How to increase IVs in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

One on hand, no Pokémon game will ever force you into getting into the deep mechanics of the game in order to have fun and beat the story. Even in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, you can mostly get by just knowing type advantages. On the other hand, end-game content and competitive players are given tons of depth and mechanics to make their team the absolute best they can be by looking under the hood. Perhaps the most important of these more hardcore systems are called IVs, or Individual Values.

IVs are essentially your Pokémon’s stats. Just because you have two Pikachus, for example, doesn’t mean they will be identical since they will each have their own IVs that make one potentially better than the other. Trainers who are looking to make the best possible team need to consider IVs in addition to every other factor, such as team composition, for the edge in battle they need to come out on top. It can seem a little intimidating for newcomers, but increasing IVs isn’t as complex as it sounds. Here’s everything you need to know about how to increase IVs in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

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What are IVs?

Checking a Pokémon's IVs.

If you’re new to IVs in general, the name alone probably doesn’t give you much of an idea of what they are or why they’re important. We already mentioned that IV is short for Individual Values, but even that name doesn’t tell you anything. What they are, in short, are random stats every Pokémon gets that are hidden from the player. They’re determined by a few factors, such as the Pokémon’s base values, their EVs (Effort Values), and Nature.

IVs come on a scale ranging from 1 to 31, with the higher the number, the better the stats. There are six different stats, each with its own IV rating: HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. Naturally, you will want a Pokémon with 31 IV in each stat, but the odds of that happening naturally are too low to count. That’s where increasing IVs comes in.

How to check IVs

Talking to a Pokémon scientist.

Before starting to increase IVs, you need to know what your Pokémon’s IVs are to start with. As mentioned, IVs are initially hidden from the player, but you do gain access to a system for checking IVs after beating the Elite Four. Head to Snowpoint City and use the boat to travel to Survival Island, where the Battle Tower is. Once inside, talk to the NPC standing near a PC. He will open up the new Judge Function while using Pokémon Boxes.

With that unlocked, use a PC or open up your Pokémon Party menu and hit R. Navigate to your list of Pokémon and press the Plus button twice to use the Judge Function. It will break down what your selected Pokémon’s IVs are using a phrase. Here’s what each phrase means in terms of actual IV number:

  • Best: 31 IV
  • Fantastic: 30 IV
  • Very Good: 26 to 29
  • Pretty Good: 16 to 25
  • Decent: 1 to 15
  • Not Good: 0

Once you know where you stand, you can start looking at which IVs you want to improve.

How to increase IVs

A wild Ditto appearing.

Breeding is going to be the main method for boosting IVs. When you breed Pokémon, the IVs of the parent Pokémon are given to the child. The most tried-and-true method for breeding for high IVs is to get a Ditto with the highest possible IVs since a Ditto can breed with any other Pokémon in the game aside from a Legendary. To breed Pokémon, you simply place two parent Pokémon together in the Pokémon Nursery in Solaceon Town.

To speed this process up considerably, you want to make sure your Ditto is holding a Destiny Knot item. This will guarantee that 5 of the 6 IVs the Ditto has are passed down to the offspring instead of the normal 3 out of 6. Since we’re using Dittos with IVs stronger than the Pokémon you want to improve, we want as many of their stats passed on as possible. You can pick up the Destiny Knot on Route 224 once you are able to pass through Victory Road.

As you breed Pokémon, keep checking their stats to see when they’ve surpassed their parent’s IVs, and then swap them out to become the new parent. The key here, though, is eventually getting Dittos with Best, or 31, IV ratings in all stats. One Ditto doesn’t need to be perfect in everything so long as you have one that does have a 31 in each IV stat so you can swap them out and breed those stats into one Pokémon.

To get started, you will want a Ditto with as high IVs as possible. The most reliable place to get Dittos is in Canalave City. Use a Super Repel and Poké Radar to find nearby Pokémon. Don’t bother with any others besides a Ditto. Repeat the process, but make sure you only catch Dittos to increase your Chain Encounter. The more Dittos in a row you catch, the better their IVs will likely be. It’s wise to save before starting this process, as well as after every Ditto caught, just in case you accidentally break your chain.

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