This guide is only guaranteed accurate for the 6th and 7th generation Pokémon games (X, Y, Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire, Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon). Many things about advanced breeding have changed over the generations, so it's not worth covering all of it. Sorry! For advanced breeding in Generation V, though, you can check out our old guide.
So, you're looking to learn the more advanced features of breeding? Well, before we start, I have to advise you to read/look over our Basic Breeding Guide first, especially if you're a beginner to breeding in general. The Advanced Breeding Guide will probably make no sense if you haven't mastered the fundamentals of breeding just yet.
However, if you do already know all about breeding, this shouldn't be too hard to understand. Most of this really isn't that complicated once you know how!
Alright, so let's get started, shall we?
One of the most common types of breeding on the advanced side of things, IV Breeding is very necessary if you want your Pokémon's stats to be as high as possible (such as for competitive battling).
What are IVs?
IV stands for Individual Value. When you catch a Pokémon through normal means, each of their stats (HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, Speed) have an Individual Value, or IV, randomly generated between 0 - 31. The higher the IV, the better the stat will end up. This is why two freshly caught Pokémon of the same species, level, and nature may still have different base stats; and why flawless IVs are so valuable to competitive battlers. You want those IVs to be as high as possible!
In order for a Pokémon to have "perfect" IVs, or be considered "flawless," it must have 31 IVs on all stats that it will use.
For example, in competitive battling, the vast majority of Pokémon will use either special moves or physical moves; not both. They do not need perfect IVs in the attacking stat they won't use. Gengar, for instance, would want 31 IVs in every stat except Attack; since Gengar never needs to use its Attack stat, it doesn't matter what its Attack IVs are. Or, if a Pokémon is purely for support and won't be using any attacking moves at all, neither its Attack nor Special Attack needs high IVs.
Sometimes having 0 IVs in a stat is desirable, too – one example is Pokémon who enjoy utilizing Trick Room or Gyro Ball, moves that are best used when your Speed stat is as low as possible.
Be sure to do your own research to determine what will make your Pokémon flawless!
How can I check my Pokémon's IVs?
How you check your Pokemon's IVs varies based on what game you're playing. If you're playing a generation 6 game, the easiest (and highly recommended) method is to talk to a guy in-game who lets you know which of your Pokémon's stats have 31 IVs (if any), which have 0 IVs (if any), and how good the stats are all around. Since you want flawless (31) IVs anyway, this is the easiest and best way to check your Pokémon's IVs.
- XY: This guy is found in the top left corner of the Kiloude City Pokémon Center (reached after defeating the Elite Four and Champion). He is an Ace Trainer (purple hair).
- ORAS: You can find this guy in the top right corner of the Battle Resort Pokémon Center (reached after defeating the Elite Four and Champion, as well as completing the Delta Episode). He is also an Ace Trainer (green hair).
As he judges your Pokémon, he will first tell you how good the IVs are all around.
"This Pokémon's potential is decent all around." = The total of all IVs is between 0 and 90.
"This Pokémon's potential is above average overall." = The total of all IVs is between 91 and 120.
"This Pokémon has relatively superior potential overall." = The total of all IVs is between 121 and 150.
"This Pokémon has outstanding potential overall." = The total of all IVs is between 151 and 186.
Next, he will list one or more stats – these are the Pokémon's highest stats. He will follow it with one of these comments.
"It has rather decent stats, I'd say." = The stats he mentioned are between 0 and 15.
"It's definitely got some good stats." = The stats he mentioned are between 16 and 25.
"This Pokemon has some fantastic stats." = The stats he mentioned are between 26 and 30.
"Stats like those... They simply can't be beat!" = The stats he mentioned have perfect (31) IVs.
If he then says something like, "But this Sp Attack stat, it won't leave a scratch on the opponent..." or "But how are you going to make it through battle with this Defense stat?" this means that stat, and any mentioned with it, have 0 IVs.
If you're playing a generation 7 game, the easiest way to check your Pokemon's IVs is to speak to the character who's standing in front of the battle tree after hatching 20 eggs. If you try to talk to him before you've hatched 20 eggs, he'll ignore you, so make sure you've done that first! Once you have done that and speak with him, he'll unlock the "Judge" button in your PC that allows you to check any Pokemon's IVs quickly and easily. When you use this feature, it'll display a screen similar to this one here:
Each of the statements next to a stat tell you what the IV for that stat is. Each of them are as follows:
"Best" = The stat has 31 IVs
"Fantastic" = The stat has 30 IVs
"Very Good" = The stat has 26-29 IVs
"Pretty Good" = The stat has 16-25 IVs
"Decent" = The stat has 1-15 IVs
"No Good" = The stat has 0 IVs
The description below the graph tells you about the total number of IVs your Pokemon has:
"Decent potential" = The total of all IVs is between 0 and 90.
"Above-average potential" = The total of all IVs is between 91 and 120.
"Relatively superior potential" = The total of all IVs is between 121 and 150.
"Outstanding potential!" = The total of all IVs is between 151 and 186.
The other method (that works in both generation 6 and 7 games) for checking IVs is using an IV Calculator. I don't really recommend this method at all when you have access to the Judge in-game, though, since it's not accurate unless your Pokémon is of a pretty high level, and you need to know exactly how many EVs it has in each stat (some, like the one linked, only work if your Pokémon has 0 EVs).
How to IV Breed
Once you fully understand IVs, let's get down to the nitty gritty! There are two items that help pass down IVs: The Destiny Knot, and Power items.
Power items aren't usually as helpful as the Destiny Knot, but they can be used if needed. Basically, if a Pokemon holds a specific Power item when it breeds, it is guaranteed to pass the IVs of a specific stat down to the baby. Here is a list of power items and which stat they pass down.
|Power Lens||Special Attack|
|Power Band||Special Defense|
In all Generation 6 and 7 games, Power items can be obtained at the Battle Maison or Battle Tree respectively, for 16 BP each.
The Destiny Knot, however, when combined with a bit of patience, is the key to breeding perfect Pokémon.
- XY: You can get the Destiny Knot in a hotel in Cyllage City, from a maid.
- ORAS: After defeating Young Couple Lois & Hal in Sea Mauville (rematch), you have a 10% chance of receiving a Destiny Knot. Otherwise, you can get it from a fan in any Contest Hall after completing a Master Rank contest.
- SM: You can buy a Destiny Knot from the Battle Royal Dome for 48 BP.
- USUM: After defeating a group of Frillish attacking a swimmer south-west of the Abandoned Megamart, she will give the Desiny Knot to you.
This item has an improved function since Generation VI: If you have either parent hold it when breeding, the offspring will inherit five IVs total from both parents. This is random, so really you just have to slap on the Destiny Knot and breed a bunch of Pokémon until it inherits the 5 IVs you want.
Neither the Destiny Knot nor the Power items stack, so don't try!
Let's look at an example. Note: I'll be using Shinx as an example through all this, but it still applies to whatever you want to breed. I'll use Ditto as its partner because Ditto breeds with absolutely everything (barring, of course, other Ditto and anything in the Undiscovered Egg Group). Remember, Ditto are a breeder's best friend!
Now, let's say Shinx has the following IVs:
Special Attack: 25
Special Defense: 4
Those IVs are kinda underwhelming, right? But this Ditto here, it has these IVs:
Special Attack: 8
Special Defense: 19
Those are much better! It has perfect IVs in HP, Attack, and Speed.
So let's say you wanted to breed a Shinx with perfect HP, Attack, and Speed (the same as what the Ditto has). Could you do it with these two Pokémon? Most certainly!
But wait! You need to make sure the offspring has a good nature, too. Luckily, this Ditto has a Jolly nature, which is perfect for a Shinx. All you need to do to pass the nature down to the offspring is give the parent with that nature an Everstone. If a Pokémon is holding an Everstone when it breeds, all the babies will inherit the same nature.
- XY: An Everstone is obtained from a scientist in a house northwest from the Geosenge Pokémon Center.
- ORAS: An Everstone is found hidden in a rock inside Granite Cave. The Mach Bike is needed to reach it.
- SM: After beating captain Ilmia in battle, go to his house in Hau'oli City and battle him again to receive it.
- USUM: After beating captain Ilmia in battle, go to his house in Hau'oli City and battle him again to receive it.
So, let's give the Ditto an Everstone, and Shinx a Destiny Knot. Then let's breed some babies!
The Tedious Part
(5 hatched eggs later)
After you've hatched some eggs, go to check which of their stats have 31 IVs. Our goal here is to get Ditto's three perfect IVs onto a baby Shinx. Since the IVs are picked at random from both parents, this may take some time.
Here are the five Shinx that were hatched in this case:
Shinx #1: no flawless stats
Shinx #2: flawless in Attack
Shinx #3: no flawless stats
Shinx #3: flawless in Speed
Shinx #4: flawless in HP and Attack
Shinx #5: no flawless stats
These are some typical results you may experience. Now, Shinx #4 doesn't exactly have the results we wanted, but it is definitely the best result. What you can do in this situation (which I recommend) is swap the old Shinx in the Day Care out for Shinx #4. This is because if both parents have flawless IVs, the baby is more likely to inherit it! (Because the Destiny Knot chooses 5 stats at random from both).
Alright, so let's swap out the old Shinx for a new one and give this one a Destiny Knot instead.
(5 hatched eggs later)
Now, let's take a look at the ones we hatched this time!
Shinx #1: flawless in Attack
Shinx #2: flawless in HP and Attack
Shinx #3: flawless in Speed
Shinx #4: no flawless stats
Shinx #5: flawless in HP, Attack, and Speed
Hey, look at that! Shinx #5 has flawless HP, Attack, and Speed! Now you have a Jolly natured Shinx with perfect IVs in HP, Attack, and Speed, which was our original goal. (Note: This could take a lot more than five eggs. Just keep trying!)
But why stop there? In order to have a truly competitive Shinx, it needs to have flawless IVs in every stat it needs. Shinx is a physical attacker, so it will never use its Special Attack when battling competitively – therefore, it doesn't need perfect IVs in Special Attack. Remember, most Pokémon have one attacking stat they don't need, so don't bother with it.
Now, having perfect IVs in everything except Special Attack would be ideal here, but if you want to do that, you're going to need something that can breed with your HP-Atk-Spd Shinx; something that has flawless IVs in at least Defense and Special Defense (the two stats Shinx isn't flawless in, but wants to be). I'd really recommend catching a lot of Ditto from the Friend Safari for this! But anything you can get with flawless IVs in the missing stats, you can use, as long as it still produces a Shinx (reminder: the egg will always be the species/first stage of the mother, unless breeding with Ditto; then either gender will produce an egg with their species/first stage).
When you have a suitable partner, give your Jolly HP-Atk-Spd Shinx the Everstone (since it has the nature you want), and give the other Pokémon the Destiny Knot. All you have to do at that point is hatch a bunch of eggs until you get flawless IVs in everything (except Special Attack in this case). Swap out the parents for better IVd Shinx as you go, if you'd like. Eventually, your patience will pull off and you'll get that flawless Shinx! Don't forget to do your research on what it should be EV trained in!
Remember, this is just an example on how it works! Use any two compatible Pokémon you want, as long as:
- The baby will end up being the Pokémon you want (the baby is always the same species as/first stage of the mother; males can only breed their species if bred with a Ditto or the same species)
- Combined, both parents have all of the perfect IVs you need
- One parent has the nature you want (give this one an Everstone, and the other parent the Destiny Knot)
- You periodically swap the parent(s) in the Day Care with one of its babies that inherits better IVs (optional)
- Rinse and repeat until you have your perfect Pokémon!
What about Abilities?
Ah yes, you'll want to pay attention to Abilities, too – after all, many Pokémon have more than one possible Ability, and you want to pick the best for the job.
A Pokémon can always be born with any of its regular (not Hidden) Abilities. If a Pokémon has two Ability possibilities, it has an 80% chance of inheriting its mother's Ability and a 20% chance of having its other Ability. Or, if a male/genderless Pokémon is breeding with a Ditto, the offspring has a 60% chance of inheriting the male/genderless's Ability and a 40% chance of having its other Ability.
The only way for a Pokémon to be born with its Hidden Ability is if their parent has it and passes it down.
For example, in the instance of Shinx, it has two regular Abilities, Rivalry or Intimidate, and its Hidden Ability is Guts. If we breed a female Shinx with Intimidate, the offspring all have an 80% chance of having Intimidate, and a 20% chance of having Rivalry. However, if we breed a female Shinx with Guts (its Hidden Ability), the offspring have an 80% chance of having Guts, and a 20% chance of having one of its regular Abilities (10% chance of having Intimidate, 10% chance of having Rivalry).
The most useful Ability for Shinx happens to be its Hidden Ability, Guts, so if that's what you were going for, you'd want to ensure the mother (or father with Ditto) has Guts as well. Otherwise, the offspring can't get it at all, since it's a Hidden Ability.
How can I pass down Moves?
Next, I'll go over passing down desired moves onto a Pokémon. This is especially important because of Egg Moves, which are non-level up moves a Pokémon can inherent from its parents – and in many cases, these moves can only be learned this way.
You should already know the basics of breeding down moves, as it's covered in our Basic Breeding Guide, but here I'll get into more details about Egg Moves specifically, and chain breeding.
So let's say you want a Charmander with Outrage and Dragon Dance. This might sound like a tall order, since they aren't learned by level-up or TMs or anything like that, but since Charmander has them as Egg Moves, it actually isn't that hard! All you have to do is breed a female Charmander, Charmeleon, or Charizard with a compatible male that knows Outrage and Dragon Dance. So, who can learn Outrage and Dragon Dance? Your options in this case would be Dratini/Dragonair/Dragonite, or Axew/Fraxure/Haxorus. Just snag a male of one of these Pokémon and teach it Outrage and Dragon Dance through level-up. Then, when they breed, the baby Charmander will know both Outrage and Dragon Dance when it hatches! Yup, it really is that simple.
Note: The only reason you can only use a female Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard and a male of the other parent in this case is because the female is the only one that can breed its own species. If you bred a male Charizard with a female Dragonite, the baby would be a Dratini with Outrage and Dragon Dance!
But, in fact, either parent can breed down Egg Moves in Generations 6 and 7. Super nifty!
Keep in mind, Pokémon can't learn all moves this way – each Pokémon has a set list of Egg Moves that they'll be able to inherit. To see what Egg Moves a specific Pokémon has, you can check out our Pokédex.
Sometimes, you have to chain breed to get a desired Egg Move. This means breeding down an Egg Move, then breeding it down again to get the desired result.
For example, say you want a Sylveon that know Wish. Nothing that can breed with Eevee's family can learn Wish by level up, so to get an Eevee with Wish, you must first breed something that learns Wish with something that can breed with Eevee.
Let's take a Togekiss, since it learns Wish by level up. First, you breed a male Togekiss that knows Wish with, say, a female Pikachu. Then, once you hatch a male Pikachu that knows Wish, breed that male Pikachu with a female Eevee, or a female of any Eeveelution, and voilà! The baby will be an Eevee that knows Wish. Pretty easy!
Most Pokémon fans have heard of the Masuda method, but not many will attempt it, and even fewer will stick with it until the end. It can sound like a rather intimidating process, but honestly, it's not difficult at all – just very, very tedious.
If you put two compatible Pokémon into the Day Care, and they are from two different regions (for example, an English Azumarill and a Japanese Raichu), their offspring will have an increased chance of being shiny! This is what's known as the Masuda method, named as such because Junichi Masuda, the director of Game Freak, was the one who programmed it.
This method works with any two Pokémon from different language speaking regions, be it an English Pokémon and a Japanese Pokémon, an Italian Pokémon and a German Pokémon, it does not matter, as long as they are from different language speaking regions. Since Generation IV, this has made obtaining shiny Pokémon a lot easier – to the point where obtaining a shiny of your own isn't so far-fetched!
In Generations 6 and 7, the chances of encountering a shiny are higher than ever. They are normally 1/4096, but while using the Masuda method, the chances increase significantly, to 1/683. If you have the Shiny Charm as well, hatching a shiny is even more likely, with the probability being 1/512.
Does this mean I will definitely get a shiny in 683 eggs?
No, probabilities don't work like that. The chances are 1/683, but this simply means that every time you produce an egg using the Masuda method, that specific egg has a 1/683 chance of hatching into a shiny. It could take you just a few eggs to get a shiny, it could take you hundreds of eggs, it could even take you thousands! It all comes down to luck.
Yep, it may take you a thousand or more hatched eggs before you get a shiny. That's a lot of eggs, yes. This is why the Masuda method can be quite tedious and require a lot of patience, but it's still absolutely worth it to many.
The Masuda method is a very popular method of obtaining shinies. The biggest reason for this is the potential to control what attributes you want on the hatched shiny – you can IV breed with the Destiny Knot, pass a desired nature down with the Everstone, and even get some Egg Moves onto it. This can help ensure your shiny will not only be shiny, but useful in battle, too.
Remember, being shiny only makes a Pokémon appear in a different color/shade. It doesn't make it any better in battle. So, if you also want it to be formidable, the Masuda method is the way to go!
A quick list of frequently asked questions about breeding, with answers!
How can I pass down Poké Balls?
In Generations 6 and 7, you can pass down Poké Balls to the offspring, but it'd different between games.
In Generation 6, the female's ball will be passed down as long as it is not breeding with a Ditto. Males, genderless Pokémon, and Ditto cannot ever pass down their ball. But if you, for example, have a female Clefairy in a Heal Ball, and breed it with a male Pikachu, the offspring will all be in a Heal Ball regardless of what the male's ball is.
In Generation 7, as long as you are breeding two Pokemon of the same species, either parent can pass down their Pokeball. Breeding with different species will only pass down the mother's ball, and if you are breeding with Ditto, it will always be the same Pokeball as the other parent. This means that genderless Pokemon can pass down Pokeballs now, too!
Master Balls and Cherish Balls cannot be passed down, regardless of which game you're playing on.
Where can I get Pokémon with good IVs?
In Generation 6, the Friend Safari is a good place to start. Every Pokémon you catch there will have at least two perfect IVs. For beginners, I highly recommend adding someone who has a Ditto in their Friend Safari, because Ditto can breed with anything that is able to breed, so if you catch many Ditto with different combinations of two perfect IVs, you'll have a much, much easier time with IV breeding. In Generation 7, SOS chaining is a way to get Pokemon with higher IVs.
You can also often get Pokémon with multiple perfect IVs through Wonder Trade; many players wonder trade away their hatched Pokémon that only have perfect IVs in a few stats, because they want perfect IVs in all stats. Getting these Pokémon is a huge help for breeders, especially if you don't have access to a Ditto with good IVs.
If a Pokémon forgets an Egg Move, can it be retaught by the Move Reminder person?
As of Generation VI, Madame ReminderXY , the Move ManiacORAS, or Madam MemorialSMUSUM can reteach any Egg Move that a Pokémon was born with but since forgot. (This only applies to Pokémon born/obtained in a Generation 6 or 7 game.)
If a Pokémon reaches a level where it would learn enough moves to forget an Egg Move while it is in Day Care, does it stop passing the move down to its offspring?
As long as you do not take the Pokémon out, the Pokémon will continue to pass on Egg Moves to its offspring, even if it has technically forgotten them already. However, if you do take it out for whatever reason, you can reteach the Egg Move(s) by visiting Madame ReminderXY , the Move ManiacORAS, or Madam MemorialSMUSUM.
- You'll need a Heart Scale to reteach a move. Wild Luvdisc hold them often, making them rather easy to farm (just catch a ton with Quick/Repeat/Net Balls or use Thief). Using an Old Rod on Route 8 gets you a Luvdisc 100% of the time.XY Or, you can commonly find them using a Super Rod on Route 128, in Ever Grande City, or in Victory Road ORAS If you're playing a Generation 7 game, Luvdisc can be found Route 9, but you can also get heart scales by eating at restaurants in Seafolk Village, Konikoni City, or Malie City.
I lost my Destiny Knot, how can I get another?
- XY: In the depths of the Lumiose alleys (specifically, in the alleyway between Vert Plaza and South Boulevard) you can sometimes find and battle a Beauty. She will give you a Destiny Knot after defeating her.
- ORAS: Young Couple Lois & Hal, located at Sea Mauville, have a 10% chance of giving you a Destiny Knot every time you rematch them.
- SM: You can purchase a destiny knot at the Battle Royal Dome for 48 BP.
- USUM: You can purchase a destiny knot at the Battle Royal Dome for 48 BP.
You could also visit our Trading Forums and ask if anyone can give you a free one!
Still have a question about breeding that isn't listed here? Feel free to post in the comments below!