As you may or may not know, EV's are a very important part of training any pokemon. Just starting to be recognized by people other than breeders, EV training helps pokemon become more adept in a certain area. They can be used to give any pokemon the edge in a battle, or keep a pokemon in one. For example, if you wanted to give a Raikou a boost in its Speed, you would simply train it against pokemon that's speed stat is dominant. Another example is if someone wanted to help Tyranitar land a bigger hit with Crunch, which would have that person battle against pokemon that are more dominant in Special Attack.
With that in mind, let's start with the basics. If you're wondering what "EV" means, it simply means "Effort Value." It makes sense since you need to put your effort into battling certain pokemon in order to get rewarded for your efforts. Effort Values are hidden values, so you can't just look somewhere in the pokemon's statistics to figure out how many Effort Values you have already earned for a certain stat. Because of this limit, calculating Effort Values requires you to record each pokemon, or at least the EVs gained from the pokemon. If you want an easy way to do this, just make a chart with six columns, label them according to the six different stats, and place a tally for each point gained in the stat.
So now you're in a battle. Keep in mind that only battles where EXP counts gives you an Effort Point, so no battling over a link cable or battle tower to get Effort Points. Anyway, you have a Linoone, and you just defeated a Zubat. Now, just like a pokemon's Base Values are set in stone (like Slaking always having a base value of 160 in Attack), EVs are the same way. Anyone who's ever trained a Zubat knows that the dominant stat is Speed, so if you look at the Speed EV chart, you will see that Zubat gives 1 EV to Speed. Most of the time, it's this easy. But sometimes you will find that a pokemon gives EVs in an odd stat, like Charizard giving 3 EVs to Special Attack or that a pokemon gives EVs to more than one stat, like Venusaur giving 2 EVs to Special attack and 1 EV to Special Defense. Just watch out for those things. If you can't find the EV, just use the pokedex to find it.
Now to explain how these work. Say the Linoone battled 4 Zubats and aquired 4 EVs in the pokemon's Speed EV. When it levels up, it will gain one more point to its Speed stat than if it had battled three Zubats and one Geodude (1 EV to Defense). This is because for every 4 Effort Points you get towards a certain stat, you get one point more to the stat. If you wish for a less technical explanation, let's call each Effort Value a Piece of Heart, like in any Legend of Zelda game. If you get four Pieces of Heart, you get a Heart Container. It's the same way with Effort Values. Of course, there has to be a limit to this, seeing as if you battled 3,996 Zubats, you would have a lot of time on your hands, and a Linoone with 999 located in its Speed stat.
So, what are the limits? Well for starters, you can only gain 510 Effort Values before they will stop being counted. 510 can be called our "Overall Maximum", if you want a technical term. So this brings the Effort Points you can gain to 64, once again as a maximum. But this is still a bit much to add to any one stat, and it would make any Mewtwo have an absurd amount of Special Attack still, or Blissey still having that huge potential to go over 700 Hit Points (not like you still can't get there.) So, to make it limited still, there can only be a maximum of 255 Effort Points per stat, giving a pokemon a potential 32 point increase in any stat.
So now, in terms of pokemon you have to battle, let's say you want that Linoone to get its maximum speed. You would have to battle 255 Zubats to get to the maximum speed value; EV training for any more Speed will become useless if you choose to continue after 255. Now, I can imagine some of you thinking, "Wow, I don't want to battle 255 pokemon to fill up on Speed EVs." Well the good news is that you don't. The maximum points you can get for any selected stat is 255, right? That's exactly what it is, a maximum. There are a bunch of ways to lessen the EV training and make it less daunting.
Let's start with the simplest. Remember all those Proteins at the Energy Guru that cost 9800 pokčdollars a piece? Those give 10 Effort Points to any pokemon's attack stat. HP UP, Calcium, Iron, Carbos, and Zinc are similar of course, giving 10 Effort Points to their corresponding stat. But once again, this would make it too easy to EV train and will result in a limit. The reason that those extra proteins that couldn't be used on your ultra-tough Blaziken wouldn't work could be one of two reasons: 1. The stat is already maxed out on EV points, or 2. You already used ten proteins on the Blaziken. Since you can only use 10 vitamins on a single stat, this gives you 100 Effort Values possible to each stat this way. If you're one who is looking for a rounded way of giving Effort Points to a pokemon and carries a lot of money around, you could easily buy 10 Proteins, 10 Irons, 10 Calciums, 10 Zincs, 10 Carbos's, and a single HP UP and you will have already maxed out your Effort Values this way.
There's two more ways to make the whole EV training process go faster. Remember the Macho Brace from that house north of Mauville City? That brace will double Effort Points gained. Suddenly you earn 2 Effort Points for each Zubat wearing the brace. Have you heard about the elusive Pokerus? That does the exact same thing as the Macho brace. So now you have a Ninetales carrying a Macho Brace with the Pokerus, and you just defeated a Spinda. Since Spinda gives out 1 Effort Point to Special Attack, and you have both the Pokerus and Macho brace, you get 4 Effort Points points to Special Attack, which results in you gaining one more point to Special Attack on your next level-up. Suddenly that 255 becomes 64 pokemon that you have to battle to fill the Effort points up. Of course, the Pokerus doesn't appear that easily, so good luck trying to get it.
As for recommended places to train in R/S, try these:
HP - Whismur - Cave on Route 106
If you want to know if your pokemon can earn more Effort Points, there's a woman in Slateport's outdoor sales area that will give you a ribbon if you have aquired 510 Effort Points, figuratively called the "Effort Ribbon."
So logically, it's best to start EV training immediately after you get the pokemon. But of course, you can't get any Effort Points from those pokemon like Carvanha with your newly hatched Mudkip (well you can but it'd be hard). This is where the EXP. Share comes in. Any experience you get through the EXP. Share is divided in half, so you'd think it would be the same for Effort Values right? Actually, you get the same amount of Effort Values for the battle as the pokemon fighting it did. So if your Mudkip had EXP. Share attatched to it and your Blaziken defeated a Carvanha, both would get 1 EV point, if they could. Sadly, you cannot manipulate the Macho Brace or Pokerus to give Mudkip 4 EVs in place of 1 by using the EXP. Share. However, if you were to send out Mudkip first with Macho Brace and Pokerus and switch, it would gain the four Effort Points.
One last thing on EVs - Rare Candys. The so-thought dreaded item that doesn't boost your stats as high as if you took the time to level up. They usually accumulate in someone's box or are sold. Rare Candies, in reality, do not take EVs into account when the stats increase. They're still there, they just haven't been applied to the pokemon's stats yet. It's safe to use them after the Effort Points are full.
And that's basically all there is to shed on this topic. If you still have a question or two, feel free to post on the forum for help.
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Thanks to Dragonair for writing this for us
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