How to evolve all Pokémon in Legends: Arceus — Stones, items, Friendship, and more

Pokemon Legends Arceus Linking Cord Gengar Evolve
Pokemon Legends Arceus Linking Cord Gengar Evolve (Image credit: iMore)

The majority of Pokémon are able to evolve once they reach a specific predetermined level. However, in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, players must initiate the evolution sequence themselves because Pokémon will not evolve on their own. There are also Pokémon that require special conditions or items in order for them to move on to their next phase. Another surprise is that Pokémon that previously needed to be traded to evolve now just need to be given a special item. There's plenty to discuss, so let's dive in.

How to evolve Pokémon Level Evolution

Pokemon Legends Arceus Monferno Evolving (Image credit: iMore)

Unlike previous Pokémon games, none of the Pokémon in Legends: Arceus can evolve on their own, even if they would normally have evolved at a specific level in a previous game. You must go into your satchel and evolve them yourself. Any Pokémon that require items to evolve must be given that item from your satchel and then the process will begin.

  1. Press up on the D-Pad to bring up the menu.
  2. Use the ZL or ZR buttons to navigate to your satchel.

Binbok Joy Pad D Pad (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)
  1. If a Pokémon in your party is ready to evolve, its Poké Ball will glow yellow. Select the Pokémon you want to evolve.
  2. Select Evolve.Source: iMore

Pokemon Legends Arceus Evolving Select Pokemon (Image credit: iMore)

Pokemon Legends Arceus Evolving Evolve (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select Do It.

Pokemon Legends Arceus Evolving Do It (Image credit: iMore)

A cool cutscene follows, showing your Pokémon evolving into its next phase. Now you can run around with the new and improved form.

Stone and Item Evolutions

Pokemon Legends Arceus Linking Cord (Image credit: iMore)

By far the most common way to make Pokémon evolve outside of natural level evolution is by using Stones or special items. Just give the Pokémon the required item and they'll start to evolve. Any Pokémon that previously needed to be traded to evolve now just needs to be given the Linking Cord. All of these items can be purchased from Simona at the Trading Post in exchange for MP.

  • Alolan Vulpix → (Ice Stone) → Alolan Ninetails
  • Clefairy → (Moon Stone) → Clefable
  • Dusclops → (Reaper Cloth) → Dusknoir
  • Eevee → (Fire Stone) → Flareon
  • Eevee → (Ice Stone) → Glaceon
  • Eevee → (Thunder Stone) → Jolteon
  • Eevee → (Leaf Stone) → Leafeon
  • Eevee → (Water Stone) → Vaporeon
  • Electabuzz → (Electirizer) → Electivire
  • Gligar → (Razor Fang at night) → Gliscor
  • Graveler → (Linking Cord) → Golem
  • Happiny → (Oval Stone during day) → Chansey
  • Haunter → (Linking Cord) →Gengar
  • Hisuian Growlithe → (Fire Stone) → Hisuian Arcanine
  • Hisuian Sneasel → (Razor Claw during day) → Sneasler
  • Hisuian Voltorb → (Leaf Stone) → Hisuian Electrode
  • Johto Sneasel → (Razor Claw during nighttime) → Weavile
  • Kadabra → (Linking Cord) → Alakazam
  • Kirlia (M) → (Dawn Stone) → Gallade
  • Machoke → (Linking Cord) → Machamp
  • Magmar → (Magmarizer) → Magmortar
  • Magneton → (Thunder Stone) → Magnezone
  • Misdreavus → (Dusk Stone) → Mismagius
  • Murkrow → (Dusk Stone) → Honchkrow
  • Onix → (Metal Coat) → Steelix
  • Petilil → (Sun Stone) → Hisuian Lilligant
  • Pikachu → (Thunder Stone) → Raichu
  • Porygon → (Upgrade) → Porygon2
  • Porygon2 → (Dubious Disc) → Porygon-Z
  • Ralts (M) → (Dawn Stone) → Gallade
  • Rhydon → (Protector) → Rhyperior
  • Roselia → (Shiny Stone) → Roserade
  • Scyther → (Black Augurite) → Kleavor
  • Scyther → (Metal Coat) → Scizor
  • Snorunt (F) → (Dawn Stone) → Froslass
  • Togetic → (Shiny Stone) → Togekiss
  • Ursaring → (Peat Block during a full moon) → Ursaluna
  • Vulpix → (Fire Stone) → Ninetails

Friendship Evolutions

Pokemon Legends Arceus Umbreon (Image credit: iMore)

Some Pokémon must have a high level of friendship with you in order to evolve. You can check the status of your relationship by going to Jubilife Village and talking to Belamy, who stands near the Pokémon Pasture.

  • Budew → Roselia
  • Buneary → Lopunny
  • Chingling → Chimecho
  • Cleffa → Clefairy
  • Eevee → Espeon (during day)
  • Eevee → Sylveon (after learning a Fairy-type move)
  • Eevee → Umbreon (at night)
  • Golbat → Crobat
  • Munchlax → Snorlax
  • Pichu → Pikachu
  • Riolu → Lucario
  • Togepi → Togetic

Battle Evolutions

Pokemon Legends Arceus Basculegion (Image credit: iMore)

Hisuian forms were introduced with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, so it's not too surprising to learn that some Hisuian evolutions can only be brought about by a new method: doing something specific in battle. For instance, Stantler can only evolve after it has used Psyshield Bash in its Agile Style 20 times.

  • Stantler → (Psyshield Bash in Agile Style x20) → Wyrdeer
  • White Stripe Basculin → (Receive 300 damage in recoil) → Basculegion
  • Hisuian Quilfish → (Barb Barrage in Strong Style x20) → Overquil

Location & weather Evolutions

Pokemon Legends Arceus Ice Rock (Image credit: iMore)

For years now, certain Pokémon have only been able to evolve if they are in a very specific spot within the game. Take them to the place listed below and watch them grow up.

  • Eevee → Leafeon: You must travel to the southwest part of Obsidian Fieldlands and interact with the Mossy Rock located in The Heartwood.
  • Eevee → Glaceon: Go to the Alabaster Icelands and travel through the ice cave. Eevee evolves when you interact with the Ice Rock just to the northeast of Bonechill Wastes.
  • Magneton → Magnezone: Go to the Coronet Highlands and level it up.
  • Nosepass → Probopass: Go to the Coronet Highlands and level it up.
  • Hisuian Sliggoo → Hisuian Goodra: While it's raining, level up Hisuian Sliggoo to level 50.

Move Evolutions

Pokemon Legends Arceus Aipom (Image credit: iMore)

A small number of Pokémon can only evolve once they learn a specific move or attack. You might need to talk to Zisu in the training grounds to make this possible.

  • Aipom → (Double Hit) → Ambipom
  • Bonsly → (Mimic) → Sudowoodo
  • Lickitung → (Rollout) → Lickilicky
  • Mime Jr. → (Mimic) → Mr. Mime
  • Piloswine → (Ancient Power) → Mamoswine
  • Tangela → (Ancient Power) → Tangrowth
  • Yanma → (Ancient Power) → Yanmega

Gender Evolutions

Pokemon Legends Arceus Combee (Image credit: iMore)

The Pokémon in this category have different evolutions based on what gender they are. So, if you want to complete that Pokédex, you'll need to evolve both genders.

  • Burmy (M) → Mothim: Male and female Burmy look the same.
  • Burmy (F) → Wormadam: Male and female Burmy look the same.
  • Combee (F) → Vespiquen: Female Combee have a red widows peak on the lowest honeycomb.
  • Combee (M): Doesn't evolve.
  • Ralts (M) → Kirlia (M) → (Dawn Stone) → Gallade: Male and female Ralts look the same.
  • Ralts (F) → Kirlia (F) → Gardevoir: Male and female Ralts look the same.
  • Snorunt (F) → (Dawn Stone) → Froslass: Male and female Snorunt look the same.
  • Snorunt (M) → Glalie: Male and female Snorunt look the same.

    Take it to the next level

It takes a little more work to evolve Pokémon in Legends: Arceus, but it's still a fun experience nonetheless. Fortunately, just about every evolution aside from Legendaries and Mythical Pokémon can be found plentifully if you take the time to look for them. So you don't really have to evolve anyone if you don't want to.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.