at the Daycare to do this in exchange for bottle caps.
- Regular Bottle Caps allow you to max out ONE of your level 100 Pokemon's individual values
- Gold Bottle Caps allow you to max out ALL of your level 100 Pokemon's individual values
Of course, this is only relevant for people who have both beaten the game, have bottle caps, and level 100 Pokemon. If you've beaten the game but aren't yet level 100 and one to power level yourself, feel free to check out my guide on power leveling with Chansey farming.
Your Starters Are Already Amazing IVs
In case you immediately got some anxiety about having to replace and level up a bunch of Pokemon you already invested time in, there's good news! Your starter Pokemon (Pikachu or Eevee) already come with 100% IVs. That is "Best" in every stat category!
Additionally, the Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle that you pick up along the way from various NPCs also come with "Amazing Stats". Though, unfortunately they don't come with 100% perfect IVs like your actual starter. They instead come with:
- 3x Good Stats
- 2x Fantastic Stats
- 1x Best Stat
Still, they qualify for "Amazing" and the stats overall don't leave much to be desired so they're obviously still great options to keep in your team at least in terms of IVs.
Why You Should Care About IVs
As you get higher and higher level, or even look into fighting other players around you, having the most optimal team is the only way to go. Finding Pokemon with high IVs means your Pokemon has a natural stat advantage that cannot be made up in any other way. If you're going to dump a ton of time, effort, candy, etc. into a Pokemon, you may as well do so on a Pokemon that naturally has higher stats and more potential than others.
Although admittedly, it really isn't necessary to chase nothing but high IVs to play Pokemon Let's Go. This is only for people who have the most interest in diving deep into what the game has to offer. You would have no issue playing the game without even getting the Judge ability.
If you want a strong team, sit down, rack in some catch combos, snag yourself a high IV Pokemon, and then start powering it up. If you have any interest in stopping to grind and maximize your game, this is the way to do it!