EV Training Guide + Best Locations (Pokémon HGSS)

Battling a Drowzee in Pokémon SoulSilver

EVs (Effort Values) are hidden values in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver that are earned through battling. They’re used to increase a Pokémon’s Base Stats (Attack, Defense, HP, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed).

Unlike IVs (Individual Values), EVs can be altered. Trainers can increase the EV of a specific stat by:

  • Battling with the Pokémon
  • Feeding the Pokémon Vitamins
  • Having the Pokémon hold a Power Item or a Macho Brace

In this guide we’ll cover how EVs work in HG/SS, how to train them, and we’ll provide a list of the best spots for training each EV stat.

What Are EVs?

Think of EVs as being similar to EXP points, but they’re allocated to a Pokémon’s stats instead of their level. When a Pokémon battles and gains EXP points, they also gain EV points.

At level 100, every 4 EV points allocated to a certain stat increases that stat by +1.

Note: When a Pokémon reaches level 100, they can’t gain any EXP or EV points from battles. In this instance, EVs have to be increased and decreased through the use of Vitamins and berries.

Each of a Pokémon’s stats has a maximum of 255 EV points that can be allocated to it, and every Pokémon has a maximum of 510 EV points that can be allocated across their stats.

This means that once a Pokémon’s 510 EVs are allocated, it can’t gain more EVs.

How Do You Check EVs?

Outside the EV Checker’s house in Blackthorn City / Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
Outside the EV Checker’s house in Blackthorn City

Much like IVs, there isn’t a way to check the exact EVs of a Pokémon in HeartGold and SoulSilver.

However, there is a way to tell if a Pokémon has reached the 510 EV limit.

A girl in Blackthorn City, in the house on the far right (pictured above) will give your Pokémon the Effort Ribbon if it has reached their EV potential.

If she says that they need to work a little bit harder, then your Pokémon can still earn EVs.

How Do You Train EVs?

Method #1: Battling

When battling in the wild or against a Trainer, Pokémon earn EVs when they earn EXP. This can’t be prevented, and EVs aren’t earned from battles that yield no EXP points.

Some key notes about earning EVs through battling:

  • Specific Pokémon yield specific EVs. Different species of Pokémon award different types of EVs when they’re defeated in battle. For example, if your Pikachu fights and defeats a wild or Trainer-owned Bulbasaur, your Pikachu will earn +1 Special Attack EV.
  • The number of EVs earned may differ. Some Pokémon yield more than one type of EV, and some yield more than one EV point. Venusaur, for example, yields +2 Special Attack EVs and +1 Special Defense.
  • The EXP Share grants EVs as well. Alongside sharing EXP points with a Pokémon that didn’t participate in a battle, the EXP Share also has the additional effect of increasing the holder’s relevant EVs as well.

Method #2: Vitamins

Vitamins are items that increase a particular EV by +10, while also increasing a Pokémon’s happiness level.

Each Vitamin corresponds to a certain stat, in much the same way as Power Items and berries.

Vitamin Corresponding Stat





Special Attack

Special Defense

Vitamins can be found in the overworld, or purchased at a price of ₽9,800 at the Goldenrod Department Store in Johto or the Celadon Department Store, and at the Safari Zone Gate in Kanto.

Method #3: Power Items

Power Items are items that are held by a Pokémon to increase the amount of EVs gained from battles, but they halve that Pokémon’s Speed while held.

These items can be purchased for 16 Battle Points at the Battle Frontier.

Below is a full list of every Power Item in the game & its corresponding stat.

Power Item Corresponding Stat

Power Anklet

Power Band
Special Defense

Power Belt

Power Bracer

Power Lens
Special Attack

Power Weight

Each Power Item corresponds to a specific stat, and adds an additional +4 EVs to that stat when any EVs are gained.

For example, if a Pokémon is holding the Power Anklet when it defeats a Clefairy (which yields +2 HP EVs), then the holder gains +4 Speed EVs in addition to the +2 HP EVs.

A couple of key points on Power Items:

  • Pokérus doubles the EVs. When a Pokémon is (or was) infected with Pokérus, the EVs gained with the effect of Power Items will be doubled. In other words, instead of earning +2 HP EVs and +4 Speed EVs when a Clefairy is defeated while holding the Power Anklet, +4 HP EVs and +8 Speed EVs are gained.
  • Power Items can be used in breeding. When breeding with a Pokémon holding a Power Item, that Pokémon is likely to pass down the corresponding IV to the offspring. (Just remember that EVs and IVs are different. IVs are set values, while EVs have to be earned and can be altered.)

Method #4: The Macho Brace

On the 4th Floor at Goldenrod Department Store / Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
On the 4th Floor at Goldenrod Department Store

The Macho Brace is an item that can double the amount of EVs gained from battling, but has the additional effect of halving the holder’s Speed stat while being held. So if you defeat a Clefairy while holding the Macho Brace, +4 HP EVs will be earned instead of the normal +2.

It can be obtained through an in-game trade at the Goldenrod Department Store. On the fifth floor, there is someone who’ll be willing to trade a Machop holding a Macho Brace for a Drowzee.

Note: The Macho Brace doesn’t affect EVs gained from Vitamins.

The Pokérus doubles the Macho Brace’s effect, which means EVs may be gained at four times the normal rate. So, if your Pokémon has been infected, and is holding the Macho Brace when it defeats a Clefairy, +8 HP EVs will be gained.

How Pokérus Affects EVs

Cyndaquil infected with Pokérus / Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
Cyndaquil infected with Pokérus

Pokérus is a rare beneficial Pokémon virus that doubles any EVs gained through battling.

This effect applies to EVs gained with the assistance of Power Items and the Macho Brace as well, but it doesn’t extend to Vitamins.

Pokérus is displayed in much the same way as a status condition, such as poison or paralysis, but it can’t be healed at a Pokémon Center or with status healing items.

Some key notes on Pokérus:

  • Pokérus is contagious. As long as a Pokémon is infected with Pokérus, it stands a chance to infect other Pokémon in the adjacent slots of your party as well.
  • Your Pokémon will recover if it’s in your party. Pokérus will usually disappear of its own accord in about one to four days, but this can be prevented if an infected Pokémon is placed in the PC. While stored in the PC, it will remain infected indefinitely.
  • Once recovered, a Pokémon can’t be infected again. A Pokémon that has had Pokérus in the past will display a small smiley face next to its sprite in its summary. But even though a Pokémon is cured of Pokérus, the virus’s effect will remain and that Pokémon will continue to gain double the amount of EVs.

Berries That Lower EVs

There are certain berries in HeartGold and SoulSilver that lower EVs, but have the additional effect of increasing a Pokémon’s happiness level.

Much like Power Items and Vitamins, each berry affects a different stat:

Berry Corresponding Stat

Grepa Berry
Special Defense

Hondew Berry
Special Attack

Kelpsy Berry

Pomeg Berry

Qualot Berry

Tamato Berry

If the relevant EV is above 100 points when a berry is used, then it will be reduced to 100; and if an EV is at 100 or less, it will be reduced by -10 with each berry.

Unfortunately, these berries are rather rare and difficult to grow.

Some can be obtained from the Juggler in Fuchsia City (by trading him the relevant shards), while all of them can be won by playing the Pokémon Scratch-Off at the Battle Frontier.

Best Locations for EV Training

Since EVs are hidden values, it’s up to you to track the progress of each Pokémon’s EVs.

But since every type of Pokémon yields different EVs when defeated in battle, it can often seem daunting to even begin EV training.

Below is a table listing the best locations where certain Pokémon spawn, organized based on Pokémon that are easy to farm & that yield a specific EV when defeated.

Stat Pokémon Best Location Encounter Rate EV Yield
Slowpoke Well (B1F) 90% (Surfing) +1 HP

National Park 100% (Night) +1 HP
Route 42 90% (Surfing) +1 Attack

Route 42 10% (Surfing) +2 Attack
Route 21 90-95% (Walking) +1 Defense
Special Attack
Route 35 90% (Surfing) +1 Special Attack

Route 35 10% (Surfing) +2 Special Attack
Special Defense
Cherrygrove City 90% (Surfing) +1 Special Defense

Cherrygrove City 10% (Surfing) +2 Special Defense
Sprout Tower 100% (Day) +1 Speed

Lake of Rage 90% (Surfing) +1 Speed

Shaun van Rensburg

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Shaun van Rensburg lives in South Africa and holds a BA in creative writing. He primarily writes fiction, but when he was a child, he wanted to be a cryptozoologist--hence his fondness for the monster-taming genre. Equine-inspired Pokémon are his favourite.

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