If you want to craft an army of Pokémon to use for competitive battling, you’re better off breeding them yourself.
This offers a lot more control over your Pokémon’s IVs (Individual Values), basically starting stats Pokémon are born with. Each one is assigned a value of 0-31 IVs and cannot be changed without Hyper Training.
Since Pokémon with perfect IVs will outperform ones with low or no IVs, this makes them more desirable.
To reiterate, this is only a concern for competitive battling, so if you’re looking to beat the main story, these tips won’t be applicable.
That being said, this guide will focus on how to breed for perfect stats. Be prepared to do a lot of Max Raid Battling, Ditto hunting, and egg hatching.
If you would like more general tips and tricks for getting started in Sword and Shield, check out our Beginner’s Guide for everything you need to know about the Galar Region.
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Catch Pokémon With Good IVs
The majority of wild Pokémon you catch won’t have perfect or even great IVs. While that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to get a lucky encounter, you’re better off focusing on Max Raid Battles. Raid Pokémon are more likely to have perfect IVs, roughly 1-4, depending on the difficulty rating.
You can focus on the specific Pokémon you want to breed by finding out which Den it spawns in. Alternatively, you can broaden your search to Pokémon that belong to the same egg group as the one you want to breed and catch those through Raids. Lastly, you can get yourself a Ditto with 3-4 perfect IVs from Raids.
In the long run, obtaining a perfect IV Ditto is your best bet, considering it can breed with just about any Pokémon. If you decide to go the trading route, we recommend finding one that originated from a foreign copy of Pokémon Sword or Shield in a country different than your own. Known as the Masuda Method, breeding this way increases your chances of hatching a shiny Pokémon.
Breed Pokémon With Good IVs
Once you have a Pokémon with at least one perfect IV, the goal is to pass that stat down to the offspring while also increasing the total number of perfect IVs. This is best done by breeding two Pokémon who have perfect IVs in different areas (HP, Atk, Def, Sp.Atk, Sp.Def, Speed).
Give one Pokémon the held item Destiny Knot, ensuring five random IVs get passed down from the parent to the offspring. If you want to pass down a specific IV from a particular parent Pokémon, give them one of the following held items: Power Anklet (Speed), Power Band (Sp. Def), Power Belt (Def.), Power Bracer (Atk.), Power Lens (Sp.Atk.), Power Weight (HP).
Each item can be purchased for 10 BP from the Pokémon Center located in Hammerlocke. Keep in mind, you only have to worry about stats your Pokémon will need, such as Sp.Atk for Pokémon that primarily use Special Attacks like Flamethrower, Surf, Thunder, etc. Of course, you’re free to try and breed until you get all perfect IVs, it’ll just take a lot longer.
Hyper Train Using Bottle Caps
If you’ve got a few IVs to pass down, but you’re not completely satisfied, you can always use Hyper Training to increase any stat. To use this method, do the following: train the Pokémon until it reaches level 100 and beat Leon in the Pokémon League at least once. Doing so will give you access to Hyper Training in the Battle Tower.
Here, you can spend Bottle Caps to max out one of your Pokémon’s IVs. While this method can be used to increase any Pokémon’s IVs, it relies entirely on extremely rare Bottle Caps. Gold Bottle Caps, which are even rarer, can be used to max out every IV stat in a single session.
There are other downsides to Hyper Training as well. Stats that have been modified this way cannot be passed down through breeding. That means you can’t just max out a random Ditto’s IVs and use it for breeding.