The deepest secrets in Pokemon games

Catching 'em all was just the beginning

So, you set off on a Pokmon adventure to catch em all because thats what peer pressure and society said you should, huh? Youre all just Mareeple, doing what the game tells you to do. But theres more to Pokmon than beating a wild animal within an inch of its life before forcing it to live out the rest of its sad existence in a ball. Theres a hidden depth that the games dont even tell you about, and today were shining a spotlight on the underside of Pokmon. Diehard fans might already know these, but those new to the franchise are about to get a crash course in deep, useful, absurd Pokmon knowldge.

No, were not talking about disturbing things in Pokmon; weve covered that already, along with the craziest theories about Pokmon. Were sticking to cold, hard facts with this list--things within the games. These are the tricks thatll make your Pokmon level up faster, be more useful, and be better than your friends. Want to battle your rival (as in, your IRL rival) and have them (game) freak out about how much better you are? Of course you do. So grab your Pikachu and lets see exactly how deep this Buneary hole goes.

Traded Pokmon earn extra experience

Caught a Pikachu? Nice work, man. I mean, its not really all that impressive in Pokmon X and Y, since Nintendo all but shoves the electric mouse into a Pokball for you within the first hour of the game--but, still, neat! And your friend caught one too? Shocking. Well, if youre planning on using the li'l rat, you might as well swap it with your friends. Traded Pokmon (called "Outsider Pokmon") earn 1.5 times the experience as ones youve caught yourself, meaning you can grind the critter up faster if you didn't catch it yourself.

Not quick enough for you? What are you, a Rapidash? If thats still not doing it, another option is to trade with someone from another country. If the country of origin for a Pokmon is different from yours, itll gain experience 1.7 times faster. That means your new, foreign exchange Pokmon will speedily claw to level 100 as you force it to beat other monsters senseless. How exotic!

You can get Shiny Pokmon by Chain Fishing, Breeding, or using the Pokradar

That Pikachu you caught is yellow; how quaint. If only it were a slightly different shade of yellow--say, an orange, then maybe itd be more impressive. See, theres a 1/8192 chance that any Pokmon you catch will have an alternate color (called a Shiny). Some are just minor alterations, while others--like Charizard, who swaps from red to black--looks totally, remarkably different. But dont fret; there are some tricks you can use to make catching a Shiny (slightly) easier.

Chain fishing, which literally means fishing over and over again in the same spot, increases your chances dramatically, whereas the Pokradar (a tool gained after beating the game) can help raise the odds to 1/200 if you use it perfectly. Theres also the Masuda method, named after the game designer who added it, which gives you a 1/1365 chance of hatching a Shiny Pokmon from an egg if the two parents were caught in different countries. Sure, having a Shiny doesnt make the Pokmon better, but theres a good chance that your opponent will lose control of his/her bowels when your purple Hawlucha saunters out of his Pokball.

There are 25 different Natures that can improve or ruin your Pokmon

Your Pikachu is Impish. Is that good? Bad? Wait, you dont know? Come on, buddy, you need to know this stuff--how do you expect to own the world if you dont know how impish your goddamn Pikachu is? Every Pokmon you catch is assigned one of 25 different Natures that dictate innate changes to their stats. Impish means it has higher Special Defense and lower Speed, while Bold would give it higher Defense and lower Attack (which, now that I think of it, doesnt make any sense at all).

Some descriptors (Quirky, Bashful, Serious, Hardy) have no effect, but others can have pretty remarkable differences. Different Natures can change a Pokmons stats by a whopping (Woopering?) 10%. Early on it might not seem like much, but once their stats reach 300, youre going to notice. It ends up meaning that youre looking at gaining or losing up to 30 points (or approximately five levels worth of points) if your Pokmon has the wrong nature. In other words, you might want to just ditch that Pikachu, because who cares about Special Defense anyway?

Effort Value points are vital to training your Pokmon (and you're likely screwing it up)

Cant figure out why your level 100 Pikachu--because, no, you don't want a Raichu--isnt as fast as your friends? Its likely because you force-fed it Rare Candies, lowering its overall Effort Value (EV) points. Besides the stats your Pokmon is going to get when it levels normally, it also has EV points that can be changed by specifically battling specific type of Pokmon for specific points. Force your Pikachu to murder schools of Magikarp and itll get more points in its Speed, or have it slay endless hordes of Bellossoms to improve its overall Special Attack.

Pokmon X and Y made this much more accessible with the inclusion of Super Training, which makes it easier to assign EV points to your team, but EV points will still accrue in the background whether or not you shoot soccer balls at giant balloon Tyranitar. In other words, every time you fight a Pokmon that isnt giving your pocket monster the stats it needs, youre wasting you (and your Pokemons) EV points. You can reset them in X and Y, but its still better to do it right the first time--or to just ignore EV points completely, because God damn are they complicated.

Some Pokmons have non-combat Abilities

What makes each of the 700+ different Pokmon unique? Well, they each have their own Stats and Skills, but there are other elements that set them apart. There are nearly 300 Abilities, for instance, that give Pokmon their own style. Odds are your Pikachu has Static, which gives it a 30% chance to paralyze enemies that hit it, but other 'mons have specialized elements that make them more useful in battle. But of those 300, 27 abilities have special out-of-battle effects that you may never have even heard about.

16 Pokmon have Flame Body, for example, which halves the time it takes for an egg to hatch; five have Magnet Pull, increasing the odds of encountering a Steel-type Pokmon by 150 percent; and eight Pokmon have Sticky Hold, making it easier to get a bite while fishing (which, as you might guess, makes Chain Fishing much easier). There are also Hidden Abilities that can be obtained--your Pikachu, for instance, might have Lightning Rod. Well, if you got it at the 2012 World Championships, that is. Did you? No. You didnt. Stop lying.

Theres a contagious virus thatll strengthen your Pokmon

Thought the 1/8192 chance of catching a Shiny Pokmon was insane? Thats downright frequent when compared to finding a wild Pokmon with the Pokrus. How does a 1/21,845 chance sound? Yeah. Thought so. It spreads to any fighters in your party, too, working into their veins and giving them the infection. But dont be alarmed if you find that your Pikachu is contaminated with the Pokmon virus--its actually one of the only things thatll make your stupid rat useful.

The Pokrus is a mutualistic virus, benefiting the host more than it negatively impacts them. Remember those EV points from earlier? Turns out, Pokrus-ridden Pokmon earn them faster, making it easier for you to improve your Pikachus stats while youre grinding Bellossoms for six hours straight. Eventually your monsters will become immune to it, meaning theyll no longer be able to spread the infection, but the positive impact will remain forever. Yay!

You can breed your Pokmon to make them Perfect

Here we are, at the end of the (victory) road--and the final nail in your useless, weak, pathetic Pikachus coffin. Welcome, my friends, to the world of Individual Values, aka IVs, aka DVs, aka... Pokmon genes. If youre patient, and you breed (and inbreed) your Pokmon in a very specific manner, you can get a Pokmon that has as perfect stats as possible. It can make a huge difference.

Every Pokmon has six stats when theyre born, and its possible for five of them to be perfect. Ones caught in the wild? Usually trash. Those nabbed from Pokmon X and Ys Friend Safari? Slightly better, with two perfect IVs. But since breeding has a chance to pass down traits, its possible to meticulously breed Pokmon in a way that will, eventually, give them five perfect IVs. Doing this can take a long time--like, several hours--but the effects are worth it if youre planning on ever having a competitive Pokmon team.

Pikashoo

Did you learn something? Did you? Of course you did. You learned that your Pikachu is a worthless pile of garbage. You learned that you don't know what you're doing. You learned that everything you knew... was wrong. Now, hopefully, you can start to rebuild your life.

And if you're looking for more, check out what the original 151 Pokemon would taste like and the top 7 most disturbing thing about the Pokemon universe. Oh, and there's always our Pokemon X and Y review--read that, too!

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