Pokemon Legends Arceus: Riolu Location & how to evolve into Lucario

Riolu and Lucario have long been some of the franchise's most popular Pokemon, and the duo are still very well-represented within Pokemon Legends Arceus. However, finding a Riolu of your own might prove a challenge. In fact, it might end up as one of the Pokemon standing between you and a complete Pokedex. 

Riolu - like the rest of the game's Baby Pokemon - is a bit of a rare spawn, so in order to catch one for your Pokedex, you're going to want to be prepared. This page will help with that, giving the Riolu location and tips for forcing one to spawn. Like some other rare spawns - such as Munchlax, Bonsly, and Cleffa - it's possible to lightly manipulate the game to try to force the spawn you need.

Where to find Riolu in Pokemon Legends Arceus

Riolu can be found in the Alabaster Icelands, primarily in two locations - the Snowfall Hot Spring, and the Icebound Falls.

The telltale sign that a Riolu can spawn here is that both locations also have the possibility of a Lucario spawning at the same locationWe personally found our Riolu for this guide at the Hot Springs, but you could just as easily find one at Icebound Falls - so do make sure to check both the areas shown below.

Ideally, you'll want to pick one of these two locations and then go through the standard process that can be used to force the game to refresh the Pokemon spawning in an area - which we talk about below.

A potential Riolu spawn location at the Snowfall Hot Springs, per the in-game map
A Riolu, soaking it up in the Snowfall Hot Springs

Once again, while we found an extra Riolu at the Hot Springs, we found our original Riolu during the progression of the story at the Icebound Falls. You can tell that Riolu can spawn here, due to the presence of a Lucario.

A potential Riolu spawn location, at the Icebound Falls, as per the in-game map
A Lucario at the Icebound Falls, signifying a spot where Riolu can spawn

Now that you know where Riolu can spawn, follow the standard procedure for checking an area thoroughly for rare Pokemon spawns:

  • The first step is to clear the area, which means catching or defeating every Pokemon that isn't a Riolu. This is important as it will force the game to roll for a new table of Pokemon spawns for the location you're farming. You can always get rid of any unneeded Pokemon caught by mass releasing them, which has its own benefits. 
  • Now you'll nee to advance time - which is accomplished by resting at a Base Camp. Resting forces the world to repopulate any Pokemon that have been removed, which is what you did in the above step with your catch & knock-out spree. Doing this in turn gives you a fresh spawn where a Riolu might spawn. 
  • If a Rioulu doesn't appear after that, you simply need to... start over. If you get to the point where changing the time of day is no longer causing new Pokemon to spawn return to Jubilife Village to truly hard-reset things, then start anew. 
A Riolu

With any luck, you'll be able to find your own Riolu after some searching. Congratulations on your new Pokemon! Now, how do you evolve one into a Lucario?

How to evolve Riolu into Lucario

While you could very easily just catch a Lucario for your Pokedex, especially since they tend to spawn right around where Riolu does, it makes sense if you'd want to do it the "legit" way and evolve one yourself, especially if you get a shiny Riolu, one you're fond of, or one with particularly good stats.

Thankfully, it's fairly straightforward. Riolu is one of those Pokemon that evolves based off of friendship, so simply max out your relationship with your new friend and you'll be given the option to evolve. You're now one step closer to finishing your Pokedex!

For more help with filling out that Pokedex, check out our other Pokemon Legends Arceus guides, which includes help on catching or evolving rare Pokemon like Electrode, Zorua & Zoroark, Lilligant, plus explainers on systems like Trade Evolutions, Rotom & the Mechanical items, farming items and rare Pokemon from Space-Time Distortions, Shiny hunting in Mass Outbreaks, and challening side quests like The Sea's Legend.