A beginner’s guide to competitive breeding in ‘Pokemon Sun’ and ‘Moon’

pokemon sun moon breeding guide 012
Casual Pokemon players have wondered for years what the point of the daycare in every Pokemon game is. Yes, if you leave two Pokemon there they might make an egg; everyone knows that (besides the daycare attendants, who somehow seem confused every single time).

But why? Is there a benefit to hatching Pokemon rather than catching them in the wild? And is there any reason to take advantage of this system?

More: Pokemon Sun, Moon could be making their way to Nintendo Switch

If you ever want to crack into Pokemon’s deeper levels — the realm of competitive battling, which we cover in detail right here — the answer to those questions is “You bet your Pikachu there is.”

Breeding is how you get Pokemon with the best stats, by taking advantage of several semi-hidden systems within the Pokemon games. And if you’re getting into competitive battling, you’d better believe that everyone else has Pokemon with the best possible stats, so if you want to compete you need to as well.

Although it can be a time-consuming and frustratingly random process, strategically breeding Pokemon is necessary for success. And it can feel deliciously rewarding when you finally breed the perfect Pokemon. It makes you wonder if Brock knew what he was getting himself into?

Why you need to breed

Breeding is necessary for competitive players because of that old nugget of Pokemon knowledge. Every Pokemon, even if they’re the same species, level, gender, and nature, will have different stats from its peers. That’s due to a feature called Individual Values, or “IVs.”

pokemon_sun_moon_018

IVs are like a Pokemon’s DNA. They range from 0 to 31 and there’s one for each stat. IVs determine what a Pokemon’s stats look like, high or low. Once you’ve hatched any 20 eggs you can speak to a character in the lobby of the Battle Tree on Poni Island to gain the ability to easily check any Pokemon’s IVs, a feature new to Sun and Moon.

Pokemon caught in the wild usually have random IVs, but those hatched from eggs inherit some IVs from their parents, like genetics. And that’s why you must breed to get perfect competitive Pokemon. By selectively breeding across multiple generations, you can get the highest possible stats for your Pokemon.

This doesn’t matter at all when playing through a Pokemon game’s story, up to and beyond defeating the Elite Four. That’s because in-game, you can simply level your Pokemon above your opponents’ levels, and gain an unbeatable advantage (not to mention most players are smarter than the game-controlled opponents). But in competitive and online battling all Pokemon are the same level, and Pokemon without perfect IVs are at a serious disadvantage.

Gaming

Mobile AR game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite live on iOS and Android a day early

If you've been waiting patiently to transform the world around you into the wizarding world, you can do so a day early. Android and iOS mobile gamers now have access to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the game from the creators of Pokemon Go.
Gaming

Get Nindie with it and check out these awesome indie games for the Switch

The Nintendo Switch's portability makes indies feel at home on the platform. Luckily, there are plenty of great titles to choose from. Here are our picks for the best Nintendo Switch indie games.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video and what’s leaving in July 2019

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all of the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in June and July, from new original series to classic films.
Gaming

The best Nintendo Switch games, from Breath of the Wild to Rocket League

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Gaming

Hey! Listen! Here's the entire Legend of Zelda series ranked from best to worst

The Legend of Zelda series is one of the most iconic video game franchises of all time, featuring more than a handful of the very best games ever made. We ranked all of the games in the series timeline from best to worst.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to the most powerful notebooks in the world.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

HDR monitors are better and more affordable than ever. These are the best ones.

HDR monitors might come at a premium, but if you get the right one for the job it can make movies, games, and even your workday, that little bit prettier. These are our favorite HDR monitors, with something for everyone.
Gaming

Sony patent for PS5 could eliminate loading screens altogether

Game developers have found ways to mask loading screens, and a new Sony patent for the PS5 could take things another step. This patent shares a method that change how we experience the moment-to-moment traversal in video games.
Gaming

Tips and tricks to mastering the hunt in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

If you're planning on playing the Monster Hunter World: Iceborne beta on PS4, check out our beginner's guide for a handful of tips and tricks covering mechanics both old and new. Hoarfrost Reach is dangerous, but you got this.
Computing

Our favorite gaming desktops make the latest consoles look pathetic

PC gaming doesn't always come cheap, but it doesn't have to be extortionate either. In this guide we've put together a list of the best gaming PCs you can buy, with everything from the big and flashy, to the super compact.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Gaming

Fortnite PC players may have to upgrade graphics cards once Season 10 kicks in

Epic Games said that Fortnite for PC will no longer support DirectX 10 starting in Season 10. Players will need to have DirectX 11-capable graphics cards to continue playing the Battle Royale shooter.
Gaming

GuardianCon raises $3.7 million: Bungie breaks record, but Dr. Lupo does better

Destiny developer Bungie joined this year's GuardianCon Charity Marathon Stream, breaking the record by raising $400,000 in just four hours. The proceeds of the week-long event will be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
1 of 5