Pokemon Go’s Sylveon Requirements Are Ridiculous

At long last, the Eevee family can now be completed in Pokemon Go. Almost five years after the game first launched, we’re finally deep enough in the roster to reach Gen 6, and the final Eeveelution – Sylveon. As my personal favourite of the Eevee family, I’ve been excited about Sylveon’s arrival for quite a while. I have a 15/15/15 Eevee (also known as my EV Eevee because I am a hoot), a Lucky Eevee, a shiny Eevee, and a Flower Crown Eevee all waiting to become little Sylveons. Unfortunately, they’ll be waiting a long time, because the requirements to get a Sylveon are ridiculous.

In the main games, Eevee evolves in a variety of ways, and Pokemon Go has mimicked that. You get Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon by evolving Eevee with a Water Stone, Thunder Stone, and Fire Stone respectively. In Pokemon Go, there are no stones, so when you evolve an Eevee, there’s a 33 percent chance of getting each of the Kanto Eeveelutions. That’s not great, especially if you have a shiny you really want to be a Vaporeon, but as other generations were added, Niantic got a bit more creative.

In the base games, Eevee will evolve into Espeon or Umbreon when it reaches a set level of happiness – 220 or 160, depending on which generation. If it reaches this in daytime, you get an Espeon, and at nighttime, an Umbreon. So in Pokemon Go, you need to walk 10km with Eevee as your buddy and evolve it in the day for Espeon, and at night for Umbreon. Since the overworld UI changes at night (unlike the battle UI, which is in dire need of a refresh), it’s easy to see when this threshold has passed. This method is clearly tied to the original, is manageable, and means you can specifically choose which ‘mon you’re getting.

Next up was Leafeon and Glaceon. Originally, these two evolved when levelled up near a Moss Rock or an Ice Rock, which was later swapped out for a Leaf Stone and an Ice Stone respectively, and again, Pokemon Go understood this. When Leafeon and Glaceon joined the game, well, nobody cared. I kid, but… come on. If your favourite is Glaceon you just want an edgy Vaporeon, and if your favourite is Leafeon you’re too far gone to see reason. Anyway, they were added with Lure Modules, which are specific types of Lures that attract certain types more than others. Stand under a Mossy Lure and you can evolve Eevee into a Leafeon, and under a Glacial Lure you can get a Glaceon – it’s basically the Rock system tweaked for the mobile game. Much like Espeon and Umbreon, it’s all very straight forward. With Sylveon, that’s not the case.

The naming trick still works, so I’ve got my shiny Sylveon already, but if I want to evolve my others, I’m going to need to put in work. Sylveon is the most complicated in the base games, but only by a little. You need to either have Eevee level up while knowing a Fairy move and having two levels of Affection, or from Gen 8 onwards, while knowing a Fairy move and having high Friendship. In Pokemon Go, you’ll need to earn 70 Hearts with an Eevee to see it turned into a Sylveon. Using the Hearts system is a great way of integrating the base game’s Affection requirement, but 70 is way too high and feels like the game is moving towards grinding even more – Sylveon is probably the last non-starter Pokemon with any value amongst casuals. Unless you’re a diehard Pokemon fan, you’re not going to get excited about Gen 7 bringing Stakataka or Gen 8 bringing Rolycoly. There’s maybe Wooloo, but that’s such a common ‘mon Niantic won’t really be able to make that a coveted catch; instead it’ll likely be the curtain raiser when Gen 8 finally joins the party.

You can earn 12 Hearts a day, but one of these is for visiting a new place, so for most people, that’s 11. At that rate, assuming you max out each day, it’s going to take a week, which means a month before I can get my EV Eevee, Flower Crown Eevee, and Lucky Eevee across the line. If I wanted an army of Leafeons, I’d just need to drop a Mossy Lure and I’d be free to evolve as many as I wanted. Meanwhile, if I wanted an army of Vaporeons, I’d need to keep evolving Eevees and wading through the Jolteons and Flareons that emerged.

That’s why Sylveon is such a sticking point – even as the Eeveelutions have been integrated better, the base three are still stuck, and adding extra hassle to Sylveon is just plain irritating. Eevee is Pokemon’s most interesting creature, and after being ignored in Aloha and Galar, it’s clear that Pokemon Go isn’t quite sure what to do with it either.

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