A group of Pokémon Go fans have uncovered a remarkable amount of data on the game, including one particularly important mechanic tied directly to the main Pokémon series.
The Silph Road, a subreddit dedicated to figuring out exactly how Pokémon Go works, has found data confirming the presence of hidden stats for every Pokémon in the game, including Pokémon Levels, Base Stats, and even Individual Values (IVs) - numbers which are also present in the main Pokémon games.
It's all a little technical - which is actually par for the course in a Pokémon game, as any competitive player will tell you - but the main thing to take away is that the existence of those hidden mechanics opens up a whole other world of options for a competitive scene in Pokémon Go.
The actual discovery came from a fairly wide range of sources, with Redditor _isitin_ first revealing information through some pretty comprehensive data mining, which uncovered the exact figures for all 151 Pokémon's Base Attack, Defence, and Stamina - including stats for the as yet unencountered Mew, Mewtwo, and Legendary Birds.
Another Reddit user, CpMultiplier, posted the formula used by the game to calculate your Pokémon's Combat Points, or CP, along with the help of fellow Redditor Fourier864. That's an especially complex one, but it essentially opened up the possibility for another important discovery, IVs.
Individual Values are not only hidden stats in Pokémon Go, but also an unseen mechanic in the main Pokémon series. In essence, they act as an individual Pokémon's genes, dictating whether and how much a particular Pokémon's stats deviate from the norm of their Base values. That discovery, along with the formula for CP, now means that players can catch a Pokémon, input a few of its visible stats like CP and HP into a community-created IV Calculator, and find out just how good that particular Pokémon's potential is.
In other words, the number for a Pokémon's CP that you see in-game is barely even the start if you want to know how it'll fare in a real battle. Your initially brilliant Vaporeon might only be strong because it's a high Level, and could get swept aside by more naturally strong, high-IV alternatives later on.
Perhaps more importantly, it's a sign of just how dedicated Pokémon Go fans can be. The Pokémon community at large has a reputation for its voracity and general friendliness, having previously discovered details on more than just IVs and Base Stats for use in the main series' competitive scene. Major tournaments like the Pokémon World Championships have thrived as a result of the community's enthusiasm for any underlying minutiae, and the hope amongst some Pokémon Go fans was, clearly, that a similar level of complexity and nuance could be brought to Niantic's mobile entry.
It looks like they've succeeded.
We've broken down exactly how you can take advantage of these discoveries with our Pokémon Go CP explainer, along with a ranking of the best Pokémon according to their stats. You can also check out our main Pokémon Go guide for any other tips and tricks you might need.