While the most common way to evolve your creatures in Pokémon Sword and Shield is simply by leveling them up, there are a handful that need special requirements.
From using special evolution stones, literally spinning in place, or even taking certain amounts of damage, these unique Pokémon all require something different to get them to change their forms.
We’ve compiled a list of each of the unique evolution methods in Pokémon Sword and Shield so you can get your Pokédex filled without too much hassle.
There are several Pokémon that need special evolution stones to evolve. Here’s the full list. As for where to find the stones, check out our guide here.
- Charjabug: Thunder Stone
- Clefairy: Moon Stone
- Cottonee: Sun Stone
- Eevee: Fire Stone, Ice Stone, Leaf Stone, Thunder Stone, Water Stone
- Galarian Darumaka: Ice Stone
- Gloom: Leaf Stone, Sun Stone
- Growlithe: Fire Stone
- Helioptile: Sun Stone
- Kirlia: Dawn Stone
- Lampent: Dusk Stone
- Lombre: Water Stone
- Minccino: Shiny Stone
- Nuzleaf: Leaf Stone
- Pikachu: Thunder Stone
- Roselia: Shiny Stone
- Snorunt: Dawn Stone
- Togetic: Shiny Stone
- Vulpix: Fire Stone
Some Pokémon not only need specific items, but specific conditions with certain items to evolve.
- Applin: Sweet Apple, Tart Apple (our Applin evolution guide)
- Milcery: several items plus spinning (our Milcery evolution guide)
- Sinistea: Cracked Pot, Chipped Pot
- Zacian: changes in to second form when given a Rusted Sword or Rusted Shield
Some Pokémon will only change their forms once you’ve traded them to someone else. You will obviously need to have them trade it back for you to get that creature into your Pokédex.
- Dusclops: needs to be holding a Reaper Cloth
- Feebas: needs to be holding a Prism Scale
- Karrablast: needs traded for a Shelment
- Onix: needs to be holding a Metal Coat
- Rhydon: needs to be holding a Protector
- Shelmet: needs to be traded for a Karrablast
- Spritzee: needs to holding a Sachet
- Swirlix: needs to holding a Whipped Cream
High friendship evolutions
Some Pokémon need to have a high friendship level with you to evolve. Once you’ve reached a high enough level of this hidden stat and level up, they’ll change form.
- Budew: during the day only
- Eevee: day for Espeon, night for Umbreon
- Type: Null
- Riolu: during the day only
- Snom: during the night only
These unique creatures don’t require any actual living Pokémon to be created, but rather, certain fossil combinations to bring them to life. To learn more about them, check out our fossil Pokémon guide.
- Arctovish (water/ice): Fossilized Fish + Fossilized Dino
- Arctozolt (electric/ice): Fossilized Bird + Fossilized Dino
- Dracovish (water/dragon): Fossilized Fish + Fossilized Drake
- Dracozolt (electric/dragon): Fossilized Bird + Fossilized Drake
Some evolutions defy categorization, requiring certain dispositions, attacks, or locations to evolve.
- Clobbus: level up once it knows the Taunt move
- Farfetch’d: get three critical hits in a single battle (our Farfetch’d evolution guide)
- Galarian Linoone: evolves after level 35 when leveled up at night
- Sliggoo: evolves after level 50 when leveled up during rain or fog in the overworld
- Toxel: at level 30, then based on its nature it’ll take one of two forms
- Yamask: take 49 damage then head to the Dusty Bowl (our Yamask evolution guide)
While Shiny Pokémon can’t be gained from evolutions, they are still worth mentioning here as special creatures. They don’t have any different stats, but they have a different coloration compared to their counterparts. Here’s everything you need to know about Shiny Pokémon.