In Pokémon, the power of friendship is nothing to scoff at. Not only has it been a major trope in the games, manga, and anime, but it also directly influences gameplay. Yes, washing your Pichu may seem like a useless but fun little piece of interaction flavor, but you may just need to do it a few times if you want yourself a Pikachu.
It also influences the power of moves and the survivability of Pokémon, both of which can be crucial to winning battles and have the power to save (hardcore) Nuzlockes from seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Save to say, the power of friendship is nothing to scoff at.
But how do you raise this strange stat? And how do you even know that you’ve raised it far enough? This guide will answer all your questions about friendship in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
In the meantime, why not check out our guide on how to deal with wild Tera Pokémon!
How to Check Friendship
There are lots of ways you might notice friendship increasing in Pokémon. It’s possible that you get an accidental friendship evolution, or Pokémon may start surviving moves they probably shouldn’t. However, the only way to be absolutely certain is by finding the Friendship Checker.
You can find the Friendship Checker in the particularly confusing city of Cascarrafa. This city consists of multiple levels – three to be exact. To reach it, head northwest from Mesagoza. To avoid the Team Star base blocking your way, track through the Asado Deser to enter the city on one of its lower levels. There, speak to the woman to the left of the large fountain near the middle section of the city. Show her any Pokémon, whether in your party or your boxes, and she’ll respond with any of the sentences below based on the total friendship between you and that particular Pokémon.
|0||Oh my gosh! What happened between you two?! There’s not even a smidge of friendship here!|
|1-49||Are you two just starting to get to know each other? I’m sensing some awkwardness here…|
|50-89||You two seem kinda neutral – like you don’t mind each other. I hope you get closer!|
|100-149||You’re starting to get friendly. I bet you’ll get along better soon!|
|150-199||You’re getting along well… but I’m sure you could get way friendlier!|
|200-229||You’re good friends, all right! You definitely enjoy each other’s company!|
|230-254||Wow, you’re pretty great friends! You sure mean a lot to each other.|
|255||Whoa, you’re the best friends ever! I can tell just being together gives you warm fuzzies!|
When you reach the full 255 points of friendship, you will also receive the Best Friends Ribbon.
So is this the only way to check friendship in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet? No. You can also check by popups that appear during battle. Starting at 200 friendship, the Pokémon bounces when it’s sent into battle, and text boxes start to indicate what it’s doing in battle.
How to Raise Friendship
So that’s how you can check friendship. What about raising it? In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, multiple old tricks are there for you to use once again, but there are also new measures you can take to make Pokémon like you more.
The Friend Ball and the Luxury Ball
If you expect friendship to be important for a particular Pokémon, like when you need high friendship to evolve them, consider capturing them with a Friend Ball. With this, Pokémon immediately reach 150 friendship. Of course, Pokéballs this good don’t come easy. The only way to obtain a Friend Ball in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is to purchase them at an auction in Porto Marinada. The items up for auction reset during the in-game mornings, so you have to get lucky to find a Friend Ball. However, if you do come across one, it’s well worth bidding on.
The Luxury Ball works similarly, only does it not raise base friendship, but instead doubles friendship gained. For each point of friendship, a Pokémon would normally earn, it instead earns too. You can find these balls all across Paldea, but you can most easily buy them in Pokémarts for 3000 Pokédollars.
The Soothe Bell
The Soothe Bell is a great item to pick up early. If you let a Pokémon hold it, it doubles the friendship a Pokémon experiences. So the earlier you pick it up, the earlier you’re able to use its benefits for maximum results. There are a couple of places you can pick one up – including right away in Mesagoza! In the plaza by the Eastern Pokécenter, you can immediately find one. If you’re having a hard time finding it or if you want multiple Soothe Bells, you can also pick them up at the Delibird Present Store in Mesagoza, Levincia, and Cascarrafa, where it’s sold for 5000 Pokédollars.
Use them in battle (but don’t let them faint)
So far, we’ve mostly just talked about how you can boost friendship, but not so much about how you can raise it. Here it is, the most straightforward and direct way to raise friendship – battle with them! Treat them like you would treat any Pokémon you’d like to befriend. Keep them in your party, battle with them, and use items on them. In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet specifically, auto-battling is a great way to rack up friendship points very, very fast.
There’s a risk to battling, of course, and that’s fainting. If you let a Pokémon faint, it will cost you friendship. So particularly Pokémon who rely on friendship to evolve should be kept from fainting at all costs. Don’t risk them in the battle lines if you don’t have to – friendship is very delicate!
Walking and Picnicking
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet let you walk around with your Pokémon and even let you go on a picnic with them. The game hasn’t exactly been subtle and this is a great way to raise friendships with your Pokémon. Walking around with them is a particularly simple way to increase friendship.
Picnicking is very useful too. When you set up a picnic with your party, you’ll find that there are a couple of interactions you can make with your Pokémon. Playing, and especially washing Pokémon boosts friendship greatly. In this generation of Pokémon, picnics and sandwiches are the only way to raise a Pokémon’s friendship further than 160, since friendship through battling caps at that number.
Give the right berries
You can give Pokémon berries that influence its stats, fix status conditions, or even increase or decrease friendship. Some berries raise friendship, while others decrease it. Do be aware that the berries that raise friendship tend to come at a cost to another stat.
The following berries raise friendship:
- Grepa Berry (at the cost of Special Defense)
- Hondew Berry (at the cost of Special Attack)
- Kelpsy Berry (at the cost of Attack)
- Pomeg Berry (at the cost of HP)
- Qualot Berry (at the cost of Defense)
- Tamato Berry (at the cost of Speed)
Pokémon tend to absolutely hate herbal medicine. It’s bitter, and they don’t like it. If you want to lower friendship, you should definitely give them:
- Heal Powder
- Energy Powder
- Energy Root
- Revival Herb
What does Friendship do?
Friendship is nice and all, but what does it really do? Aside from evolving multiple Pokémon, it also influences battles. Below, you can find a breakdown of the effects that start popping up once friendship with a Pokémon is high enough. In the table below, you can see how rewarding it is to build high friendship with every single Pokémon you aim to use regularly, not just those ones that you need a high friendship with in order to evolve! A 20% chance to survive a KO means that there’s always a 1 in 5 chance that your Pokémon lives a hit to keep you from being sad. Not bad odds, if I say so myself!
|180-219||10% chance to survive a KO|
|220-254||15% chance to survive a KO|
|220-255||20% chance to heal a status effect|
|255||20% chance to survive a KO|
|255||Doubled Critical Hit chance|
|255||Enemy moves become 10% less accurate|
Pokémon that evolve through Friendship
As mentioned a couple of times throughout this guide, there are multiple Pokémon that need a high friendship level to evolve. Use the tricks in this guide to evolve these Pokémon!
That’s all there is to friendship in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet! I hope this guide was helpful, and may your Pokédex be completed soon!