Pokémon Sword and Shield lets your check your Pokémon’s IVs and EVs fairly easily. But first you need to know what those even mean!
IVs, or Individual Values, help determines a Pokémon’s stats. A Pokémon with high attack IVs will end up doing more damage than a Pokémon with lower attack IVs, even if they’re the same level.
EVs, or Effort Values, are bonus stats that your Pokémon will gain from defeating specific types of Pokémon. For example, beating a Gastly will give one special attack EV point and beating a Rookidee will give one speed EV point.
These stats are more important for Battle Tower and competitive players, so if you’re just looking to have some fun companions, you can mostly ignore these numbers. The game is perfectly beatable with whatever IVs and EVs your Pokémon has.
How do I check EVs?
Players in Pokémon Sword and Shield can check EVs from the get-go. Just hit the X button when looking at your Pokémon’s stat page and it’ll show how their stats have grown.
The lighter yellow shows the Pokémon’s base stats. The blue indicates that the Pokémon cannot be EV trained any more, according to Serebii. If the Pokémon can still be EV trained, the blue will be a darker yellow instead.
How do I check IVs?
You won’t be able to check IVs until after you beat Leon in the Pokémon League. After beating him, head to the Battle Tower and win six matches. Once you do that, you’ll be able to check your Pokémon’s IVs by hitting the plus button in the PC. The goal is to have “best” in every category, though if you have a Pokémon that focuses on physical attacking, you won’t need their special attack to be “best” and vice-versa.
All that said, unless you’re really super serious about competitive play, you shouldn’t be remotely distressed if your brand new Shiny Pokémon has weak IV numbers. The overall impact isn’t going to keep you from having fun and your black sheep Wooloo is great no matter what.