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A quick guide to Pokemon natures

How does your Pokemon's sassiness affect its prowess in battle? Read this guide to find out!

Natures were introduced during the third generation of Pokemon games, and they've been a mainstay of the series since then. When you catch or receive a Pokemon, it will have one of twenty-five different traits that will raise one stat and lower another. The affected statistics are altered by 10%.

If you've ever wondered why your Pikachu seems a little on the slow side, take a look at our handy reference chart!

  - Attack  - Defense  - Speed  - Sp. Attack  - Sp. Def. 
+ Attack   Hardy  Lonely  Brave  Adamant  Naughty
+ Defense  Bold  Docile  Relaxed  Impish  Lax
+ Speed   Timid  Hasty  Serious  Jolly  Naive
+ Sp. Attack   Modest  Mild  Quiet  Bashful  Rash
+ Sp. Def.   Calm  Gentle  Sassy  Careful  Quirky

If that's a bit much to remember, there's an easy way to check up on what your Pokemon's nature does. From Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver onwards, the raised stat will have a faint red outline on your Pokemon's status screen, while the lowered stat will be on the blue side. If you can't spot any of these colors, then your Pokemon has one of the five natures whose effects cancel each other out.

Nature and Battle

The 10% difference might not seem like much at the outset of your journey, but it becomes important when dealing with the postgame content of most Pokemon titles. The Battle Resort and its other incarnations are designed to give you a challenge and test both your ability to raise a Pokemon and use it in battle. While it might not always be practical to take the time to catch a Pokemon with an ideal nature, it's worth making sure that your new companion's nature doesn't actively water down its strengths. When it comes to stats, it's much better to improve strengths than try to compensate for weaknesses -- careful switching of your team in battle can cover those instead.

For example, it's possible to catch a Ralts early on in Pokemon ORAS. One with an Impish nature would have a reduced Special Attack and an improved Defense. Ralts and its evolutions are very fragile and focused on psychic moves, which predominantly use the Special Attack stat. As a result, the defensive boost not only fails to be useful, but actively hinders the Pokemon's strong point: psychic attacks.

Even though it has an unsuitable nature, our Ralts can still be useful! There are a few ways to influence a Pokemon's nature.

Determining Nature

It's likely that you've already used the Pokemon Day Care -- whether it was to obtain a super cute baby Pokemon, raise a 'mon that was lagging behind, or to tinker with the moves that can be passed down from parent to child. The daycare can also help with putting your dream team together by providing a way to guarantee a certain nature.

To do this, you'll need a nature in mind, an Everstone, and a Ditto. Catch or trade for a Ditto with your desired nature (for a Ralts, that would be Modest). Give the Everstone to Ditto to hold and leave it in the Day Care with Ralts. The hatched Pokemon will be a Modest Ralts.

You can also encounter Pokemon of your desired nature in the wild. Put a Pokemon with the ability Synchronize at the front of your party, and each Pokemon you find has a 50% chance of having the same nature as your party leader. 

Conclusion

Choosing or encountering a Pokemon with a nature complementary to its stats is only one part of raising a fantastic Pokemon and conquering the Battle Resort. There are even more complex numbers governing the individual values that determine a Pokemon's strengths and weaknesses, but a good-natured Pokemon is a great start.

Published Sep. 29th 2015

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