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Pokémon: Sword & Shield
Strategy Guide

First Published: 15-11-2019 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 12-07-2020 / 00:16 GMT
Version: 1.2 (????) 13-07-2020 / 07:01 GMT

Pokémon sure isn't shy when it comes to hidden stats! You've already got IVs and EVs, but there are a few more as well. One of these is Friendship (also known as Happiness), which doesn't directly influence a Pokémon's performance, but can be important all the same.

What is Friendship?

This is the house you want to visit.This young lad can check your Friendship levels.

In basic terms, Friendship is a measure of how much your Pokémon like you. Generally, if you keep using your Pokémon, their Friendship will go up, although there are a few ways to decrease it. It's also important to know that the Affection stat from Generation 6 and 7 has been merged with the Friendship stat.

You can check your Pokémon's Friendship by visiting the house to the right of the first Hammerlocke Pokémon Centre and speaking to the young child in the corner.

"Hearts" refers to the number of hearts that appear over a Pokémon when you speak to them via Pokémon Camp.

Message Friendship Hearts
"Maybe you're a bit too strict? It doesn't seem like you're friends at all..." 0 0
"I guess you two just met? It's still getting used to things." 1 to 49 0
"Seems like it likes you an average amount! Don't worry--you two will get closer as time passes!" 50 to 89 0
Wow, I think you're on your way to becoming real good friends!" 100 to 149 1
"Seems like you're pretty good friends! Still, I bet you could become even closer!" 150 to 199 2
"You two get along great! Together is always better--am I right?" 200 to 229 3
"You two are almost best friends! I can see you really care about each other!" 230 to 254 4
Oh wow, you're best buddies! I can tell you're so happy to be together!" 255 5

Improving Friendship

Do feed them berries (but only for stats you don't mind having reduced EVs).Don't feed them bitter medicine!

Like previous games, Friendship is influenced by certain actions you do to your Pokémon both during and outside battles. However, in Sword and Shield, you can't go past 199 Friendship using these methods.

Notable Actions that Increase Friendship

  1. When a Pokémon gains a Level.

  2. When you a travel a large number of steps.

  3. Feeding a Pokémon an EV-lowering Berry or Vitamin.

Notable Actions that Lower Friendship

  1. When a Pokémon faints in battle.

  2. Feeding a Pokémon a bitter medicine.

To exceed 199 Friendship, you must interact with your Pokémon in Pokémon Camp. Also, within Pokémon Camp, when you speak to your Pokémon, a number of hearts may appear over their head. This correlates with their Friendship, as per the above chart.

Camp Interactions

  1. Speaking to your Pokémon.

  2. Using a toy to play with your Pokémon.

  3. Cooking a meal for all of your Pokémon.

When speaking or playing with your Pokémon, they will only gain Friendship if you can see musical note symbols above the Pokémon's head.

Benefits of Friendship

These buffs don't happen frequently, but it's nice when they do!

Certain Pokémon require high Friendship to evolve. This includes most baby Pokémon, plus Eevee if you want to evolve it into Umbreon, Espeon or Sylveon. For those who are a bit iffy about Pokémon Camp, you'll be glad to know that all of these Pokémon will evolve within 199 Friendship, so you don't need to touch Camp.

After exceeding 199 Friendship, Pokémon will receive random buffs during battle. These are the same as the Affection buffs in Generation 6 and 7. They'll also bounce around at the start of battle and there will be additional flavour text. All of these effects only apply for single-player battles.

The listed buffs do not stack. So the experience boost is 20% at 5 hearts, not 40%.

Friendship Hearts Buff
200 to 229 3 Very small chance of surviving a KO.
230 to 254 4 Small chance of surviving a KO.
Chance of recovering from a status condition.
20% experience boost.
255 5 OK chance of surviving a KO.
Chance of recovering from a status condition.
Chance of avoiding opponent's move.
Improved critical hit chance.
20% experience boost.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms
    Switch
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    15 November 2019
  • Last Updated
    12 July 2020
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Pokémon: Sword and Shield, the latest entries in the Pokémon video game franchise. Our guide also incorporates all the DLC, including the currently-released Isle of Armor (and in the future, it will cover the Crown Tundra).

In Sword and Shield, you explore the Galar region, based on the United Kingdom, alongside rivals Hop, Bede and Marnie, with the aim to dethrone the Pokémon League Champion.

The games introduce several new features such as Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, functions that increase size and change forms of certain Pokémon; the Wild Area, a large open world with free camera movement; and raids with co-op battling. They also reintroduce features previously seen in Sun and Moon and Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, such as regional variants and roaming Pokémon depicted in the overworld.

Version 1.2:

  • A Complete Walkthrough of the Isle of Armor.
  • Details of all 16 new Wild Areas, including Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All the new Max Raid Dens: Locations and Featured Pokémon.
  • Images and Locations of All 150 of the Missing Diglett.
  • The Isle of Armor Pokédex (featuring 100 Returning Pokémon).
  • Recipes for the Cram-o-matic.

Version 1.1:

  • A Full Walkthrough featuring Pokémon encounter rates.
  • All Gym Encounters and Strategies.
  • Screenshots with annotated captions.
  • New Items: Mints & Natures Explained.
  • Post Game content including Champion Cup.
  • Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing.
  • Updated Pokémon Lists for all areas.
  • The Galar Region Pokédex (featuring 400 Pokemon).

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