Here's a bitter pill to swallow if you're a serious Pokémon Go player: Your Pokémon evolutions may screw you over.
Pokémon Go fan community The Silph Road has published the results of a study into whether or not Pokémon Go players can influence the results of a Pokémon evolution to maximize the chances of getting the best post-evolution moveset possible. The results are frustrating at best.
Pokémon Go moves evolution: Impossible to predict?
A Pokémon's "moveset" is its combination of quick and charge attacks. Some movesets are demonstrably more competitive than others, and serious Pokémon Go players will always be on the lookout for those specific movesets before investing stardust and candy into the Pokémon.
The starting movesets of the wild Pokémon you catch are determined randomly. But if it's a species of Pokémon that evolves, those starting movesets are irrelevant. The moves it knows will change once the Pokémon evolves, and it's what happens during that evolution that is so frustrating.
Pokémon Go moves evolution: It's totally random
After running over 10,000 test evolutions to gather data for the study, the Silph Research group has released its findings. In short: There is absolutely nothing you can do to influence what movesets your Pokémon will evolve into.
The Silph Research group measured 11 different factors that might influence how a Pokémon evolves, including pre-evolution moves, Pokémon level and overall appraisal rating. None of those factors proved to have any relevance in deciding what moveset a Pokémon would have after it evolved.
Pokémon Go moves evolution: Get ready to roll the dice
The Silph Research group's study further showed that there are even odds that any Pokémon will have a specific type of attack post-evolution. So if there are four possible quick attacks for a species of Pokémon then there is a 25 percent chance that one of these specific moves will be assigned to the Pokémon once it evolves.
This math holds for both quick and charge attacks. So the chances of evolving a Pokémon with an optimal moveset decreases as its total number of possible attacks goes up.
Pokémon Go moves evolution: Just deal with it
The significance of this study is that it provides solid evidence for something Pokémon Go veterans have "known" for months but couldn't prove. All movesets are randomized, and players just need to deal with it.
The results of this study are a bummer for anyone holding out hope that random number generation was not solely responsible for determining the quality of their Pokémon, but randomness has always been a key part of the fun in Pokémon Go. You never know what you're going to find around the next corner.
Pokémon Go hacks, tips and tricks
If you're already calculating odds on how many Snorlaxes you need to catch to bag the perfect moveset, you may also want to check out our Pokémon Go guides. Here's everything you need to know about creating new PokéStops, setting up the best gym attackers and the best gym defenders, how to maximize your chances to catch Pokémon and how to track nest migrations.