Experience

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Slow redirects here. For the move whose Japanese name can mean Slow, see Curse (move).

A graph of the experience required for a Pokémon to be a certain level, color-coded by experience types. Erratic is black, Fast is green, Medium Fast is yellow, Medium Slow is purple, Slow is brown, and Fluctuating is blue.
The same graph, scaled to the cube root of the experience required.
Graph showing experience needed to gain a single level, for each level up to 100. The nature of the Erratic and Fluctuating curves can be seen more clearly here.

The amount of experience (Japanese: 経験 experience) an individual Pokémon has is an indication of how much it has battled. In the games, it is quantified as Experience Points (Japanese: 経験値 Experience Points), which a Pokémon can gain in battle by defeating an opponent without fainting first. After a certain amount of experience points have been gained, a Pokémon will grow a level, all the way up to level 100, where a Pokémon will no longer gain experience (in the first two generations, the game will still erroneously state that it has gained experience points).

In the core series

In the core series games, experience is normally gained by all Pokémon who have been sent out against an opponent's Pokémon, divided evenly among them. Experience is gained upon the opponent Pokémon fainting, and its amount is calculated as a function of the fainted Pokémon's level, as well as species. Certain items can affect the distribution and amount of experience gained, as can other conditions, such as whether or not the Pokémon was caught by another person or in another language of the game.

Relation to level

The amount of experience points a Pokémon has is tied directly to its level. Though the amount varies depending on species, always remaining consistent throughout an evolutionary family, a given amount of experience points will always set a Pokémon at the corresponding level. Wild Pokémon of any level will always have the base amount of experience required to reach that level when caught, as will Pokémon hatched from Eggs.

All Pokémon fall into one of six experience groups, four of which were introduced in Generation I, and two of which were introduced in Generation III. The main difference between these experience groups is the amount of experience points required to reach level 100, and thus, the amount required to reach each level. All those introduced in Generation I are only polynomial functions of the level, while the two introduced in Generation III operate as piecewise functions, changing the equation depending on the level range.

The original four functions, the ones for the Fast, Medium Fast, Medium Slow, and Slow groups, are cubic. The two that were added in Generation III (Erratic and Fluctuating), however, are made by multiplying the cube of the level by a linear function of it (a negative slope one in the case of Erratic, going from 2 to 0.6; and a positive slope one in the case of Fluctuating, going from 0.48 to 1.64), making those functions effectively quartic.

Though the various experience groups' level-up rates can be calculated using an equation, a lookup table is used in the games after Generation II to prevent game slowdown and a glitch associated with the Medium Slow formula.

In Generation V only, the amount of experience gained is dependent on both Pokémon's levels: the lower the victor's level is compared to the defeated Pokémon, the more experience points the victor will gain.

Erratic

The equation for the Erratic experience group. At levels 50, 68, and 98, both formulas return equal values.

The Erratic experience group, one of the two groups introduced in Generation III, features the lowest level 100 value for experience, at only 600,000 points. Nearly all Pokémon in this experience group were introduced in Generation III as well, with most of them being Bug or Water types.

Receiving its name due to the highly erratic experience point requirement to reach the next level from level 68 to level 98, Pokémon in this group level up rather slowly in their lower levels, requiring the most experience to grow from level 1 to level 10 (1800 as compared to 1250 for Slow, the next highest requirement), and increase the rate of their growth at higher levels, requiring the least experience to grow from level 90 to level 100 (108654 points as compared to 216800 for Fast, the next lowest requirement).

Due to the erraticness of this function, it actually takes fewer experience points to go from level 99 to 100 than it does to go from level 69 to 70.

For a list of all Pokémon in this group, see Pokémon in the Erratic experience group.

Fast

The equation for the Fast experience group

The Fast experience group is one of the four experience groups introduced in Generation I, with 800,000 experience points making for a level 100 Pokémon. Many Normal- and Fairy-type Pokémon are in this group.

For a list of all Pokémon in this group, see Pokémon in the Fast experience group.

Medium Fast

The equation for the Medium Fast experience group

Among all Pokémon, the most plentiful experience group is the Medium Fast group, which was also introduced in Generation I. Requiring Pokémon to have an even 1,000,000 experience points to be at level 100, it is by far the most average of the experience groups, and the one with the simplest equation: to be at a given level, any Pokémon in this group requires experience equal to that level cubed. This group is also often called "cubic", due to its function being a simple cube of the level.

This experience group actually grows more slowly than the Medium Slow group up until about level 68 (level 47, if considering amount of experience required to reach the next level).

For a list of all Pokémon in this group, see Pokémon in the Medium Fast experience group.

Medium Slow

The equation for the Medium Slow experience group

The Medium Slow experience group, like the Medium Fast group, accounts for many Pokémon, containing the second largest amount of them. All normal starter Pokémon are in this group. Requiring 1,059,860 experience points for a Pokémon to reach level 100, it is the only experience group whose level 100 experience is not evenly divisible by 10,000.

The inflection point for this polynomial function is actually at level 4, not level 0. Thus, it actually takes more experience points to go from level 2 to 3 than it does to go from 4 to 5. In Generations I and II, this mislocation of the inflection point causes the experience underflow glitch. For a list of all Pokémon in this group, see Pokémon in the Medium Slow experience group.

Slow

The equation for the Slow experience group.

The final of the four Generation I experience groups, the Slow group features the highest amount of experience required for a Pokémon to reach level 100 in Generations I and II, and the second highest amount since then. Containing many rare, powerful, and Legendary Pokémon, Pokémon in this group are typically very hard to raise; all pseudo-legendary Pokémon, by definition, are in this experience group. At level 100, a Pokémon in this experience group will have 1,250,000 experience points.

For a list of all Pokémon in this group, see Pokémon in the Slow experience group.

Fluctuating

The equation for the Fluctuating experience group. At levels 15 and 36, both formulas return equal values.

The second experience group introduced in Generation III and a direct opposite to the Erratic group, the Fluctuating experience group contains the Pokémon which grow the slowest of all, reaching level 100 with a whopping 1,640,000 experience points. It is also, unsurprisingly, the smallest of the experience groups, containing only 14 species. Pokémon within this group require the least amount of experience to grow from level 1, needing only 540 points to reach level 10, as compared to 560 for Medium Slow, the next lowest requirement. They also require the most experience points to go from level 90 to 100—517,340 as compared to 338,750 for Slow, the next highest. Like the Erratic function, the Fluctuating group's level-up equation is calculated in a piecewise fashion.

Also like the Erratic experience group, the Fluctuating group gets its name from the wildly fluctuating requirement for each level to go to the next level, from Level 36 to Level 100.

For a list of all Pokémon in this group, see Pokémon in the Fluctuating experience group.

Experience at each level

Below is a table; on the left side of the level is the minimum number of experience points required for a Pokémon to be at that level, and the amount of experience points a Pokémon of that level will have when caught from the wild; on the right is the number of experience points required to advance from the respective level to the next level.

Experience gain in battle

The amount of experience that a Pokémon gives when it is defeated depends on its level and its species. The higher the level of the defeated Pokémon, the more experience points it yields. However, numerous factors can influence how much experience any individual Pokémon actually gains.

Any Pokémon that is sent into battle against an opponent will receive experience points when that opponent is defeated, provided the Pokémon is not fainted. Prior to Generation VI, if only one Pokémon participates in battle, it will gain "full" experience points, but if more than one Pokémon participate in battle, each Pokémon will be allotted an even portion of the full experience. In Generation VI, however, this was changed so that all Pokémon that participate in battle receive "full" experience.

The Exp. All and Exp. Share are ways for a Pokémon that does not directly participate in a battle to still gain experience from it. Prior to Generation VI, it also affects how much experience the direct participants are allotted.

  • In Generation VI: if Exp. Share is turned on, any Pokémon that did not participate in battle will receive half of the "full" experience.
  • In Generations II-V: if a Pokémon in the player's party is holding an Exp. Share, the Pokémon that participated directly in the battle will receive half of the experience they normally would have, and any Pokémon that were holding Exp. Share will be allotted an even portion (depending on how many are holding an Exp. Share) of 50% of the "full" experience.
  • In Generation I: if Exp. All is in the Bag, the Pokémon that participated directly in the battle will receive half of the experience they normally would have, and every Pokémon in the player's party also receives experience equal to the amount that a battling Pokémon received (before any bonuses) divided by the number of Pokémon in the player's party (this method of calculation appears to be an error).

In Generation V, the amount of experience a Pokémon gains is also scaled depending on how its level compares to the opponent's: the higher a defeated opponent's level is compared to the "winner", the more experience points the winner will gain.

Various other factors may boost the amount of experience a Pokémon receives. These factors include:

  • If the winning Pokémon is an outsider (was traded)
  • If the player is in a Trainer battle
  • If the Pokémon is holding a Lucky EggGen II+
  • If the Pokémon has high enough AffectionGen VI
  • If a positive Exp. Point Power (Pass PowerGen V or O-PowerGen VI) is active
  • If the Pokémon is at or past the level where it would be able to evolve but has notGen VI

The only negative factor that may affect experience gain is a negative Exp. Point Power from the Entralink in Generation V.

In Generation VI, experience can also be obtained after catching a wild Pokémon.

Gain formula

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Check Gen VI.

In the main Pokémon games, only two basic formulas have ever been used: a flat formula, where the winner's level is not taken into account, and a scaled formula, where the difference between both opponents' levels affects the amount of experience the winner receives. Only Generation V games have ever used the scaled formula. All other generations have used the flat formula, although each generation generally makes its own additions or tweaks to the previous mechanics.

The full flat and scaled formulas can be seen below on the right. Depending on the order of multiplication and where rounding down is done, these formulas may produce slightly different results than are seen in-game.

Note that if a Pokémon both participated in battle and was holding an Exp. Share—or, in Generation I, the Exp. All is in the Bag—they actually receive experience both from participating in battle and from Exp. Share/Exp. All. Therefore, to arrive at their total experience gained, the formula must be evaluated both for a Pokémon that battled and for one that was holding Exp. Share, and those results must be summed. This does not apply in Generation VI, as Exp. Share works differently in those games.

In Black 2 and White 2 only, if a Pokémon would gain more than 100,000 experience at once, it instead gains exactly 100,000 experience.

Flat formula for experience gain from battle
Scaled formula for experience gain from battle

The variables in these formulas evaluate as follows (presented in alphabetical order)...

  • a is equal to...
    • 1 if the fainted Pokémon is wild
    • 1.5 if the fainted Pokémon is owned by a Trainer
  • b is the base experience yield of the fainted Pokémon's species; values for the current Generation are listed here
  • e is equal to...
    • 1.5 if the winning Pokémon is holding a Lucky Egg
    • 1 otherwise
  • f is equal to...
    • 1.2 if the Pokémon has an Affection of two hearts or more
    • 1 otherwise
  • L is the level of the fainted Pokémon
  • Lp is the level of the victorious Pokémon
  • p is equal to...
    • 1 if no Exp. Point Power (Pass PowerGen V or O-PowerGen VI) is active
    • If Exp. Point Power [x] is active...
      • 0.5 for ↓↓↓, 0.66 for ↓↓, 0.8 for ↓, 1.2 for ↑, 1.5 for ↑↑, or 2 for ↑↑↑, S, or MAX
  • s is equal to...
    • In Generation I...
      • If Exp. All is not in the player's Bag...
        • The number of Pokémon that participated in the battle and have not fainted
      • If Exp. All is in the player's Bag...
        • Twice the number of Pokémon that participated and have not fainted, when calculating the experience of a Pokémon that participated in battle
        • Twice the number of Pokémon that participated and have not fainted times the number of Pokémon in the player's party, when calculating the experience given by Exp. All
    • In Generations II-V...
      • If no Pokémon in the party is holding an Exp. Share...
        • The number of Pokémon that participated in the battle and have not fainted
      • If at least one Pokémon in the party is holding an Exp. Share...
        • Twice the number of Pokémon that participated and have not fainted, when calculating the experience of a Pokémon that participated in battle
        • Twice the number of Pokémon holding an Exp. Share, when calculating the experience of a Pokémon holding Exp. Share
    • In Generation VI...
      • 1 when calculating the experience of a Pokémon that participated in battle
      • 2 when calculating the experience of a Pokémon that did not participate in battle and if Exp. Share is turned on
  • t is equal to...
    • 1 if the winning Pokémon's current owner is its Original Trainer
    • 1.5 if the Pokémon was gained in a domestic trade
    • Generation IV+ only: 1.7 if the Pokémon was gained in an international trade
  • v is equal to...
    • Generation VI only: 1.2 if the winning Pokémon is at or past the level where it would be able to evolve, but it has not
    • 1 otherwise
Example (Generation II to IV)

An originally owned Skitty holding a Lucky Egg and an internationally traded Meowth have just defeated a Level 78 Trainer-owned Garchomp, with an originally owned Salamence in the winner's party holding an Exp. Share.

The base experience yield of a Garchomp is 218, meaning that a Level 78 Garchomp will normally yield 2429 experience points. Because the battle is a Trainer battle, this is multiplied by 1.5 to give 3643.

The Exp. Share will automatically give half the experience points to the Salamence, giving it 1821 experience points. The Skitty gets half of the remaining experience points, with a 1.5 multiplier because of the Lucky Egg. This means that the Skitty earns 1366 experience points.

The Meowth gets half of the remaining experience points, with a 1.7 multiplier because it was internationally traded. This means that the Meowth earns 1548 experience points.

Example (Generation V)

An internationally traded, level 55 Venusaur has just defeated a wild, level 62 Zekrom.

The base experience yield of Zekrom is 306, meaning that a level 62 Zekrom will normally yield 3794 experience points, when defeated by another Pokémon at level 62. However, this Venusaur is at level 55, meaning that it will yield 4338 experience points. The constant of 1 is added, giving 4339, and the international trade multiplies this by 1.7, meaning that this Zekrom will yield a total of 7376 experience points.

Apparent Exp. All programming error in Generation I

In Generation I, the behavior of Exp. All seems to be coded wrong.[1] The fault is that the experience distributed (evenly among all party members) by the Exp. All, intended to be half the total experience of the whole battle, is based on the experience that one battling Pokémon received, rather than that received by all battling Pokémon. This behavior works correctly if only one Pokémon battles while the Exp. All is in the player's bag (for example, if one Pokémon out of a party of five battles, then the battler will get 50% of the experience and then all five party members will share the remaining 50%, getting another 10% of the experience each, thus in total distributing the whole of the experience). However, if multiple Pokémon are sent into battle, then the total amount of experience received will effectively be decreased (for example, if two Pokémon out of a party of five battle, then the battlers will each get 25% of the experience, but then all five party members will only share 25% instead of the remaining 50%, getting another 5% of the experience each and causing 25% of the experience to be entirely lost).

Experience underflow glitch

In Generation I and Generation II, level 1 Pokémon in the Medium Slow group were calculated to have -54 experience points. However, due to the use of unsigned integers, the game interpreted this value as 16,777,162 experience points. If a level 1 Pokémon with negative experience points completed a battle without gaining enough experience points to reach 0 or higher, the game, attempting to determine its level based on the number of experience points it had, would consider it to be at level 100 (having gone well over the amount required to reach this level), causing it to instantaneously jump to this level.

It is due in-part to this bug that no level 1 Pokémon could be found in the wild without abusing a glitch or hacking the game in Generation I and Generation II. It is also partially for this reason that Pokémon hatched from Eggs at level 5 when Eggs were introduced in Generation II (although level 2-4 Pokémon could be found in the wild).

The glitch was fixed in Generation III, which uses a lookup table, rather than a formula, to determine experience requirements (this is also why the two new functions introduced in that generation are able to be piecewise functions). Despite this, Eggs still hatched at level 5, and the lowest level that Pokémon could be found at in the wild was still level 2. Generation IV finally featured the first instance of legitimate level 1 Pokémon, where Eggs hatch at level 1 and level 1 Pokémon can be found in the wild.

Additionally for Generation I, any Pokémon in the Medium Slow group that was deposited in the PC at Level 1 will cause the game to freeze upon attempting to withdraw it, causing it to be permanently stuck in the PC due to a glitch.

In Generation I

By v0id19
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In Generation II

By TTEchidna
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In the spin-off games

In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series

050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.

Pokémon may also gain experience in the Mystery Dungeon series. After a Pokémon is defeated, each member of the team will gain the full share of experience points. The base amount of experience earned is floor((Base Experience) * (Level - 1) / 10) + (Base Experience).

If a Pokémon with experience is defeated using only regular attacks, the experience gain is only half of the base value (rounded down). If at least one move was successfully used against the foe, or if the foe uses a move that targets itself or other enemy Pokémon, the experience gain is the full base value. If the qualifying attack is part of a linked move, the experience gain becomes 1.5× the base value.

As with the core series of games, Pokémon acquiring enough experience points will level up. The amount needed differs from the core series games, and is defined differently for each Pokémon. The amount needed to level up is far greater in earlier games in the series. It is not currently known if Pokémon can be grouped by experience growth as in the main games.

Unlike in the core games, Pokémon do not evolve right away upon level up (or while in a dungeon in general), although level is still often a factor in determining whether or not they are eligible to evolve.

In the Pokémon Ranger series

In the Pokémon Ranger games, experience is acquired in an entirely different way from in the main Pokémon games. When a Pokémon is successfully captured using the Styler, the Styler will gain experience points, and a certain number of experience points will cause the Styler to level up. However, each Pokémon of the same species will yield exactly the same amount of experience points, as there is no concept of level in the Ranger games.

In Shadows of Almia, certain bonuses can be applied to the experience points gained under certain conditions, such as if the capture was made using only one line, or multiple Pokémon were captured at once.

Trivia

  • The Pokémon with the highest base experience yield is Blissey, with a base yield of 608. The Pokémon with the lowest base experience yield are Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott, with a base yield of 28.
  • The highest possible number of experience points that can be gained in a single battle is 457,970. This can be done by defeating a level 100 Blissey in a Trainer battle in Black and White, using an internationally traded Pokémon at level 1 that is holding a Lucky Egg, with Exp. Point Power ↑↑↑, S or MAX active. This means that given these conditions, a Pokémon could technically advance from level 1 all the way to level 87 in a single battle, provided that it was in the Erratic experience group.
    • A Pokémon in the Fast experience group would advance to level 83.
    • A Pokémon in the Medium Fast experience group would advance to level 77.
    • A Pokémon in the Medium Slow experience group would advance to level 76.
    • A Pokémon in the Slow experience group would advance to level 71.
    • A Pokémon in the Fluctuating experience group would advance to level 69.
    • Before Generation V, the highest number of experience points it was possible to gain was 13,933. This could be done by defeating a level 100 Arceus, Happiny, Chansey, or Blissey in a Trainer battle, using an internationally traded Pokémon that is holding a Lucky Egg. This means that the most levels that a Pokémon could advance in a single battle is 25, if a level 1 Pokémon in the Medium Slow experience group defeated the level 100 Pokémon as mentioned above.
  • The lowest possible number of experience points for a single Pokémon to obtain in a single battle is one. This can be done in Generation V by defeating a wild level 1 Patrat, Purrloin, or any other Pokémon with a base experience yield lower than 100, using a level 99 Pokémon.
    • Before Generation V, this could be done by defeating a wild level 1 Magikarp and splitting the experience points between three battling Pokémon.
  • The Medium Fast experience group is the only group not to have either the highest or the lowest total experience requirement at any level, being bounded by the Slow and Fast functions. The Medium Slow group is the only one to have both the highest and the lowest total experience requirement in at least one level before level 50.
  • The Tao trio member that the player has to catch—ReshiramB or ZekromW—does not yield experience points, even if it is knocked out at Dragonspiral Tower due to having a full party and boxes upon initial encounter.
  • In Generation I, it is possible to receive zero experience points. This is done by having six Pokémon in the party and fighting a level 2 Pokémon with the Exp. All in the bag. When the battle ends, the experience given to the other participants will be zero.

In other languages

Experience

Language Title
Finland Flag.png Finnish Kokemus
France Flag.png French Expérience
Germany Flag.png German Erfahrung
Italy Flag.png Italian Esperienza
South Korea Flag.png Korean 경험 Gyeongheom
Spain Flag.png Spanish Experiencia

Experience Points

Language Title
Denmark Flag.png Danish Erfaringspoint
France Flag.png French Points Expérience
Germany Flag.png German Erfahrungspunkte
Italy Flag.png Italian Punti Esperienza
South Korea Flag.png Korean 경험치 Gyeongheom Chi
Spain Flag.png Spanish Puntos de Experiencia
Sweden Flag.png Swedish Erfarenhetspoäng

References

  1. Pokered disassembly project on GitHub


Project Games logo.png This game mechanic article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.