I have multiple Pokémon with similar CP. However even at the same CP some Pokemon are much closer to their max on the top bar. One of my Jolteon for example has 1477cp and has 5mm more to the max CP bar (I am level 25). And I have another Jolteon at 1325cp and it is almost at its maximum with only 2mm left in the bar.

My question is, how is that determined and should I focus on making sure I evolve Pokemon with the best buffer left in the max CP curve?

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    Possible duplicate of In Pokemon GO, what are my Pokemon's hidden IV stats, and why do they matter?
    – Vemonus
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 14:48
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    @Vemonus This question has to do with Pokémon level, not IVs. IVs don't influence the position of the level arc. So this isn't a duplicate.
    – Tester101
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 15:12
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    @Tester101 They are asking what causes the same species to have different CP maximums. That is synonymous with asking "What are IVs/How do they work?". This question isn't really about level so much as it is about CP and how IVs affect it. Any answer to this question would be covered by answers to the other question.
    – Vemonus
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 15:15
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    @SevenSidedDie, I understand that, but although this question is phrased differently, the ending makes me see it as a dupe. The underlying question is "How is maximum CP determined?"
    – Vemonus
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 16:34
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    @Vemonus "How is maximum CP determined?" is a different question from "What are IVs and why do they matter?" We don't close different questions as duplicates of each other. Consider this basic issue if it's still worrisome: the person asking the second question is starting with knowledge that the first person doesn't have. Ergo, they need different answers, even if in the end it is based on the same material. Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


Similar to the core Pokemon series, Pokemon Go has hidden IVs (individual values) that affect the three stats of your Pokemon: Attack, Defense, and Stamina. Each stat has an IV that ranges from 0-15 which increase the stat by that amount.

A Pokemon's CP is determined by these three stats, so despite the 1477cp Jolteon being a lower 'level' (less of the top bar filled) than the 1325cp Jolteon, it has higher stats (due to IVs), and thus - a higher CP.

You can use a calculator, like this one to try to get the EXACT values of your Pokemon's stats, or you could just use the in-game appraisal tool to get a fairly good idea about how your Pokemon stack up against one another (hit the menu button in the bottom-right while viewing a Pokemon, and select "appraise").

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    IVs don't influence the "level arc", only Pokémon level does. Powering up a Pokémon does not change IVs, only the level.
    – Tester101
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 15:14
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    @Tester101: While true, the IV's do impact the CP that a Pokemon has. Two identical Pokemon at the same level but with different IV's will have different CP values. You can't answer this question without talking about IV's and IV's explain why a lower level Pokemon will have the same or higher CP than a higher level Pokemon of the same species. And higher IV's will mean the Pokemon can have a higher max CP.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 16:20
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    This answer would be improved by also explaining what the curve is, since that's what the question is about, and why curve + IVs are what determine CP. Skipping straight to talking about IVs and CP won't necessarily make sense to readers asking about the CP + curve itself, unless they successfully make the logical leap. (The answer should be explaining any logical steps that a reader might not make, instead of leaving it as an exercise for the reader.) Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 18:18

I think you misunderstand what the arc above a Pokémon means, and it's causing you some confusion.

The arc above a Pokémon represents the "power up potential". A trainer can only power up a Pokémon to be 1.5 levels above their current trainer level. At level 25, you can only have Pokémon that are level 26.5. Each time you power up a Pokémon, their level increases by 0.5.

Your second Jolteon might be at level 26, which means you can only power it up once. While the first Jolteon might only be at level 23, and can be powered up 7 more times before reaching the maximum for your trainer level.

If you look at the amount of stardust and candies required to power up each Pokémon, it will give you an idea of what level the Pokémon is. If the second Jolteon is level 25, it should require 4000 stardust and 3 candies. Level 26 would require 4000 stardust and 4 candies. If the first Jolteon is between level 21 and 23, it will cost 3000 stardust and 3 candies. Between level 23 and 25, requires 3500 stardust and 3 candies.

As an example, take a look at these Pidgeot.

enter image description hereenter image description here

Notice that these first two both require 3500 stardust and 3 candies to power up, and that the arc meter above them is filled to the same position. Both of these Pidgeot are at the same level, so their arcs are also the same. However, since they have different Individual Values (IVs), their CP is different.

If you look at this next Pidgeot.

enter image description here

You'll notice that it only requires 3000 stardust to power up, and the arc above it is not as full. That's because this Pidgeot is at a lower level than the others.

In contrast, this level 2 Machop only requires 200 stardust to power up, and has a long way to go before it reaches max level for my trainer level.

enter image description here

You'll notice that the arc above it is not very full, since it's at quite a low level.

So as you can see, the arc above a Pokémon only shows the level of that Pokémon. It does not directly correspond to the CP of the Pokémon, though does play a part in calculating it.

If I were to power up Mike to the same level as the other Pidgeot, it may or may not have a higher CP. Whether or not it does, depends on the IVs of the Pokémon. Keep in mind, however. Even if you power both Pokémon up to the same level, their CP will be different. This is where individual values (IVs) come into play.

Every Pokémon has a set of base statistics that are common among all Pokémon of the same species. They also have a hidden set of values, known as **Individual Values (IVs). These individual values are what cause Pokémon of the same species and level, to have differing CP values. The formula for calculating CP takes into account base stats, IVs, and level.

So if you have a lower level Pokémon with higher CP, you can infer that the lower level Pokémon has better IVs. However, with the introduction of the in game appraisal system. There's no need to try and guess how good a Pokémon is, since your team leader tells you which Pokémon are good.

  • The question is not asking about how levels work, really. It's asking why a Jolteon at level 23 is weaker than a Jolteon at level 26. This is due to IVs. The bar just indicates what the level is.
    – Vemonus
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 15:19
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    @Vemonus The question is asking about the "CP curve". The curve above a Pokémon has nothing to do with IVs (or CP for that matter).
    – Tester101
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 15:41
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    "My question is, how is that (the maximum CP) determined and should I focus on making sure I evolve Pokemon with the best buffer left in the max CP curve (AKA better IVs with lower CP)"
    – Vemonus
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 15:43
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    In the question, the asker specifically indicates that his lower level Jolteon has more CP than his higher level Jolteon. Quote: "One of my Jolteon for example has 1477cp and has 5mm more to the max CP bar (I am level 25). And I have another Jolteon at 1325cp and it is almost at its maximum with only 2mm left in the bar." He wants an explanation for why that is and what does it mean. The answer is that the lower level Jolteon has better IV's.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 16:24
  • Just to come back to my Jolteon example: CP are the same but the bar is closer or further from the end... If I want to evolve a charmander all he way up to charizard for example.. should I focus on the charmander with the highest CP or the charmander with the Bar closest to the Max CP?
    – Max
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 5:22

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