The last factor that effects a Pokémon’s stats are natures. With natures, one stat is increased by 10%, while another is reduced by 10%. Some natures boost and reduce the same stat, so that none of the stats change due to nature. Keep in mind that the HP stat isn’t altered by natures. When you catch or hatch a Pokémon, its nature is determined.
New to Sword and Shield, you can change the effect of a Pokémon’s nature by using “nature” mints. Each one grants the effect of the corresponding nature. Oddly, the nature doesn’t change, but it does work the same as the nature you changed it to.
Nature mints can be bought for 50 BP at the battle tower.
The best natures reduce a stat the Pokémon isn’t using (usually Attack, Special Attack, or Speed), while boosting the most vital stat for the set you are using (any stat that isn’t being reduced).
You can transfer natures to a Pokémon’s baby, if you prefer. You simply need an everstone and one parent with the desired nature. Give the parent that has the desired nature an everstone, and leave the two Pokémon at the daycare. The resulting baby will have the nature you seek. Keep in mind that nature mints do not change what nature is passed down in this way (the baby will have that parent’s original nature, not the nature mint’s nature).
Abilities are passive bonuses that the Pokémon has in battle. Each Pokémon has 1 to 3 possible abilities. Most of the time, only one of the three is worthwhile. Two of the abilities are “regular” abilities, while the third is a hidden ability. Much of the time, the hidden ability is the most worthwhile, but not always.
Hidden abilities are currently available in Sword and Shield by catching the raid boss in max raid battles. If you have a Pokémon with its hidden ability, it can be passed down by breeding. There is a chance that the baby will have the mother’s hidden ability when it hatches. If you have a male or genderless Pokémon with its hidden ability, you have to breed with Ditto to pass that ability down.
There is also a neat item called an ability capsule. It costs 50 BP at the battle tower, and it can change a Pokémon’s ability. It will only change from one of its regular abilities to the other regular ability. Ability capsules do not change a regular ability to the hidden ability, or from the hidden ability to a regular ability.
There are only a few tips for getting the right moves on a Pokémon. First are egg moves, which are moves that are inherited through breeding. The baby will know all egg moves (up to four) that both parents know. Most of the time you will start with a father that knows the egg move to the baby. If you want multiple egg moves, you can pass it on to a female Pokémon, then breed that Pokémon with another male Pokémon with the desired move to get multiple egg moves on the new baby Pokémon.
If you find you have egg moves on one Pokémon, but another of the same species has the stats or ability you want, you can transfer egg moves between the two without making an egg. The two Pokémon must be in the daycare, and be the same species (so if one is evolved, then it won’t work until the other evolves). Also the Pokémon that needs the new egg moves must have empty move slots equal to the number of egg moves you want to pass between the two. The two Pokémon can be the same gender too, and it will still work.
Additionally, the move relearner can replace any egg move that is forgotten, in addition to other moves the Pokémon learns through level up.
Next up are TMs and TRs, which are items that teach moves. TMs have limitless uses, and are found in many places in the game. Some are hidden, others are bought, but you only find each one once. TRs are single use, and are found exclusively in the wild area. You can find multiple copies, and are found in max raid battles, or can be bought by spending watts in the wild area. The available TRs change every day, and depend on the raid battles you win too. If a TR move is also in the Pokémon’s level up move set you should level up the Pokémon, or use the move relearner instead of a TR, so you can save TRs, which can be hard enough to get more of.
Go to page 4 for how to put it all together.