In Pokémon GO, Pokémon has three base stats: Attack, Defense, and Stamina. All Pokémon of the same species will have the same base stats. The stats are relatively straightforward: A Pokémon’s Attack stat affects the damage its attacks will deal. Defense affects the amount of damage a Pokémon receives from attacks. Stamina affects the Pokémon’s maximum HP. Unfortunately, these base stats do not reflect in-game, so you’ll have to rely on a Pokémon’s Combat Power (CP) to determine its overall combat ability.
If you’re willing to do a little extra research, you can find a table listing all Pokémon base stats in Pokémon GO on Bulbapedia. There are also numerous helpful mobile apps you check a Pokémon’s base stats on the fly (we’ll get into those later).
Like the main series Pokémon games, some Pokémon are intrinsically better than others. Certain Pokémon will, unfortunately, always be weak, regardless of how high their IVs are due to low base stats. A Pokémon’s base stats will never change.
Pokémon in Pokémon GO also feature size and weight stats, but these have absolutely no effect. Fans of main series Pokémon games are likely familiar with the tiny pool of moves that are affected by a Pokémon’s weight, such as Heavy Slam or Grass Knot. This is not true in Pokémon GO, Weight along with Size are entirely arbitrary. At least it is a little fun to see just how high an Alolan Exeggutor can tower over its peers.
Understanding Combat Power (CP)
A Pokémon’s CP represents its strength in battle and comes from a Pokémon’s base stats and the hidden stats called Individual Values (IV). IVs are a measure of a Pokémon’s potential. Its species also determine a Pokémon’s maximum CP; some Pokémon naturally have lower CP values when compared to others. Don’t judge a Pokémon by it’s CP because its stats, type, and moves are what matter the most when considering its performance in battle.
Higher CP Pokémon will generally have higher base stats because those are certainly taken into account when calculating CP and has an effect on a Pokémon’s overall performance. CP can be drastically weighted in favor of the attack, meaning that Pokémon with a high Attack stat will have significantly higher CP than those without. However, just because a Pokémon’s Attack is high doesn’t make it a great Pokémon to use for battles. If its Defense is low, it may get knocked out more quickly than others. This is where IVs can significantly come into play, as they can offer increases to a Pokémon’s otherwise low base stats.
Understanding Individual Values (IVs)
Pokémon in Pokémon GO feature Individual Values (IVs), like those in main series games. Unlike the main series Pokémon games, in which a Pokémon will have six IVs (HP, Attack, Defense, Speed, Sp. Def, and Sp. Atk), ranging from 0 to 31, Pokémon in Pokémon GO have only three IVs (Attack, Defense, and Stamina), with a range of 0 to 15. An IV of 0 is the lowest possible, and an IV of 15 is the highest possible. A Pokémon’s most valuable IVs are those for its lowest base stats. A Pokémon with 15 in all three IVs (so 45 total) is “perfect.”
Because all Pokémon of the same species features the same base stats, an individual Pokémon’s IVs determine whether it’s stronger than others of its species. A Pokémon’s IVs are generally the essential factor to consider when deciding whether to invest Stardust in powering it up. Unfortunately, a Pokémon’s IVs are hidden, but you can quickly check them using online and mobile tools.
It’s worth noting while a Pokémon’s base stats never change, its IVs change when traded to another Trainer. This feature ultimately exists to prevent the creation of a market for perfect IV Pokémon and can be detrimental or beneficial to those in the trade. A Pokémon’s IVs are completely randomized when traded, so there’s no way to guarantee a Pokémon initially traded with high IVs will still be great when it’s received. Additionally, a Pokémon can go into a trade once, so there’s no trading back and forth until the Pokémon rolls good IVs. Learn more about trading in Pokémon GO in our helpful guide.
While a Pokémon’s IVs remain hidden from players, you can receive hints to help determine your Pokémon’s IVs by using the Appraisal feature. When you Appraise a Pokémon, your team’s Leader offers some insight into that individual Pokémon’s power, hinting at its IV ranges. Of course, they won’t flat out tell you the information. Instead, they offer somewhat cryptic lines of dialogue to give you a general idea of their stats. We’ve deciphered some of their statements below.
To select a Pokémon to be appraised, tap on the Pokémon you wish to learn more about, then select “Appraise” from the menu at the bottom right. Your team’s Leader will show up to tell you more about that Pokémon.
Your team’s leader analyzes your Pokémon and shares the following details:
- The overall total range of your Pokémon’s IVs
- Which of your Pokémon’s base stats is its highest, and if any other stats are equal
- The IV range of your Pokémon’s highest base stat
- Commentary on the (meaningless) size of your Pokémon
As a reminder, a Pokémon can have up to 15 points in each of three IVs, for a total value of 45. We’ve left out the size-related comments, as you can see a Pokemon’s size by checking its profile.
Determining the total IV range for your Pokémon
Your team leader will then let you know which of your Pokémon’s stats (Attack, Defense, or HP) is the highest, and if any of its other stats are equal.
Determining the range of your Pokemon’s highest IVs
Understanding the arc
A Pokémon’s entry shows an arc shown below its CP number. The arc doesn’t represent a Pokémon’s CP. Instead, the arc represents the Pokémon’s current level relative to your Trainer Level and its growth potential. When your Trainer Level increases, you primarily raise the CP cap for your Pokémon, as it’s possible to Power Up until the Pokémon is 1.5 levels higher than your current Trainer Level.
Pokémon with a lower dot on the arc are a lower level and have more growth potential until they reach its current level cap. A Pokémon with a higher dot on the arc is closer to your Trainer level, and a maxed arc means it is equal to or 1.5 levels higher than your current Trainer Level. Once your Trainer Level increases, the arc will move backward, denoting the availability of power gain from Powering Up. It moves back up to max once the Pokémon has been Powered Up to its maximum for your level.
Increasing a Pokémon’s CP by Powering Up
As a Pokémon powers up and gains more levels, its CP increases. Because Pokémon species and IVs determine CP, it’s possible to calculate the Pokémon’s maximum CP once you know its IVs and level. The amount of CP a Pokémon gains upon Powering Up comes from its IVs, including the level and species of the Pokémon. A Pokémon’s CP has no determination on how much damage it deals in battles because it comes from the Pokémon’s Attack IV and the power of individual moves. While defending a Gym, a Pokémon loses motivation upon defeat, which lowers its CP unless increased eating berries.
It’s important to note the higher the Pokémon’s level, the less CP it gains per Power Up. Once a Pokémon reaches level 30, its CP gains from Powering Up go down by roughly half. Therefore, Powering Up past this point is generally considered too minor of an upgrade for the incredible amount of Stardust required. If you happen to have a large surplus of Stardust, then feel free to continue Powering Up to the Pokémon’s maximum level of 40.
Determining a Pokémon’s level
A Pokémon’s base stats and CP go up every time they Power Up. Each Power Up grants one half of a level, up to a maximum level of 40. You can only Power Up a Pokémon to 1.5 levels higher than your current Trainer Level. Each Power Up has a Stardust cost and requires a certain amount of candy. This cost, combined with the arc mentioned above, can help you estimate the current level range of your Pokémon within four Power Ups.
Pokémon Power Up costs based on the level range
Levels 1-3: 200 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 3-4: 400 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 5-7: 600 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 7-9: 800 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 9-11: 1,000 Stardust, 1 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 11-13: 1,300 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 13-15: 1,600 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 15-17: 1,900 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 17-19: 2,200 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 19-21: 2,500 Stardust, 2 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 21-23: 3,000 Stardust, 3 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 23-25: 3,500 Stardust, 3 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 25-27: 4,000 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 27-29: 4,500 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 29-31: 5,000 Stardust, 4 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 31-33: 6,000 Stardust, 6 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 33-35: 7,000 Stardust, 8 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 35-37: 8,000 Stardust, 10 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 37-39: 9,000 Stardust, 12 Candy (per Power Up)
Levels 39-40: 10,000 Stardust, 15 Candy (per Power Up)
Tools and apps
There are numerous formulas you can use to learn more about your Pokémon’s stats. It’s significantly easier to use one of the many great calculators available online. There are also quite a few useful mobile apps we recommend to help you check your Pokémon while you’re actively playing Pokémon GO.
We’ve included those that are completely safe for use, and do not recommend using any that require your Pokémon GO login or directly modify the app in any way. Here are our favorite tools to help you determine your Pokémon’s true potential: