Ashley is a professional "Pokémon GO"-er that knows all there is to know about in-game evolutions.
For anyone familiar with the Pokémon game series, evolution is generally consistent and straightforward: battling gains experience, experience earns levels and reaching certain levels triggers the evolution. With the new gameplay style of Pokémon Go, however, the experience system required modification. The experience became candies, each unique to the base Pokémon of an evolution chain. They are earned by catching Pokémon, walking with them as a buddy, and as a byproduct of evolutions or trades, including those to Professor Willow. It can take anywhere between 12 and 400 candies to evolve a Pokémon, but some have additional requirements.
Along with the introduction of second-generation Pokémon, five evolution items were added that are usable on eight new and original Pokémon. The Sun Stone, Upgrade, King's Rock, Dragon Scale, and Metal Coat can be used along with candies for specific evolutions. While most are progressive in the evolution chain, Slowking, Bellosom, and Politoed are actually divergent, allowing the ability to evolve into these forms with the item rather than Slowbro, Vileplume, or Poliwhirl.
These items are currently obtained through PokéStop spins, but have a very low regular drop rate. Each evolution item has an individual drop rate of around 0.03%. Metal Coats have a slightly higher chance and Dragon Scales are slightly lower. The collective drop rate for all evolution items sits at 11 out of 7,900 items received from PokéStops. However, a seven-day spin streak guarantees an evolution item.
With the addition of Gen 4 Pokémon, Sinnoh Stones provided 18 new final evolutions. Unlike other evolution items, these are not obtained through PokéStop spins. Instead, they may be rewarded with Research Breakthroughs (completing a full week of research tasks) or completing PvP Battles, including daily battles with the gym leaders. However, they are not guaranteed, so it may be several weeks before obtaining one.
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Eevee Evolutions (Eeveelutions)
Eevee is a particularly unique Pokémon because it has eight separate evolutions, with all but Sylveon currently available in Pokémon Go. In previous games, Eevee's evolution is determined by using a specific stone, such as a Water Stone for Vaporeon, or leveling up under certain conditions. While the first generation evolutions are random, Pokémon Go has done a good job interpreting special requirements with each new generational addition.
Espeon or Umbreon
In the original games, Eevee will evolve into an Espeon or Umbreon with a high enough friendship level. If the evolution is initiated during the day (between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m.), it will become the psychic-type, Espeon. At night (between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.), it will become the Dark-type, Umbreon. To build "friendship" in Pokémon Go, trainers have to walk at least 10km with their Eevee. Once that is completed, wait until the correct time frame for the desired result.
Leafeon and Glaceon
For Leafeon and Glaceon in the original games, environmental requirements were introduced. The desired Eevee had to be evolved near the large Moss Rock for Leafeon or Ice Rock for Glaceon. With their addition to Pokémon Go, Mossy Lures and Glacial Lures were also introduced to replicate this environment. However, they are only available at the store for 200 Pokecoins. Their redeeming quality is that once the lure is placed, any nearby player can use it.
How to Guarantee Your Preferred Outcome
Having so many possible outcomes can create a level of difficulty that is less than desirable for completionists or specific collectors. Fortunately, there is an easy trick for obtaining a preferred outcome. In the original anime, "The Battling Eevee Brothers" episode featured Rainer with his Vaporeon, Sparky with his Jolteon, and Pyro with his Flareon. Naming an Eevee after the corresponding trainer before evolving will produce the desired result. It is important to note that this particular trick only works once, so choose your Eevee carefully.
Tyrogue is another Pokémon with multiple evolutions. As one of the Gen 2 babies, it is the starter for Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan of the original release, as well as the newer Hitmontops. There aren't any tricks to get the desired outcome as there are with Eevee's evolutions, but they are predictable.
Tyrogue's evolution outcomes are based on its stats, which can be checked with an appraisal in the Pokémon Details menu. If the highest stat is attack, it will evolve into a Hitmonlee. One with a high stamina stat will become Hitmontop and a high defense produces a Hitmonchan. If multiple stats are ranked as highest, the outcome will be randomly selected between the two.
Wurmple is unique because it has two evolution chains, rather than final evolutions. It can become either a Silcoon or Cascoon, that then evolves into a Beautifly or Dustrox. In other Pokémon games, how a Wurple evolves is based on its personality, but without any kind of temperament system in Pokémon Go, it appears to be left to chance. There are some claims that it is based on time of day, like Umbreon and Espeon, or based on a stat, like Tyrogue—but data mining has shown that the evolutions are, indeed, random.
It's Time to (Pokémon) GO!
Now that you understand the basics of evolution in Pokémon Go, you are sure to get your preferred outcome. The mechanics are fairly different in this game when compared to other iterations of the series, but with this handy guide, you'll be evolving in no time!
Anonymous on November 09, 2019:
Very informative, didn't know that Sneasel evolved into Rhyperior.
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 11, 2018:
An easy to read and very well laid out article about Pokemon Go evolution. I really love Espeon and got one right away back when I was playing. I stopped playing after a while because it was using up too much of my data. It's a shame because there are thousands of Pokestops in Tokyo. I did meet someone who had managed to catch all the Pokemon in the game, but I think it was before the updates. Nice work.