Pokemon Go Which is Better Levels or IVs Guide

By now, I’ve heard too many people during raids and some people on TSR say not to evolve Pokémon with high level-low IV, but instead evolve low level-high IV and use that one for battles and raids because they are “better”, “stronger”. Now, I know that many people here understand the importance of IV’s and how they work, but most of the explanations I found were either too complex or effortlessly put in a few sentences. I don’t claim to know everything about Pokémon formulas that back stat distributions, CP, breakpoints and bulkpoints but I think I have a general understanding of how it works. My idea is to simplify base stats and IV’s and bring them closer to those that don’t fully understand the mechanics behind them, and to help others educate their fellow players how to take full advantage of their Pokémon for battles and raids. First, let’s start with base stats.

In Pokémon GO there are 3 base stats: Attack, Defense and Stamina.

Each Pokémon has a uniquely determined value of attackdefense and stamina. Once a Pokémon evolves it no longer holds the same base stat values as it had prior to the evolution. As an example, let’s use many people’s favorite evolution line, LarvitarPupitar-Tyranitar.

Larvitar has the following base stats:
Attack: 115
Defense: 93
Stamina: 137

When Larvitar evolves to Pupitar and finally to Tyranitar, his base stats will increase to the following values:
Attack: 251
Defense: 207
Stamina: 225

Let’s move onto IV’s for now. While appraising your Pokémon you can roughly find out what its IV’s are, but the best way to find their true value is to use a calculator. There are many apps on Google Play (Android) and App Store (iPhone) that calculate IV’s, but the best one for me personally has been Calcy IV. (Make sure you don’t use an app that requires you to log into your Pokémon Go account, but instead one that uses screenshot function for calculations.)

In Pokémon GO there are 3 different IV’s (Individual Values) corresponding to the base stats:
Attack IV
Defense IV
Stamina IV
Maximum value of each is 15, which means the highest IV score combined is 45 (100% IV Pokémon).

How it all works? Simple. Combining Pokémon attack, defense and stamina IV’s with its base stats gets us its true stats. Let’s assume our newly evolved Pokémon, Tyranitar, has an IV score of 30, evenly distributed (Attack IV = Defense IV = Stamina IV = 10).

Finally, we can calculate its true stats:
Attack: 251 + 10 = 261
Defense: 207 + 10 = 217
Stamina: 225 + 10 = 235

Does this mean my Tyranitar will have same true stats at level 20 and at level 40? No, and here’s why. Another number comes into play as your Pokémon levels-up (powers-up) and it’s called CPM (Combat Power Multiplier). CPM also determines the combat power of your Pokémon at any given level, but in this guide I will focus solely on its impact on base stats and IV’s.

CPM of any Pokémon at level 1 is 0.094, at level 20 it’s 0.59740001, and at level 40 it’s 0.79030001. There is a complete table on this link: https://pokemongo.gamepress.gg/cp-multiplier. We multiply each of our true stats with the CPM according to the level of our Pokémon.
The final formula for true attack stat would be: True attack = (base attack + attack IV)*CPM.
The same goes for defense and stamina calculations.

So what does all of this mean for our lovely Tyranitar? If he was level 20 (IV score of 30), his true stats would look like this:
True attack: 261*0.59740001 = 155
True defense: 217*0.59740001 = 129
True stamina: 235*0.59740001 = 140
*Note: each value needs to be calculated using truncation method, for example: 261*0.59740001 = 155.92140261 ≈ 155 after truncation.

Level 40 Tyranitar (IV score of 30) will have his true stats distributed this way:
True attack: 261*0.79030001 = 206
True defense: 217*0.79030001 = 171
True stamina: 235*0.79030001 = 185

Let us now return to my first sentence and the meaning of high level-low IV versus low level-high IV Pokémon.
Let’s assume the following scenario. You’ve hatched a perfect Larvitar (IV score of 45 –> Attack IV = Defense IV = Stamina IV = 15) and it’s level 20, but you also have a 0% IV Larvitar (IV score of 0 -> Attack IV = Defense IV = Stamina IV = 0) who is level 35 and you need to evolve one into Tyranitar to use for a Mewtwo raid that is coming this weekend. A friend is suggesting evolving a level 20 Larvitar since its IV score is perfect and is therefore a better option. What do you do?

Level 20, 100% IV Tyranitar has the following true stats:
True attack: (251+15)* 0.59740001 = 158
True defense: (207+15)* 0.59740001 = 132
True stamina: (225+15)* 0.59740001 = 143

Level 35, 0% IV Tyranitar has the following true stats:
True attack: (251+0)* 0.76156384 = 191
True defense: (207+0)* 0.76156384 = 157
True stamina: (225+0)* 0.76156384 = 171

Looking at the math, level 35, 0% IV Tyranitar is a much better option for the upcoming raid and you should warn your friend not to give you any more bad opinions. After this we arrive at a conclusion:

A high level-low IV Pokémon is generally a better option for raid and gym battles (when you’re not short-manning raids) than a low level-high IV Pokémon, the bigger the gap in levels between them are.

Sorry for the long post, I hope I didn’t get myself into the “over complex” category but I wanted to write this in hope of it reaching the ones who would benefit from this knowledge. If I made any mistakes feel free to let me now and I’ll rectify them. Cheers!


I know many things in here weren’t covered and that is my fault, I really tried to make this as simple as possible but I will say the following.

For the long term, everybody’s goal is to collect the best and the strongest possible Pokémon, I presume. I’m not saying that a high IV-low level Pokémon is ALWAYS the best idea, it was just a general opinion regarding raids and gym battles, if you’re doing raids with larger groups (4, 5+) because the damage output isn’t as critical as when you’re short-manning raids. If that’s the instance, and you need to do a level 4 or 5 raid with another friend, you would need to power up those high IV-low level ones, because even that slightest 3% increase in damage output could be the decisive factor for the final outcome. Another thing to watch for, if you’re trying to short-man raids, is to look for the breakpoints needed for the specific raid boss as crossing those breakpoints means bigger damage output. And of course, use the best possible movesets needed for that particular boss!

Here in play also comes the matter of stardust and candies. If you have an abundance of each, the suggested thing to do would be to power up your best available Pokémon, even if he is at a low level.

Without deleting and editing much of the things I wrote I will add the following (as suggested by some people):

Let’s assume two level 20 Tyranitars with different IV scores. Tyranitar A will have an IV score of 30 (78%), and Tyranitar B will have an IV score of 45 (100%). Let’s do the math:

TRUE STATSTyranitar A (10-10-10); LV. 20Tyranitar B (15-15-15); LV. 20
True attack(251+10)*0.59740001 = 155(251+15)* 0.59740001 = 158
True defense(207+10)*0.59740001 = 129(207+15)* 0.59740001 = 132
True stamina(225+10)*0.59740001 = 140(225+15)* 0.59740001 = 143

As we can see, the difference between a 100% IV level 20 Tyranitar and a 78% IV level 20 Tyranitar is only 3%!

Let’s do the same math for the level 40 Tyranitars:

TRUE STATSTyranitar A (10-10-10); LV. 40Tyranitar B (15-15-15); LV. 40
True attack(251+10)*0.79030001 = 206(251+15)*0.79030001 = 210
True defense(207+10)*0.79030001 = 171(207+15)*0.79030001 = 175
True stamina(225+10)*0.79030001 = 185(225+15)*0.79030001 = 189

We also notice a slight increase in its stats here, but only a 4%!

Final thought: If you want to short-man raids, power up your high IV-low level Pokémon. If you have no intention of doing raids with less than 4, 5 people, you can keep using your wild caught weather boosted Pokémon as the impact on damage isn’t going to be as huge!

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