How to Breed Pokemon Basics
Breeding Pokemon seems like an easy task on the surface:
However, there’s a lot that goes into it. First, you need to find two Pokemon that will produce an egg together.
is usually the go to Pokemon for many Breeders who want an Egg with little effort, since they can breed with just about any Pokemon of any gender. See How to Catch Ditto for information on nabbing one with great IVs – which affects its offspring’s stats.
If you don’t want to use a Ditto for specific reasons, you’ll have to find two Pokemon that fit in the same Egg Groups, and there must be one of each gender.
Click on each Egg Group (under construction) to see a list of Pokemon in each. You can also check our individual Pokedex pages to see which Egg Groups they belong to.
As a rule of thumb, if two Pokemon look vaguely similar, like Vulpix and Growlithe (Field) or Charizard and Duraludon (Dragon), they can probably produce an egg. However, there are always some odd matches that can work, like Wailord and Wooloo (Field…yikes).
What’s In the Egg?
If you’re breeding two different Pokemon, the Pokemon that hatches will be the same as the female. If breeding with a Ditto, the hatchling will always match the Pokemon that isn’t the Ditto.
However, for obvious reasons, it will not be the highest evolutionary form. For example: if you’re breeding a female Charizard and a male Duralodon, you will end up with a Charmander of either gender.
There are few Pokemon that can only be male or female and have opposite gender counterparts, such as Braviary and Mandibuzz. In this special case, you will have a 50/50 chance of the egg being the same species as the father or mother.
Some Pokemon can only be obtained through breeding. To get one of these infant Pokemon, the parent may need to hold a Incense while in the Day Care, but not all baby Pokemon need a special item to be created. See the List of Incense Breeding Pokemon in Sword and Shield.
How to Hatch Eggs Fast
Eggs hatch after a certain number of steps are met, and each Pokemon hatches at a different rate. The easiest way to accrue steps fast is by riding the Rotom Bike, but there’s another way to speed up egg hatching.
Pokemon with Flame Body or Steam Engine
Get the Oval Charm
The Oval Charm is automatically applied and will increase the chances of an egg being created at the Nursery once you get it, so you’ll want to pick this item up before doing any serious Breeding.
Head to the hotel in Circhester and enter the second room from the left on the second floor. Talk to the police officer who will reveal himself as GAME FREAK’s Morimoto.
Defeat his team of six powerful Pokemon to obtain the Oval Charm.
Individual Values are a Pokemon’s hidden stats that affect its overall potential, and range from values of 0 (No Good) to Best (31). You want to get Best stats for most of a Pokemon’s stats, with some caveats. Some Pokemon actually benefit from having a low Attack or Speed stat, for example.
See our Individual Values Guide and How to Unlock the IV Checker to learn more about this important piece to great Pokemon.
About Hyper Training
You can use a Bottle Cap to Hyper Train a Pokemon’s stat to be as if it had a value of 31 (Best), so you don’t necessarily need to breed totally perfect Pokemon. However, these Hyper Trained stats won’t pass down to offspring. Read more about how to Hyper Train with Bottle Caps here.
Normally, a Pokemon will inherit three out of the 12 total IVs of both Parents. The odds aren’t great.
Luckily, there’s a way to pass on great IVs. You should do three things first:
How to Get a Destiny Knot
When given to a Pokemon as a held item, the child is guaranteed to inherit 5 IVs randomly from both parents instead of only three – this is why it’s so valuable.
To pass down a Pokemon’s nature, give it an Everstone to hold. The offspring will inherit the Nature of the Pokemon holding the Everstone.
If you change a Pokemon’s Nature with a Mint, it will not pass down this new nature when breeding. It will only pass down its original Nature.
How to Pass Down Hidden Abilities
Some Pokemon can have more than one Ability. The chances of getting a certain Ability from a Pokemon in the wild are 50/50. However, there are ways to breed a certain ability onto the child.
If a Pokemon species has more than one possibly Ability, there will be an 80% chance the child will know the same Ability as the mother.
There are also rare Hidden Abilities that many Pokemon can have, but the only way to find a Pokemon with a Hidden Ability in the wild is by catching one in a Max Raid Battle.
You can only pass down Hidden Abilities of the same species of Pokemon, and the parent must have the Hidden Ability.
If the mother Pokemon has a Hidden Ability, it will have an 60% chance of passing it down to the child. Male or unknown gender Pokemon have a chance of passing down the Hidden Ability only if bred with a Ditto.
How to Breed Shiny Pokemon
The rates when breeding a Shiny Pokemon are the same as when trying to catch a Pokemon (without the total battled Pokemon multiplier) but there is an additional method: Breeding with Pokemon from two different language games.
The two games must be set to two different languages, not just purchased from two different regions. A Japanese purchased game set to English will not apply, for example.
Using two Pokemon from different language games increases your Shiny Pokemon odds from 1/4,096 to 1/682. If you have the Shiny Charm, this increases even further to 1/512. Read How to Get the Shiny Charm for more information.
How to Pass Down Egg Moves
Once a Pokemon hatches, it will be at level 1 and may know certain moves that it normally cannot learn at that level. There are three types of Attacks that can be taught through breeding:
- A Pokemon can learn an attack from a TM or TR if the father has one in their move set. This only works if the baby Pokemon would normally be able to learn that move.
- A Pokemon can learn an attack that is normally learned at later levels if both of the parents already have it in their move sets. There are some instances where this will not work.
- A Pokemon can learn an attack that is only learned through specific breeding – these are called Egg Moves. For example, breed a Togetic that knows Wish with a Pikachu to get a male Pichu that knows Wish. Evolve it into a Pikachu, then breed it with a female Eevee. You should get an Eevee that knows Wish, which it doesn’t usually learn by leveling up or by TM.
Pokemon Sword and Shield make sharing Egg Moves easier than ever now, too. Simply put one Eevee in the Nursery that knows Wish, and another Eevee that doesn’t. The new Eevee will learn Wish just by being at the Pokemon Nursery with the other Eevee!
Note: These Pokemon must be the same exact species. An Eevee can’t teach an Umbreon, and vice versa, for example.
How to Pass Down the Same Poke Ball
Pay attention to what kind of Poke Ball the female Pokemon is caught in – this is the kind of Poke Ball the offspring will be in when it hatches.
If the Pokemon are of the same species, however, it will be a 50/50 chance as to which Poke Ball the baby will be born in.
If breeding with a Ditto, the offspring will be in the Poke Ball the other parent is in.
Master Balls, Cherish Balls, and Friend Balls will not be passed down.
List of Incense Breeding Pokemon in Sword and Shield
Incense can be purchased from a market in Hulbury, and they have more than one use: they can be used to make certain Pokemon produce Baby Pokemon they otherwise wouldn’t.
Give the Parent Pokemon the correct incense so it will make an Egg with its pre-evolved form.
|Parent Pokemon||Incense||Baby Result|
|Roselia / Roserade||Rose Incense||Budew|
|Mr. Mime / Mr. Rime||Odd Incense||Mime Jr.|
Why the weird method? These Pokemon were from earlier generations, before their pre-evolved counterparts were introduced! Since they normally would make offspring of themselves, a new method was introduced to get both. Oddly, some Pokemon like Pikachu will produce Eggs of their pre-evolved selves without a special method like Incense.
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