How to Increase Friendship | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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This guide explains what is Friendship, also known as Happiness or Affection, in the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. If you would like to know what affects Friendship and how to raise and check a Pokemon's Friendship (Happiness) level, please read on.

What is Friendship and How Does it Work?

Pokemon Friendship

Friendship, known in previous games as Affection or Happiness, is a hidden stat in Pokemon Sword and Shield referring to a Pokemon's ‘Friendliness’ towards you.

Increasing a Pokemon's level of affection plays an important role in improving a Pokemon's performance in battle and allowing them to gain more experience points, helping your Pokemon to level up faster.

Corvisquire

How to Increase Friendship

There are several ways to increase Pokemon friendship. Generally, the more you use a Pokemon, the friendlier it will grow friendlier with you. However, be careful as letting your Pokemon faint will decrease its Friendship level.

Battle With Your Pokemon

Pokemon Battle 1

With or without items, engaging in battles and leveling up your pokemon help increase their friendliness towards you. Plus, making your pokemon hold the Soothe Bell will cause its Friendship stat to further increase each time it participates in battle.

Level Up Your Pokemon

One way to increase a Pokemon's Friendship level quickly is to give them level-up items such as Exp. Candy and Rare Candy. Each time a Pokemon levels up, its Friendship level will also increase, so this can be the easiest method for players who received a windfall of Exp. Candy from a Max Raid Battle.
How to Win Max Raid Battles

Poke Camping

Pokemon Camp

If you're not fond of camping, wait till you give this a shot! Playing with your Pokemon at Pokemon Camp and making Curry with them is another way to level up your Pokemon's affection towards you. Camping together with friends online or through Local Connection will cause your Pokemon's Friendship level to increase even more.

Pokemon Camp

Items That Increase Friendship with Pokemon

Soothe Bell

Some items can help you grow closer to your Pokemon. The Soothe Bell, in particular, has the effect of increasing each Friendship boost to your Pokemon by 50% when it is held. As a Pokemon's Friendship level is increased each time it levels up, simply allowing the Pokemon to hold the Soothe Bell will ensure they get the maximum possible friendship boost.

Keep in mind that the berries listed here have the side-effect of reducing EVs (effort values) in a certain stat. As such, they can also be used for resetting unwanted EVs.
How to EV Train Fast and Reset EVs

Item Location
Soothe Bell Received it from the girl in red in Hammerlocke.
Pomeg Berry Found by shaking Berry trees.
Kelpsy Berry Found by shaking Berry trees.
Qualot Berry Found by shaking Berry trees.
Hondew Berry Found by shaking Berry trees.
Grepa Berry Found by shaking Berry trees.
Tamato Berry Found by shaking Berry trees.

Get the Soothe Bell in Hammerlocke

Soothe Bell Location

Enter the house to your right and speak to the girl wearing red. She will give you the Soothe Bell.

How to Check Your Pokemon's Friendship Level?

You can consult certain people around towns to determine if your pokemon is starting to grow friendly to you or not.

Boy in Hammerlocke

For example, this boy in Hammerlocke will check your Pokemon's happiness level. You can find the boy in the house shown in the picture below.

Hammerlocke

Importance of Increasing Friendship

Strengthening your bonds with your Pokemon plays a vital role to helping them level up quickly. Some might feel that playing with Pokemon is a diversion from the main story, but it can actually help your Pokemon acquire the Exp. Points they need to defeat difficult bosses.

More Experience Points

Experience Points

When in battle, you can gain more experience points when your Pokemon has a high level of friendship.

How to Level Up Fast

Battle Performance Improves

Pokemon Battle

Pokemon with a high Friendship stat become more active and participate more in battle. For instance, Pokemon with a high Friendship have an increased chance of landing a critical hit during battle, and of surviving with 1 HP an attack that would normally cause it to faint.

Some Pokemon will evolve from Friendship

In addition to the other effects, there are certain Pokemon that will evolve when they reach a certain level of Friendship. The Pokemon in the below table evolve from their previous forms at a high Friendship level.

List of Pokemon Evolved by Friendship Level
Espeon Image Espeon Umbreon Image Umbreon Sylveon Image Sylveon
Togetic Image Togetic Pikachu Image Pikachu Clefairy Image Clefairy
Swoobat Image Swoobat Roselia Image Roselia Lucario Image Lucario
Snorlax Image Snorlax - -

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