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Pokémon Legends: Arceus guide: How to evolve Pokémon

Evolution works a bit differently in Legends: Arceus

Watching a Pokémon evolve in Pokémon Legends: Arceus Image: Game Freak/Nintendo via Polygon
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus changes a lot about the series, from the semi-open world to the battle system. But one of the smaller, harder to notice changes is to evolution. Pokémon don’t auto-evolve in Legends: Arceus, so you’ll have to do it manually.

In this Pokémon Legends: Arceus evolutions guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about evolving your Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Evolution happens for two main reasons in Pokémon Legends: Arceus (and most other Pokémon games): your Pokémon has reached a certain level or you use a special item on the Pokémon. Rarely, Pokémon will have other evolution triggers like happiness level or even time-of-day.

If you use a Fire Stone on an Eevee in Legends: Arceus, it’ll evolve like normal. But if you get your Wurmple to level seven, it won’t evolve on its own. Instead, you’ll get a little notification that it can evolve when you see it level up on the left side of your screen.

Manually evolving a Pokémon in Pokémon Legends; Arceus Image: Game Freak/Nintendo via Polygon

Once your Pokémon can evolve, you’ll need to go into your menu and do it manually. When you open your bag, you’ll see that the little Pokéball icon next to your Pokémon is glowing yellow. Move your cursor over, select that Pokémon, hit the X button, and they’ll immediately evolve.

This new evolution system is useful for a few reasons. If you don’t want your Pokémon to evolve in the original series — either because you like the way it looks and don’t care about its power, or you want it to learn a certain move early — you have to hit a button every time the Pokémon levels up to stop it. In Arceus, you can just do it whenever you want, which also makes evolving Pokémon with bizarre evolution triggers (like the time-of-day one we mentioned earlier) much easier.

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