How to Breed Pokemon Basics
Breeding Pokemon seems like an easy task on the surface:
- Choose one male and one female Pokemon.
- Make sure they like each other.
- Leave them at a Pokemon Nursery either on Route 5 or Bridge Field in the Wild Area.
- Eventually, they will produce an egg, which you can pick up from outside the Nursery.
- Keep the Egg in your party until it hatches.
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 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.
Put a Pokemon in your party with either the Flame Body or Steam Engine ability to cut the steps you need to hatch eggs in half.
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. See our Individual Values Guide and How to Unlock the IV Checker to learn more about this important piece to great Pokemon.
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:
- Unlock the IV Checker so you can see a Pokemon’s Individual Values
- Capture a Pokemon with a few Best IVs. You can do this by catching Brilliant Aura Pokemon (3 Best IVs guaranteed) or by catching a Pokemon from a 5-Star Max Raid Battle (4 Best IVs Guaranteed).
- Obtain a Destiny Knot.
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.
If you have a perfect Ditto and a Brilliant Aura parent, give one of them a Destiny Knot to hold while in the Nursery and you’re on your way to a Pokemon with fantastic stats.
Destiny Knot can be found by a Pokemon with the Pickup Ability, such as Linoone or Zigzagoon. It can also be purchased for 10 BP from the Pokemon Center in south Hammerlocke.
How to Pass Down Natures (Everstone)
Natures are another important factor to having a great Pokemon. Read more about Natures here.
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.
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 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.