Pokémon: How to Increase Friendship Stat


The friendship stat is an important part of the Pokémon series and there are several different ways to raise or lower it with each Pokémon.

It is possible to influence the friendship statistic of a Pokemon throughout the series performing certain actions both in and out of battle. The method of doing this keeps changing with each new generation, but some ways have remained the same since Gen 2.

Each player connects to their Pokémon in different ways. Some players don’t have any connections, and just see them as a mix of types and abilities. There are some players who spend a lot of time building their team and keep bringing them forward to each new game. One of the main rules of Nuzlocke challenges is to name each Pokémon, as it gives the player a closer connection to their Pokémon, rather than just throwing another Pidgey and Rattata onto the field. Pokémon Yellow introduced Friendship (aka Happiness to some fans) as a mechanic for the initial Pikachu, but it was fully developed for Pokémon Gold Y Silver, with adjustments that are added in each generation.

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There are several ways to increase a Pokémon’s friendship stat. Mechanics are necessary for the evolution of certain types of Pokémon and there are several ways the player can make the process easier, even if it differs from game to game.

Pokémon Yellow

Pokemon Yellow Version

A prototype version of the Friendship system debuted in Yellow pokemon but it only affected the initial Pikachu. This Pikachu has a friendship stat that can range from 0 to 255, starting at 90 when received in Professor Oak’s lab. Player actions can increase or decrease Pikachu’s friendship score. Leveling up the Pikachu or giving it medicine will increase Friendship, walking 255 steps with Pikachu as the main party member has a 50% chance to increase Friendship, and using a TM / Battle Item on Pikachu can increase its Friendship. If the Pikachu is KO in battle, placed in the box, or traded with another player, then its Friendship stat will be lowered.

Pokémon Gold / Silver / Crystal

pokemon silver and gold covers

The friendship mechanic was successfully introduced in Gen II, where it was applied to all Pokémon. The current friendship of the Pokémon affects how much it is affected by specific actions. Ways to increase a Pokémon’s friendship include walking the Pokémon in the active party, taking them to Daisy Oak in Pallet Town from 3-4pm for a massage, giving them a vitamin or a battle item (like an X attack), teaching them is a TM move, or giving them a Haircut Brothers haircut in the goldenrod tunnel. The Pokémon gains Friendship by leveling up, but increases if it levels up in the area where it was first encountered / caught. It is possible to reduce a Pokémon’s Amity if it faints in battle, giving it EnergyPowder, Heal Powder, Energy Root, or a Revival Herb. The friendship stat always increases in every game when fighting a major trainer. In Gen 2, it refers to Gym Leaders, Elite Four, Lance, and Red. In future games, it’s characters with similar roles that drive friendship.

Pokémon Ruby / Sapphire / Emerald / Fire Red / Leaf Green

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire box art

Most of the methods listed in Gen 2 work for Gen 2, including the ability to get a massage from Daisy at Red fire Y Green leaf. Pokémon now gain Friendship by eating berries in Pokémon Emerald, but they also reduce electric vehicles at the same time. Pokémon now also gain Friendship when using HM. In this generation, the Bell of Mending item was introduced which increases friendship gain by 50%. Catching a Pokémon in a fancy ball also accelerates the growth of their friendship.

Related: Pokémon Nuzlocke: Tips and Tricks Guide

Pokémon Diamond / Pearl / Platinum / HeartGold / SoulSilver

Pokémon Diamond Pearl Platinum Cover

In Gen 4, the Haircut Brothers return in the Johto remakes, and Daisy Oak can be visited once more in Pallet Town. The Ribbon Syndicate in Battle Zone in Sinnoh games can grant a lot of friendship by offering massages to Pokémon. The player can also receive a massage for their Pokémon in Veilstone City. It is now possible to win friendship by winning contests with a Pokémon.

Pokémon Black / White / Black 2 / White 2

Pokemon Black and White Covers

The methods to increase / decrease Friendship in Generation IV also apply to Generation V. It is now possible to increase Friendship by using a Wing element on a Pokémon. The player can take their Pokémon for a massage in Castelia City. Pokemon Black 2 Y White 2 It had a number of different ways to increase the friendship stat using a mechanic called Join Avenue, but it is now practically unusable as it relied heavily on Nintendo’s Wi-Fi connection, which is no longer working. It is also possible to give people a friendship bonus using the Befriending Pass Power, but this requires the help of other players who own the game and connect wirelessly to the DS.

Pokémon X / Y / Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire

official pokemon xy art

The same Gen V methods apply to Gen VI, except they no longer get Friendship when using TM / HM. The introduction of Super Training means that Pokémon can increase their Friendship by using the Soothing Bag. On Pokemon x Y Y, the player can take their Pokémon for a massage in Cyllage City and giving them a custom shake at the Juice Shoppe in Lumiose City. On Omega Ruby Pokémon Y Alpha Sapphire, the player can take their Pokémon for a massage in Mauville City.

Pokémon Sun / Moon / Ultra Sun / Ultra Moon and Let’s Go Eevee / Pikachu

The same Gen VI methods apply to Gen VII. The player can increase a Pokémon’s friendship by visiting the food stalls in the Festival Plaza and giving them a meal. Pokémon can befriend them with a massage in Konikoni Town and by visiting Isle Avue in the Poké Pelago. The mechanics of friendship in the Pokémon: come on Games have been greatly simplified, and players can increase their Pokémon’s Friendship by leveling up, walking around the world with them, and playing with them using the Pair Play mechanic.

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Pokémon sword and shield

Pokemon Sword & Shield Cover Legendaries Art

The methods of the previous games (not counting the Go titles) apply to Gen VIII, but with one key difference. Pokémon friendship stats are now capped at a lower value, and the only way to increase them further is by using Pokémon Camp. The player can increase a Pokémon’s friendship by feeding it curry and playing with it. The number of toys the player has access to will increase if he continues to make different types of curries.

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