Pokemon Legends Arceus: How to raise Friendship with Pokemon fast

Friendship is a major factor right across the Pokemon series, and that continues in Pokemon Legends Arceus. In fact, in this ancient world where many humans don't yet understand the potential of working with Pokemon rather than being afraid of them, the role of the game's protagonist and their bonds with their Pokemon are a significant theme of the game's story. It's not all about story, however.

Understanding how to raise friendship is important, because reaching max friendship quickly also has other benefits. A happy Pokemon that loves its trainer is better for a variety of reasons - which we'll get into below. On this page, we explain how Friendship as a mechanic functions in Pokemon Legends Arceus, then explain how to effectively raise friendship levels quickly and check your friendship status and rank at any time.

A friendly Machamp with Eevee, a Pokemon that has friendship-based evolutions.

Pokemon Legends Arceus: Friendship Explained

As we said, Pokemon Friendship is a key pillar of the stories of these games, but it's also a major mechanic. While it's not an openly-dispalyed stat in the menus of Pokemon Legends Arceus, this latest game continues the tradition of having Friendship as a performance-effecting stat in the truest RPG sense. Here's what Friendship can do, if it's high enough:

  • Friendship leads to better battle prowess. Pokemon that have a high affinity for their trainer are likely to occasionally do useful things in battle all on their own. They might dodge attacks, for instance, or survive a blow that should've been fatal. Furthermore, friendly Pokemon will perform critical hits more often. Unlike many other games in the series, however, Legends Arceus Pokemon do not get subtly different battle animations when they're best friends with their trainer - unfortunately.
  • Some Pokemon only evolve when a Friendship condition has been met. We detail this in full in our guide to Pokemon Evolutions in Legends Arceus, but there are a range of species of Pokemon that will only evolve when their friendship stat is sufficiently high. Specifically, these Pokemon need high friendship to evolve:

As you can see, Friendship has significant benefits - so it makes sense to raise it to max as quickly as you can. About that...

How to Raise Friendship Quickly 

Raising Friendship in Pokemon Legends Arceus is ultimately pretty simple, but it's still worthwhile for us to spell out exactly how it happens, for the avoidance of any doubt... 

To increase your friendship:

  • Keep Pokemon in your party as you adventure. The more 'things' they do with you, even if they're just along for the ride as a member of your party of Pokemon, the higher their friendship will slowly climb.
  • Use the Pokemon in battles, and keep it healed up: Pokemon want to impress and help you, so by using them in battle, your friendship will slowly rise. Furthermore, using healing items on Pokemon will slowly raise your friendship too - except for a few key items that have the opposite effect, as described in our guide to Crafting Ingredients & Recipes
  • Have your Pokemon gather materials. By sending your Pokemon out of its ball to do things like gather fruit and berries from trees or smash open rocks to take the ore inside, they feel loved and useful to you, which again increases friendship.
  • Play with your Pokemon outside of its ball. While there's no Poke-Aime equivalent in this game, you can let your Pokemon out of the ball at any time, and when you can, you can talk to it. We're pretty sure this increases friendship values slightly - though you'll surely be better served overall by spending this time grinding materials and battles.

How to check your Friendship Levels

Belamy will help you to understand how friendly you and a Pokemon really are.

The 'Friendship Checker' is a classic Pokemon NPC that appears in all games, and while some of the classics like the Name Rater and Move Deleter are gone in Pokemon Legends Arceus, the Friendship Checker has survived. And in fact, this NPC is the only way to check your current friendship level with a Pokemon to see where you stand.

To unlock the Friendship Checker, you need to first complete a side quest - that's Request #28, 'Measuring your Compatibility'. This quest will pop up once you complete the story beat that sees you calm Kleavor for the first time. At this point, Belamy will be hanging out near the Jubilife Village Pastures on the right of the bottom half of the village - a chap with glasses, as pictured above. All you have to do to complete the quest is show him a Pokemon you're friends with. So long as you haven't ditched them, the best option for this one is your Starter Pokemon.

Once that's done, you can go over to Belamy near the Pastures at any time and ask him to rate the friendship of any Pokemon in your stable. When he does, he'll give you a description. He has a range of different things he can say for each 'rank' of friendship, but if he says something to the effect of you being "as friendly as can be", you know you've reached the top 'best friends' ranking.

As you can imagine, if you're the 'Best Friends' rank, that's when evolutions and battle bonuses begin to come into play - so get grinding out friendship!