Pokemon Legends Arceus Evolutions: Evolve Methods for every Pokemon

Evolution remains at the center of Pokemon Legends Arceus despite the various ways in which the tentpole systems of the Pokemon franchise have been adjusted for this new title - and it remains true that a huge variety of ways to evolve Pokemon exist. That's what this evolution guide is here to help with. 

At the most basic level, there are two types of Pokemon Evolution to worry about in Legends Arceus. The first is basic evolution, which in this game happens slightly differently to before. You now level Pokemon up, and eventually they'll unlock evolution - but it's up to you to tell them when exactly to evolve, which is a neat change.

The second pillar are Pokemon who require specific items, conditions, or manipulation to unlock evolution, separate from their leveling up from battling and working with you in the open world zones. On this page, we cover all of the evolution requirements of every Pokemon in the game, regardless of how you evolve them.

Pokemon Legends Arceus Evolution guide - How to Evolve every Pokemon

We've decided to break this guide up into six different segments, covering six different ways in which Pokemon can evolve. Each section explains how that evolution method works, and then lists the Pokemon that you'll be able to evolve in that manner.

One thing that's becoming more common in Pokemon, by the way, is that some Pokemon have more than one evolution method. For the record, they are generally both valid - so, for instance, you can Evolve Magneton to Magnezone either by using an item, or traveling to a specific in-game area. In this guide, we list both - so some sections will have deliberate overlap.

Regardless of the Evolution method, the biggest change now is that Evolution is now an opt-in process. It used to be automatic, where once a Pokemon fulfilled evolution requirements it'd automatically evolve. Not now! In a huge shake up of how to evolve, once the requirements are fulfilled, Evolution is unlocked... and then you have to choose to evolve from the menu by selecting a Pokemon from your satchel menu and hitting the evolve option. It's a big change, and makes evolution across the board more like using evolution items.

Evolution Stone & Item Pokemon

Evolution Stones and other assorted items remain a series tradition and vital in Legends Arceus.

Evolution Stones & Evolution Items are a straight-up Pokemon tradition, and they’re back in Pokemon Legends Arceus. In fact, thanks to some changes of focus, they’re now more powerful than ever.

For Pokemon that previously had to be traded to evolve, you can now instead use the Linking Cord item on them like any other evolution stone. Pokemon that had to be traded holding an item have had an upgrade so that the items they’d held alone will make them evolve - it just needs to be used on them.

Evolution stones can be found in a variety of places. The cart that sells items for Merit Points near the Training Ground in the village sells them, some shops sell them, and they’re commonly rewards for completing various Requests & side quests and are readily available from the Item Exchange store, if you can get enough MP. They also drop during Space-Time Distortions, and they have been known to be given out via Mystery Gift, too. A few are handed out as rewards for gathering Wisps

Because evolution stones are rare, you'll want to think carefully about which Pokemon to evolve - choosing ones with good effort values, shiny Pokemon, or just those you really like.

To use evolution stones, just select it from your limited inventory space in the menus, and hover it over your party of Pokemon, like you're using it as a potion. It’ll note if you can use it on one of your current party’s Pokemon with the word ‘Compatible’. Use it, and away you go - it’ll evolve! Each evolution stone or item is one-time use.

There’s a handful of evolution items that evolve more than one Pokemon, including some of the Eevee Evolutions into a range of different Pokemon, so here’s those first:

Fire Stone

Ice Stone

Thunder Stone

  • Eevee to Jolteon
  • Pikachu to Raichu
  • Magneton to Magnezone

Leaf Stone

Dawn Stone

  • Kirlia (male) to Gallade
  • Snorunt (female) to Froslass

Dusk Stone

Metal Coat

  • Onix to Steelix
  • Scyther to Scizor

Shiny Stone

  • Roselia to Roserade
  • Togetic to Togekiss

Linking Cord

This item replaces needing to trade Pokemon to make them evolve. Any other requirements are also waived; you just need to use this item.

  • Graveler to Golem
  • Machoke to Machamp
  • Kadabra to Alakazam
  • Haunter to Gengar

Razor Claw

  • Johto Sneasel to Weavile (during nighttime)
  • Hisuian Sneasel to Sneasler (evolve during daytime)

Then there’s a handful of evolution items that only exist to force one species of Pokemon to evolve in Legends Arceus…

Move & Battle Evolution Methods

Overqwil is evolved from Qwilfish after using a specific move in battle often.

A handful of Pokemon have their evolution method built around their move sets. This breaks into two categories - evolutions based on move learning, and evolutions based on move usage. 

First up, Pokemon that can evolve once have learned a certain move and have it equipped on them: 

  • Aipom to Ambipom: evolution available once Aipom knows Double Hit, which it naturally learns at Level 25.
  • Mime Jr. to Mr. Mime: Mimic, which is learned at level 25
  • Tangela to Tangrowth: Ancient Power, learned at level 34
  • Yanma to Yanmega: after learning Ancient Power, which is naturally learned at level 34
  • Bonsly to Sudowoodo: after learning Mimic, which is naturally learned at level 29
  • Licktung to Lickylicky: once Rollout is learned and equipped, at level 34
  • Piloswine to Mamoswine: Ancient Power, learned at level 34

Meanwhile, a further three Pokemon evolve based on how much you use certain moves. Two of them share a method, which we've explained on a page about evolving Stantler and Qwilfish, or you can just read the short version of all three evolution methods below: 

  • Stantler to Wyrdeer: have Stantler use ‘Psyshield Bash’ 20 times in Agile Style; then it can evolve into new form Wyrdeer.
  • Qwilfish to Overqwil: use the ‘Barb Barrage’ move with Qwilfish 20 times in Strong Style - it can then evolve to Overqwil.
  • Basculin to Basculegion: Basculin has access to Double Edge, a move which deals Recoil damage to the user as well as the enemy. Spam that move; after taking almost 300 points of self-inflicted damage, it will be able to evolve into Basculegion. Only recoil that doesn’t knock you out counts.

Friendship & Relationship Evolutions

Belamy, who can help you understand how your Pokemon feel when trying to evolve them.

A handful of Pokemon are more focused on their bonds than anything else, which means their evolution is tied to becoming strong friends with them. This happens over time by spending time with Pokemon, battling with them, healing them (except for with certain items), and generally using them throughout the game.

Friendship is an invisible stat, but there’s an NPC called Belamy who hangs out near the Jubilife Village Pasture that can reveal your friendship status. He’s first introduced in Quest 28, ‘Measuring your Compatibility’

The following Pokemon evolutions require you to have a strong friendship bond before evolving unlocks:

  • Budew to Roselia
  • Buneary to Lopunny
  • Chingling to Chimecho
  • Cleffa to Clefairy
  • Eevee to Espeon (if evolved in the daytime)
  • Eevee to Umbreon (if evolved in the nighttime)
  • Eevee to Sylveon (if evolved with a fairy-type move equipped)
  • Golbat to Crobat
  • Munchlax to Snorlax
  • Pichu to Pikachu
  • Riolu to Lucario
  • Togepi to Togetic

And one final evolution is tied not to your relationship with a Pokemon, but its relationship with one other specific Pokemon:

  • Mantyke to Mantine (evolution unlocks when it’s in the party with a Remoraid, its natural predator)

Location Evolution in Hisui

Nosepass, one of the Pokemon that can be evolved by visiting a specific location.

A classic series staple is the concept of Pokemon that evolve based on where they are, with evolution either becoming possible or the nature of the evolution being determined by your location in the world. There’s some overlap here between these methods and evolution stones - but the beauty of location-based evolution is that you can save having to use a valuable stone by going to the right location. It may be in some cases that you also need to level the Pokemon up once in that zone, then travel to the specific evolution location..

  • Eevee to Leafeon: evolve Eevee in the Heartwood area of the Obsidian Fieldlands. There’s a landmark mossy rock here; evolve near that. 
  • Eevee to Glaceon: head to the Alabaster Icelands and head to the Bonechill Wastes. Inside a cavern, there’s an Icy Rock; evolve near that.
  • Magneton to Magnezone: anywhere in the Coronet Highlands
  • Nosepass to Probopass: anywhere in the Coronet Highlands
  • Sliggoo to Goodra: anywhere when it’s raining, which it does commonly in the Crimson Mirelands and Cobalt Coastlands.

Gender-based Pokemon Evolutions

Most of these Pokemon level up in the standard method, and so overlap with some of the main evolution levels category, but there’s a catch - the male and female variants of Pokemon evolve into forms different enough to have unique names and Pokedex entries:

  • Burmy (male) to Mothim: Level 20
  • Burmy (female) to Wormadam: Level 20
  • Combee (female) to Vespiquen: Level 21 (male Combee does not evolve)
  • Kirlia (male) to Gallade: Must be male, and then be exposed to a Dawn Stone.
  • Snorunt (female) to Froslass: Must be female, and then exposed to a Dawn Stone.

Standard Pokemon Level-Up Evolution

Oshawott evolves into Dewott at level 17.

Ah, old faithful. Evolving via leveling up. This is the old-fashioned way, though even this has changed a bit in Pokemon Legends Arceus, a game that's content to turn many of the Pokemon traditions on their head. Specifically, evolution is now an opt-in process - so once a Pokemon hits the level required to evolve, all that does is unlock its ability to evolve.

Once evolution is unlocked for a specific Pokemon, The decision of when to evolve is yours - and can be undertaken at any time by just opening the menu and selecting to evolve.

So you know when to expect to have the option, here's the evolution levels for every single Pokemon in the game that levels in the traditional way. The level ups are in brackets after the evolutions themselves - and some lines of Pokemon have two evolutions rather than three, of course.

  • Rowlet >> Dartrix (Level 17) >> Hisuian Decidueye (Level 36)
  • Cyndaquil >> Quilava (Level 17) >> Hisuian Typhlosion (Level 36)
  • Oshawott >> Dewott (Level 17) >> Hisuian Samurott (Level 36)
  • Bidoof >> Bibarel (Level 15)
  • Starly >> Staravia (Level 14) >> Staraptor (Level 34)
  • Shinx >> Luxio (Level 15) >> Luxray (Level 30)
  • Wurmple (Branching Evolution)
  • Wurmple >> Silcoon (Level 7) >> Beautifly (Level 10)
  • Wurmple >> Cascoon (Level 7) >> Dustox (Level 10)
  • Ponyta >> Rapidash (Level 40)
  • Zubat >> Golbat (Level 22) >> Crobat (Friendship)
  • Drifloon >> Drifblim (Level 28)
  • Kricketot >> Kricketune (Level 10)
  • Buizel >> Floatzel (Level 26)
  • Burmy >> Wormadam (Female, Level 20) / Mothim (Male, Level 20)
  • Geodude >> Graveler (Level 25) >> Golem (Link Cable Item)
  • Paras >> Parasect (Level 24)
  • Abra >> Kadabra (Level 16) >> Alakazam (Link Cable Item)
  • Chimchar >> Monferno (Level 14) >> Infernape (Level 36)
  • Cherubi >> Cherrim (Level 25)
  • Psyduck >> Golduck (Level 33)
  • Combee >> Vespiquen (Level 21, Female Only)
  • Magikarp >> Gyarados (Level 20)
  • Shellos >> Gastrodon (Level 30)
  • Barboach > Whiscash (Level 30)
  • Croagunk >> Toxicroak (Level 37)
  • Ralts >> Kirlia (Level 20) >> Gardevoir (Level 30)
  • Hippopotas >> Hippowdon (Level 34)
  • Stunky >> Skuntank (Level 34)
  • Teddiursa >> Ursaring (Level 30)
  • Goomy >> Sliggoo (Level 50) >> Goodra (Level 50 + Rainy Weather)
  • Rhyhorn >> Rhydon (Level 42) >> Rhyperior (Protector Item)
  • Turtwig >> Grotle (Level 18) >> Torterra (Level 32)
  • Gastly >> Haunter (Level 25) >> Gengar (Link Cable Item)
  • Spheal >> Sealeo (Level 32) >> Walrein (Level 44)
  • Remoraid >> Octillery (Level 25)
  • Skorupi >> Drapion (Level 40)
  • Glameow >> Purugly (Level 38)
  • Machop >> Machoke (Level 28) >> Machamp (Link Cable Item)
  • Duskull >> Dusclops (Level 37) >> Dusknoir (Reaper Cloth Item)
  • Piplup >> Prinplup (Level 16) >> Empoleon (Level 36)
  • Tentacool > Tentacruel (Level 30)
  • Finneon >> Lumineon (Level 31)
  • Magby >> Magmar (Level 30) >> Magmortar (Magmarizer Item)
  • Magnemite >> Magneton (Level 30) >> Magnezone (in the Highlands OR Thunder Stone)
  • Bronzor >> Bronzong (Level 33)
  • Elekid >> Electabuzz (Level 30) >> Electvire (Electrizer Item)
  • Gible >> Gabite (Level 24) >> Garchomp (Level 48)
  • Snorunt >> Glalie (Level 42)
  • Cranidos >> Rampardos (Level 30)
  • Shieldon >> Bastiodon (Level 30)
  • Swinub >> Piloswine (Level 33) >> Mamoswine (After Learning Ancient Power)
  • Bergmite >> Avalugg (Level 37)
  • Snover >> Abomasnow (Level 40)
  • Hisuian Zorua >> Hisuian Zoroark (Level 30)
  • Rufflet >> Hisuian Braviary (Level 54)