Pokémon, which is short for Pocket Monsters, is a Japanese media franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori back in 1995. It is a fantasy franchise set in a world where humans live together with creatures called Pokémon, who take on different shapes and sizes. It started off as a series of video games for the Game Boy console but soon expanded to other media. The individual Pokémon species are various, diverse, and very specific, but one major question is – how do they reproduce? Pokémon reproduction is a very mysterious phenomenon that is not fully understood and in this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know.
Pokémon reproduce through a process known as Pokémon breeding. Breeding is a method through which one can get a new Pokémon, i.e., a Pokémon Egg that will hatch into a new Pokémo. The process is not understood, as the people running the Pokémon Daycare don’t observe Pokémon during the process so it is not known what exactly happens during the process.
The rest of this article is, of course, going to be dedicated to Pokémon breeding. We are going to explain the known in-game mechanics behind the process, how some combinations work, and how the idea works in general. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about this complex procedure and we hope to make things more clear for you with this article.
How do Pokémon reproduce? Pokémon breeding explained!
Breeding is a game mechanic in the Pokémon world that has existed since the second generation of the game and the Pokémon Gold and Silver editions. It refers to the mating of two Pokémon in order to obtain eggs from which young Pokémon can hatch. Eggs are obtained by bringing two Pokémon with matching Egg groups to the Pokémon Day Care or the Pokémon Nursery. In Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, you have to go on a picnic instead and have the two Pokemon you want to breed on your team.
Many ways have since been introduced to affect the characteristics of the hatching Pokemon through selective parenting and the use of various items. These include, for example, nature, ability, the Pokéball, and individual strengths. In Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! breeding in the Pokémon Nursery is not possible. There are two main conditions for breeding to be successful – the gender and the Egg group.
In order to spawn an egg, one of the pair’s Pokémon must be female and one must be male. Since the Pokémon species is always inherited from the mother, male-only Pokémon (such as Tauros) can only produce offspring from the same lineage by mating with Ditto, which is a special case as it takes on both sexes when bred. However, only male Pokémon can be used as regular fathers. Pokemon of unknown gender – such as, for example, Magneton – can also only be paired with Ditto.
In order to be able to mate, two Pokémon do not necessarily have to be of the same species, different Pokémon are also able to do so. However, not every Pokémon can be paired with every other, rather both must belong to the same Egg Group, or share at least one Egg group. These include Pokémon that share certain characteristics or a similar physique.
A Pokémon can belong to up to two egg groups; the Pokémon of a lineage always belong to the same egg groups. An important exception to the egg groups is Ditto. It can be paired with any Pokémon (except another Ditto, most Legendary Pokémon, and Baby Pokémon). In doing so, it assumes the role of the opposite sex. There are also Pokemon that cannot get eggs at all, not even with Ditto. These are listed in the Unknown Egg Group and include, for example, Baby Pokémon, Legendary Pokémon, or Ultra Beasts.
Since the third generation, the breeder can be asked in front of the building to determine whether two Pokémon will lay an egg in the boarding house or hoard. This person tells the player what the ratio of the two Pokemon given up is. The ratio depends on which species the Pokémon belong to and which original trainer they have. The possible combos include:
|“The two seem to get along very well!”||Two Pokémon of the same species and from different original trainers||The egg will appear after just a few steps.|
|“The two seem to get along.”||Two Pokémon of the same species and the same original trainer |
Two Pokémon of different species and from different original trainers
|The egg will appear after a short time.|
|“The two don’t really seem to like each other very much.”||Two Pokémon of different species and the same original trainer||The egg will only appear after a long time.|
|“The two prefer to play with other Pokémon more than with each other.”||Two Pokemon from different Egg Groups, same gender, or Unknown Egg Group||There will be no egg.|
So yes, there are several compatibility possibilities and the good thing is that you can actually check them. The breeding process is both simple and complex, depending on how you look at it, but this is the only known way of Pokémon reproduction, despite all of its limitations. In the next section, we are going to give you more details about the mechanics of breeding.
What are the mechanics of Pokémon breeding?
A large number of characteristics are known which can be influenced by targeted breeding. Even before the egg hatches, many of the Pokémon’s stats are already predetermined. These include species, gender, and Shiny Value. With the help of the egg glitch, nature and ability can therefore be determined before hatching. In this section, we are going to explain the basic traits that can be influenced through breeding and show you what you can expect based on the Pokémon used.
Species and gender
A Pokémon hatched from an egg is always in the mother’s evolutionary line. In most cases, the Pokemon’s base level will hatch, but a Baby Pokemon can also hatch if certain additional conditions are met; for example, in order for a baby Pokémon that appears in a later generation than its parents to hatch, one of the Pokémon’s parents must be carrying a certain item. When it comes to inheriting moves, it matters whether you breed the Baby Pokémon or the Basic Pokémon, since these can sometimes inherit other moves.
For example, you can only get a Roselia with a special sensor if you inherit it from Knospi and develop it. Pokémon that only appear as males (or their base levels) can also hatch from eggs, but they must be paired with a Ditto to do so. This also applies to Pokémon of unknown gender, which can only produce eggs together with Ditto. The gender of the hatched Pokemon is always based on the percentage of the Pokemon itself and is identical to the ratio as the Pokemon appears in the wild. It is independent of the gender of the parents.
Crossbreeding is a special case in which a Pokémon hatches from an egg that does not belong to either the mother’s or father’s evolution. Manaphy and Ditto’s eggs hatch into Phione’s. However, Phione and Ditto’s eggs also hatch into Phione. Phione cannot evolve into Manaphy. Nidoran♀ Eggs and a male Pokémon from the Monster Egg group (which also includes Nidorino and Nidoking) hatch into female or male Nidoran. The eggs of Nidoran♂/Nidorino/Nidoking and a Ditto also hatch into female or male Nidoran. Volbeat and a Ditto hatch eggs into Illumise or Volbeat. Illumise and any breeding partner’s eggs will hatch into Illumise or Volbeat.
In order to fully elaborate on this, here is a table showing all the possible combinations and outcomes:
|Dragonite ♂||Dragonite ♀||Dratini||Same species breeding|
|Armarouge ♂||Ceruledge ♀||Charcadet||Same evolution family breeding|
|Seviper♂ (Field/Dragon)||Skeledirge♀ (Field)||Fuecoco||Same Egg Group breeding|
|Great Tusk||Iron Treads||None||No Eggs Discovered Egg Group breeding|
|Charizard ♂ (Monster/Dragon)||Swoobat ♀ (Flying/Field)||None||Different Egg Group breeding|
|Haxorus ♂||Haxorus ♂||None||Same gender breeding|
|Nidoran ♀||Any compatible Pokémon||Nidoran ♀ or Nidoran ♂||Same outcome if you breed Nidoran ♂, Nidorino, or Nidoking with Ditto|
|Illumise||Any compatible Pokémon||Illumise or Volbeat||Same outcome if you breed Volbeat with Ditto|
|Roselia or Roserade||Roselia or Roserade||Budew (w/Incense)|
Roselia (w/o Incense)
|The same rules apply to the breeding of other Baby Pokémon including Azurill, Wynaut, Chinglng, Bonsly, Mime Jr., Happiny, Mantyke, and Munchlax|
|Wooper ♂||Wooper ♀||Paldean Wooper||Hatcling is always in the native regional form|
|Paldean Wooper ♂||Quagsire ♀||Wooper||Only if Quagsire is holding the Everstone|
Ever since Pokémon Emerald, it’s been possible to inherit the Nature of a parent Pokémon from its offspring if it has an Everstone. Since Pokémon Black Version 2 and White Version 2, the probability is 100%, before these editions, the probability was 50%. Before Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, only the nature of the mother could be inherited.
The ability of a newly hatched Pokemon is linked to the abilities of the parent Pokemon. In this way, parents can pass their hidden abilities on to their offspring. Since the 6th generation, males can also pass on their hidden abilities to their offspring if the breeding partner is a Ditto and females can pass on their hidden abilities with any breeding partner, including Ditto.
Ditto is unable to pass its Hidden Ability to an offspring. Normal-form Pokémon that have their Hidden Ability can lay regional-form Pokémon that also have their respective Hidden Ability as Eggs. Inheritance also works from regional form to normal form. For example, the eggs of a Sandshrew with a sand scraper can hatch into Alolan Sandshrew with a snow scraper and vice versa.