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A graph of the experience required for Pokémon to level up, 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.
A graph only to level 50 for the experience required for level up. Colors are the same as above.

The amount of experience an individual Pokémon has is an indication of how much it has battled. In the games, it is quantified as 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, with each subsequent level requiring more experience to gain, all the way up to level 100, where a Pokémon will no longer gain experience.

In the main series

In the main 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 functions of the level, and account for the base experience a Pokémon of that level will have, while the two introduced in Generation III operate as piecewise functions, changing the equation depending on the level range.

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.


The equation for the Erratic experience group

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. Aside from Shieldon and Cranidos's families, all Pokémon in this experience group were introduced in Generation III as well, with most of them being Bug- or Template:Type2s.

Receiving its name due to the highly segmented piecewise function it features, Pokémon in this group level up rather slowly in their lower levels, requiring the most experience to grow from level 1 to level 2, and increase the rate of their growth at higher levels, requiring the least experience to grow from level 99 to level 100.

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


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 common Template:Type2 Pokémon are in this group, among them the Chansey, Clefairy, and Jigglypuff families.

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

Medium Fast

File:Medium fast.png
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.

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

Medium Slow

File:Medium slow.png
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, as are several smaller legendaries, such as Mew and Shaymin. Requiring 1,059,860 experience points for a Pokémon to reach level 100, it is the only one whose level 100 experience is not evenly divisible by 10,000. It is calculated based on a cubic formula, causing an error in Generations I and II, where a level 1 Pokémon would jump instantaneously to level 100 if it received less than 55 experience points from battle.

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


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. 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.


The equation for the Fluctuating experience group

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 4 points to reach level 2. Like the Erratic function, the Fluctuating group's level-up equation is calculated in a piecewise fashion.

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


Below is a table with the experience required for a Pokémon to be at the respective level, from level 1 to level 100.

Gain in battle

Formula for experience gain from battle

Unlike the great variance in formula among the six experience groups, there is only a single formula used to determine how much experience a Pokémon will gain from battle, to the right. In this formula:

  • a is equal to 1, adding 0.5 if the battle is a Trainer battle and 0.5 if the OT of the Pokémon is not the player. An additional 0.2 will be added if the Pokémon was generated in another language version of the game from Generation IV onward.
  • b is the base experience yield of the species, listed here.
  • L is the level of the fainted Pokémon.

Several other things can affect the gain of experience. If more than one Pokémon is sent into battle, the gained experience calculated by the above calculation will be divided by how many were sent into battle. For example, if an English-language player has sent out a Japanese Dusclops and their own Azurill out into battle against the same Pokémon, on its fainting the experience will be calculated for both, and then divided by 2.

The Lucky Egg, Exp. All and Exp. Share can also further affect the gain of experience. If the Exp. All is in the bag in Generation I, all members of the player's party will gain experience based on how many there are, as if all had been sent into battle. The Exp. Share and Lucky Egg, however, activate if held, with the Lucky Egg further multiplying experience gained by 1.5×, and the Exp. Share automatically giving half of the experience from a battle to the holder, leaving the rest to be distributed among those that actually participated (this can be exploited to give a Pokémon 3/4 of the battle's experience).

Pokémon which faint do not gain any experience, however, if they are revived before the Pokémon they fought is defeated or switches out, they will still gain experience.

Experience underflow glitch

In Generation I and Generation II, level 1 Pokémon that fall under the Medium Slow experience category have -54 experience, by calculation. It is due to this, of course, that no level 1 Pokémon are found without glitching or hacking the game in the wild, and why, even though lower-level Pokémon can be found wild, Pokémon hatched at level 5 until Generation IV.

Due to having -54 experience, a gain of less than 55 experience points will cause the Pokémon's level to jump instantly to 100 in Generation I, and leveling it up through all levels up to 100 in Generation II. This is because in computer programming, if a variable that has reached its lowest possible point is subtracted from, it will loop to the highest point, meaning that a small number like 15, when added to -54, would be considered by the games' memory to be a large number, much higher than the 1,000,000 experience required to reach level 100.

This glitch was finally addressed in Generation III, which uses a lookup table, rather than an actual formula, to determine level-up experience (this is also why the functions introduced in that generation are able to be piecewise functions). Despite this, level 1 Pokémon are not "legitimate" until Generation IV, where they hatch from eggs.

In the Mystery Dungeon series

The idea behind Experience in the Mystery Dungeon series is the basically the same as in the main series, although the mechanics are slightly different. After defeating a Pokémon, each member of your team will gain the full share of experience points. After you get a certain amount of experience points, you will level up. However, unlike in the main games, your Pokémon cannot evolve upon level up, although level is a factor in determining whether or not you can evolve.

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