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Pokémon Sword & Shield: Guide To Every New Special Evolution Method

With every generation of Pokémon comes a new set of evolutions— and new evolutionary methods. From brand new evolutionary lines to changes to existing ones, here’s a handy masterlist of every Pokémon who needs a bit more than level-ups to evolve introduced in Pokémon Sword & Shield.

New Evolutionary Lines

Applin to Flapple/Appletun

  • Grab an Applin from Route 5 in surprise encounters, or in the Wild Area during certain weather conditions
  • Get a Tart Apple (Sword) or Sweet Apple (Shield) from the Wild Area, or by lending Applin to an NPC in Hammerlocke standing near the leftmost bridge
  • Use the item like an evolutionary stone to get Flapple (Sword) or Appletun (Shield)

Sinistea to Polteageist

  • Grab a Sinistea from the Glimwood Tangle.
  • Use either a Cracked Pot or a Chipped Pot (depending on the Sinistea’s form) on it like an evolutionary stone to evolve it into Polteageist.
  • Tip: The Cracked Pot can be found on an alleyway rooftop in Stow-On-Side, while the Chipped Pot can only be acquired through the Bargain Merchant.

Snom to Frosmoth

  • Grab a Snom from Route 8 or Route 10, or the Wild Area during certain weather conditions.
  • Set up camp and raise your Snom’s affection level to at least three hearts.
  • Level it up at night to evolve it into a Frosmoth.
  • Tip: Snom is very slow. It is inadvisable and inefficient to play fetch with it as a primary method of raising affection.
  • Note: places outside of the Wild Area are locked at daytime (except at certain points in the story) until the main game is finished regardless of the actual time on the Switch’s system.

Milcery to Alcremie

  • Grab a Milcery from surprise encounters in Route 4, or the Wild Area during certain weather conditions.
  • Acquire a Sweet as a reward from any of the Battle Cafes in Motostoke, Hammerlocke, or Wyndon. The available types of Sweets are Strawberry, Berry, Clover, Love, Ribbon, Star, and Flower.
  • Have Milcery hold the Sweet and then spin rapidly to perform Leon’s Charizard pose to evolve it into an Alcremie.
  • The Alcremie’s color will depend on when and how you spin.

Clobbopus to Grapploct

  • Grab a Clobbopus from from Route 9.
  • Make sure it knows the move Taunt before levelling it up to evolve it into a Grapploct.
  • Tip: Clobbopus naturally learns the move Taunt at level 35, but can be taught the move earlier with a TR.

New Regional Forms/Evolutions

Galarian Darumaka to Galarian Darmanitan

  • Grab a Galarian Darumaka from Route 8 or Route 10 (Sword Exclusive).
  • Use an Ice stone on it to evolve it into a Galarian Darmanitan.
  • Note: The resulting Galarian Darmanitan will only have a special Galarian Zen form if it has the Zen Mode ability.

Galarian Yamask to Runerigus

  • Grab a Galarian Yamask from Route 6.
  • Make sure it has 50HP or more.
  • Have it sustain 49 or more damage from a single attack.
  • Take it to the centre of the Dusty Bowl in the Wild Area, in the middle of the stones to evolve it into a Runerigus.

Galarian Farfetch’d to Sirfetch’d

  • Grab a Galarian Farfetch’d from Route 5 or the Wild Area during certain weather conditions (Sword exclusive).
  • Have it land three critical hits in one battle to evolve it into a Sirfetch’d.
  • Tip: Find a trainer with a full party of pokémon, have Farfetch’d hold an item that boosts its critical rate, give it a consumable that raises its critical rate at the beginning of battle, and soft-reset the battle if need be.

Galarian Linoone to Obstagoon

  • Grab a Galarian Linoone from or the Wild Area during certain weather conditions. or evolve a Galarian Zigzagoon.
  • Level your Linoone to level 35 at night to evolve it into an Obstagoon.
  • Note: places outside of the Wild Area are locked at daytime (except at certain points in the story) until the main game is finished regardless of the actual time on the Switch’s system.

Changes To Existing Evolutionary Methods

Charjabug To Vikavolt

  • Previously requiring the level-up to happen at a certain location in Sun & Moon, Charjabug now only requires a Thunderstone to evolve into a Vikavolt.

Eeveelutions

  • Glaceon is now obtainable via the use of an Ice Stone on an Eevee.
  • Leafeon is now obtainable via the use of a Leaf Stone on an Eevee.
  • Espeon and Umbreon are now obtainable through the use of the camp, as the Affection and Friendship systems have been merged.
  • Subsequently, Sylveon now requires an Eevee to know a fairy-type move as well as be at a high affection level in order to evolve. Otherwise, it will become either an Espeon or Umbreon depending on the time of day.

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