If you’ve beaten Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, played the delta episode, caught every Pokémon and are now letting your game collect dust because you don’t know what else to do with it, stop. You may think Pokémon games end when you’ve bested the Elite Four and caught a few legendaries, but that’s only when the fun truly begins. One of the most addicting components of Pokémon ORAS is the ability to breed genetically flawless Pokémon that are absolute beasts in battle. You may think every Pokémon of one species is the same, but varying natures, abilities and hidden stats known as Individual Values (or IVs) make them as different as you and I.
Here’s a quick guide to get into the basics of breeding your own killer Pokémon.
1. Use the Battle Resort
Not available until after you beat the short delta episode available after besting the Elite Four, the Battle Resort is an island tailor made for breeding and hatching eggs. Inside the Pokémon Center, you’ll find a guy on the right who will check your Pokémon’s IVs (more on this later). To the right of the Pokémon Center is a daycare. Best of all, by using your directional pad to ride your bike left or right until you hit a wall and then holding up, the game’s camera rotates, effectively making the island a giant circle you can wander indefinitely without pressing a different directional button. This makes hatching eggs mindlessly easy, and never before have an endless route, daycare center and IV checker been in such close proximity to each other. If you’re serious about breeding, get to the Battle Resort ASAP.
2. Flame Body and O-Powers Are Important
To produce an egg, you need to put two Pokémon of either the same species or same egg group in the daycare. Obviously, one must be male, and the other must be female, and the resulting Pokémon will always be the same species as the mother. If the Pokémon you’re trying to breed is genderless (like Magneton) or only ever one gender (such as Lilligant), you must breed it with a Ditto. The resulting eggs have a step counter that must be reached in order for the egg to hatch (which is why riding your bike around the island is such a great way to hatch an egg). There are two things that dramatically cut down on the step count, however, which can be huge time-savers when trying to breed ‘mons that take forever to hatch, like Gible. Put a Pokémon that knows the Flame Body ability in your party. I use Talonflame because it can also learn Fly. Flame Body makes eggs hatch twice as fast. Another invaluable way to cut hatching time is the Hatching O-Power. Go to the Mauville City Pokémon Center and follow this guide to unlock the Hatching O-Power.
3. Don’t Forget Foreign Pokémon
If you’re not looking to breed powerful beasts, breeding is still valuable, because now it’s easier than ever to breed shiny Pokémon. Shinies are ultra-rare Pokémon that have alternate color schemes. Normally, the encounter rate for a shiny, whether you’re finding it in the wild or breeding it, is one out of 8,192, which means most people never encounter a shiny Pokémon. However, if you breed two Pokémon and one of them is foreign, as in has an original trainer not from your region, the chance of hatching a shiny multiplies by six for a result of one out of 1,365. This is known as the Masuda Method, and though it’s still remarkably rare to hatch a shiny this way, if you follow the above tips, it’s easy to hatch dozens of eggs in a single day while doing other things like reading or watching TV. If you don’t know how to get a foreign Pokémon, trying Wonder Trading, or catch a Ditto and put in on the GTS asking for another Ditto. Oftentimes, someone will trade you a Japanese Ditto, which is great because it can breed with any Pokémon for endless shiny-hatching fun.
4. Breed for Nature, Abilities and IVs
I’ve discussed how to make breeding easy, but you’re probably wondering why it’s necessary to produce hundreds of eggs in search of the perfect Pokémon. There are three things you should be breeding for as a beginner: natures, abilities and IVs. Breeding for nature is pretty easy. There are tons of natures a Pokémon can have, but they’re not random. Each nature ups one stat by ten percent while lowering another by ten percent. For instance, the Timid nature ups Speed and lowers Attack, so it’s the perfect nature for a Pokémon you want to be a speedy special attacker, like Charizard. After breeding tons of eggs, you’ll eventually get one with the nature you want. Give it an Everstone and put it in the daycare, and every egg after will have that nature.
Abilities are even easier. Abilities give Pokémon passive abilities, but they’re important and can be game-changers during close battles. Let’s use Zubat as an example. It has two possible abilities: Inner Focus and Infiltrator, a hidden ability. In order to breed a Zubat that has its hidden ability, you need to have a Zubat with Infiltrator to start with. If it’s a male, breed it with a Ditto until you have a female with Infiltrator. If it’s a female, put it with a male Zubat, and resulting eggs will have a 60 percent chance of having the hidden ability. Those that don’t will have Inner Focus. If you don’t want the hidden ability, breed two Zubat that only have Inner Focus, and all offspring will have Inner Focus. The thing is, hidden abilities are usually better than regular ones, so keep that in mind.
IVs are probably the most confusing aspect of Pokémon breeding. Basically, when an egg hatches, the Pokémon has hidden values for all six of its stats. Each stat has a buried value ranging from zero to 31, with zero being terrible and 31 being the best. For instance, a Dragonite with zero in Speed can never be as fast as a Dragonite with 31 IVs in Speed, if they’re both trained the same way. For this reason, most breeders try to breed Pokémon with at least five perfect IVs. Parents typically pass on three IVs between the two of them to their offspring and the remaining three are rolled off randomly, but there’s a way to force parents to pass on five IVs: the Destiny Knot. As you breed and get Pokémon with perfect IVs, put them in the daycare. Eventually, you’ll have two Pokémon that have the five perfect stats you want between them. Give one a Destiny Knot and the other an Everstone (assuming it has the desired nature). Eventually you’ll get a Pokémon with five perfect IVs, the correct nature and, if you’re lucky, the desired ability. Congrats! You’ve just bred a perfect Pokémon.
5. Prepare for a Time Sink
If you think tip four sounds confusing and time consuming, you’re right. Breeding Pokémon isn’t the easiest thing at first, but once you understand the mechanics, it becomes almost mindless to breed offspring; check their stats, natures and abilities; and replace the Pokémon in the daycare as necessary to breed even better Pokémon. Plus, Game Freak has made it easier than ever to hatch eggs with its endless path on the Battle Resort, the Destiny Knot and IV judge. I’ve given you everything you need to start breeding, but click the links above for even more in-depth guides. Now go queue up some Netflix and get breeding!