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How to Get Pokérus in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Image via Nintendo/The Pokémon Company

Since the first generation, mainline Pokémon games have had a handful of lesser-known mechanics that circulated almost completely by word of mouth. Most of these were complete bunko, like finding Mew under a truck in Pokémon Red and Blue, while others ended up being the genuine article. One of those mechanics that possessed a nebulous existence for a long time was the Pokérus, and to this day, its precise mechanics are… abstract, to put it charitably. Here’s how to get Pokérus in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

What is Pokérus in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?

First and foremost, what actually is the Pokérus? Basically, it’s a disease that your Pokémon can potentially catch. The word “Pokérus” is a portmanteau of “Pokémon” and “virus.” Despite the worrying implications of a Pokémon disease, though, the Pokérus is actually a beneficial thing to have. Any Pokémon infected with the Pokérus receives doubled Effort Values, or EVs, for the duration of their infections. EVs determine how much your Pokémons’ stats increase when they level up, so having doubled EVs is incredibly helpful for raising tourney-worthy Pokémon.

How to get Pokérus in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

To get Pokérus in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

  1. Battle lots of wild or trained Pokémon to expose your Pokémon to the Pokérus
  2. Alternatively, obtain an infected Pokémon through trading and let the Pokérus spread to your party
  3. The infection will last anywhere from 1 to 4 days in real time

Much like diseases in real life, the Pokérus requires a vector through which it can spread. Ergo, the only way to infect your Pokémon with Pokérus is to bring them near another Pokémon that’s already infected. Theoretically, any Pokémon you encounter in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, either wild or trained, has the potential to be infected with the Pokérus. I say “theoretically” because, according to dataminers, the precise odds of contracting Pokérus from any Pokémon encounter are exactly 21,845 to 1. And you thought finding shiny Pokémon was next to impossible. 

All you can really do to contract the Pokérus in this way is to just keep playing the game as normal and cross your fingers. If you happen to have a friend with an infected Pokémon and they’re feeling charitable, they can temporarily trade the infected Pokémon to you. In either case, you can check if your Pokémon has contracted the Pokérus by looking for the little pink indicator on their summary screen. The nurse at the Pokémon Center will also let you know if one of them is infected.

Once at least one Pokémon in your party has the Pokérus, it will gradually spread to the other members of your party, including eggs. Once infection is confirmed, you’re officially on the clock. Pokémon can recover from the Pokérus in anywhere from one to four days in real time, and there’s no way of knowing precisely how long it’ll last. As such, you need to maximize your Pokémon’s exposure time by training the living heck out of them and making use of those double EVs as much as possible. Once a Pokémon is cured of the Pokérus, they can’t catch it again, so make that time count.

You can create a chain of infections by swapping uninfected Pokémon into your party and allowing them to catch the Pokérus. Any Pokémon with the Pokérus that is placed into your PC boxes will have their timers paused, so you can leave them in there without worrying about them losing their infection. In fact, you should keep a couple of infected Pokémon on hand just to keep the infection chain going. Bear in mind that the moment you take an infected Pokémon out of your PC boxes, the timer will start again, so you can’t keep relying on one Pokémon for the Pokérus forever. 

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