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Pokémon Sword and Shield Isle of Armor guide: Special evolution methods and requirements

To evolve some Pokémon, you’ll need items or specific trade methods

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Galarian Slowpoke walking along dirt in Pokémon Sword and Shield Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Isle of Armor expansion brings over 100 more Pokémon back to the game, including some that have specific requirements to evolve.

To make things easier, we’ve listed the requirements you’ll need to evolve these Pokémon below. Some of these evolved Pokémon can be caught roaming around on the Isle of Armor, so you won’t need to go through the process to add the creatures to your Pokédex. For those breeding for competitive or sentimental value, here’s how you should go about it.

If you’re looking for the other Pokémon that were included in Sword and Shield on release, we have that list here.

Stone-based evolutions

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.

  • Poliwhirl: Water Stone
  • Exeggcute: Leaf Stone
  • Staryu: Water Stone
  • Magneton: Thunder Stone
  • Jigglypuff: Moon Stone
  • Petilil: Sun Stone

Item-based evolutions

Some Pokémon not only need specific items, but specific conditions with certain items to evolve.

  • Happiny: leveled up during the day while holding an Oval Stone
  • Slowpoke: trade eight Galarica Twigs for a Galarica Cuff to an NPC on the island at the Workout Sea. Use the Galarica Cuff on the Slowpoke.

Trade-based evolutions

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.

  • Poliwhirl: needs to be holding a King’s Rock
  • Slowpoke: needs to be holding a King’s Rock
  • Scyther: needs to be holding a Metal Coat
  • Seadra: needs to be holding a Dragon Scale
  • Porygon: needs to be holding an Upgrade
  • Porygon2: needs to be holding a Dubious Disc
  • Kadabra

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.

  • Chansey
  • Azurill
  • Igglybuff

Unique evolutions

Some evolutions defy categorization, requiring certain dispositions, attacks, or locations to evolve.

  • Tangela: evolves when it learns Ancient Power (at level 38 or through Move Tutor)
  • Rockruff: evolves to Midday Form at level 25 during the day, evolves to Midnight Form at level 25 at night.
  • Lickitung: evolves when it learns Rollout (at level 33 or through Move Tutor)
  • Fomantis: evolves at level 34 during the day

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