Ash and Pikachu

How to get perfect Pokemon in Sword, Shield, and BDSP

By Steven Rondina


Jan 5, 2022

Reading time: 5 min

Every Pokemon game, including Sword, Shield, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, is about creating the best and most statistically perfect Pokemon. And we can help you do it.

While there’s plenty of strategy and mind games in play when it comes to battling, it’s ultimately a battle of numbers. A genius player with mismanaged Pokemon won’t be able to take down an average player that has a lineup with perfect and fully optimized stats.

Because of that, min-maxing each Pokemon to have perfect stats is essential to anyone looking to win tournaments, climb the ranked tower, or just consistently lay out their friends in casuals. Here’s how to get the best possible Pokemon in Sword, Shield, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

How do you get the best Pokemon in Sword and Shield, and Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?

Getting the best Pokemon requires players to meticulously manage the stats of their party, which includes efforts made both in and out of battle.

First, it’s worth discussing how stats work in Pokemon as a whole. Each individual Pokemon effectively has three layers of statistics. These are base stats, individual values, and effort values.

Base stats are uniform across all Pokemon of the same species. All Pikachus are inherently fast, all Chanseys have high HP, and so on. Base stats provide the foundation for a Pokemon’s statistics and dictate whether a species is tanky, offensively powerful, or is just generally useless in battle. Players cannot change the base stats of a Pokemon, but do have other ways to affect the strength of their Pokemon.

What are IVs in Pokemon?

IVs, which is short for Individual Values, are hidden statistics that influence the strength of a given Pokemon.

IVs vary between each individual Pokemon and can effectively be thought of as Pokemon genetics. They are passed down from parents to children when breeding. In the same way that a tall mother and father will likely have a tall child, two Pokemon with high HP IVs will likely have a child with a high HP IV. The effects of IVs are most clearly seen when catching two wild Pokemon of the same species, as different IVs can make for wildly different stat lines.

In terms of how they work, each Pokemon has an IV for each of its stats. Each IV ranges from 0 to 31, with each IV translating to one point at level 100. For example, a level 100 Blissey with an HP IV of 0 will have 620 HP, while a Blissey with an HP IV of 31 will have 651 HP.

While this might not sound like much, it makes an enormous difference in terms of effectiveness in battle. Getting perfect IVs is important in all Pokemon titles, including Sword, Shield, Brilliant Diamond, Shining Pearl, and everything every main title going all the way back to Red and Blue.

What are EVs in Pokemon?

EVs, short for Effort Values, are a hidden statistic in Pokemon games that are controlled by the trainer.

Blog post image
The yellow portion of the chart shows the base stats and IVs. The other part shows maxed EVs in attack and speed.

Alongside EXP, Pokemon gain EVs from defeating other Pokemon in battle. Each different Pokemon species gives between one and three EVs, usually for a single stat. Since Pokemon Sun and Moon, players can put up to 252 EVs in each stat, but an individual Pokemon can only have 510 EVs in total.

At level 100, four EVs in one stat translates to one point for that stat which translates into a potentially enormous boost. For example, a Blissey at level 100 with 31 HP IVs and 0 HP EVs has 651 HP. If the Blissey has 252 HP EVs, then its HP goes all the way up to 714.

In recent games, players can more easily get optimal EVs by using vitamins such as HP Up, Carbos, and Protein. These items give players 10 EVs, and there’s no limit on how many the player can use on each Pokemon. This means that players can give vitamins to get their Pokemon close to the optimal EVs and then get to the desired total with a few more wild encounters.

How do you check IVs in Sword and Shield, and Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?

In recent titles including Pokemon Sword and Shield, as well as Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, players can check IVs using the judge function.

Across all titles, the judge function is obtained after defeating the Pokemon League champion. In Pokemon Sword and Shield, players get it after defeating Leon in the Battle Tower. In Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, it’s obtained from a scientist NPC in the Battle Tower.

Blog post image
The judge function is seen on the right. “Best” denotes perfect IVs.

After obtaining the judge function, players can see the IVs for their Pokemon from the box menu. Players need to press the + button until they come to the judge function, which gives a vague idea of the Pokemon’s IVs.

The IVs for the judge function breaks down as follows:

  • No Good (0 IV)
  • Decent (1-15 IV)
  • Pretty Good (16-25)
  • Very Good (26-29)
  • Fantastic (30)
  • Best (31)

How do you get perfect Pokemon in Sword and Shield, and Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?

Players can get perfect Pokemon by breeding them to have optimal IVs and abilities, training them to have ideal EVs, guaranteeing they have an ideal nature, and then giving them a strong moveset.

While this may sound difficult, it’s easier today than it ever has been.

Players can breed perfect IV Pokemon quickly and easily using a Destiny Knot. Though players can also get an optimal nature using an Everstone, they can also just take a shortcut by using a mint item. As for abilities, they can be changed with Ability Capsules or Ability Patches.

And if that’s too much of a bother, players can raise a Pokemon to level 100 and then use Bottle Caps to hyper train them up to maximum IVs. Mints and hyper training is also the easiest method for optimizing legendary Pokemon.

EVs can be easily handled using vitamins such as Carbos and Protein. Many Pokemon can be optimized by just using dozens of vitamins for two different stats, and then using one more on a third stat.