Pokemon Go Guide: What is IV and How to Find it

by Kyle Hanson

Pokemon Go might seem like a very simple game. You run around, catching Pokemon, and sometimes use them to attack or defend gyms. Sure, that’s the basic description, but as players have gotten deeper into the game it is becoming clear that it is so much more. Many of the elements from the main Pokemon games have seemingly been transported to the mobile experience, with one being very important, if you want to become the very best. So, here’s the answer to the question on every hardcore Pokemon Go player’s mind, what is IV?

IV stands for Individual Values and has become a very important part of the Pokemon Go experience. Essentially IV makes it so that every Pokemon is different, even when they are of the same species. They are hidden numbers that add to the base stats for the Pokemon type. This means a Bulbasaur with high IV numbers will be better than a Bulbasaur with low IV numbers.

That’s the very bare bone explanation, but to get a bit deeper you have to know a lot about how Pokemon Go works. Each Pokemon has stats that are all combined together to form the one big number that you see, their CP (click here for a description of this number). You can raise their CP by powering them up or evolving them, but beneath that CP are the Pokemon’s IV, which are what help determine just how high that CP can go.

Each underlying stat, attack, defense, and stamina has its own IV that will either leave it at base value or raise it, sometimes significantly. What makes this important is that you don’t want to invest a bunch of stardust and candy into a Pokemon with low IV, as they’ll never reach their true potential. So how do you find out what their IV are? Click here to use a fan-made calculator. And something important to keep in mind is that IV don’t get randomized when a Pokemon evolves.

And that’s pretty much it for “what is IV”. These numbers probably won’t impact too many players, but if you’re looking to become one of the more hardcore players of the game then they will be something you want to pay attention to. Hopefully this helps, but let me know in the comments if anything is still sketchy.

- This article was updated on March 8th, 2018