After 20 plus years, the main series of Pokemon games will finally make the jump to HD on the Nintendo Switch. There’s plenty to be excited about, as this could result in a much-needed shake up for the franchise. Over the years, Game Freak have added (and removed) many features in an attempt to keep things fresh and interesting. While the generation 7 games have introduced some important changes, like removing HMs, there is still a lot more that can be done. The five features below are ones I believe are absolutely mandatory for the next game. No exceptions. Let’s get into it.
Accurate Stat Checkers
Pokemon games have always had lots of hidden statistics, which are integral to post-game battle towers and competitive gameplay. The most important of these stats are Effort Values (EVs), Individual Values (IVs) and Happiness. These terms can get fairly complex, but let’s try to digest them one by one.
First up are the Individual Values or IVs. You can think of these as the Pokemon’s genetic structure, in other words, some Pokemon are just naturally stronger. Every Pokemon has 6 IVs in each of the main stats: HP, Attack, Defence, Special Attack, Special Defence and Speed. This value can be between 0 and 31. Any stat with 31 IVs is called “perfect” and implementing them is quite easy. A single IV translates directly into 1 extra point in the specific stat.
Suppose you have two Pikachu, one with 31 Speed IVs, the other with 0. The Speed stat for the Pikachu with 31 IVs will be 31 points higher than the one with 0 IVs (assume that nature, EVs and other factors are equal). This can be huge in competitive battles, where even a single point in speed can make the difference between attacking first, or getting knocked out.
The current system for checking IVs is decent. An NPC judges your Pokemon, and describes the stat. For example, if they say that Pikachu’s speed stat “can’t be beat”, you can assume that it has 31 IVs in speed. In Sun and Moon, you can check IVs from the PC, so it’s a bit easier. But it still doesn’t give out exact values, which seems ridiculous. Why not just display the exact number of IVs, similar to other stats?
Happiness has a similar problem. You have to talk to an NPC, who gives out a vague statement describing happiness. In Pokemon games, happiness acts as a hidden stat and has a minimum of 0 and maximum of 255. The main use for happiness are the attacks Return and Frustration. Return is most powerful when happiness is maxed out (255), while Frustration is at its best when the stat is 0. Some Pokemon also need to reach a specific happiness number to evolve, like Riolu or Pichu. That’s why having the actual number, instead of a description, would be much more useful.
Finally, we have Effort Values or EVs. EV’s are the equivalent of going to the gym. Every time you defeat a Pokemon, all of the participants receive some EVs, which are present for all six stats. However, there’s no accurate method of checking how many EVs a Pokemon has, and in which stat. There is a graph (like IVs), but once again, it would be so much easier if they just gave us the number. All they need to do is put in brackets next to each stat, how many EVs the Pokemon has.
Another point is how different Pokemon drops EVs for different stats. For example, a Pidgey drops one EV in speed. So, if you knock out a Pidgey, all Pokemon who participated in battle will gain one EV in speed. The only way to find out these values is by checking online, which is fine. But I would still like to see these numbers in-game. They can easily list how many EVs are dropped by a Pokemon in their Pokedex entry.
Of course, it’s important to understand why EVs are even important in the first place. The idea is to maximise the potential of your Pokemon. Having max IVs isn’t enough as it only boosts a stat by 31 on its own. EVs can increase a stat by up to 63.
Every Pokemon has an EV cap of 510 total, with a cap of 255 for each stat. Also, 4 EVs are equal to an increase of 1 point in a stat. So, if Pikachu gains 4 EVs in attack, its attack stat increases by 1. Now, let’s work through an example giving EVs to a Pokemon.
We have a Pikachu with max IVs and happiness, but we also want to give him good EVs. Two of Pikachu’s best stats are speed and special attack, so we’ll buff those up. While the limit for each stat is 255 EVs, we are going to give Pikachu 252, as anymore than that will be useless. By giving 252 EVs in speed and special attack, both stats will increase by a whopping 63, which can make a huge difference. We are left with 6 more EVs, 4 of which will actually increase a stat. Let’s just put this into defence, increasing it by one. Clearly, EV training makes a massive difference, which is why it is important that you can easily keep track of these values in-game.