Friendship is a hidden Pokemon stat that is required for some Pokemon to evolve. Friendship has been known as Happiness, Loyalty, and more, in previous games.
Affection was the hidden stat tied to Pokemon Amie in Pokemon X and Y and Pokemon Refresh in Pokemon Sun and Moon, but has been largely combined into one stat in Pokemon Sword and Shield: Friendship.
Note: These effects are confirmed for Pokemon Sun and Moon and appear to be correct in Pokemon Sword and Shield as well after testing, but we can’t be sure they’re exactly the same. To get more than three hearts to appear, you must play with it in Pokemon Camp.
|2 Hearts||20% Extra XP, flavor text when in battle|
|3 Hearts||Chance to hang on with 1 HP in battle (chance increases the higher the affection), more flavor text|
|4 Hearts||Higher chance to evade attacks, can cure itself of status conditions|
|5 Hearts||Higher chance to land Critical Hites|
How to Raise Friendship in Pokemon Sword and Shield
- Catch the Pokemon in a Luxury Ball or Friend Ball
- Use Vitamins on the Pokemon
- Use the Pokemon in battle
- Allow the Pokemon to hold the item Soothe Bell (which you can get from the Friendship Checker)
- Keep them in your party as you travel.
- Feed them Curry in Pokemon Camp
- Feed them certain berries that say “raise friendliness.” These also lower Effort Values.
- Play with them in Pokemon Camp. Playing with a Pokemon in Pokemon Camp will increase its hearts to a higher level than any other method – but this method is not needed to evolve Pokemon. It will have increases critical hit chance and the chance for a Pokemon to hold on with 1 HP “to not make you sad” in battles.
How to Lower Friendship
- Allow the Pokemon to faint in battle
- Use bitter items on the Pokemon
- Keep the Pokemon stored in the PC
Note: Trading a Pokemon reverts its Friendship to its base point.
How to Get the Soothe Bell
Go to Hammerlock and enter the building to the right of the Pokemon Center. Inside, speak to the little boy on the right – this boy will also give you the Soothe Bell.
This boy is also the Friendship Checker!
How to Check Friendship in Pokemon Sword and Shield
Go to Hammerlock and enter the building to the right of the Pokemon Center. Inside, speak to the little boy on the right – the Friendship Checker. He will tell you a series of phrases depending on how friendly your Pokemon is.
You can also interact with your Pokemon while in Pokemon Camp. If the Pokemon has affection, hearts will appear over it you choose to “Speak” to it. This ranges between one and five hearts, but to get more than three hearts to appear, you must play with it in Pokemon Camp.
Pokemon That Evolve with Friendship
Certain Pokemon can only evolve if they are friendly enough toward you. Sometimes Friendship is needed along with an item, select time, or select location to evolve.
See How to Evolve Eevee – All Eeveelutions for more info on Eevee.
- Eevee => Espeon (Day) / Umbreon (Night)
- Alolan Meowth => Alolan Persian