Magikarp Jump is a celebration of Pokémon’s most put-upon monster. It only makes sense that Magikarp’s much more powerful evolution, Gyarados, is completely useless in this wonderfully bizarre mobile game.
Each one of a player’s Magikarp comes with an Everstone attached. The item serves one purpose: stopping a Pokémon from evolving.
No self-respecting Pokémon trainer would ever give a Magikarp an Everstone in the normal Pokémon games. Magikarp Jump isn’t a normal Pokémon game. Players want their Magikarp to stay the way it is for as long as possible, so that it can become much better at jumping and beat all of the Magikarp jumping leagues.
But there is a way to evolve the Pokémon in this game nonetheless. Tapping repeatedly on a Magikarp while it’s swimming around in its tank will eventually break its Everstone. A notification will tip the player off that this has happened, at which point they should focus on leveling up Magikarp to 20.
Once it gets there, Magikarp has no choice but to evolve into Gyarados, a gigantic sea dragon who’s an awesome part of any team in a usual Pokémon game. In Magikarp Jump, evolving Magikarp into Gyarados is as good as throwing away a perfectly good Pokémon. As soon as it evolves, it immediately retires — no more jumping contests, no more training sessions. Nothing.
It’s cool to see Gyarados in game, especially if it’s a shiny version of the Pokémon. There’s no point in trying to get a ton of Gyarados in Magikarp Jump, though; once you’ve gotten one, you unlock an achievement and that’s it. This is one more way that Magikarp Jump flips the script on everything we’ve come to know about Pokémon games — and one more thing we have to love about it.