Breeding is a mechanic introduced in Generation II that involves choosing two Pokémon owned by the player to send to the local region's Day Care in the hopes that the pair will produce an Egg. This is a useful technique to raise Pokémon with unusual attributes, such as elevated Attack, Defense, Speed, etc. compared to members of the same species on a similar level. Pokémon that are hatched from Eggs can have access to stronger attacks earlier than normal, such as learning a parent's TM or HM move. Some Pokémon, like Pichu, can learn a move the parents would never learn, such as Volt Tackle if one of the parents are holding a special item, such as the Light Ball in Pichu's case.
The locations of the Day Care center depends on the versions of the game.
- Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal - Route 34
- Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald - Route 117
- Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen - Four Island
- Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum - Solaceon Town
- Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver - Route 34
- Pokémon Black/White - Route 3
- Pokémon X and Y - Route 7
- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire - Route 117, Battle Resort
- Pokémon Sun and Moon - Paniola Ranch
- Pokémon Sword and Shield - Route 5, Bridge Field
When the Day Care Center alerts you of a new Egg, you must move around to hatch it, such as through walking or riding the Bicycle. You must have an empty slot on your team to accept the Egg. The Day Care center will keep it if you did not do so. Every Egg has a special number of steps required to hatch it.
Certain conditions must be met to create an Egg:
- Pokémon must be opposite genders or one parent a Ditto.
- The parents must be compatible (in the same Egg Group).
An egg will be created quicker if one or more of these conditions is met:
- The Pokémon are the same species.
- The Pokémon have different IDs (are from different games or have a different original trainer).
These will combine:
- Best scenario: Same species, Different ID
- Mid: Same Species, Same ID / Different ID, Different Species
- Worst-case Scenario: Same ID, Different Species.
Some Pokémon cannot produce Eggs, such as the Legendary Pokémon (except Manaphy), and Baby Pokémon such as Pichu. Some Pokémon belong to multiple groups, meaning they can breed with a wider variety of Pokémon.
Newborn Pokémon inherit stats from their parents. One IV (Individual value) is given from each parent (even a Ditto) and the other four will be randomized.
However, certain held items can also be used to pass on stats in certainty. These items pass down the IVs of a parent holding the item, though these effects are only present in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Version onward:
- Power Weight - This item will pass down the parent's HP IV to the child.
- Power Bracer - This item will pass down the parent's Attack IV to the child.
- Power Belt - This item will pass down the parent's Defense IV to the child.
- Power Lens - This item will pass down the parent's Special Attack IV to the child.
- Power Band - This item will pass down the parent's Special Defense IV to the child.
- Power Anklet - This item will pass down the parent's Speed IV to the child.
There are also two other items capable of passing down stats through breeding:
- Destiny Knot - In Generation VI onward, this item will pass down five of the parent Pokémon's twelve combined IVs to the child.
- Everstone - This item has a 50% chance of the child inheriting the nature of the parent who holds it.
Newborn Pokémon can inherit moves from their parents, some high-level moves can be learned by the offspring. For example, if you have a Blaziken with the move Overheat, which is learnable from TM, its offspring that is the opposite gender of its parents will learn Overheat.
There are three types of moves that can be taught through this strategy.
- Learned Moves - The moves that any Pokémon caught in the wild would know at Level 5.
- Inherited Moves - The moves learned through the Evolutionary process or via a TM can be passed from the male parent Pokémon, even if the move cannot be learned or used until after Level 5.
- Level-up moves must be known by BOTH parents.
- Egg Moves - Egg Moves are learned from the male parent Pokémon, but these are different than Inherited Moves. Egg Moves are moves the Pokémon would not normally be able to learn naturally through TMs and leveling-up.
When a Pokémon hatches, it has the moves a wild Pokémon at Level 1 would know. For example, Pichu will know Thundershock and Charm. The Pokémon has enough room to learn two more moves: these spots can be filled with Inherited Moves. If the Pokémon has access to more moves than you have empty space for, it will replace the Learned Moves with the Inherited and Egg Moves.
If both parents know the same high-level move, the baby Pokémon will also know it, despite being Level 1. Also, TM moves you would normally have one shot at using can be "re-used" by breeding the move down from the male parent Pokémon.
The list below shows the Pokémon that cannot be caught in the wild but can be obtainable by breeding.
* can be caught in the wild in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum/Sun/Moon, but not in other versions.
By Breeding While Holding an Item
The table below shows the Pokémon that requires a parent to hold a special item in order to obtain that particular baby Pokémon.
|Azurill||Breed Female Marill holding a Sea Incense.|
|Wynaut||Breed Wobbuffet holding a Lax Incense.|
|Budew||Breed Roselia or Roserade holding a Rose Incense.|
|Munchlax||Breed Snorlax holding a Full Incense.|
|Happiny||Breed Chansey or Blissey holding a Luck Incense.|
|Bonsly||Breed Sudowoodo holding a Rock Incense.|
|Mime Jr.||Breed Mr. Mime holding a Odd Incense.|
|Mantyke||Breed Mantine holding a Wave Incense.|
|Chingling||Breed Chimecho holding a Pure Incense.|
Two Pokémon are only able to breed if they are a part of the same Egg Group (with the exception of Ditto, who can breed with any Pokémon that isn't in the Undiscovered Egg Group). For example, Pikachu can breed with Marill as they are both found in the Fairy Egg Group.
- The first Egg that was able to hatch appeared in Pokémon Gold and Silver; Togepi hatched from it.
- This Togepi evolves into Togetic much faster than other Egg Pokémon; still, it will depend on how much Friendship Togepi has.
- Normally Shiny Pokémon have a rarity of 1 in 4096. However, with breeding, that can be reduced to 1 in 682.7 with the use of the Masuda Method (named after Junichi Masuda, the person that revealed it). It involves breeding two Pokémon from different language games (such as an English Pikachu with a Japanese Marill, for example). Breeding with a foreign Pokémon made from a game of the same language does not work.