If you’re interested in making sure that you have the strongest Pokémon possible in Pokémon Sword and Shield, you’re going to be doing some EV training. There are many different methods, but in the end, they’re all working towards the same goal.
If you’re going to be playing Pokémon competitively online, or just want to have the best team to take on Max Raid Battles and other difficult parts of the game, having properly EV-trained Pokémon can make a massive difference.
Keep in mind that this can be a lengthy process. Still, there are some methods and tricks to make sure that you make the most of that time investment.
What is EV training in Pokémon?
When Pokémon have their stats determined, the two primary factors are IVs (individual values) and EVs (effort values). IVs are set when a Pokémon is acquired, and the only way to improve them is through Hyper Training once you’ve already taken a Pokémon to Level 100.
However, you can manually train up EVs in several different ways. While this has worked a bit differently in previous versions, when it comes to working out how to EV train in Pokémon Sword and Shield, there are several options.
You’ll acquire effort points through EV training in various ways, which will make your Pokémon have a higher maximum stat for HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, or Speed once they’ve reached Level 100. With maximum EV training in a particular stat, you can make the total a full 63 points higher at Level 100 than it would be without EV training.
How does EV training work?
As you acquire effort points through one of the many different kinds of EV training, it will start to build up in the corresponding stat. In total, Pokémon can have only 510 effort points from EV training. There is a way to lower EVs if you have them in places that you don’t want them and would rather focus EV training on a different stat.
You need to have a total of 252 effort points in a particular stat to get the maximum possible effect of your EV training and the full 63-point boost once the Pokémon reaches Level 100. That leaves you room to use EV training to either spread out across stats, or to max two out and drop the remaining six effort points in one of the other stats.
Even Pokémon that don’t participate in battle can still receive effort points if they’re receiving experience, thanks to Exp. Share. So, you’ll need to make sure that only the Pokémon that you are EV training is in your party. If it isn’t, the effort points you earned could be spread amongst other Pokémon as well.
How to check EVs in Pokémon Sword and Shield
If you’re going to start EV training your Pokémon in Sword and Shield, one of the most important things to know is how to check effort values and the progress of your EV training. Unfortunately, you aren’t going to be able to see the exact numbers.
That means that you can’t see for certain if you’ve got 124 or 200 effort points in a particular stat, but usually you’re going to focus the vast majority of EV training into two core stats. When you check EVs for a Pokémon, you do get an indicator when a stat is maxed out.
To check, simply go into the summary of your Pokémon through the start menu and view the page where you’d normally check stats. Then press X on your Nintendo Switch, and the stats view will switch to show you the progress of EV training.
If things are sparkling around a particular stat, as seen above, that means you’ve effectively maxed out the EV training for that stat. This is the best way to check your progress, but there are many ways to get that progress rolling.
How to EV train in Pokémon Sword and Shield
There are several methods for EV training in Pokémon Sword and Shield, and which one you end up using the most is going to depend on how quickly you want to finish EV training a Pokémon.
You’ll also need to take into account how active you want to be while doing this, as there are some easier ways of EV training that require less effort but will take longer.
EV training Pokémon through battling
One of the most common methods of EV training is through battling wild Pokémon. While you can earn EVs through battles with trainers throughout the game, this is a less consistent method because you are usually facing a variety of Pokémon.
Pokémon tend to give one, two, or three effort points for a given stat. While there are some Pokémon that give the maximum of three, it’s less efficient to use them because they’re often much more difficult to find and defeat.
Instead, there is a perfect pick of low level and easy to defeat Pokémon for each stat. These can be found in abundance and all give one effort point for the noted stat. If you’re EV training through battling, this is the way to go.
Best Pokémon and locations to EV train
Below, you’ll find the best wild Pokémon to target and where to find them should you want to use this method of EV training in Sword and Shield.
- HP: Skwovet on Route 1
- Attack: Chewtle on Route 2 Lakeside
- Defense: Rolycoly in Galar Mine or Giant’s Cap
- Special Attack: Gastly in Watchtower Ruins
- Special Defense: Gossifleur on Route 3
- Speed: Rookidee on Route 1
Maximize EV training in battles with EV-boosting held items
If you want to speed up the process and make the most of your EV training through battling wild Pokémon, you need to score some very powerful EV-boosting held items. These are hard to come by, but absolutely worth the investment.
The six items – one for each stat and all starting with the word ‘Power’ – can each be purchased for 10BP from the BP shop inside the Hammerlocke Pokémon Center. This means that they likely won’t be available until the end of the main story, as the primary way of earning BP comes after finishing the core game.
You can earn BP by competing in the Battle Tower or through ranked battles online. There is one other method of earning BP, and for it, you need to be using Pokémon Home. By keeping Pokémon stored in Pokémon Home, you earn points that can then be transferred to your game and converted into BP.
It’s also key to note that only a Pokémon holding one of these boosting items will get extra effort points, even if others in the party receive some base effort points through Exp. Share. If you want do your EV training with multiple Pokémon at once, you’ll need an item for each of them to get the same maximized effect.
While these items lower the in-battle Speed of a Pokémon currently holding them, it’s well worth it as holding it adds a whopping eight effort points to the boosted stat. There is one other EV-boosting item that works differently, the Macho Brace. This item doubles effort points for all stats, but it’s much less efficient than the other items.
The following table details the seven EV-boosting items and which stat they will enhance by being held:
|EV-Boosting Item||Boosted Stat|
|Power Lens||Special Attack|
|Power Band||Special Defense|
|Macho Brace||All Stats|
Multiply your EV training with Pokérus
You may have stumbled upon or heard of the mythical Pokérus status condition, and most players don’t realize what the purpose of Pokérus is at first glance. However, it’s actually extremely beneficial to EV training.
This will be visible in Pokémon Sword and Shield, as you’ll see a Pokérus status condition when a Pokémon is actively infected. You can cure a Pokémon of Pokérus by simply waiting and starting a new day with the affected Pokémon in your party.
However, if you wish to keep the infection active, storing a Pokémon in your PC will permanently pause the cure process. This is particularly useful as the most effective way to give Pokérus to other Pokémon is by placing them directly adjacent to the affected Pokémon in your party.
The spread of the condition is not always immediate after a battle, but it does have a chance to spread after a battle. Once a Pokémon has been infected with Pokérus and eventually cured, they can never be infected again.
Fortunately, that’s only an issue for continuing to spread the virus to other Pokémon. The benefits of Pokérus are permanent, even after the Pokémon has been cured. There will still be a purple face indicating that they’ve previously had Pokérus.
Once a Pokémon has been infected, even if cured, they will earn double effort points from battling and Poké Jobs, and this stacks with EV-boosting items. The following table outlines the total impact of using Pokérus with EV-boosting items, based on the base EVs received from battling certain Pokémon.
|Base EV Yield||Pokérus Only||Holding Macho Brace Only||Holding Macho Brace with Pokérus||Holding Power Item Only||Holding Power Item with Pokérus|
|1 EV||2 EVs||2 EVs||4 EVs||9 EVs||18 EVs|
|2 EVs||4 EVs||4 EVs||8 EVs||10 EVs||20 EVs|
|3 EVs||6 EVs||6 EVs||12 EVs||11 EVs||22 EVs|
Fastest EV training with Vitamins and Wings
The fastest way to do EV training in Pokémon Sword and Shield is through the use of items, specifically Vitamins and Wings. The catch is that Wings are hard to find in bulk and Vitamins are expensive.
If you’ve got a lot of money saved up, or don’t mind spending your time earning money rather than doing another EV training method, it can be better to focus your attention here. Vitamins, while expensive, grant a massive ten EV points to their particular stat.
Wings, on the other hand, only grant one EV to their given stat, but they’re simply found by looking for the sparkling spots on the ground that indicate an item.
The bridge between Route 5 and Hulbury, and the one between Motostoke and Motostoke Outskirts, have many of these Wings scattered around, and they respawn each day.
The following table outlines each of the different Wings and which stats they boost:
|Clever Wing||Special Defense|
|Genius Wing||Special Attack|
If you have the cash, all of the Vitamins can be purchased by going to the Pokémon Center in Wyndon – the final city in the game.
All Vitamins cost 10,000 Pokédollars each, and the following table outlines which stat each Vitamin boosts:
How to get Vitamins cheaper in Isle of Armor
If you have The Isle of Armor DLC, you can upgrade the Dojo with a vending machine that provides a discount if you purchase vitamins in bulk.
The following table outlines the total cost and price per drink based on how many you purchase from the vending machine.
|Vitamins Purchased||Total Cost||Price Per Drink|
|1||10,000 Pokédollars||10,000 Pokédollars|
|5||40,000 Pokédollars||8,000 Pokédollars|
|10||70,000 Pokédollars||7,000 Pokédollars|
|25||125,000 Pokédollars||5,000 Pokédollars|
Easiest EV training using Poké Jobs
Without a doubt, the easiest way to go about EV training is through the new Poké Jobs system introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield. You can find these by going to the Pokémon Center and checking the PC; here, you can send multiple Pokémon to various Poké Jobs.
The ones you’re interested in here are Hammerlocke University Seminars. These unlock after you’ve acquired the fourth gym badge, and they let you send your Pokémon away for easy EV training. The jobs are labeled as ‘HP Seminar,’ ‘Attack Seminar,’ etc. to indicate which stat they will benefit.
The amount of time that you choose to send the Pokémon away for will impact how many EVs they earn from the Poké Job. The other piece of great news is that Poké Jobs stack with Power Items, Macho Brace, and Pokérus.
One of the unclear things when deciding to send for a job is exactly how long they will take, but fortunately, the seemingly vague timeframes that Pokémon Sword and Shield provides correlate to a specific amount of hours.
The following table outlines how long each amount of time really is, and how many EVs are earned for various combos of Pokérus and EV-boosting items. Keep in mind the maximum EVs for a given stat is 252, so things max out there.
|Time Sent||Actual Length||Base EVs||EVs with Pokérus Only||EVs with Macho Brace Only||EVs with Power Item Only||EVs with Macho Brace and Pokérus||EVs with Power Item and Pokérus|
|A little while||1 hour||4 EVs||8 EVs||8 EVs||12 EVs||16 EVs||24 EVs|
|Very short||2 hours||8 EVs||16 EVs||16 EVs||24 EVs||32 EVs||48 EVs|
|Short||3 hours||12 EVs||24 EVs||24 EVs||36 EVs||48 EVs||72 EVs|
|Long||4 hours||16 EVs||32 EVs||32 EVs||48 EVs||64 EVs||96 EVs|
|Very long||8 hours||32 EVs||64 EVs||64 EVs||96 EVs||128 EVs||192 EVs|
|Half day||12 hours||48 EVs||96 EVs||96 EVs||144 EVs||192 EVs||252 EVs|
|Whole day||24 hours||96 EVs||192 EVs||192 EVs||252 EVs||252 EVs||252 EVs|
How to reduce EVs with berries
As you’re EV training in Pokémon Sword and Shield, it’s easy to realize that your EV training has gone astray. You also might have a Pokémon that you haven’t been careful about EV training, and find that you want to clear things out to get it back on the right track.
Fortunately, there are two methods to do that. The first can take some time, but it will work consistently. There are six unique berries found through Pokémon Sword and Shield, and feeding any of them to a Pokémon will reduce their total EVs for a specific stat by ten.
You can find berries throughout the Wild Area, and they’ll fall when you shake trees. They’re also given as rewards in Max Raid battles. The table below details each berry and which stat they will reduce by ten EVs:
|Hondew Berry||Special Attack|
|Grepa Berry||Special Defense|
How to instantly reset EV training in Isle of Armor
If you’ve got the Isle of Armor DLC, there is another method to reduce effort values and reset your EV training in the blink of an eye. You’ll need to head for Workout Sea and find a character called Lady Clear.
Once located, she will offer to reset EVs of a Pokémon in full for just ten Armorite Ore. The most straightforward way that you can accumulate Armorite Ore is by doing Max Raid battles on the Isle of Armor.
It can also be found scattered throughout the Isle of Armor on the ground. If you find Digging Ma on the Isle of Armor, she will also offer to dig-up Armorite Ore for you, but this can be pretty inconsistent.
How to get an Effort Ribbon for max EV training in Pokémon Sword and Shield
If you’ve completed the monumental effort of fully EV training a Pokémon, there’s a reward that you deserve to go and snag. This isn’t going to make a huge in-game difference, but it acknowledges the hard work for that Pokémon.
If you head to Hammerlocke, look for the first house east of Hammerlocke Stadium. Head inside and speak to the woman there. If the Pokémon at the top of your party has a full 510 EVs for max EV training, she will give them an Effort Ribbon.
This is a permanent ribbon on the Pokémon, even if you lower EVs in some way afterwards. It will also give you the option to give that Pokémon a title when sent into battle.
By selecting a specific Mark or Ribbon and attaching it to the Pokémon, it will give them the applicable title. For the Effort Ribbon, your Pokémon will be dubbed “the Once Well-Trained.”
Now you know all of the best EV training methods in Pokémon Sword and Shield, as well as how to cut EVs, enabling you to craft mighty Pokémon to call into battle.
*Outsider Gaming may receive a small commission if you click a link from one of our articles onto a retail website and make a purchase. All prices listed were accurate at the time of publishing.