Pokemon Legends: Arceus Makes Big Changes to Evolutions

Pokemon Legends: Arceus has made some big changes to the evolutionary process for some Pokemon. Today is the launch date for Pokemon Legends: Arceus, giving millions of fans their first look at the Hisui region, an unsettled and more expansive version of the Sinnoh region first seen in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. One of the core gimmicks of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl was the introduction of several new evolved forms for existing Pokemon lines. For instance, Rhyperior was introduced as the evolved form of Rhydon, while Gallade was introduced as a branching evolution for Kirlia. In this spirit, Pokemon Legends: Arceus introduces a new way to evolve Pokemon and also makes a few big changes to existing evolutionary methods. 

Perhaps the biggest change made to evolutions is that trading is no longer required to evolve certain Pokemon species. Trading has been a core evolutionary method in the Pokemon franchise since the very start – Pokemon like Machoke, Kadabra, and Haunter could only be evolved into their final forms when traded to another game. Pokemon Legends: Arceus scraps this to some extent – players instead can use the Linking Cords to evolve Pokemon that would usually need to be traded. The Linking Cords is available at the Trading Post, but players will need to collect Merit Points (a currency that you earn by collecting satchels in the various areas of the game) in order to purchase it. Additionally, some Pokemon no longer need to be traded while holding certain items. Instead, these items act as standard evolutionary items. So, a Rhydon simply needs to be exposed to a Protector to evolve into Rhyperior instead of needing to be traded while holding a Protector.  Similar to Pokemon Sword and Shield, some Pokemon that were previously only available via trading can now be found in the wild either as Alpha Pokemon or in Space-Time Distortions. 

Pokemon Legends: Arceus also introduces a new kind of evolutionary method – the use of certain moves and move styles in battles. Several Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus only evolve after they use a certain move/move style combination multiple times in battle. For instance, Stantler only evolves into Wyrdeer when it uses the move Psyshield Bash in Agile Style 20 times. 

To top all the evolutionary changes off, Pokemon Legends: Arceus makes a notable change to how Pokemon evolve in the game. Once a Pokemon meets the requirements for evolving, players will be given the option to evolve it by tapping X in the Satchel screen. Pokemon no longer evolve by default, which means a player won't need to cancel an evolution every time a Pokemon levels up. Additionally, Pokemon Legends: Arceus also features a new evolution animation that makes evolution look a lot more menacing and mysterious. Frankly, the new evolution animation is one of the best parts of Pokemon Legends: Arceus and is one of the many ways that the game upgrades the entire Pokemon experience. 

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is available on the Nintendo Switch now.