Like the main series Pokémon games, Pixelmon incorporates a system allowing a Pokémon to grow in strength based on the opponents it defeats. This is done with hidden values known as Effort Values (EVs) that exist for each of the six stat values. This system works identically to the one found in the Pokémon games, and so an understanding of the mechanics found there should allow you to EV train successfully within the Pixelmon mod.
All Pokémon, when defeated in battle, yield a species-specific spread and amount of EVs that is given to all Pokémon that participated in defeating the fainted opponent or are holding an Exp. Share. Unlike with experience, the full amount of EVs are given to every applicable Pokémon rather than being split evenly. These EVs are added to a possible total of 510 EVs a single Pokémon can gain, with a limit of 252 for each stat. They are applied to the Pokemon's stats immediately, without the need to level up. EVs will gradually contribute more stat points as the Pokémon's level gets higher, up to a maximum ratio of 4 EVs to 1 stat point at level 100.
In order to train Pokémon for their maximum battling potential, players are generally seen to train for 252 EVs in two desired stats, leaving four EVs to add an extra point to a third stat (and two additional EVs that serve no purpose). More advanced players may choose to distribute the available stat points differently, to allow for more specific capabilities in battle.
Before you begin to EV train, review the following:
- Has the Pokémon been used in battle before now?
- If so, do you know what Pokémon was defeated, if any?
- What Pokémon are most readily available to be battled, and what EVs do they yield?
- How will you keep track of EVs as they are gained?
Once you have ascertained the above, you are ready to go out and train.
Now that you are out in the wild, look for a Pokémon that you know yields the desired EVs. Be sure your Pokémon can defeat it. Pokémon yield the same amount of EVs regardless of level, so if you are in doubt, it may be best to hold out for a lower-level Pokémon. Once they are defeated, record the EV gain and repeat the process.
Occasionally, a Pokémon may initiate a battle with you. If this happens with a Pokémon that does not yield the desired EVs, run. Running is dependent on the active Pokémon's Speed and the opponent's Speed, so if you have a higher level Pokémon in your party, switch to them rather than attempting run off the bat. If you can't get away, it may be best to allow your Pokémon-in-training to faint. Although this reduces happiness, it will prevent your Pokémon from gaining unwanted EVs. The easiest way to avoid random battles is by avoiding Pokémon you don't want to battle, especially those with high aggression such as Arbok.
Altering EV Gains
There are several Held Items that help speed up EV training:
- A Macho Brace doubles the EV gain of a Pokémon when held.
- Power items each give an additional 8 EVs in a specific stat along with the normal EV yield from a Pokémon when held. They also halve the holder's Speed while being held.
- Vitamins raise a specified EV by 10 points, but will not raise the EV above 100.
- There are also certain Berries that each remove 10 EVs from a Pokémon in a particular stat. This can be useful if unwanted EVs were accidentally gained by a Pokémon.
Additionally any Pokémon infected with Pokérus will gain double the EVs.