Individual Values in Pokémon GO
On August 23rd, 2016, Pokémon GO players in the United States received an update that added the appraisal feature to the game. This is the first in-game feature that allows direct insight into the Individual Values of a Pokémon. If you are wondering exactly how this new feature works, or even what Individual Values are, then keep reading!
In their official announcement of the update, Niantic described the new feature as follows:
Trainers will now be able to learn about a Pokémon’s attack and defense capabilities from their Team Leader (Candela, Blanche or Spark) to determine which of their Pokémon have the most potential for battle.
What they mean by “a Pokémon’s attack and defense capabilities” is that particular Pokémon’s Individual Values. Each Pokémon has unique Individual Values for Stamina, Attack, and Defense, which is a number from 0-15 for each stat. This is what makes it so a Level 24 Caterpie is not equal to every other Level 24 Caterpie. Some Caterpie are just better than others from the moment you catch them.
Individual Values are one of the most significant lesser-known aspects of the game. There is even an entire Reddit page dedicated to studying and analyzing them at /r/PokemonGOIVs. This new update will bring these values closer to the forefront, but the basic concept is that if you have a Rattata that has 15 in each of these three IV stats, you are a max-Level trainer, and you have Powered Up this Rattata until the arched bar was completely full, you would actually have the highest-CP Rattata in the world. You would literally have a top percentage Rattata. No one else could ever get higher than that.
As such, these values are key for securing that last little competitive edge in Pokémon GO battles. Many tools have been created to uncover these IV values. My old favorite was PokéAdvisor, which actually logged into your Pokémon GO account and showed the exact IVs for all of your Pokémon, but that website has now been shut down for violation the game’s terms and conditions. Alternatives have been made, but I am wary of using them, because they could possibly lead to my account being banned. However, since we know the formula for CP, (which takes Base Stats, Level, and Individual Values into account,) we can reverse-engineer the CP calculation, to be able to find out the possible IV values for a Pokémon who has that CP value.
Many great IV calculators are available online, created for this purpose. (A treasure trove of them can be found with a quick Google search.) The negative side of these calculators is that there are usually multiple possibilities that could give us that CP. Before, with these basic IV calculators, the closest that you could get to revealing the Individual Values of your Pokémon was a range of possible IV values. But now, with the new appraisal feature, you can see which of the three values is the highest in-game. And because of this, you will frequently be able to quickly narrow it down to the exact IVs without having to spend Stardust to Power Up the Pokémon.
There are 4 different IV ranges revealed by the new appraise feature, based on the total number of IVs that a Pokémon has out of the possible 45: About 0-50% Perfect, 51-66% Perfect, 67-80% Perfect, and 81-100% Perfect. This overall percentage is the first thing that they say, after a brief introductory sentence. Each team leader has a slightly different way of revealing these values. The way that they say them adds a little bit of character to these team leaders. Candela, in particular, seems a lot more positive and kind than I had previously imagined. All of their statements are found below.
Instinct: Overall, your Pokémon has room for improvement as far as battling goes.
Mystic: Overall, your Pokémon is not likely to make much headway in battle.
Valor: Overall, your Pokémon may not be great in battle, but I still like it!
Instinct: Overall, your Pokémon is pretty decent!
Mystic: Overall, your Pokémon is above average.
Valor: Overall, your Pokémon a decent Pokémon.
Instinct: Overall, your Pokémon is really strong!
Mystic: Overall, your Pokémon has caught my attention
Valor: Overall, your Pokémon is a strong Pokémon. You should be proud!
Instinct: Overall, your Pokémon looks like it can really battle with the best of them!
Mystic: Overall, your Pokémon is a wonder! What a breathtaking Pokémon!
Valor: Overall, your Pokémon simply amazes me. It can accomplish anything!
It will then tell you what its best attribute is, out of its Attack or HP or Defense, or potentially a tie. This tells you which of the three stats has the highest IV value. Then, it follows with a phrase that reveals the specific value of that particular stat.
Instinct: Its stats are all right, but kinda basic, as far as I can see.
Mystic: Its stats are not out of the norm, in my opinion
Valor: Its stats don’t point to greatness in battle.
Instinct: It’s definitely got some good stats. Definitely!
Mystic: Its stats are noticeably trending to the positive.
Valor: Its stats indicate that in battle, it’ll get the job done.
Instinct: Its stats are really strong! Impressive.
Mystic: I am certainly impressed by its stats, I must say.
Valor: It’s got excellent stats! How exciting!
Instinct: Its stats are the best I’ve ever seen! No doubt about it!
Mystic: Its stats exceed my calculations. It’s incredible!
Valor: I’m blown away by its stats. WOW!
Finally, the team leader will sometimes make a comment about the size of the Pokémon. As far as anyone has been able to tell, (and it’s pretty certain we would’ve known by now,) a Pokémon’s size has absolutely no correlation with its strength or abilities in any way. The only thing that currently takes size into account is the Fisherman badge for Big Magikarp, and the Youngster badge for Small Rattata. The usefulness of this particular part will pretty much just be for memes.
Anyway, I am so excited for the new appraisal feature. It is actually my favorite addition to the game so far. I stayed up until the early hours of the AM last night, going through every single one of the 500 Pokémon that I had in my box, checking all of them to see if they would take Blanche’s breath away. I have now Favorited every single one who did so. Excited to build up a team of extraordinary little beasts. Anyway, until next time, Train On!