Pokemon evolution naturally continues to be a major component in Pokemon Legends: Arceus. No matter how much the game changes - and a lot has changed - that’s an immovable aspect of the Pokemon series. Despite that, there has been one major change of the process of how to evolve - and you might initially miss it.
This is especially likely if you’re an old Pokemon hand, as we are, and hammer the A button through many tutorial dialogue boxes. That might lead you to miss a subtle change to the evolution process - but we’ll explain it in full on this page.
Pokemon Legends Arceus: how to evolve
The big difference around Pokemon evolution in Legends: Arceus is a pretty simple one to explain: evolution is now an opt-in process.
Once a Pokemon is ready to evolve, you’ll see it displayed both in your menu and on the EXP gaining notification that appears after battles and performing certain other actions. It’ll say ‘Can Evolve’, quite clearly, like so:
In the menus, a Pokemon being ready to evolve is marked by the fact that the Pokeball icon next to their name - which displays the design of whatever type of ball you caught them in - will be lit up brightly.
When a Pokemon is ready to evolve, all you have to do is select it in that main menu and select the option to evolve. Simple! This also means you can put off evolution as late as you like - or do it right away.
How evolution is different - and the same - in Legends: Arceus
In previous Pokemon games, once you’d fulfilled the requirements for a Pokemon to evolve, it’d automatically begin changing into the more advanced form of its species. In fact, it was an opt-out process, where evolution was automatic but you could halt or delay it with the press of a button. As you can see, in Legends: Arceus, it’s flipped - Pokemon won’t ever evolve without you first giving them your say-so.
The exact circumstances that will allow each species to evolve vary from Pokemon to Pokemon, of course. Some species will only be able to evolve once they hit a certain level. Others might have unique circumstances, like how certain Eevee Evolutions require you to bond with Eevee, with the evolution differing depending on when you choose to pull the trigger.
There also remain Pokemon who can only evolve with evolution items. These items can be found across the world - as rewards for side-quests, in space-time distortions, and even sometimes sold by shopkeeper NPCs. These items, including classics like the Fire, Thunder, and Water Stones alongside new items like the ‘Linking Cord’ a new item that replaces the need to evolve certain species by trading.
If you're after more Pokemon Legends: Arceus guides, such as how to learn moves, how to changes moves, how to unlock more Base Camps, which is the best starter Pokemon, how to upgrade your Satchel space or which types are super-effective against which other types, click on the links to learn everything you need to know.