EVs, or effort values, are numbers in a Pokémon game that help determine the stats of an individual Pokémon. Before Generation 6, these values were hidden from the player, and it was difficult to keep track of them when you were EV training. In Pokémon X and Y, Game Freak added some features that make EV training much easier and much faster.
Before Pokémon X and Y were released, you would EV train by defeating certain Pokémon. Each foe that a Pokémon fainted would grant it a certain number of effort value points in a specific stat. The number of points and which stat they were assigned to varied based on which Pokémon was beaten.
How does EV Training work?
For every 4 EV points gained in a stat, that Pokémon received 1 overall stat point at level 100 in that stat. A Pokémon can gain a total of 510 EVs, but only 255 in a single stat. However, 255 is not evenly divisible by 4, so 6 EVs would be wasted if you just split the EVs evenly between two stats. Many competitive battlers split the EVs 252/252 between the two main stats they want maxed out on a Pokémon, and put the last 6 in a stat like HP.
EV training is essential if you want to join the competitive battling scene because it could mean the difference between having a 1-hit-KO and putting the opponent in the red, allowing them to attack again before you finish them off.
For a more in-depth explanation of EV Training, have a listen to episode 8 of the Pokedex Radio podcast.
In Generation 6, a few new, yet superior ways to EV train were introduced. There are two main ways to EV train Pokémon in X and Y: Super Training and Horde Battling.
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