This may seem slightly mad, but irrespective, I am trying to find the slowest way to raise a level 1 pokemon through battling (no candies). I believe caterpie and blipbug on route 1 are supposed to give the lowest exp but even after a single battle (during which I switched out) my level 1 got bumped up to level 4. Is there any better way to get less exp at all?

  • Would switching in other pokémon be viable? Split the experience between everyone who "participated"? Dec 16, 2023 at 0:03
  • Blipbug is the worst experience yielding Pokemon you can find, it shares the "crown" with Sunkern which is not present in SwSh.
    – pinckerman
    Dec 16, 2023 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


The formula for experience gain in Pokémon Sword and Shield is given on Bulbapedia, here:

enter image description here


b is the base experience yield of the fainted Pokémon's species

The lowest this can be in Sword and Shield is 36, which Blipbug gives, as you surmise. (Caterpie is higher, at 39).

e is equal to...
1.5 if the winning Pokémon is holding a Lucky Egg
1 otherwise

So make sure you don't have a Lucky Egg.

f is equal to...
4915/4096 (~1.2) if the Pokémon has 220 or higher friendship
1 otherwise

So make sure your friendship is below 220.

L is the level of the fainted/caught Pokémon

So you want the enemy level to be as low as possible. The Blipbugs hidden in the grass on Route 1 range from level 2 to level 5; so only fight the level 2 ones.

Lp is the level of the victorious Pokémon

So, the higher the level of your Pokémon, the less experience it will get. This doesn't affect you, as you are only looking at a level 1 Pokémon, but to minimise experience gain you'd be using a level 99 (once you're at level 100, it won't make a difference, of course).

p is equal to...
1 if you don't have the Exp. Charm
1.5 if you do

So make sure you don't have the Exp Charm. There's no way to turn it off once you get it, so make sure you don't visit the Master Dojo in the Isle of Armour dlc.

s is equal to...
1 if your Pokémon participated in the battle
2 otherwise

So make sure you don't send out the Pokémon you're training at all; keep it in your party but don't use it to battle.

t is equal to...
1 if the winning Pokémon's current owner is its Original Trainer
1.5 if the Pokémon is an outsider Pokémon (i.e. its current owner is not its Original Trainer)
1.7 if the Pokémon is an outsider Pokémon and has a different language of origin (in Generation V+, this is instead approximated very closely as 6963/4096)

So make sure you are the Original Trainer of the Pokémon.

v is equal to...
4915/4096 (~1.2) if the winning Pokémon is at or past the level where it would be able to evolve, but it has not
1 otherwise

Shouldn't affect you with a level 1 Pokémon.

The result is subject to standard rounding after each multiplier, rounding down at 0.5, unless specified otherwise. However, the calculations for the base EXP (minus the scaling factor, in the scaled formula) are rounded down (integer divisions).

Based on that, the least experience you can gain at level 1, by defeating a level 2 Blipbug without participating in the battle, is:

(((36*2)/5)*(1/2)*(((2*2+10)/(2+1+10))^2.5)+1)*1*1*1*1*1 = 

14.4 * 0.5 * (14/13)^2.5 = 

(I think it rounds at each stage, though maybe I'm wrong; you might need to test this in game...)

14 * 0.5 * (14/13)^2.5 = 

7 * (14/13)^2.5 = 

8 experience gained.

Now, the levels you gain will depend on your experience group. The Pokémon that need most experience to grow from level 1 to level 2 are in the Erratic group, requiring 15 experience. So two Blipbugs will be enough for a level up. In fact, anything in the Erratic, Medium-Slow or Slow groups will need two Blipbugs, and anything in the Fast, Medium-Fast or Fluctuating group will level up after just one Blipbug.

enter image description here

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