Gamer Guides logo

Pokémon: Sun & Moon
Strategy Guide

Author(s): Vincent Lau, Cassie Sun
Editor(s): Vincent Lau, Cassie Sun
First Published: 12-12-2016 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 12-06-2020 / 06:11 GMT
Version: 1.1 (????) 11-07-2020 / 17:39 GMT

Alola's a big place, so to help you get started on the road, here are some useful tips.

Free Space

An easy way to keep all your important items together.

As you travel the regions, you'll end up picking up a lot of items. Now, the good thing is that you'll never, ever run out of space to put items in your magical bag. The bad thing is that it can be difficult to find something you want in a pinch.

To make your life easier, there's a "Free Space" compartment towards the end of your bag, where you can place frequently used or important items. Simply select an item in any compartment and choose the "Move to Free Space" option.

If you need help looking for a particular item, you can also press the X button to sort by name, etc.

Easy Experience Boosts

Need help increasing your Pokemon's levels quicker? If so, there are a few ways.

Firstly, Pokemon traded to you from another player will gain 50% more experience points; this has been the case since the original games. Moreover, if the traded Pokemon is from a different language version, it will gain 70% more experience instead.

The bad thing is that if the traded Pokemon is too high level, then it won't obey you. Check your Trainer Passport to see the level limits.

Secondly, any Pokemon with an Affection level of 2 hearts or higher in Pokemon Refresh earns 20% more experience points. This is pretty easy to achieve; a dozen or so rubs and Poke Beans can get you there. If you've got any Rainbow Beans from Poke Pelago, you'll be laughing.

Finally, once you've beaten the game, you can get a Lucky Egg from Professor Kukui in his research lab. When a Pokemon holds this item, it will earn 50% more experience points. That said, this scenario may be pretty far off.

Other things to consider include using the Exp. Share item, which gives all non-battling Pokemon in your party 50% of the experience points. Meanwhile, all Pokemon that battled against a particular Pokemon receive the full 100% experience points, even if they didn't score the KO.


Confusingly, the game calls it "Affection", but nobody else does.

The game doesn't really make this clear, but Pokemon have a hidden Happiness stat, which has nothing to do with the Affection stat in Pokemon Refresh. This mainly affects Pokemon that evolve after reaching certain Happiness and the moves Return and Frustration.

You can increase a Pokemon's Happiness via the following methods:

  • Keeping them in your party and walking around.
  • Increasing the Pokemon's Level.
  • Making them hold the Soothe Bell item.
  • Feeding them a Malasada, especially of a flavor they like.
  • Giving them a massage in Konikoni City.
  • Letting them relax in Poke Pelago's Isle Avue.
  • Feeding them berries that decrease stats (EVs).

Delaying Evolution

It's always a marvelous sight to see a Pokemon evolve, especially as they grow stronger. However, there are times when it may be beneficial to wait just a bit longer before evolving your Pokemon.

Firstly, evolved Pokemon generally learn moves at a slower pace compared to their their unevolved counterparts. That said, having your Pokemon remain in a weaker form isn't exactly an ideal scenario either. Indeed, for the most part, you'll be fine evolving ASAP.

That is unless your Pokemon requires an evolution stone to evolve, in which case it's entirely possible they won't learn any moves after they evolve. So you'd better have all the moves you want already or TMs available to teach new moves.

Some Pokemon also learn exclusive moves at late levels in their unevolved forms. One such offender is Oddish, which learns Moonblast at Level 43, but none of its evolved forms learn this powerful Fairy-type move...

Evolution Timescales

One thing that you may not consider straightaway when picking a Pokemon is when is the earliest opportunity they can evolve. Normally, evolution proceeds in a natural manner, but for some Pokemon, there are certain milestones you must reach for them to evolve.

Pokemon How to Evolve Earliest Possible
Eevee Level Up at mossy rock After 3rd island trial
Eevee, Growlithe Fire Stone After 4th island trial
Eevee, Pikachu Thunder Stone After 3rd island trial
Eevee, Staryu, Shellder, Poliwhirl Water Stone After 3rd island trial
Petilil, Cottonee Sun Stone After 5th island trial
Jigglypuff, Clefairy Moon Stone After 5th island trial
Murkrow, Misdreavus Dusk Stone After 3rd grand trial (Moon), postgame (Sun)
Pokemon How to Evolve Earliest Possible
Charjabug, Magneton, Nosepass Level up at Vast Poni Canyon After 3rd grand trial
Magmar, Electabuzz Trade with Magmarizer/Electirizer After 3rd grand trial
Feebas Trade with Prism Scale After 3rd grand trial
Crabrawler Level up at Mount Lanakila After 4th grand trial
Eevee Level up at icy rock After 4th grand trial
Slowpoke, Poliwhirl Trade with King's Rock Postgame
As you can see, some Pokémon evolve a lot later than you might expect, despite being available early on. Charjabug and Crabrawler are the biggest offenders. Of course, if you have a friend who's a bit further ahead, you could ask them to evolve your Pokémon for you!

If You're Lucky...

By the way, you can obtain some of the evolution items via other luck-based means. For example, most of the evolution stones (eg. Fire Stone) can be gotten from Poke Pelago's Isle Aphun, which is accessible after completing the 3rd island trial.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
  • Platforms
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    12 December 2016
  • Last Updated
    12 June 2020
  • Guide Author
    Vincent Lau, Cassie Sun

Share this free guide:

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account:

Discord logo

Remove this ad
Subscribe to Premium