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?
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.
|“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|
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
- When a Pokémon gains a Level.
- When you a travel a large number of steps.
- Feeding a Pokémon an EV-lowering Berry or Vitamin.
Notable Actions that Lower Friendship
- When a Pokémon faints in battle.
- 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.
- Speaking to your Pokémon.
- Using a toy to play with your Pokémon.
- Cooking a meal for all of your Pokémon.
Benefits of Friendship
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.
|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.|