Pokemon Heart Gold EV/IV Nature Guide

Pokemon Heart Gold EV/IV Nature Guide

Pokemon HeartGold Version IV/EV/ Nature Guide by Provenance Version 1.0.0


Have you ever wondered why your Pokémon, as high as their levels might be, just aren't good enough to win battles against your friends? Chances are your friends know much more about this game than you do. Pokémon, despite its friendly feel, is quite in-depth. There's more to battling that just having the best moves, the best items, and the best Pokémon. Actually there isn't, but to get the best Pokémon, you have to work for it (no hacking!).

There are three mechanics that determine how good a Pokémon's stats will be.
They are individual values (often abbreviated IVs), effort values (often abbreviated EVs), and natures. In this topic, I will explain to you how these mechanics benefit your Pokémon, which will ultimately benefit you in becoming an ultimate Pokémon trainer.

Let's start with the value that you can never alter, the individual values.


IVs are preset values that determine the basis of your Pokémon's stat growth. They can range from 0-31, the higher the better. A Pokémon's IVs are determined by the game when you encounter it in the wild or if breeding, when the egg is received from the Daycare Man.


Entei, Raikou, and Latias [HeartGold]/ Latios [SoulSilver] are exceptions to IVs being set when you encounter them.


Entei's and Raikou's IVs are set when they run away from the Burned Tower. Latias'/Latios' is set when Steven tells you about it.

Every stat (Hit Points, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed) has an individual value of their own. These numbers (0-31) are "additional stats." If a Pokémon has an Attack IV of 25, it will have 25 more Attack points than a Pokémon with an IV of 0 in Attack.

It's nearly impossible to get perfect IVs (31 all across) for your Pokémon. Instead of aiming for perfection, you should always try to get decent IVs in stats that fit the Pokémon's role. For example, if you want to use Alakazam as a "special sweeper," you would have to try to get 31 IVs in Special Attack and Speed. The other stats are not as important to a special sweeper, so you can let them slide.

Now that I have told you why they're important, let's go on to how you can actually find out your Pokémon's IVs and see if they're good enough for your Pokémon.


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There is no way of knowing the exact IVs of your Pokémon from the game, however there are plenty of resources on the web that you can use to help you derive to the exact value. There are tools, called IV calculators, which can accurately determine the IVs of your Pokémon. Here, I'll link you to the IV calculator I use, which is probably the most accurate if used properly:


(Note: you will have to know your Pokémon's effort values for an accurate answer; scroll down in this topic for information on effort values)

IV calculators work better when the Pokémon is at a higher level and the final stats take into shape. That means you have harder time determining the IVs (even with a calculator) of a Pokémon that just hatched than a high level Pokémon. People with access to Wi-Fi participate in what they call "IV Battles" to see the final stats of their Pokémon. Wi-Fi battles automatically raise your Pokémon's level to 100 during the battle, so all the stats are fully established. During the battle, go check the Pokémon's summary screen and write down the stats you see. Then input the stats in the calculator (along with the level, which should be 100) to get an accurate result.


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The game however does hint at which stat has your Pokémon's best IV out of the others. However, note that just because the game suggested that the stat's IV is the best, it does not mean your Pokémon has a 31 IV in that stat. It could have a 4 and still be considered the best if all your other stats are below or equal 4. If two of the stats have the same, highest IV, the game will select one of the phrases describing the Pokémon's characteristic for one of the stats for you to see. Characteristics can be found on the Pokémon's info page in its summary.

  • If the highest IV out of all the other stats is from the HP stat, the game might say the following depending on its value:
CharacteristicIV Value
"Likes to relax"Either 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29
"Loves to eat"Either 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30
"Often dozes off"Either 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31
"Often scatters things"Either 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27
"Scatters things often"Either 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28
  • If the Attack stat has the highest IV, the game might say:
CharacteristicIV Value
"A little quick tempered"Either 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27
"Likes to fight"Either 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28
"Likes to thrash about"Either 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31
"Proud of its power"Either 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30
"Quick tempered"Either 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29
  • The characteristic for the Defense stat having the highest IV might read:
CharacteristicIV Value
"Capable of taking hits"Either 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31
"Highly persistent"Either 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27
"Good endurance"Either 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28
"Good perseverance"Either 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29
"Sturdy body"Either 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30
  • The phrases for having the highest Special Attack IV are:
CharacteristicIV Value
"Highly curious"Either 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30
"Mischievous"Either 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31
"Often lost in thought"Either 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28
"Thoroughly cunning"Either 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27
"Very finicky"Either 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29
  • If the Special Defense stat has the highest IV, the characteristic might be:
CharacteristicIV Value
"Hates to lose"Either 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28
"Somewhat stubborn"Either 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29
"Somewhat vain"Either 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31
"Strong willed"Either 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30
"Strongly defiant"Either 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27
  • And lastly, for Speed stat having the highest IV:
CharacteristicIV Value
"Alert to sounds"Either 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31
"Impetuous and silly"Either 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27
"Likes to run"Either 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30
"Quick to flee"Either 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29
"Somewhat of a clown"Either 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28

The Judge

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In addition to characteristics, there is a Pokémon Judge in the Battle Tower standing near the PC that will evaluate your Pokémon's "potential." He will not tell the exact values, but he will give a range.

SayingOveral range of IVs
"This Pokémon's potential is decent all around"0-90
"This Pokémon's potential is above average overall"91-120
"This Pokémon has relatively superior potential overall"121-150
"This Pokémon has outstanding potential overall"151-186

In addition to the range, he also tells you the range of your Pokémon's highest IV. He will tell you about its impressive stat and give another blurb about it.

SayingRange value of highest IV
"Rather decent"0-15
"Very good"16-25
"It can't be better in that regard"31


When breeding a Pokémon, IVs from both the parents can be passed down to the baby. However, all of that is mostly random.

In these games, you have some control over which IVs are passed down. If the parent is holding a power item while breeding, depending on which power item, that IV will be guaranteed to pass down to the offspring.

A parent holding the following items will result in the offspring having their IVs in that stat:

ItemIV passed down
Power WeightHP
Power BracerAttack
Power BeltDefense
Power LensSpecial Attack
Power BandSpecial Defense
Power AnkletSpeed

Because a Pokémon is limited to holding one item, you can only control a maximum of two IVs passing down (one from the father, the other from the mother).

Hidden Power

IVs are the sole factor behind determining the Pokémon's Hidden Power move. Hidden Power can have a base attack ranging from 30-70 and can be any type (except Normal) depending on your Pokémon's IVs. I won't discuss much about Hidden Power, but the calculator I linked to earlier also calculates this, so you should check it out.

So yeah, that's all the average player needs to know about IVs. That +31 to the stats doesn't seem as much, but it can help. Some people are known to obsess over IVs; they want the best and tend to be perfectionists. Not that there's anything wrong with it, mind you, but reaching that goal is time consuming. That's the reason why I recommended that you focus on the crucial stats the most.


Effort values on the other hand, you have complete control over. EVs give much more additions to stats than IVs. Every stat can have a maximum of 255 EVs, however the maximum amount of EVs a Pokémon overall is 510. This means you can not have 255 EVs in all six stats at once.

Anyway, onto how EVs are related to stats. For every 4 EVs in a stat, the Pokémon gains 1 stat point accordingly. For example, a Pokémon that gained 4 EVs in HP will get their actual HP stat boosted by 1 point. This "+1" for every 4 EVs may or may not be shown in the stat screen when leveled up, however it will be accommodated eventually.

Stats will only be gained for every 4 EVs, so 5 EVs will not result in +4.25. Pokémon stats are always rounded down; and because EVs work when divisible by 4, many people choose to nourish their Pokémon with 252 EVs rather than the maximum of 255. 255 divided by 4 is 63.75, but because stats are rounded down, it is essentially the same as 252 divided by 4, which equals to 63 points added to the stat. Often you will see people using a 252/252/6 EV "spread" rather than a 255/255 because of the added 1 stat point in another stat from the remaining 6 EVs you get if you use the 252/252 guideline (63/63/1 rather than 63/63).

"EV spreads" are how trainers decide to divide EVs into their Pokémon's stats. They can be 252 Attack/252 Speed/6 Defense, 128 HP/128 Speed/254 Special Attack, 10 HP/100 Attack/100 Defense/100 Special Attack/100 Special Defense/100 Speed or whatever!

Every new Pokémon you get in the game (hatched/caught/in game trade/gift) start with 0 EVs.


The game does not tell you how many EVs your Pokémon have, so you have to keep track of them by yourself! The only thing the game tells you is if a Pokémon has reached its EV cap of 510, nothing less than that.

To see if your Pokémon has reached the 510 EV cap, there is a lady in Blackthorn City (in the same house with another lady who trades you her Dodrio for your Dragonair) who will award your Pokémon with an effort ribbon.

As mentioned, "EV training" can be tedious, but there are items that help quicken the process.


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Vitamins give 10 EVs to a particular stat.

CalciumSpecial Attack
ZincSpecial Defense

You can only use these items for the first 100 EVs in each stat! Past that, you have to manually train to get the remaining EVs.

Vitamins can be purchased in any mega department stores (in Goldenrod City and Celdaon City). They are expensive though, 9800 each. Trainers are known to give you vitamins after beating them in rematches. Additionally, they can be exchangeable for 1BP at the Battle Frontier.

Macho Brace

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A Pokémon holding a Macho Brace will get double the EVs! A Machop that would regularly give 1 Attack EV would now give 2!

To get the Macho Brace, you need to trade your Abra for the Machop in Goldenrod City's Department Store. The Machop will be holding the item.

Macho Brace lowers the speed of your Pokémon during battle. This is only temporary, and the drop does not effect the gain of Speed EVs. Just in case if it wasn't obvious, you have to have your Pokémon hold the item for it to have effect.

Power Items

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There are superior hold items for "EV training" to the Macho Brace, the power items. Yes, the same power items that help pass down IVs also help gain EVs. The power items give an additional 4 EVs to their respective stats.

Power WeightHP
Power BracerAttack
Power BeltDefense
Power LensSpecial Attack
Power BandSpecial Defense
Power AnkletSpeed

So! A Pokémon that fought a Machop while it was holding a Power Band would get 1 Attack EV and 4 Special Defense EVs. 5 Attack EVs if the Pokémon was carrying a Power Bracer.

You can get the power items in the Battle Frontier in exchange for 16BP each.

Like the Macho Brace, a Pokémon that is holding any of the power items has its Speed halved temporarily (in battle). Again, Speed EV gains are not affected.

Exp. Share

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Also, the item Exp. Share splits the experience points gained between Pokémon; however, every single participant of the battle (and holders of Exp. Shares) will get the full amount of EVs each. If three of your Pokémon were to fight an Alakazam (it gives 3 Special Attack EVs), they would each get 3 Special Attack EVs.

To get the Exp. Share, you have to take the Red Scale to Mr. Pokémon in his house north of Cherrygrove City.


You get the Red Scale from beating or capturing the Red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage.

If you mess up in your EV training, as in, get an extra EV in a stat you did not intend to get it in, there is a way to remove EVs from a Pokémon.

"EV Berries"

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There are certain berries that reduce a Pokémon's EVs in a stat by 10 each, if the EVs in the stat are below 100. If the value is over 100, the first berry used drops the value to exactly 100.

HondewSpecial Attack
GrepaSpecial Defense

You can acquire these berries from playing the scratch off game at the Battle Frontier. You can trade with a juggler in Fuschia City for the berries, he will ask for shards in return.

So for example, if your Pokémon has 165 EVs in HP and you want to completely remove all of them, you would have to use 11 Pomeg berries. 1 berry to drop it to 100, and 10 to drop the value by 10 each (100 to 90, 90 to 80, 80 to 70, and so forth).

These berries also raise the Pokémon's happiness. If the game says "It won't have any effect," it means the Pokémon has maximum happiness and no EVs.

If it reads "[Pokémon's name] became more friendly! [Pokémon's name] base [Stat] dropped," it indicates that the Pokémon does have (or had before you used it) EVs in that particular stat. If you want to deplete it of that particular stat, you should continue to use the berries.

If the Pokémon no longer has any EVs in the particular stat, but the Pokémon can still get happier, it will read "[Pokémon's name] became more friendly! [Pokémon's name] base [Stat] can't go any lower."

If the Pokémon's happiness is maxed, the game will then only mention the stats dropping.

If you lost track of the EVs, you can save the game and then use the berries to deduce and find an approximate value, assuming it's not over 100 points (because then it will just drop it to a 100). If your Pokémon's EVs deplete with 7 berries, than it has 61-70 EVs in the stat.

To find the exact value below 100, you first need to find out how many berries it takes to deplete the Pokémon's EVs (same step as to finding the approximate value). For the sake of consistency, we'll use the same range of EVs from the last example. Now, restart your game and carefully battle Pokémon that give 1 EV point in that particular stat, and after the battle, check with the berries to see if you needed an extra berry to deplete it. If you did, your Pokémon had, in this case, 70 EVs prior to gaining that additional EV. If you did not, restart the game and gain 2 EVs this time around and check. Continue restarting and gaining that incremental EV point until you need to use that one additional berry to deplete all the EV points. When that happens, subtract how many EVs you had to gain to go past that multiple of 10 (70 in this case) from the current number of EVs your Pokémon has past 70 (you still have to keep track).

Remember not to save during these processes. If you just restart the game so you can retain your berries and EVs, while still having figured (or have tried to) out how many EVs your Pokémon has.


There is also this rare "virus" known as the Pokérus. When a Pokémon is "infected" with Pokérus, it gains double the EVs, just like a Macho Brace. However, because Pokérus is a condition and not an item, you can gain even more EVs if you have a Macho Brace or a power item attached.

It would be calculated like this: Power item = 2 (Regular EV gain from Pokémon + 4) Macho Brace = 2 (Regular EV gain from Pokémon x 2)

The chances of getting this virus are very rare; 3 out of 65,536 Pokémon have it. Once a Pokémon gets the virus, you can spread the virus to your other Pokémon by having the infected Pokémon battle, which will result in the Pokérus spreading to your party Pokémon. You can preserve Pokérus by keeping an infected Pokémon in your PC. It is highly recommended that you do so because Pokérus will eventually go away, so it will not spread to your other Pokémon. However, if a Pokémon that was once infected no longer has Pokérus, it will still gain double the EVs. Because this conditional is beneficial, the only problem would be not being able to spread it to your other Pokémon.


"Hotspots" are convenient areas that contain Pokémon that only give specific type of EVs. These areas make EV training easier because the rates of encountering Pokémon that give you particular EVs are 100%. Do NOT tune in on the Hoenn or Sinnoh radio channels in these locations; this list was compiled ignoring their changes to Pokémon encounters. The time of the day also does not alter the encounters in these locations.


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  • Surfing in the first level of Slowpoke Well; Slowpoke (1).
  • Surfing in Ruins of Alph; Wooper (1) and Quagsire (2).
  • Surfing in Cliff's Edge Gate; Wooper (1) and Quagsire (2).


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  • Using the Super Rod in the first floor of Mt. Silver; Gyarados (2) and Seaking (2). You can encounter Goldeen (1) and Seaking (2) surfing on the same level.
  • Surfing on Route 42; Goldeen (1) and Seaking (2).
  • Surfing everywhere in Mt. Mortar; Goldeen (1) and Seaking (2).
  • Surfing in Cerulean City; Goldeen (1) and Seaking (2).
  • Surfing on Routes 24 and 25; Goldeen (1) and Seaking (2).


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  • Rock smash boulders in Ruins of Alph; Geodude (1).
  • Rock smash boulders in Rock Tunnel; Geodude (1).
  • Rock smash boulders in Cerulean Cave; Geodude (1) and Graveler (2).

Special Attack

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  • Surfing in Ilex Forest; Psyduck (1) and Golduck (2).
  • Surfing on Route 35; Psyduck (1) and Golduck (2).

Special Defense

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  • Surfing in Cherrygrove City; Tentacool (1) and Tentacruel (2).
  • Surfing in Olivine City; Tentacool (1) and Tentacruel (2).
  • Surfing in Pallet Town; Tentacool (1) and Tentacruel (2).
  • Surfing in Cinnabar Island; Tentacool (1) and Tentacruel (2).
  • Surfing on Routes 20 and 21; Tentacool (1) and Tentacruel (2).


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  • Surfing on Route 30; Poliwag (1) and Poliwhirl (2). Using any type of fishing rod, you can encounter Magikarp (1) and Poliwag (1).
  • Surfing in Violet City; Poliwag (1) and Poliwhirl (2). Using any type of fishing rod, you can encounter Magikarp (1) and Poliwag (1).
  • Surfing in Ilex Forest; Poliwag (1) and Poliwhirl (2).
  • Surfing in Ecruteak City; Poliwag (1) and Poliwhirl (2).
  • Using any type of fishing rod in Cliff's Edge Gate; Magikarp (1) and Poliwag (1).
  • Using the Old Rod in Lake of Rage; Magikarp (1)
  • Surfing on Route 43; Magikarp (1).
  • Surfing on Route 44; Poliwag (1) and Poliwhirl (2).
  • Surfing on Route 45; Magikarp (1). You can also use the Super Rod to encounter Poliwag (1) and Magikarp (1).
  • Surfing in Blackthorn City; Magikarp (1).
  • Surfing on Route 28; Poliwag (1) and Poliwhirl (2).
  • Surfing in Mt. Silver (outside the cave); Poliwag (1) and Poliwhirl (2).
  • Surfing on Route 22; Poliwag (1) and Poliwhirl (2).
  • Surfing in Viridian City; Poliwag (1) and Poliwhirl (2).
  • Surfing in Fuschia City; Magikarp (1).
  • Diglett Cave; Diglett (1) and Dugtrio (2).

For a list of which Pokémon give what amount of EVs to a stat, please visit:


Choose from the drop down menu the stat that you want to gain EVs in and it will display the Pokémon that give EVs in that particular stat. Beware of Pokémon that give more than one type of EVs, for example, the Pokémon Unown. It gives 1 EV for Attack and Special Attack. It can disrupt your "EV training" if you did not wish to get EVs in another stat.

After you're on the Pokémon's main page, click the "Locations" tab to find out where you can encounter that Pokémon. Training Defense, as you can see from the limited locations, is the hardest. If you don't feel like using the Rock Smash method, you can always try different areas with high probabilities of encountering Pokémon that give EVs in defense such as Victory Road (Onix, Graveler, and Rhyhorn) and avoid the others.


  • Start EV training after you have completed all of the story line and have unlocked everything. You will have access to more resources and areas to make your training quicker and easier.
  • Avoid training in areas where wild Pokémon know moves such as Mean Look and Block or with abilities such as Arena Trap and Shadow Tag unless they are part of your training. They can disrupt your training by forcing you to faint them, which subsequently gives your Pokémon unwanted EVs. If you see a good area for training, but it includes these hazards, stock up on Poké dolls to force an escape.
  • If training in an area with only one species of Pokémon, for example surfing in Blackthorn City (Magikarp only), you can use your Pokémon's moves' PP to help keep track. You have to be absolutely sure that you can eliminate the Pokémon with consistent amount of PP for this to be accurate. It won't be useful if it takes 2 to 4 moves to defeat a single Pokémon. If you can defeat a Magikarp with one Thunderbolt, one PP used from Thunderbolt equals one EV in speed.


Also, though not hidden from you in the game, it's good to know about natures as well. They aren't complicated at all, so it's easy to remember the basics.

Table of natures that alter stats, arranged alphabetically:

AdamantAttackSpecial Attack
CalmSpecial DefenseAttack
CarefulSpecial DefenseSpecial Attack
GentleSpecial DefenseDefense
ImpishDefenseSpecial Attack
JollySpeedSpecial Attack
LaxDefenseSpecial Defense
MildSpecial AttackDefense
ModestSpecial AttackAttack
NaiveSpeedSpecial Defense
NaughtyAttackSpecial Defense
QuietSpecial AttackSpeed
RashSpecial AttackSpecial Defense
SassySpecial DefenseSpeed

Bashful, Docile, Hardy, Quirky, and Serious natures do not alter any stats.

You really don't need to memorize the list, as the game literally tells you the nature and indicates the natures' effects. Look in your Pokémon's stat tab in the summary menu. Look in your Pokémon's stat tab in the summary menu. The stats in red indicate an increase while the states in blue indicate a decrease. These are a bit difficult to see, but you can differentiate them if you look closely. If there are no colors, it's a neutral nature.

You can not change your Pokémon's nature; however you can always increase your chances of getting a specific nature for a new Pokémon.

When looking for Pokémon in the wild, having your own Pokémon with the ability Synchronize in the lead (of your party) increases the chances of encountering a wild Pokémon with the same nature of your Pokémon. If you want an Adamant Machop, you could use an Adamant Alakazam with the ability Synchronize to help. A fainted Pokémon in the lead slot still has its field ability active.

If breeding for Pokémon, you can have the mother hold an Everstone to increase the chances of the offspring having the same nature as the mother.

A special note

If you are using the Pokémon Ditto as a parent, it is always treated as the mother, even if the other parent is female.


So now you know of the factors that determine a Pokémon's stats. With this newfound knowledge, you can be sure to expect your win rate to increase drastically! Next time your not so knowledgeable friend asks your for a battle, you can rest assure knowing that you can whip that candy ass just like that! Such knowledge is also useful when the time comes for you to conquer the Battle Frontier.


I'd like to thank the following people for their contributions to this guide:

  • Jack_1s_BK, legendary solo runner
  • Muc Schwartz, legendary shiny collector
  • NebulaBlue, aka Zordon of Eltar
  • WordPress

I'd also like to thank the people behind the following sites: psypokes.com, where I got the characteristics information from. metalkid.info, great IV calculator. bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net, for the IV Judge sayings.

Special shout outs to Ziploc, Obama, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Rangers, Grendleson, King Kai, King Kevles of the SSBBSB, the PDPPSB, and all my fans out there, all 7 billion+ of them.

There you have it, a guide that teaches you about stats.

Thank you. Have a nice day.

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.