Pokémon Go: How to change forms

Pokemon Go Hoopa Unbound
Pokemon Go Hoopa Unbound (Image credit: Niantic)

After five years, Niantic has finally introduced form changing in Pokémon Go. Although this mechanic is currently limited to only a handful of Pokémon, before we know it, Pokémon with multiple forms, like Hoopa and Castform may be able to swap between their different forms. However, changing form in Pokémon Go doesn't work as easily as it does in the core games. Fortunately, we here at iMore know everything there is to know about form changing in Pokémon Go, and be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories so you can be fully equipped on your Pokémon Journey!

What are forms in Pokémon Go?

Pokemon Go Forces Of Nature (Image credit: Niantic)

Beginning with Gen II and Unown, some Pokémon have been introduced with multiple variants or forms. Sometimes these forms differ only in aesthetics, while other form changes provide boosted stats, type changes, and more. While some Pokémon with multiple forms cannot change forms, most can swap between their various forms in the core games using items, special moves, the weather, and other in game mechanics.

There are many Pokémon with multiple forms now, including several that have already been introduced in Pokémon Go; however, prior to the Season of Mischief, form changing wasn't possible. Instead, Pokémon with multiple forms were treated as almost completely separate species. Take Castform for example: Castform has different forms depending on the weather. When Castform made its way into Pokémon Go, each weather version was its own Pokémon, only sharing Candy.

That's all changed with the Season of Mischief. First, with the introduction of Furfrou in the Fashion Week event and then with Hoopa, select Pokémon can now change forms.

Form or forme: what's the difference?

As some players may have noticed, occasionally a Pokémon's multiple forms will be refered to as "formes". While this term is usually researved to differentiate the purely cosmetic form changes from those with substantial differences, it has never been consistently applied, leaving many players confused as to which term applies to which species. To avoid confusion, this guide will stick with "form".

Costumes, Mega Evolution, and more

In the core games, Costumed Pokémon, Mega Evolved Pokémon, including the Primal Reversions of Groudon and Kyogre, and Regional Variants are all considered separate forms. These Pokémon will not be included in this guide. You can check out our guides on Mega Evolution and Regional Variants to learn more.

How to change forms in Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go Furfrou Shadow (Image credit: Niantic)

Currently, there are only two Pokémon who can change forms in Pokémon Go, but it's only a matter of time before more are introduced. Changing forms in Pokémon Go currently costs Candy and Stardust, and can have other limitations as well.

Pokemon 676 Furfrou Star Trim (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Pokemon 676 Furfrou Diamond Trim (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Pokemon 676 Furfrou Heart Trim (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Source: The Pokémon Company

The first Pokémon given the ability to change form in Pokémon Go is Furfrou. This Normal type Pokémon has ten different forms, but the differences are purely aesthetic. In the core games, the different forms were obtained by grooming Furfrou at different Pokémon Stylists for 500 Pokémon dollars and the change would last for up to five days or until the Furfrou was deposited in the PC, Pokémon Bank, or the daycare/nursery.

In Pokémon Go, Furfrou requires 25 Furfrou Candy and 10,000 Stardust to change forms and will retain its form permanently so long as it isn't transferred to the core games. Additionally, some of its forms are currently region locked:

  • Natural Trim: Caught in the wild
  • Matron Trim: Available globally
  • Dandy Trim: Available globally
  • Debutante Trim: Available in the Americas
  • Diamond Trim: Available in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
  • Star Trim: Available in the Asia-Pacific region
  • La Reine Trim: Available in France
  • Kabuki Trim: Available in Japan
  • Pharaoh Trim: Available in Egypt
  • Heart Trim: Available during the Valentine's Day event only

Pokemon 720 Hoopa Confined (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Pokemon 720 Hoopa Unbound (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Source: The Pokémon Company

The second Pokémon given the ability to change form in Pokémon Go is the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa. Hoopa can currently only be caught in its Bound form by completing the Special Research, Misunderstood Mischief. Players who have completed Misunderstood Mischief by the end of the Season of Mischief can then complete a second Special Research, Mischief Unbound to unlock the ability to change Hoopa's form.

  • Changing from Hoopa Confined to Hoopa Unbound requires 50 Hoopa Candy and 10,000 Stardust
  • Changing from Hoopa Unbound to Hoopa Confined requires ten Hoopa Candy and 2,000 Stardust

Players who are unable to complete Misunderstood Mischief in time can purchase Mischief Unbound for $4.99USD or local equivalent in the PokéShop. However, players will still need to progress far enough in Misunderstood Mischief to catch Hoopa.

Pokémon with multiple forms in Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go Season Of Discovery (Image credit: Niantic)

There are many Pokémon with multiple forms already in Pokémon Go and many more that have yet to be introduced. Some of these Pokémon can change between their different forms using items, move, weather, or other in game mechanics, while others are locked into one form or the other. Even for Pokémon that can change forms, only Furfrou and Hoopa have the ability to change forms in Pokémon Go so far.

The following Pokémon cannot freely change between forms:

  • Unown: 28 forms, including each letter of the alphabet, an exclamation point, and a question mark.
  • Shellos: East Sea and West Sea
  • Gastrodon: East Sea and West Sea
  • Basculin: Red-Striped and Blue-Striped
  • Vivillon: 18 forms based on real world geographic location and two event forms
  • Flabébé: Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, and White
  • Floette: Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, and White
  • Florges: Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, and White
  • Pumpkaboo: Normal, Average, Large, and Super Size
  • Gourgeist: Normal, Average, Large, and Super Size
  • Lycanroc: Midday, Midnight, and Dusk
  • Minior: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet
  • Magearna: Normal and Original Color
  • Toxtricity: Amped and Low Key
  • Sinistea: Phony and Antique
  • Polteageist: Phony and Antique
  • Alcremie: 63 different forms based on cream type and sweets used to evolve
  • Urshifu: Single Strike and Rapid Strike

The following Pokémon can freely change between forms:

  • Castform: Normal, Sunny, Rainy, and Snowy
  • Deoxys: Normal, Attack, Defense, and Speed
  • Burmy: Plant Cloak, Sandy Cloak, and Trash Cloak
  • Wormadam: Plant Cloak, Sandy Cloak, and Trash Cloak
  • Cherrim: Overcast and Sunshine
  • Rotom: Normal, Heat, Wash, Fan, Frost, and Mow
  • Giratina: Altered and Origin
  • Shaymin: Land and Sky
  • Arceus: 18 forms, one for each Type
  • Unovan Darmanitan: Standard and Zen
  • Galarian Darmanitan: Standard and Zen
  • Deerling: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter
  • Sawsbuck: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter
  • Tornadus: Incarnate and Therian
  • Thundurus: Incarnate and Therian
  • Reshiram: Normal and Overdrive
  • Zekrom: Normal and Overdrive
  • Landorus: Incarnate and Therian
  • Kyurem: Normal, Black, and White
  • Keldeo: Ordinary and Resolute
  • Meloetta: Aria and Pirouette
  • Genesect: Normal, Shock, Burn, Chill, and Douse
  • Greninja: Normal and Ash-Greninja
  • Furfrou: Natural, Heart, Star, Diamond, Debutante, Matron, Dandy, La Reine, Kabuki, and Pharaoh
  • Aegislash: Shield and Blade
  • Xerneas: Neutral and Active
  • Zygarde: Cell, Core, 10%, 50%, and Complete
  • Hoopa: Bound and Unbound
  • Oricorio: Baile Style, Pom-Pom Style, Pa'u Style, and Sensu Style
  • Wishiwashi: Solo and School
  • Silvally: 18 forms, one for each Type
  • Minior: Meteor and Core
  • Mimikyu: Disguised and Busted
  • Solgaleo: Normal and Radiant Sun Phase
  • Lunala: Normal and Full Moon Phase
  • Necrozma: Normal, Dusk Mane, Dawn Wings, and Ultra
  • Marshadow: Normal and Zenith
  • Cramorant: Normal, Gulping, and Gorging
  • Eiscue: Ice Face and Noice Face
  • Morpeko: Full Belly and Hangry
  • Zacian: Hero of Many Battles and Crowned Sword
  • Zamazenta: Hero of Many Battles and Crowned Shield
  • Eternatus: Normal and Eternamax
  • Calyrex: Normal, Ice Rider, and Shadow Rider

Questions about changing forms in Pokémon Go?

Do you have any questions about changing forms in Pokémon Go? How many Furfrou forms have you managed to add to your Pokédex? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out the rest of our Pokémon Go guides so you too can be the very best like no one ever was!

Casian Holly

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.