InPokémon GO, Pokémon have three basic stats: Attack, Defense, and Stamina. All Pokémon of the same species will have the same base stats. Stats are relatively simple: A Pokémon's Attack stat affects how much damage its attacks will deal. Defense affects the amount of damage a Pokémon takes from attacks. Stamina affects the Pokémon's maximum HP. Unfortunately, these base stats don't reflect in-game, so you'll have to rely on a Pokémon's Combat Power (CP) to determine its overall combat ability.
If you want to do a little extra research, you can find a table of all the basic Pokémon stats atPokémon GOonBulbapedia. There are also several useful mobile apps that check a Pokémon's basic stats on the go (we'll get to those later).
Like the main seriesPOKEMONgames, some Pokémon are inherently better than others. Some Pokémon, unfortunately, will always be weak no matter how high their IVs are due to low base stats. A Pokémon's base stats will never change.
Pokemon insidePokémon GOthey also have size and weight stats, but these have absolutely no effect. Fans of the main series Pokémon games are probably familiar with the small group of moves that are affected by a Pokémon's weight, such as Heavy Slam or Grass Knot. This does not apply toPokémon GO, Weight along with size are completely arbitrary. At least it's a little fun to see how high an Alolan Exeggutor can rise above his peers.
Understanding Combat Power (CP)
A Pokémon's CP represents its strength in battle and is derived from a Pokémon's base stats and hidden stats called Individual Values (IV). IVs are a measure of a Pokémon's abilities. Its species also determines a Pokémon's maximum CP. Some Pokémon naturally have lower CP values compared to others. Don't judge a Pokémon by its CP, because its stats, type, and moves are what matter most when considering its performance in battle.
Higher CP Pokémon will generally have higher base stats because these are definitely taken into account when calculating CP and affect a Pokémon's overall performance. CP can be heavily weighted in favor of Attack, meaning Pokémon with a high Attack stat will have significantly higher CP than those without. However, just because a Pokémon's Attack is high does not make it a great Pokémon for battles. If his defense is low, he can be hit faster than others. This is where IVs can come into play, as they can provide boosts to a Pokémon's otherwise low base stats.
Understanding Individual Values (IV)
Pokemon insidePokémon GOthey have individual values (IVs) like those in the main series games. Unlike the main seriesPOKEMONgames, in which a Pokémon will have six IVs (HP, Attack, Defense, Speed, Sp. Def, and Sp. Atk), ranging from 0 to 31, Pokémon inPokémon GOthey only have three IVs (Attack, Defense, and Endurance), ranging from 0 to 15. An IV of 0 is the lowest possible, and an IV of 15 is the highest possible. A Pokémon's most valuable IVs are those for its lowest base stats. A Pokémon with 15 in all three IVs (so 45 in total) is "perfect".
Because all Pokémon of the same species have the same base stats, an individual Pokémon's IVs determine whether it is stronger than others of its species. Pokémon IVs are generally the main factor to consider when deciding whether to invest Stardust to power it up. Unfortunately, Pokémon IVs are hidden, but you can quickly check them using online and mobile tools.
It's worth noting that while a Pokémon's base stats never change, its IVs do when traded to another Trainer. This feature ultimately exists to prevent a market for perfect IV Pokémon, and can be detrimental or beneficial to those involved in the trade. A Pokémon's IVs are completely random when traded, so there's no way to guarantee that a Pokémon initially traded with high IVs will still be great when received. Additionally, a Pokémon can enter a trade once, so there is no trading back and forth until the Pokémon has released good IVs. Learn more about tradingPokémon GOinour handy guide.
While Pokémon IVs remain hidden from players, you can get hints to help you determine Pokémon IVs by using the Rating feature. When you rate a Pokémon, the Team Leader gives you some insight into that individual Pokémon's power by hinting at its IV ranges. Of course, they won't tell you the information. Instead, they offer somewhat cryptic lines of dialogue to give you a general idea of their stats. We've deciphered some of their statements below.
To select a Pokémon to appraise, tap on the Pokémon you want to learn more about, then select "Appraise" from the bottom right menu. Your Team Leader will appear to tell you more about this Pokémon.
Your team leader analyzes your Pokémon and shares the following details:
- The total range of your Pokémon's IVs
- Which of your Pokémon's base stats is the highest and if any other stats are equal
- The IV range of your Pokémon's highest base stat
- Comment on the (meaningless) size of your Pokémon
As a reminder, a Pokémon can have up to 15 points in each of the three IVs, for a total value of 45. We've left out the comments related to size, since you can see a Pokemon's size by checking its profile.
Determine the total IV range for your Pokémon
Your team leader will then let you know which of your Pokémon's stats (Attack, Defense, or HP) is the highest and if any of its other stats are equal.
Determining the range of your Pokemon's highest IVs
Understanding the bow
A Pokémon's entry shows an arc below its CP number. The bow does not represent a Pokémon's CP. Instead, the arc represents the Pokémon's current level relative to its Trainer Level and evolution potential. When your Trainer Level increases, you mainly increase the CP cap for your Pokémon, as it is possible to activate until the Pokémon reaches 1.5 levels higher than your current Trainer Level.
Pokémon with a lower dot on the arc are lower level and have more growth potential until they reach their current level cap. A Pokémon with a higher dot on the arc is closer to your Trainer level, and a max arc means it's equal to or 1.5 levels higher than your current Trainer Level. Once your Trainer Level is increased, the arc will move back, indicating the availability of the Power Up. It moves back to max once the Pokémon is maxed out for your level.
Increase a Pokémon's CP with a Power Up
As a Pokémon gets stronger and gains more levels, its CP increases. Because Pokémon species and IVs determine CP, it is possible to calculate a Pokémon's maximum CP once you know its IVs and level. The amount of CP a Pokémon gains during Powering Up comes from its IVs, including the Pokémon's level and species. A Pokémon's CP has no say in how much damage it deals in battles, because it comes from the Pokémon's Attack IV and the power of individual moves. While defending a gym, a Pokémon loses its motivation after defeat, which lowers its CP unless it increases its berry consumption.
It's important to note that the higher the Pokémon's level, the less CP it gains per Power Up. Once a Pokémon reaches level 30, its CP gains from Powering Up are roughly halved. So powering up after this point is generally considered too little of an upgrade for the incredible amount of Stardust required. If you happen to have a large surplus of Stardust, then feel free to continue Power Up until the Pokémon's maximum level 40.
Determining a Pokémon's level
A Pokémon's base stats and CP increase each time they are activated. Each Power Up grants half of a level, up to a maximum level of 40. You can only power up a Pokémon 1.5 levels higher than the current Trainer Level. Each Power Up has a Stardust cost and requires a certain amount of candy. This cost, combined with the bow mentioned above, can help you calculate your Pokémon's current level range within four Power Ups.
Pokémon Power Up costs based on level range
Levels 1-3: 200 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 3-4: 400 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 5-7: 600 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 7-9: 800 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 9-11: 1,000 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 11-13: 1,300 Stardust, 2 Candies (per Power Up)
Levels 13-15: 1,600 Stardust, 2 Candies (per Power Up)
Levels 15-17: 1,900 Stardust, 2 Candies (per Power Up)
Levels 17-19: 2,200 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 19-21: 2,500 Stardust, 2 Candies (per Power Up)
Levels 21-23: 3,000 Stardust, 3 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 23-25: 3,500 Stardust, 3 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 25-27: 4,000 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 27-29: 4,500 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 29-31: 5,000 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 31-33: 6,000 Stardust, 6 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 33-35: 7,000 Stardust, 8 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 35-37: 8,000 Stardust, 10 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 37-39: 9,000 Stardust, 12 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 39-40: 10,000 Stardust, 15 Candy (per Power Up)
Tools and applications
There are many formulas you can use to learn more about your Pokémon's stats. It is much easier to use one of the many great calculators available online. There are also several useful mobile apps we recommend to help you control your Pokémon while you're actively playingPokémon GO.
We've included the ones that are completely safe to use and we don't recommend using the ones that require your ownPokémon GOconnect to or directly modify the application in any way. Here are our favorite tools to help you determine your Pokémon's true potential:
About the Author
Zack Palm is Gamepur's senior writer and has spent over five years covering video games and holds a BA in Economics from Oregon State University. He spends his free time cycling, running tabletop campaigns and listening to heavy metal. His main games are Pokémon Go, Destiny 2, Final Fantasy XIV and any new title, and he has a hard time pulling himself away from any Star Wars game.