Advanced Breeding Guide for Pokémon Sword and Shield
If you are here you probably already know about the very basics of breeding your Pokémon, like where to do it and how to do it quickly. If you don’t, you can find an easy starting guide here. But there can be more to it than just multiplying a Pokémon.
Advanced Breeding tips
This article will focus on some more advanced breeding tips and revolves more around the outcome than just speed and efficiency alone.
I will talk about
- Passing down Natures
- Passing down abilities
- Passing down Individual Values (IVs)
- Getting egg moves on your Pokémon
All of the above will be very important for breeding competitive Pokémon, which I will cover in a separate Competitive Breeding Guide.
Passing down natures
Natures are very important when it comes to breeding the perfect Pokémon. Every nature either raises one stat by 10% (marked red in game) but dropping another by 10% (marked blue in game) or leaves all stats unchanged. In total there are 25 different natures, 5 of which are neutral. So if you want to use a Pokémon in a certain way, the correct nature will be very important.
Normally the nature of a hatched Pokémon is completely random. But as long as one of the Pokémon in the daycare has the desired nature, you can guarantee it being passed down to all of the Pokémon you are breeding.
All you need is an Everstone. Everstones usually prevent a Pokémon from evolving, but for breeding they are one of the most important items to have. The Pokémon holding it will pass down its nature 100% of the time.
In Sword and Shield you can also change a Pokémon’s nature with Mints, but they are only obtainable after beating the Champion and are relatively expensive.
Passing down abilities
Breeding for the right ability is a little bit more random and luck based. But there are some things that you can do to influence the outcome.
Since Pokémon only have one of 3 possible abilities, 2 normal ones and one hidden ability, it is relatively easy to get the one you want without doing anything special. (In some cases, Pokémon have only one normal ability, for example starter Pokémon, or sometimes no hidden ability).
So how can you influence the outcome? For normal abilities, when breeding a male and a female of the same Pokémon with different abilities, only the female has a chance to pass it down. The same goes for breeding a Pokémon with a Ditto. Females have an 80% chance to pass down their ability when bred with a Ditto or a male. Males can only pass down their ability when paired with a Ditto.
Hidden abilities are a bit trickier. Not only are they extremely rare to get in the first place (more common in some Raids), but passing them down is also less likely. There only is a 60% chance for a female to pass it down. Same for males, but again, only when paired with a Ditto. Hidden abilities can never be obtained if none of the parents have it.
Passing down Individual Values (IVs)
IVs are innate stat values that cannot be changed before beating the Champion and training the Pokémon to level 100. Also you can only check your Pokémon’s IVs after beating the main story, so this will be more relevant for post-game breeding. IVs can lie anywhere between 0 and 31, and determine how high your Pokémon’s stats can get overall. In game you will not see numbers but evaluations like “Best” for 31 or “Fantastic” for 30.
When breeding for good IVs, one item is absolutely mandatory: the Destiny Knot. Giving one of the Pokémon the Destiny Knot will guarantee 5 IV values, chosen at random from both parents, to be passed down. One stat will always be random for a hatching Pokémon, so getting a Pokémon witch 6 IVs at 31 is still a matter of luck. You can find a list of breeding items and where to find them here.
Here are some examples:
As you can see, 5 of the values were chosen from either one of the parents. HP and Sp.Def. from 1 or 2, Defense from 1, Attack and Sp.Att. from 2. Speed was left as a random new value from neither 1 or 2.
This would be the perfect case scenario and it is theoretically possible, although a lot of luck is needed. HP from 1 or 2, Defense and Sp.Att. from 1, Attack and Speed from 2. Sp.Def was the random value and was set to 31 for this hatched Pokémon.
To maximise the chance for breeding high IV Pokémon, it is advantageous to have both parents with as many good IVs as possible. Pokémon from high level Raids have a good chance to have a few IVs at 31.
Another way to influence IV breeding is by using power items. These held items are normally used to speed up EV training a Pokémon, but in breeding they force one certain IV value to be passed down.
- Power Weight: HP
- Power Bracer: Attack
- Power Belt: Defense
- Power Lense: Sp.Att.
- Power Band: Sp.Def.
- Power Anklet: Speed
Unlike the Destiny Knot, these items must be held by the Pokémon with the IV value you want to be passed down.
Another quick example:
|Parent 1 (Destiny Knot)||31||0||31||31||0||0|
|Parent 2 (Power Anklet)||31||31||0||0||0||31|
As before, 5 random stats are passed down (HP, Attack, Defense, Sp.Def and Speed) but now Speed is a forced pick from parent 2. The power item will not prevent a stat from being random, as in this example the IV for Sp.Att. is still randomly generated.
Getting egg moves on your Pokémon
Egg moves are moves that a Pokémon can’t learn by level up or TM, but only through breeding with a different Pokémon that can learn it. Rarely you can find Pokémon with egg moves in Raids.
Passing down egg moves is simple in theory: just get a Pokémon with the move you want and pair it with the Pokémon you want to breed. But not every Pokémon can learn any move and not all Pokémon are compatible breeding partners. This is where egg groups are important. Each Pokémon is in one or two egg groups and compatible with all other members of the same group. You can look up egg groups (Currently only available for Pokémon from previous games. I will update this link once it is available for Sword and Shield) and which Pokémon can learn which egg moves on websites like Bulbapedia which I linked here or Serebii.
When breeding two different Pokémon you will always hatch what the female parent is. For passing down egg moves you need
- A female of the Pokémon you want
- A male of the same egg group with the moves you want
Put the two Pokémon in the daycare and all hatched Pokémon will know the egg moves. If the Pokémon you want already knows an egg move, it will pass it down even when pairing it with a Ditto or another compatible Pokémon.
A new mechanic introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield allows you to pass egg moves from one Pokémon to another. Although this only works between two of the same Pokémon. Simply put the Pokémon with the egg move and the one you want the egg move on in the daycare. The Pokémon don’t have to be of opposite gender, but the one you want to pass the move to has to have a free slot for the move (or multiple if you want to pass multiple egg moves at once). Leave them in the daycare, run around for a few steps and now both Pokémon will have the egg move.