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Pokémon: Sword & Shield

Optimizing EVs

Ben Chard
Vincent Lau

If you’ve been carefully following our guide, you should have Pokémon with the best possible IVs, as well as a suitable Nature and Ability. That’s probably the biggest hurdle, but there’s still a bit more distance to cover before the race is over. Next, you should probably start thinking of investing in your Pokémon’s EVs.

The best time to start working on a Pokémon’s EVs is before you use them in a regular battle (a wild or trainer battle). Otherwise, you your Pokémon may gain EVs in undesirable stats. Remember that you’re restricted to a combined total of 510 EVs and you don’t want to waste any EVs. You can reset EVs, but it’s not easy.


(1 of 2) This lady runs the BP Shop.

This lady runs the BP Shop. (left), You’ll need 60 BP to buy all six Power items. (right)

Under normal conditions, increasing a Pokémon’s EVs take a long time. However, there are ways to speed things up.

Firstly, make sure to buy one of each “Power” item (eg. Power Bracer) from the BP Shop in the first Hammerlocke Pokémon Center. There are 6 in total, one for each stat and they cost 10 BP each. To earn BP, you must fight in the post-game Battle Tower or by participate in online battles/tournaments.

(If you don’t have enough BP for all 6, prioritize the items that correspond to the stats that you need.)

When a Pokémon holds a Power item, they will gain 8 addition EV in the corresponding stat (eg. Attack for the Power Bracer). However, note that the Pokémon’s Speed will be temporarily reduced. Although this usually doesn’t matter as the Pokémon holding it won’t be fighting.

Next, if you can, try to procure the Pokérus virus. You can obtain this yourself by coming into contact with a Pokérus-infected wild Pokémon, but the chance is tiny–even less than a shiny Pokémon at 1 in 21,179! That said, with hundreds of thousands of people playing the game, there will be some people who find it.

Rather than cross your fingers, your best bet is to ask someone for a Pokémon infected with Pokérus. The thing about Pokérus is that it’s a virus, so it easily spreads. Once a Pokémon has been infected, it will share Pokérus with its party members. Therefore, it’s fairly trivial to share around.

A Pokémon infected with Pokérus will gain double the amount of EVs. Once a Pokémon’s been infected, it will be cured of Pokérus after a number of days pass, but it will always benefit from doubled EV gain. However, cured Pokémon cannot spread Pokérus. That said, you can “freeze” Pokérus by depositing a Pokémon in your boxes.

(Don’t worry if you can’t find somebody to give you Pokérus–it’s a luxury, not a necessity.)

There are three ways to increase a Pokémon’s EVs. All have their upsides and downsides and you’re welcome to mix and match.

EV Training

The trick is to find Pokémon with high encounter rates that you can easily defeat.

The traditional method is to repeatedly make your Pokémon fight wild Pokémon. Each wild Pokémon defeated will yield 1 to 3 EVs in a particular stat.

For this, you’ll want to lead with a Pokémon that already has max EVs or wants to gain the wild Pokémon’s EVs (or doesn’t care). Meanwhile, you should place the Pokémon that want to gain EVs in your party, while holding the relevant Power item. All other Pokémon that don’t want to gain EVs should be boxed.

(You could lead with the Pokémon holding the Power item, if you increase their Level using experience candies. But their reduced Speed might slow you down.)

Assuming they’re holding a Power item, to max your Pokémon’s EVs, you need to do 28 battles if the wild Pokémon gives 1 EV, 26 if they give 2 or 23 if they give 3. Halve these numbers (and round up) if your Pokémon is infected with or has cured Pokérus.

Here are some wild Pokémon that you could fight:

Pokémon Location EVs
"Skwovet" IconSkwovet Route 1 or 2 +1 HP
"Perrserker" IconPerrserker Route 7 +2 Attack
"Rolycoly" IconRolycoly Galar Mine +1 Defence
"Pelipper" IconPelipper Route 9 (North) +2 Defence
"Oddish" IconOddish Dappled Grove (except sunny, snowing and storms) +1 Sp. Atk
"Gastly" IconGastly Watchtower Ruins (except normal, sunny and snowing) +1 Sp. Atk
"Vanillite" IconVanillite Many Wild Area zones when snowing +1 Sp. Atk
"Impidimp" IconImpidimp Glimwood Tangle (first red mushroom; re-enter to respawn) +1 Sp. Atk
"Gossifleur" IconGossifleur Route 3 +1 Sp. Def
"Rookidee" IconRookidee Route 1 or 2 +1 Speed
"Mr. Mime" IconMr. Mime Route 10 +2 Speed

Poké Jobs

Seminars for Pokémon? Soon Pokémon will be putting people out of their jobs!

After obtaining the 4th Gym badge, a set of 6 seminars will be added to the bottom of the list of Poké Jobs when using a PC. Each seminar focuses on improving EVs for a specfic stat. You can send up to 10 Pokémon on a seminar for up to 24 hours and they’ll gain 4 EVs per hour. This is useful if you want to be hands-off.

Ideally, when sending a Pokémon on a seminar, you should make them hold the corresponding Power item. That way, they’ll gain 12 EVs per hour, reaching max EVs in 24 hours. If they also have Pokérus (or cured Pokérus), they will reach the maximum in 12 hours instead, so remember to adjust the time accordingly.


(1 of 2) Here’s the shopkeeper with the “goods”.

Here’s the shopkeeper with the “goods”. (left), Money is easier to farm than BP, so spend, spend, spend! (right)

The final method is by using performance-enhancing drugs. You can purchase vitamins such as Protein from the right Poké Mart clerk in the first Wyndon Pokémon Center for 10,000 Poké Dollars apiece. Or you can get them for 2 BP each from the BP Shop in the first Hammerlocke Pokémon Center.

These vitamins will boost a Pokémon’s EVs by 10 in the corresponding stat. Eg. Protein gives 10 Attack EVs. As an extra bonus, there is no additional limit to how many vitamins you can use on a Pokémon, unlike in previous generations. So you can max a Pokémon’s EVs with just vitamins!

This is the quickest and easiest way, if you have money (or BP) to spend. But you’ll need to spend a lot! To max one stat, you’ll need at least 25 of one vitamin, so that’s 250,000 Poké Dollars or 50 BP. That’s a lot, but thankfully there are some ways to make money relatively quickly.

Firstly if you bought the game early and downloaded the Gigantamax "Meowth" IconMeowth gift from the Internet, you’ve hit the literal jackpot. Train this Meowth up to at least Level 84, using experience candies from raids for example. Also, make it hold onto an Amulet Coin. Or if you lost it, a Luck Incense.

Now go enter a Wyndon Stadium tournament and, for each battle, Gigantamax your Meowth and use its G-Max Gold Rush three times. If used thrice, you’ll gain money equal to 600 times your Level, doubled if you have an Amulet Coin/Luck Incense. However, this amount caps at 99,999 achieved at Level 84. Three battles and you’ve got just under 300,000!

(1 of 2) As you can see, we’ve been a bit busy…

As you can see, we’ve been a bit busy… (left), That’s enough to max nearly 6 stats! (right)

No Meowth? No worries. Instead, your best bet is to go around the Wild Area, scouting for Pokémon Dens where a raid is available. This is best done after becoming the Champion. Your primary goal is to receive 2,000 Watts from every Pokémon Den where a raid is present. You could also investigate dens without raids to earn 200 Watts.

Each day, there’s usually 1 to 3 normal raids or 1 rare raid (indicated by an ominous purple beam) and several normal raids. If there are only 1~3 raids, try to defeat all of them if you can, as this will generate the second configuration. If you’re persisent, you can also clear the second configuration to spawn another set.

After accumulating a large amount of Watts, look for a Watt Trader who’s selling a Luxury Ball for 100 Watts each. The items that each Watt Trader have are randomly assigned each day, but the locations of each Watt Trader are the same. So you should be able to find the right guy eventually.

Purchase as many Luxury Balls as you can (although you may want to keep some Watts spare to buy TRs etc.). Later, you can sell these at a Poké Mart for 1,500 Poké Dollars a pop. Every den with an available raid gives you 2,000 Watts, which lets you buy 20 Luxury Balls that you can sell for a total of 30,000 Poké Dollars. Not bad, huh?

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    15 November 2019
  • Last Updated
    21 March 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Pokémon: Sword and Shield, the latest entries in the Pokémon video game franchise. Our guide also incorporates all the DLC, including the Isle of Armor and brand new Crown Tundra DLC.

In Sword and Shield, you explore the Galar region, based on the United Kingdom, alongside rivals Hop, Bede and Marnie, with the aim to dethrone the Pokémon League Champion.

The games introduce several new features such as Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, functions that increase size and change forms of certain Pokémon; the Wild Area, a large open world with free camera movement; and raids with co-op battling. They also reintroduce features previously seen in Sun and Moon and Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, such as regional variants and roaming Pokémon depicted in the overworld.

Brand New October 2020:

Version 1.2

  • A Complete Walkthrough of the Isle of Armor.
  • Details of all 16 new Wild Areas, including Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All the new Max Raid Dens: Locations and Featured Pokémon.
  • Images and Locations of All 150 of the Missing Diglett.
  • The Isle of Armor Pokédex (featuring 100 Returning Pokémon).
  • Recipes for the Cram-o-matic.
  • A Full Walkthrough featuring Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All Gym Encounters and Strategies.
  • New Items: Mints & Natures Explained.
  • Post Game content including Champion Cup.
  • Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing.
  • The Galar Region Pokédex (featuring 400 Pokemon).

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