Pokemon Go Evolution: A SuperParent Guide

Here's what you need to know about evolving Pokemon to complete your Pokemon collection.

Pokemon Go lets players collect hundreds of different Pokemon, many of which have evolutionary forms (think Charmander evolving into Charmeleon or Squirtle evolving into Wartortle). While players may encounter some of these evolved forms in the wild, the best way to collect them is to use the game’s evolution feature.

Here’s everything you need to know about evolving Pokemon in Pokemon Go.

What is Pokemon evolution?

Evolution simply means evolving a Pokemon into another one. Not every Pokemon can be evolved, and some evolutionary forms haven’t been added to the game as of this writing. For instance, Rhydon (one of the original 150 Pokemon) can be evolved into Rhyperior, but Rhyperior isn’t in the game yet (it will likely be added in the future).

Why would I want to evolve my Pokemon?

There are a couple of main reasons. For collectors, evolving is the best way to fill in every spot in the game’s Pokedex (‘gotta catch ‘em all, after all). For others, evolving Pokemon makes them stronger, so they’ll perform better in Gym and Raid battles.

Keep in mind, if you love a particular Pokemon (say, Pikachu), you can always keep more than one on hand, so if you evolve the Pokemon (Pikachu > Raichu), you’ll also have its un-evolved form to admire.

What do I need to do to evolve a Pokemon?

Source: Reddit
Source: Brandy Berthelson

Before players can evolve a Pokemon, they’ll need to collect the required number of Pokemon Candy. Each Pokemon has its own Candy, which can’t be used to evolve other creatures. Each evolution chain (for instance, Charmander > Charmeleon > Charizard) uses the same Pokemon Candy (in this example, Charmander Candy).

The best way to collect Pokemon Candy is to capture wild Pokemon. By default, players earn three Pokemon Candy for each Pokemon they capture. This can be increased using Pinap Berries. Candy can also be earned from Buddy Pokemon, hatching Eggs, trading Pokemon, and transferring unwanted Pokemon to Professor Willow. Players may also earn bonus Candy as part of special in-game events.

If a Pokemon can be evolved, players can tap the Pokemon in their collection to see how many Pokemon Candy are necessary to evolve it. Most Pokemon require 25, 50, or 100 Candy to evolve, though some require different amounts. For instance, Magikarp and Swablu are two of the Pokemon that require a whopping 400 Candy to evolve, while a Pokemon like Wurmple requires just 12 Candy to evolve.

Source: Reddit
Source: Brandy Berthelson

In addition, some Pokemon, like Slowpoke and Sunkern, require special evolution items to evolve, along with Pokemon Candy. These items (like Metal Coats and King’s Rocks) are very rare, and can be collected by spinning the photo disc at PokeStops and Gyms. They may also be inside the Gifts that players can send each other.

As Eurogamer pointed out, players have a greater chance of receiving one of these items when they reach a 7-day PokeStop streak (spin a photo disc at a PokeStop at least once per day for seven days in a row).

Finally, the Water-type Pokemon Feebas requires players to walk 20km with it as their Buddy Pokemon (and collect 100 Feebas Candy) before it can be evolved into Milotic.

In most cases, players will know exactly which Pokemon they’re going to receive when they tap the “Evolve” button. However, there are a few Pokemon with complicated, and even random evolution systems.

Evolution can be random?

Unfortunately, yes. For instance, the Bug-type Pokemon Wurmple can evolve into either Silcoon or Cascoon, but which one players receive is random. Thankfully, Wurmple only takes 12 Pokemon Candy to evolve, so at least players can evolve them pretty quickly.

As Eurogamer reported, fighting-type Pokemon Tyrogue can evolve into three different Pokemon -- Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, and Hitmontop -- with the Pokemon players receive being determined by which of Tyrogue’s three stats (Attack, Defense, or Stamina/HP) is the highest. Here’s how this works.

  • If Tyrogue’s Attack is higher than its other two stats, it will evolve into Hitmonlee
  • If Tyrogue’s Defense is higher than its other two stats, it will evolve into Hitmonchan
  • If Tyrogue’s Stamina/HP is higher than its other two stats, it will evolve into Hitmontop

Players can’t change Tyrogue’s stats, but they see which of its stats is the highest by tapping on the Tyrogue in their collection, tapping the menu button in the bottom-right corner of the screen, and then tapping “Appraise.” Eurogamer said if two or even all three stats have the same value, the Pokemon Tyrogue will become is determined at random. For example, if Tyrogue’s Defense and Stamina/HP stats are the same, players will randomly receive either Hitmonchan or Hitmontop when they evolve it.

Source: Reddit
Source: Brandy Berthelson

Then there’s Eevee, the “Evolution” Pokemon, which has a very complicated evolution system. In the overall Pokemon universe, Eevee can evolve into eight different Pokemon (Vaporeon, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, Umbreon, Leafeon, Glaceon, and Sylveon). Only the first five of these evolutions are actually in Pokemon Go as of this writing, though the others will likely be released in the future.

Eevee takes 25 Pokemon Candy to evolve, but when players tap the Evolve button, the evolved Pokemon they receive will be random.

Eurogamer pointed out that players can change Eevee’s name before they evolve it to guarantee they’ll receive a specific evolution. Unfortunately, this trick only works once per evolution. That is, players can only name Eevee “Pyro” once to ensure they receive Flareon when they evolve it. After that, it’s random.

Here are the five different names, and the evolution players will receive when using them:

  • Naming Eevee Pyro will result in a Flareon
  • Naming Eevee Sparky will result in a Jolteon
  • Naming Eevee Rainer will result in a Vaporeon
  • Naming Eevee Tamao will result in an Umbreon
  • Naming Eevee Sakura will result in an Espeon

Thankfully, even after the naming trick has been used, there is a separate strategy for players who want to receive Umbreon and Espeon. Pokemon Go Hub reported that players must meet certain “criteria” with their Eevee before evolving it, and then evolve the Eevee during the correct time of day to receive Umbreon or Espeon.

Here’s how this strategy works, according to Pokemon Go Hub:

  • Before evolving, the Eevee must have been walked 10 km and earned two Pokemon Candy as the player’s Buddy Pokemon
  • The Eevee must still be the player’s Buddy Pokemon during the evolution process
  • To receive Umbreon, evolve an Eevee meeting these requirements at night
  • To receive Espeon, evolve an Eevee meeting these requirements during the day

This is a lot to take in, but if you ever have any Pokemon Go questions, share them with us in the comments, or tweet us @superparenthq.

Happy evolving!