So you want to learn about Pokémon natures? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Your Pikachu is Adamant, your Metapod is Sassy, and your Eevee is a little Bashful. These aren’t just delightful personality quirks to give your Pokémon a bit of flavor, though -- these natures actually have real effects on your Pokémon’s stats. If you want your Pokémon to be the very best, then you can’t ignore their nature.
However, how do natures work? How do you get the nature you want and how do you get the most out of your Pokémon’s nature? Well, trainer, you’re about to find out.
What Are Pokémon Natures?
As we said before, your Pokémon’s nature has more to do with how they might act in your fanfiction. Introduced in Gen III, Pokémon natures can deeply affect your Pokémon’s stats.
Each nature causes one stat to be boosted by 10%, while another is reduced by 10%. For example, an Adamant Pokémon will have 10% more Attack stat, but will have a 10% reduced Special Attack stat. Since there are five stats (other than HP), there are 25 different combinations of increases and decreases. However, five of these can cause an increase and a decrease to the same stat, and are therefore called neutral natures.
The chart above outlines which natures correspond with each stat increase and decrease. From Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver onward, you can verify which stat is increased and which is decreased while looking at your Pokémon’s nature in-game. The stat that is outlined in red is increased, while the blue stat is decreased.
Natures also determine what flavors they prefer and what flavors they dislike when you feed them Poffins. This has less to do with actual stats and is more about a Pokémon’s “flavor,” if you’ll pardon the pun.
Is There A ‘Best’ Nature?
This depends on what your Pokémon’s battle plan is. In general, you want to have a nature that boosts the stat your Pokémon uses while decreasing the stat that it doesn’t use.
For example, a strong physical sweeper such as Weavile or Garchomp will want a nature that increases its Attack stat and decreases its Special Attack stat. The nature that accomplishes this is the Adamant nature.
Or, you might want to shore up a stat that your Pokémon is lacking in. Rampardos has a fantastic Attack stat but often has trouble attacking first due to its lackluster Speed stat. By acquiring the Jolly nature, you can increase Rampardos’s Speed stat while decreasing its Special Attack stat which it will (probably) never use.
How Much Do Natures Really Matter?
At early levels, natures don’t really have too much of an effect. However, later on, natures can reveal a big swing in a Pokémon’s stats.
Let's take a look at a level 100 Raichu as an example. With perfect IVs and maxed out EVs in Special Attack and Speed, a Raichu will have 279 Special Attack and 319 Speed given a neutral nature.
However, if that Raichu had a Timid nature, it's speed would be 350, while a Modest nature would boost its Special Attack to 306.
The same can be said for non-beneficial natures. A Relaxed nature would reduce that Raichu's Speed to 287, while an Impish nature would reduce its Special Attack to 251. Those are big swings in stats and can spell the difference between victory and defeat in battle.
Okay, You’ve Convinced Me. How Do I Get The Nature That I Want?
This is the tricky part. Getting the right nature isn’t easy, or always possible. Once a Pokémon has been captured or birthed from an egg, it’s nature is set and can never be changed.
That said, there are ways of influencing a Pokémon’s nature either before its egg hatches or before going out to capture it in the wild.
Creating a truly competitive Pokémon often requires careful breeding, so we’ll start here. If a Pokémon holds the Everstone while staying at the Pokémon Daycare center, it will always pass down its nature to its offspring. This works for either male or female Pokémon, so you just need to give the Everstone to the breeding Pokémon that you want to pass down its nature.
Capturing a wild Pokémon with the nature you want requires the use of the move Synchronize. If the first Pokémon in your party has the move Synchronize, then Pokémon you capture in the wild will always have the nature of the Pokémon with Synchronize.
Starting in Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee, there’s a second way to influence the nature of captured Pokémon. Madam Celadon at the Celadon Pokémon Center can be paid 10,000 Pokébucks to influence the nature of all wild Pokémon for a single day. You’ll have to choose the correct combination of flowers in order to select the correct nature, though. Red is for Attack, Yellow is Defense, Blue is Special Attack, Green is Special Defence, and Pink is for Speed.
If you’re serious about having the very best Pokémon on your team, then natures are something you can’t ignore. With these tools, you should be able to get the right nature for the right Pokémon and take a fearsome team into your next Pokémon tournament.