Pokémon Go: How to get and use Evolution Items and other special case evolutions

Pokémon Go Evolution Items
(Image credit: Niantic)

In Pokémon Go, you can catch a lot of great Pokémon in the wild or in raids, but evolution is necessary to get many of the most powerful Pokémon in the game. For most Pokémon, evolution just requires candy. However, a select few species need specific Evolution items or other special methods. Fortunately, we're here to walk you through how to obtain and use these unique items, and be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories so you're fully equipped on your Pokémon Journey!

What are Evolution Items in Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go Sinnoh Stone Evolutions

(Image credit: Niantic)

Even the very first Pokémon games featured a handful of special case Pokémon who could only evolve with Evolution Items or other special methods. Even the most recognizable Pokémon out there, Pikachu requires an Evolution Item in the core Pokémon games. Pokémon Go has far fewer Evolution Items and special cases for Evolution than the core games, but there are a few.

The Evolution Items currently available in Pokémon Go:

  • Sun Stone: Evolves Gloom into Bellossom, Sunkern into Sunflora, Cottonee into Whimsicott, Petilil into Lilligant, and Helioptile into Heliolisk.
  • King's Rock: Evolves Poliwhirl into Politoed, and Slowpoke into Slowking.
  • Metal Coat: Evolves Onix into Steelix, and Scyther into Scizor.
  • Dragon Scale: Evolves Seadra into Kingdra.
  • Up-Grade: Evolves Porygon into Porygon2.
  • Sinnoh Stone: Evolves Lickitung into Lickilicky, Rhydon into Rhyperior, Tangela into Tangrowth, Electabuzz into Electivire, Magmar into Magmortar, Porygon2 into Porygon-Z, Togetic into Togekiss, Aipom into Ambipom, Yanma into Yanmega, Murkrow into Honchkrow, Misdreavus into Mismagius, Gligar into Gliscor, Sneasel into Weavile, Swinub into Mamoswine, Kirlia (male only) into Gallade, Roselia into Roserade, Dusclops into Dusknoir, and Snorunt (female only) evolves into Froslass.
  • Unova Stone: Evolves Pansage into Simisage, Pansear into Simisear, Panpour into Simipour, Munna into Musharna, Minccino into Cinccino, Eelektrik into Eelektross, and Lampent into Chandelure.
  • Glacial Lure Module: Evolves Eevee into Glaceon.
  • Mossy Lure Module: Evolves Eevee into Leafeon.
  • Magnetic Lure Module: Evolves Nosepass into Probopass, and Magneton into Magnezone.
  • Rainy Lure Module: Evolves Sliggoo into Goodra.

If and when you get one, it'll show up in your Items list alongside your Poké Balls, Potions, Lucky Eggs, etc.

Other special cases for Evolution in Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go Trade Evolution

(Image credit: Niantic)

While most Pokémon evolve with Candy and a possible Evoluton Item, there are some other Pokémon who evolve a little differently.

Other methods for evolving Pokémon include:

  • Eevee Nicknames: Each of Eevee's "eeveelutions" can be obtained once per account by using the following nicknames - Vaporeon (Rainer), Jolteon (Sparky), Flareon (Pyro), Espeon (Sakura), Umbreon (Tamao), Leafeon (Linnea), Glaceon (Rea) and Sylveon* (Kira).
  • Buddy Distance: Evolves Eevee into Umbreon or Espeon (10KM), Feebas into Milotic (20KM), Mime Jr. into Mr. Mime (15 KM), Bonsly into Sudowoodo (15KM), Happiny into Chansey (15KM), Woobat into Swoobat (1KM), Hisuian Sneasal into Sneasler (7KM).
  • Time of Day: Evolves Eevee into Umbreon (night) or Espeon (day), and Hisuian Sneasal into Sneasler only after meeting Buddy Distance requirements. Evolves Tyrunt* into Tyrantrum* (day), Amaura* into Aurorus* (night), Yungoos into Gumshoos (day), Rockruff into Midday Lycanroc (day) or Midnight Lycanroc (night), and Fomantis into Lurantis (day).
  • Make ten Excellent Throws with your Buddy Pokémon: Evolves Galarian Farfetch'd into Sirfetch'd.
  • Win ten Raids with your Buddy Pokémon: Evolves Galarian Yamask into Runerigus, and Hisuian Qwilfish into Overqwil.
  • Use an Incense with your Buddy Pokémon: Evolves Spritzee into Aromatisse.
  • Feed 25 Candies to your Buddy Pokémon: Evolves Swirlix into Slurpuff.
  • Catch 32 Dark type Pokémon: Evolves Pancham into Pangoro.
  • Earn 20 hearts with your Buddy Pokémon: Allows Floette to evolve into Florges.
  • Earn 70 hearts with your Buddy Pokémon: Allows Eevee to be evolved into Sylveon.
  • Trade Evolution: Evolves Kadabra into Alakazam, Machoke into Machamp, Graveler into Golem (including Alolan form), Haunter into Gengar, Boldore into Gigalith, Gurdurr into Conkeldurr, Karrablast into Escavalier, Shelmet into Accelgor, Phantump into Trevenant, and Pumpkaboo into Gourgeist for zero candy.
  • Weather: In addition to Rainy Lure Modules, Rainy Weather will also allow Sliggoo to evolve into Goodra.
  • Catch 30 Poison type Pokémon: Allows Galarian Slowpoke to be evolved into Galarian Slowbro.
  • Upside down evolution: Allows Inkay to be evolved into Malamar.
  • Catch 30 Psychic type Pokémon: Allows Galarian Slowpoke to be evolved into Galarian Slowking.

How do you get Evolution Items in Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go Walking PokéStops

(Image credit: Niantic)

Most Evolution Items are rewarded as rare drops from PokéStop and Gym spins, with a guaranteed drop on the seventh consecutive day. They can also be earned by completing certain Research, winning in the Pokémon Go Battle League, defeating the Leaders of Team GO Rocket, or participating in events. The elemental Lure Modules can also be purchased in the PokéShop.

How do you use Evolution Items in Pokémon Go?

Using an Evolution Item is the easy part.

  1. Tap on the Poké Ball menu button at the bottom center of the game screen.
  2. Tap on the Pokémon button at the bottom left of the menu screen.
  3. Tap on the Pokémon you want to evolve.
  4. Tap on the second/bottom Evolution button.
  5. Tap on Use This Item on your Pokémon to confirm. (It'll show the specific Evolution Item you'll be consuming.)
  6. Enjoy!

Once the evolution is done, the Evolution Item will be spent.

Any questions about Evolution Items in Pokémon Go?

Do you have any questions about Evolution Items in Pokémon Go? Any tips for fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below and be sure to check out our other Pokémon Go Guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.