Pokémon Sword and Shield are finally here. From the very beginning of the game you get to see the Champion's Charizard, so you might be thinking you'll come across a Charizard or Charmeleon pretty soon. However, you won't be able to see Charizard or any of his fiery pre-evolutions while wandering around grass or in the Wild Area. It turns out Charmander is a reward you receive for completing Sword or Shield's main storyline. Here's how to obtain Charmander and how to evolve him.
How to acquire Charmander
Beat the main story
Yes, you read that right. You can only get Charmander once you've completed the main storyline. That means you need to defeat Leon and become the Champion first if you want this popular Pokémon.
Head back to Hop's house in Postwick
Upon becoming the Champion, a cutscene will ensue, and then you'll wake up back at your house in Postwick. All you need to do is run over to Hop's house down the path. Then run up to Leon's room - it's the one covered in hats. There will be a Poke Ball in the middle of the rug with a Charmander inside. Pick it up, and Charmander is yours!
When you get Charmander, he'll only be level 5. To evolve him to Charmeleon, you'll need to battle with him enough to raise him to level 16. He'll evolve into Charizard once he's reached level 36. To make sure Charmander evolves quickly, make him the first Pokémon in your party, so he's immediately sent out whenever you come across a Pokémon on your travels. He'll be pretty weak at first so you'll want to swap him out for a stronger Pokémon right away during any battle. Eventually, he'll be powerful enough to fight with on his own.
There you have it; now you know how to get Charmander. With a little time and effort, you can level him up and get him to his final evolution. Good luck on your Galarian travels and enjoy catching new Pokémon!
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