Evolution

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The process of an Abra evolving into a Kadabra in Pokémon Emerald Version
The process of an Abra evolving into a Kadabra in Pokémon Emerald Version
The process of an Abra evolving into a Kadabra in Pokémon Emerald Version
The process of an Abra evolving into a Kadabra in Pokémon Emerald Version
The process of an Abra evolving into a Kadabra in Pokémon Emerald Version

Evolution is a sudden process in which a Pokémon changes into a new form. Despite its name, Pokémon evolution shares more similarities with metamorphosis than the theory of Darwinism. In the video games, evolution usually results in the evolved Pokémon's stat values changing. Single-form Pokémon do not have any evolutions. Few Pokémon do not want to evolve, with Ash's Pikachu being one of them.

Most Pokémon evolve after reaching a certain level once they have acquired enough experience points from Pokémon battles. Some other ways in which a Pokémon can evolve include the use of an evolutionary stone, trading the Pokémon to another player (and sometimes for a specific Pokémon), or having the Pokémon's friendship reach a certain level. Some evolutions occur based on a circumstance or condition, such as the time of day, carrying a unique item while being traded, leveling up in a certain area, having a certain Pokémon in the party, knowing a certain move, or in the case of Inkay, holding the game console upside down. Starting with Generation VII, several Pokémon from earlier generations have an evolutionary variant unique to the Alola region.

The player can choose to halt evolution at any time before the animation is finished by pressing the B button, unless the evolution was initiated by using an evolutionary stone on the Pokémon. Pokémon whose evolutions are canceled will attempt to evolve again after the condition for evolution is met again. The main purpose for preventing an evolution is because many Pokémon can learn moves sooner than their evolved form.

Evolutionary stages[edit]

All Pokémon can be placed at one of four evolutionary stages (though no existing Pokémon line includes more than three stages out of the four stages) – Baby, Basic, Stage 1, and Stage 2. A Basic Pokémon is usually the first one in the evolutionary line, but some do evolve from Baby Pokémon. Many of these Basic Pokémon can evolve, and the forms just above the basic level are known as Stage 1 Pokémon. When these Stage 1 Pokémon evolve, the new form is known as a Stage 2 Pokémon. When bred under certain conditions, Basic or Stage 1 Pokémon may produce an egg which hatches into a Baby Pokémon that then evolves into the Basic form.

A Pokémon higher up on this evolutionary scale is called an evolved form of the previous stages; a Pokémon lower down on the scale is often said to be a pre-evolved form of later Pokémon in the chain. Some Pokémon, such as Eevee, Slowpoke, Tyrogue, Clamperl, and Minomutchi have branching evolutionary chains. All of these branches occur at the evolution of Baby, Basic or Stage 1 Pokémon; there may be multiple Basic, Stage 1, and/or Stage 2 Pokémon in an evolutionary chain, but only the Wurmple line contains a divergence in evolution prior to the final stage.

Methods[edit]

There are several ways in which a Pokémon can evolve, some of which involve two simultaneous methods.

Leveling up[edit]

Main article: List of Pokémon that evolve by leveling up

As in many RPGs, a Pokémon’s overall strength is measured by its level, which ranges from 1 to 100. The most common cause of evolution is leveling up either by gaining experience points or by being fed Rare Candy, which instantly elevates Pokémon by one level. A Pokémon that evolves in this manner will evolve once it reaches a certain level. For example, Bulbasaur evolves into Ivysaur at level 16, which evolves again into Venusaur at level 32. Level-based evolution can be halted by the trainer at any time before the process is complete, or prevented outright by having the Pokémon hold a special item, the Everstone. This is useful because, with this method of evolution, higher-evolved Pokémon learn new moves at a slower rate. For example, in some games, Bulbasaur learns its final and most powerful move, SolarBeam, at level 48, but Ivysaur learns it at level 54, and Venusaur doesn't learn it until level 65.

Certain items[edit]

Some Pokémon evolve through the use of a certain item. In most cases it is an evolutionary stone, which have elemental properties that affect specific Pokémon. Some Pokémon that evolve through a certain item are part of a branched evolutionary chain, and their evolution depends on which item used on them. The most notable example is Eevee, who has eight eeveelutions, five of which are each the result of exposing Eevee to a certain evolutionary stone.

Starting with Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions, certain Pokémon do not immediately evolve by coming into contact with an evolutionary stone. In most situations, instantaneous evolution may occur, as with Growlithe to Arcanine. Holding the evolutionary stone is just another way of making it evolve.

No. Name Item needed Evolves into
025 Pikachu1 Thunder Stone Raichu (#026)
027 Sandshrew2 Ice Stone Sandslash (#028)
030 Nidorina Moon Stone Nidoqueen (#031)
033 Nidorino Moon Stone Nidoking (#034)
035 Clefairy Moon Stone Clefable (#036)
037 Vulpix Fire Stone Ninetales (#038)
039 Jigglypuff Moon Stone Wigglytuff (#040)
044 Gloom Leaf Stone Vileplume (#045)
Sun Stone Bellossom (#182)
058 Growlithe Fire Stone Arcanine (#059)
061 Poliwhirl Water Stone Poliwrath (#062)
070 Weepinbell Leaf Stone Victreebel (#071)
079 Slowpoke2 Galarica Cuff Slowbro (#080)
Galarica Wreath Slowking (#199)
090 Shellder Water Stone Cloyster (#091)
102 Exeggcute1 Leaf Stone Exeggutor (#103)
120 Staryu Water Stone Starmie (#121)
133 Eevee Water Stone Vaporeon (#134)
Fire Stone Flareon (#135)
Thunder Stone Jolteon (#136)
Leaf Stone Leafeon (#470)
176 Togetic Shiny Stone Togekiss (#468)
191 Sunkern Sun Stone Sunflora (#192)
198 Murkrow Dusk Stone Honchkrow (#430)
200 Misdreavus Dusk Stone Mismagius (#429)
271 Lombre Leaf Stone Ludicolo (#272)
274 Nuzleaf Leaf Stone Shiftry (#275)
281 Kirlia Dawn Stone Gallade (#475)
300 Skitty Moon Stone Delkitty (#301)
315 Roselia Shiny Stone Roserade (#407)
361 Snorunt Dawn Stone Froslass (#478)
511 Pansage Leaf Stone Simisage (#512)
513 Pansear Fire Stone Simisear (#514)
515 Panpour Water Stone Simipour (#516)
517 Munna Moon Stone Musharna (#518)
546 Cottonee Sun Stone Whimsicott (#547)
548 Petilil Sun Stone Lilligant (#549)
554 Darumaka Ice Stone Darmanitan (#555)
572 Minccino Shiny Stone Cinccino (#573)
603 Eelektrik Thunder Stone Eelektross (#604)
608 Lampent Dusk Stone Chandelure (#609)
670 Floette Shiny Stone Florges (#671)
680 Doublade Dusk Stone Aegislash (#681, Shield Forme)
694 Helioptile Sun Stone Heliolisk (#695)
737 Charjabug Thunder Stone Vikavolt (#738)
840 Applin Tart Apple Flapple (#841)
Sweet Apple Appletun (#842)
854 Sinistea Cracked Pot Polteageist (#855)

Trading[edit]

Some Pokémon evolve if they are traded among Pokémon Trainers. This generally involves the connection of two handheld systems and the trade of a Pokémon from one game to another. Starting with Generation II, most Pokémon only evolve if they hold a certain item while being traded. Like evolutionary stones, the Pokémon consumes their held item once they evolve. There are two Generation V Pokémon that only evolve if traded for a certain Pokémon.

No. Name Evolves into Held item / condition
061 Poliwhirl Politoed (#186) Held item: King's Rock
064 Kadabra Alakazam (#065) N/A
067 Machoke Machamp (#068) N/A
075 Graveler Golem (#076) N/A
079 Slowpoke Slowking (#199) Held item: King's Rock
093 Haunter Gengar (#094) N/A
095 Onix Steelix (#208) Held item: Metal Coat
112 Rhydon Rhyperior (#464) Held item: Protector
117 Seadra Kingdra (#230) Held item: Dragon Scale
123 Scyther Scizor (#212) Held item: Metal Coat
125 Electabuzz Electivire (#466) Held item: Electirizer
126 Magmar Magmortar (#467) Held item: Magmarizer
137 Porygon Porygon2 (#233) Held item: Upgrade
233 Poygon2 Porygon-Z (#474) Held item: Dubious Disc
349 Feebas Milotic (#350) Held item: Prism Scale
356 Dusclops Dusknoir (#477) Held item: Reaper Cloth
366 Clamperl Huntail (#367) Held item: Deep Sea Tooth
Gorebyss (#368) Held item: Deep Sea Scale
525 Boldore Gigalith (#526) N/A
533 Gurdurr Conkeldurr (#534) N/A
588 Karrablast Escavalier (#589) Trade for a Shelmet
616 Shelmet Accelgor (#617) Trade for a Karrablast
682 Spritzee Aromatisse (#683) Held item: Sachet
684 Swirlix Slurpuff (#685) Held item: Whipped Dream
708 Phantump Trevenant (#709) N/A
710 Pumpkaboo Gourgeist (#711) N/A

Friendship[edit]

Since Generation II, the games track a hidden statistic measuring a Pokémon's friendship with their trainer, the player character. It changes based on several factors, such as how often a Pokémon is defeated in battle or if it has been fed stat-enhancing items. The player character can gauge a Pokémon's friendship level by taking it to certain NPCs, or using Pokémon Stadium 2 or Pokémon Box to monitor the strength of its friendship with the trainer. If certain Pokémon have a high friendship, they evolve upon leveling up. A few Pokémon from the Generation I games received an evolution through this method in the Generation II games. Similarly, a few Generation I Pokémon received a pre-evolution that evolves into them through friendship. There are a few Pokémon that only evolve at a certain time of day or night.

No. Name Evolves into Time of day
042 Golbat Crobat (#169) Both
052 Meowth (Alola) Persian (#053) Both
113 Chansey Blissey (#242) Both
133 Eevee Espeon (#196) Day
Umbreon (#197) Night
172 Pichu Pikachu (#025) Both
173 Cleffa Clefairy (#035) Both
174 Igglybuff Jigglypuff (#039) Both
175 Togepi Togetic (#176) Both
298 Azurill Marill (#183) Both
406 Budew Roselia (#315) Day
427 Buneary Lopunny (#428) Both
433 Chingling Chimecho (#358) Night
446 Munchlax Snorlax (#143) Both
447 Riolu Lucario (#448) Day
527 Woobat Swoobat (#528) Both
541 Swadloon Leavanny (#542) Both
772 Type: Null Silvally (#773) Both
872 Snom Frosmoth (#873) Night

Gender-specific[edit]

Starting with Generation IV, there are a few Pokémon who can only evolve if they are a certain gender. A majority of them evolve through leveling up, although two Pokémon evolve by using a Dawn Stone.

No. Name Evolves into Condition
281 Kirlia Gallade (#475) Dawn Stone
361 Snorunt Froslass (#478) Dawn Stone
412 Burmy Mothim Level 20
412 Burmy ♀ Wormadam (Plant Cloak) Level 20 (in grass)
Wormadam (Sandy Cloak) Level 20 (in caves)
Wormadam (Trash Cloak) Level 20 (in buildings)
415 Combee Vespiquen (#416) Level 21
757 Salandit Salazzle (#758) Level 33

Location-specific[edit]

No. Name Evolves into Condition
082 Magneton Magnezone (#462) Leveling up in a Magnetic Field area.
133 Eevee Leafeon (#470) Leveling up near a Moss Rock (Generations IV-VII)
Glaceon (#471) Leveling up near an Icy Rock (Generations IV-VII)
299 Nosepass Probopass (#476) Leveling up in a Magnetic Field area
737 Charjabug Vikavolt (#738) Leveling up in a Magnetic Field area (Generations IV-VII)
739 Crabrawler Crabominable (#740) Leveling up on top of Mount Lanakila

Attack-based[edit]

Starting with the Generation IV games, certain Pokémon evolve when they learn a certain attack.

No. Name Evolves into Move learned
108 Lickitung Lickilicky (#463) Rollout
114 Tangela Tangrowth (#465) Ancient Power
190 Aipom Ambipom (#424) Double Hit
193 Yanma Yanmega (#469) Ancient Power
221 Piloswine Mamoswine (#473) Ancient Power
438 Bonsly Sudowoodo (#185) Mimic
439 Mime Jr. Mr. Mime (#122) Mimic
762 Steenee Tsareena (#763) Stomp
803 Poipole Naganadel (#804) Dragon Pulse
852 Clobbopus Grapploct (#853) Taunt

Time-based[edit]

Starting with the Generation VI games, some Pokémon evolve if leveled up at a certain time of day.

No. Name Evolves into Condition
019 Alolan Rattata Alolan Raticate Level 20 (at nighttime in Alola)
104 Cubone Alolan Marowak (#105) Level 28 (at nighttime in Alola)
264 Galarian Linoone Obstagoon (#862) Level 35 (at nighttime)
696 Tyrunt Tyrantrum (#697) Level 39 (at daytime)
698 Amaura Aurorus (#699) Level 39 (at nighttime)
734 Yungoos Gumshoos (#735) Level 20 (at daytime)
744 Rockruff Lycanroc (Midday Form) (#745) Level 25 (at daytime in Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Ultra Sun)
Lycanroc (Midnight Form) (#745) Level 25 (at nighttime in Pokémon Moon or Pokémon Ultra Moon)
Lycanroc (Dusk Form) (#745) Level 25 (at 5-6pm dusk if Rockruff knows the Own Tempo ability)
753 Fomantis Lurantis (#754) Level 34 (at daytime)

Similarly, in as early as Generation IV, there are three Pokémon that evolve through similar conditions but must be holding an item. Most Pokémon that evolve by holding an item do so if traded.

No. Name Evolves into Condition
207 Gligar Gliscor (#472) Leveling up Gligar while it is holding a Razor Fang at night.
215 Sneasel Weavile (#461) Leveling up Sneasel while it is holding a Razor Claw at night.
440 Happiny Chansey (#113) Leveling up Happiny while it is holding an Oval Stone during the day.

Special evolutions[edit]

Several Pokémon evolve under specific conditions, many of which is still based on the Pokémon's level.

No. Name Evolves into Condition
083 Galarian Farfetch'd Sirfetch'd Achieve three critical hits in one battle.
133 Eevee Sylveon ♥♥ affection in Pokémon-Amie or Pokémon Refresh, has high friendship, and has learned a Fairy-type move. (Generations VI and VII)
265 Wurmple Silcoon (#266) Level 7 (depending on personality value)
Cascoon (#268)
236 Tyrogue Hitmonlee (#106) Level 20 (Attack stat is higher than Defense)
Hitmonchan (#107) Level 20 (Defense stat is higher than Attack)
Hitmontop (#237) Level 20 (Attack and Defense stats are equal)
290 Nincada Shedinja (#292) Reaching at least level 20 while having an Poké Ball and an open slot in the party
349 Feebas Milotic (#350) Leveling up with Beauty stat maxed out
458 Manytke Mantine (#226) Leveling up with a Remoraid in the party
562 Galarian Yamask Runerigus (#867) Walk under the stone bridge in Dusty Bowl after Yamask has taken at least 49 HP of damage without fainting.
674 Pancham Pangoro (#675) Reaching at least level 32 with a Dark-type Pokémon in the party.
686 Inkay Malamar (#687) Reaching level 30 and holding the console upside down.
705 Sliggoo Goodra (#706) Reaching at least level 50 while it is raining.
790 Cosmoem Solgaleo (#791) Reaching level 53 in Pokémon Sun, Ultra Sun, or Sword.
Lunala (#792) Reaching level 53 in Pokémon Moon, Ultra Moon, or Shield.
808 Meltan Melmetal (#809) Evolves when the player character has 400 Meltan Candies (Pokémon Go only)
848 Toxel Toxtricity (Low Key Form) (#849) Reaching level 30 with either a Bashful, Bold, Calm, Careful, Gentle, Lonely, Mild, Modest, Quiet, Relaxed, Serious, or Timid nature.
Toxtricity (Amped Form) (#849) Reaching level 30 with either a Adamant, Brave, Docile, Hardy, Hasty, Impish, Jolly, Lax, Naive, Naughty, Rash, Quirky, or Sassy nature.
868 Milcery Alcremie (Vanilla Cream) (#869) Spin clockwise for 5 seconds during the day, holding a Sweet.
Alcremie (Ruby Cream) Spin counter-clockwise for 5 seconds during the day, holding a Sweet.
Alcremie (Matcha Cream) Spin clockwise for 5 seconds during the night, holding a Sweet.
Alcremie (Salted Cream) Spin counter-clockwise for 5 seconds during the night, holding a Sweet.
Alcremie (Caramel Swirl) Spin clockwise for more than 5 seconds during the day, holding a Sweet.
Alcremie (Ruby Swirl) Spin counter-clockwise for more than 5 seconds during the day, holding a Sweet.
Alcremie (Lemon Cream) Spin clockwise for more than 5 seconds during the night, holding a Sweet.
Alcremie (Mint Cream) Spin counter-clockwise for more than 5 seconds during the night, holding a Sweet.
Alcremie (Rainbow Swirl) Spin counter-clockwise for more than 10 seconds during the dusk/dawn, holding a Sweet.
891 Kubfu Urshifu (Single Strike Style) (#892) Complete the Tower of Darkness
Urshifu (Rapid Strike Style) (#892) Complete the Tower of Waters

Mega Evolution[edit]

Main article: Mega Evolution

Mega Evolution is a mechanic introduced in Pokémon X and Y, and it further increases the abilities of specific Pokémon. If the player character possesses an item called the Key Stone and a Pokémon is holding a Mega Stone that corresponds to its species, that Pokémon will be able to Mega Evolve during battle. The player cannot perform more than one Mega Evolution per battle. Unlike normal evolution, this transformation is temporary and the Pokémon will revert to its normal form after the battle. Mega Evolved Pokémon have higher stats than their normal forms and may also have a different type or ability.

Primal Reversion[edit]

Main article: Primal Reversion

Primal Reversion is a mechanic introduced in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Only two Pokémon, Groudon and Kyogre, are capable of Primal Reversion. These Pokémon will undergo Primal Reversion automatically if they hold the Red Orb or Blue Orb (respectively) when sent into battle. Like Mega Evolution, Primal Reversion increases the Pokémon's stats and changes their Abilities; unlike Mega Evolution, Primal Reversion can be performed more than once per battle.

Bond Phenomenon[edit]

Main article: Bond Phenomenon

Bond Phenomenon is a mechanic that debuted in the anime's XYZ series and was introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon. The only Pokémon capable of this transformation is Greninja with the Battle Bond Ability. Greninja will transform into Ash-Greninja if it knocks out a Pokémon during battle, giving it an appearance similar to Ash Ketchum, increased stats and a stronger Water Shuriken. Unlike Mega Evolution, Primal Reversion and Ultra Burst, Bond Phenomenon does not require an item to activate.

Ultra Burst[edit]

Main article: Ultra Burst

Ultra Burst is a mechanic introduced in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, exclusive to the Legendary Pokémon Necrozma. Necrozma may undergo Ultra Burst if it is in its Dusk Mane or Dawn Wings form and holding the Ultranecrozium Z Z-Crystal, which will allow it to transform into Ultra Necrozma. Like Mega Evolution, Bond Phenomenon and Primal Reversion, Ultra Burst increases Necrozma's stats and is a temporary transformation.

Dynamax & Gigantamax[edit]

Main article: Dynamax
Main article: Gigantamax

Dynamax and Gigantamax are mechanics introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield. If the player character has an item called the Dynamax Band, it drastically increases the Pokémon's size, its HP by 50% and can use Max Moves. The Pokémon can further increase its HP by 5% from using Dynamax Candy to increase its Dynamax Level. Gigantamax is similar to Dynamax, but it changes the Pokémon's form, similar to Mega Evolution. Gigantamax Pokémon use G-Max Moves, exclusive to the 26 Pokémon capable of Gigantamaxing. Each Gigantamax Pokémon must have their respective move type in order to use their respective G-Max Move. Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing can only be used in Gym Stadiums, Max Raid Battles and other areas except for wild or trainer battles.

Zacian, Zamazenta and Eternatus are the only Pokémon that cannot Dynamax.

Eternamax[edit]

Main article: Eternamax

Eternamax is a mechanic introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield, and is exclusive to the Legendary Pokémon Eternatus. Eternatus changes into its Eternamax form after defeating it for the first time. Its power prevents the player's and Hop's Pokémon from attacking. Eternatus is attackable after the player summons the Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta, resulting in a Max Raid Battle where the player can capture Eternatus and end its transformation.

Eternamax Eternatus can be used in battle (if Eternatus uses the move Eternabeam), but the player cannot currently obtain this form of Eternatus.

Game appearances[edit]

Pokémon Yellow Version[edit]

In Pokémon Yellow Version, the player character's Pikachu, who is based on Ash's Pikachu, refuses to evolve into Raichu if the player character tries to use a Thunderstone on it.

Pokémon Pinball series[edit]

In Pokémon Pinball and its sequel, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, the player must accomplish certain tasks to enter EVO mode, and may then evolve any Pokémon caught in that round of play by using the ball to collect a set of three icons representing experience, appropriate evolution stones, hearts for friendship, link cables for trade, and similar attributes, scattered around the board, representing the method by which it evolves, before time runs out.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team / Blue Rescue Team[edit]

In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team, the world of Pokémon is plagued by natural disasters, including the inability of all native Pokémon to evolve. Once the player's team has defeated Rayquaza, the Luminous Cave, where evolution can occur, appears at Whiscash Pond. Evolution requires the same conditions as in the main series, except that happiness evolution instead occurs only if the Pokémon's IQ is high enough, and Pokémon which evolve through trading must use a Link Cable item in addition to any other required item. Eevee will evolve into Espeon or Umbreon once its IQ is high enough by using the Solar or Lunar Ribbon respectively, and Feebas evolves with the Beauty Scarf. Shedinja appears automatically after Nincada evolves. Wurmple will evolve into either Silcoon or Cascoon depending on its personality value at level 7.

Pokémon anime[edit]

In the anime, some Pokémon evolve under different conditions. One notable change is that Pokémon often evolve in the middle of a battle, which cannot happen in the games. In "March of the Exeggutor Squad", an Exeggcute evolved without the use of a Leaf Stone.

Usually in the anime, a Pokémon would evolve by glowing as a white silhouette, changing shape, and then the glow would fade to reveal its new form. However, there were a few exceptions; Ash's Caterpie evolved into Metapod by shooting string on itself and shedding its skin. Then Metapod would evolve into Butterfree by flashing, and the butterfly Pokémon would emerge from the shell, like a real butterfly coming out of pupation. Beedrill and its pre-evolved forms would also follow this practice. Eventually later in the series, these Pokémon types would evolve the normal way how other Pokémon do: by glowing and changing shape. Also, when Poliwag would evolve into Poliwhirl, it would stop changing shape halfway and appear as a spinning circle of light before resuming its evolution to its next form. This is not present in its evolution into Poliwrath, but it does appear as a rotating circle of light when evolving into Politoed. In "The Flame Pokémon-athon", while Ponyta was evolving to Rapidash to win the race, its white silhouette while evolving was also in a rainbow-ish color.

Pokémon Trading Card Game[edit]

In the Pokémon Trading Card Game, some Pokémon can evolve if the player places the correct card on top of the original Pokémon. Evolution is usually a strategic necessity, as the evolved Pokémon are more powerful and may be able to take advantage of tools and circumstances that Basic Pokémon cannot.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 進化
Shinka
Evolution

Footnotes[edit]

1 - The Pokémon has an evolution variant in Alola but evolves via the same method.
2 - The Pokémon only evolves through this method in Alola, where its evolution is the same but just of a different variant.

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