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Pokémon Legends Arceus Effort Levels: How to raise Effort Levels and Grit items explained

How to make your Pokémon more powerful!

Each Pokémon has its own set of Effort Levels, or ELs, in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Alongside basic training and levelling, ELs are one of the multiple systems used for raising your Pokémon's stats. EL's work differently from previous games though and can be quite important for tackling bigger challenges like fighting Alpha Pokémon.

To level these up, you'll have to know all about Grit items.

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Pokémon Legends: Arceus Eurogamer Reviewscast

If you'd like to learn more about the game, visit our Pokémon Legends: Arceus walkthrough.

What are EVs (Effort Values) and IVs (Individual Values) in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Hidden stats work differently in Pokémon Legends Arceus to previous games. EVs have been replaced with Effort Levels and are no longer gained through battling wild Pokémon, as EVs have been in the past. The only way to increase your Effort Levels is through the Grit item system.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus has also removed the IV system, so IVs no longer have an impact on your Pokémon's stats. However, some wild Pokémon may already have some ELs levelled up when you catch them. This may be a remaining influence of IVs in the game, but ELs can be raised regardless, making IVs functionally non-existent in the game.

How to find the Effort Levels for Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Luckily, your Pokémon's ELs aren't as hidden as in previous Pokémon games. Though Pokémon Legends: Arceus doesn't directly guide you towards finding out, there are several ways to check the ELs of your Pokémon.

Firstly, if you have a Pokémon in your party, you can look at their summary. The option in the summary menu that looks like a partially filled hexagon will give you details of the Pokémon's current stats. The number in the circle next to the name of the stat is the Pokémon's current EL for that stat. If they have some ELs in the stat already, the circle will be partially filled in.

You can also view the ELs of any Pokémon in the pasture in a similar way. Just hover over the Pokémon and their stats will be listed on the right hand side of the screen, along with the same partially filled circles informing you of the EL.

Finally, if you use a Grit item to improve your Pokémon's ELs, the current level for each stat will be displayed in the menu as you select which stat to improve.

How to get Grit Dust, Grit Gravel, Grit Pebbles, Grit Rocks in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

In order to improve your Pokémon's ELs, you must use Grit items. These are Grit Dust, Grit Gravel, Grit Pebbles, and Grit Rocks. You will need all of these items to max out a Pokémon's Effort Levels.

Grit items can be obtained in two ways. Defeated Pokémon may drop them, and higher level Pokémon appear to drop items more reliably, as well as drop higher level Grit items. For example, defeating a level 50 Pokémon is very likely to net you a Grit item, and quite likely for it to be Grit Gravel or Grit Pebbles. On the other hand, a lower level Pokémon has only a small chance of dropping some Grit Dust when defeated.

Because the drop rates after defeating Pokémon are random, the most reliable way to obtain Grit items is by releasing Pokémon from the pastures.

The pastures are an area of Jubilife Village where you can view all your captured Pokémon. If you have caught duplicates or simply no longer want a Pokémon, you can release it by speaking to Marie. It seems that a released Pokémon always leaves behind a Grit item. Again, higher level Pokémon appear to leave behind higher level Grit items.

It is also worth noting that you can unlock bulk releasing by filling up several pasture boxes, so it may be more efficient to do this first before releasing individual Pokémon.

You cannot buy Grit items from any of the vendors in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

How to raise Effort Levels in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

When you have obtained Grit items, you can use these to level up your Pokémon's ELs. You will need to have the Grit items in your bag and the Pokémon in your party. Simply select the Grit item, select the Pokémon, and then select which stat you want to raise from the six available: HP, Attack, Defense, Sp. Atk, Sp. Def, and Speed.

Each Grit item will only raise stats between certain levels:

  • Grit Dust - Level 0 to 3
  • Grit Gravel - Level 3 to 6
  • Grit Pebbles - Level 6 to 9
  • Grit Rocks - Level 9 to 10

Level 10 is the maximum level for all of the ELs.

So to raise a single stat for a Pokémon will require three Grit Dust, three Grit Gravel, three Grit Pebbles, and one Grit Rock. This will need to be repeated six times to raise all stats to maximum.

ELs can also no longer be improved by battling specific wild Pokémon, as in previous games. The only way to raise these stats is through the use of Grit items.

Our Pokémon Legends Arceus walkthrough will help you pick a starter Pokémon and win the Kleavor boss fight. You’re also tasked with filling the Hisui Pokédex by obtaining new evolutions like Kleavor by evolving Scyther, Wyrdeer by evolving Stantler, Sneasler by evolving Hisui Sneasel and Overquil by evolving Hisui Qwilfish. There’s a host of new evolution methods, including ones for the Eevee evolutions. Take the time to complete Requests too, such as The Sea’s Legend, Wurmple’s Evolved! and finding the Wisp locations. Don’t forget to track down every Unown location too.

How to get the strongest Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

When you put all of this together, it means that getting a powerful Pokémon is easier in Pokémon Legends: Arceus than in previous games. There is no longer any need to exhaustively breed for particular IVs (and this isn't possible anyway, since there's no breeding in the game.)

Instead, alongside levelling your Pokémon through the usual methods, be sure to pay attention to ELs. Defeat Pokémon or release captured Pokémon from the Pastures in order to get Grit items, and then apply these to stats which are important to you.

You can also pay attention to Natures, which return from previous games, and may give a 10% boost to a stat while reducing another by 10%. You can find out your Pokémon's nature by going to the rightmost section of its summary, which is marked with a small page icon. But with the encouragement to capture multiple Pokémon of each type to fill out the Pokédex, finding an appropriate Nature shouldn't be too difficult.

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Jay Castello


Jay Castello is a freelance writer. If they're not down a research rabbit hole you'll probably find them taking bad photographs near a riverbank or old tree.