Powering up and evolving your Pokémon in Pokémon Go is your primary way of working your way through the game. Having stronger Pokémon allows you to take down more difficult raids and gyms, and participate in PVP battles in the form of Go Battle League.
However, the power-up and evolution mechanics in Pokémon Go are completely different to the rest of the games, and it’s not always correct to power up or evolve your Pokémon. If you’re planning to use your Pokémon for Great League, for example, you can’t power it up or evolve it into a Pokémon with a CP of 1501 or higher. Similarly, if you want to use it for Ultra League, the resulting Pokémon needs to be below CP 2501.
Here, we will go over how and when to power up your Pokémon, the different ways you can evolve your Pokémon, and how to get the ultra-powerful Mega Pokémon.
On this page:
- How is power measured in Pokémon Go?
- How to power up Pokémon in Pokémon Go
- Should you power up Pokémon in Pokémon Go?
- How to evolve Pokémon in Pokémon Go
- Evolution items in Pokémon in Pokémon Go
- How to get evolution items in Pokémon Go
- Special ways to evolve Pokémon in Pokémon Go
- How to Mega Evolve Pokémon in Pokémon Go
How is power measured in Pokémon Go?
Unlike the main-series Pokémon games, you don’t need to power up Pokémon to a given level to evolve them in Pokémon Go. You can evolve your Level 1 Charmander into a Level 1 Charmeleon, which will quite happily become a Level 1 Charizard. You can even go a step further and make it a Level 1 Mega Charizard if you wish, just for the sake of amusement.
Instead, a Pokémon’s strength is measured in combat power (CP), which in turn is based on a combination of its level and individual values (IVs). For the uninitiated, IVs are a measure of how good to Pokémon of the same species are, relative to each other.
The IV of a given Pokémon is set when you encounter it and, unlike CP, cannot be changed.
IV in Pokémon Go is broken down into three metrics: Attack, Defence and HP, each of which is measured out of 15. So, when we refer to a 'perfect 15/15/15' (colloquially called a 'hundo' in the community), we’re referring to a Pokémon with the highest possible values for each of these three metrics. It makes sense, therefore, that a Level 50 perfect 15/15/15 Venusaur will beat a Level 50 'nonedo' 0/0/0 Venusaur in a fair fight.
So far, this is fairly simple, but it gets incredibly complicated when you start delving into the world of PVP. Go Battle League is split into three brackets — Great League, Ultra League and Master League — each with its own CP of 1500, 2500 and unlimited, respectively.
The aim here is to get the highest possible level without going over the CP cap.
Returning to our example of Venusaur, a hundo will only be eligible in the Great League until Level 19, with a CP of 1476. A 'Great League perfect' Venusaur, however, is a 0/14/11, which is eligible until Level 21, with a CP of 1498. So, not only does it get closer to the CP cap, but does so at a higher level, too. This means our 0/14/11 Venusaur is naturally going to beat the 15/15/15 in a fair fight in Great League.
How to power up Pokémon in Pokémon Go
No matter which Pokémon you’re looking to power up, the process for doing so is the same.
First, catch, hatch or trade for the Pokémon you want to evolve. Catching and hatching will give you several Candy relevant to that Pokémon’s species, named after the Basic Pokémon. Levelling up your Metagross, for example, will require Beldum Candy.
Once you're Trainer Level 31 or above, you'll also be able to collect Candy XL, which allows you to power up your Pokémon beyond the Level 40 cap. Just like normal Candy, Candy XL is tied to a specific Pokémon, so, keeping to our Metagross example, you'll be need to collect Beldum Candy XL to power it up beyond Level 40.
Next, find the Pokémon you want to evolve in your Pokémon storage and scroll down to the section with Power Up and Evolve. The Power Up button will show two costs – Stardust and Candy. You can power up from any level to any level, but the cost per level increases quickly, capped at your trainer level until Level 40. If you’re short on Stardust, make sure you check out our page on how to grind this essential resource.
Should you power up Pokémon in Pokémon Go?
That question depends entirely on the Pokémon and what you want to use it for. If it’s for Master League or you want to use it for Raids and Gym battles, then you should power it up once you’ve evolved it to the final stage, as this generally offers a bigger stat buff, making it more useful quicker.
- You’re definitely using that specific Pokémon with those specific IVs.
- You have already evolved it to the desired stage to battle with.
The reason for this is simply not wasting resources, as you don’t want to waste Stardust and Candy on a Pokémon you’ll never use, and you don’t want to accidentally overshoot the CP cap for the league of your choice.
It’s also worth noting that the correct order to do things for PVP Pokémon is usually to get it to the right evolution stage, then level it up, then unlock its second charge move.
The sum of this is that there are some Pokémon you should never power up. The rule is that if you don’t think you’ll ever use it for anything in game, don’t waste resources on it!
How to evolve Pokémon in Pokémon Go
Evolving Pokémon in Pokémon go is a little different to the main-series games – partly because you don’t have to level up your Pokémon and partly because of the Candy system.
You’ll need a lot of Candy to evolve most Pokémon, with first stage evolutions costing 12, 25, 50, 100 or 400 Candy depending on the species. If you’re short on Candy, you can set the Pokémon to be your buddy and walk around the overworld until you pick up the Candy you need, or you can catch a whole bunch of the relevant species line.
To evolve a Pokémon, simply head to its page in your Pokémon storage and scroll down to the button labelled Evolve. Here, you find a few bits of useful information, such as the amount of Candy required to evolve your Pokémon, a silhouette or preview of the Pokémon you will get (depending on whether it is registered to your Pokédex), and any other requirements you need, such as evolution items, times of day and other requirements.
Click Evolve and you will be presented with a handy confirmation screen, warning you if your Pokémon will exceed the CP limits in Great League and Ultra League.
One point to note is that it’s worth holding back certain Pokémon to evolve them later. Once a month on a Tuesday evening, the rotating Spotlight Hour bonus is double evolution XP. This stacks with a Lucky Egg to award a 4x bonus for evolutions. If you can hold back Pokémon you would otherwise transfer for one of these Tuesday evenings, and bulk evolve them, you can rack up a lot of XP very quickly. If you hold back Pokémon you need to evolve to update your Pokédex too, this jump in XP will only get bigger!
Currently live is the Evolving Stars event, which includes the release of quest steps 5 to 8 of A Cosmic Companion - the Season of Light special research quest. Elsewhere, be sure to use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres. There's also a new special research quest - A Mysterious Incense. Finally - don't forget about the new Prime Gaming rewards every fortnight.
Evolution items in Pokémon in Pokémon Go
Interestingly, while evolution items were added to the game with the Johto update, the most famous evolution items: Thunder Stone, Water Stone and Fire Stones are not part of Pokémon Go.
Eevee, therefore, follows its own rules when it comes evolution – some of which use evolution items, and some of which just rely on RNG.
Evolution items in Pokémon Go fall into two distinct categories: one-use items, such as stones, and area-of-effect items, such as lures.
Below are the special evolution items and the Pokémon you can evolve using them. Remember, this item is in addition to the Candy you will need to spend to evolve the Pokémon.
- Evolve Seadra into Kingdra (requires 100 Horsea Candy)
- Evolve Poliwhirl into Politoed (requires 100 Poliwag Candy)
- Evolve Slowpoke into Slowking (requires 50 Slowpoke Candy)
- Evolve Onix into Steelix (requires 50 Onix Candy)
- Evolve Scyther into Scizor (requires 50 Scyther Candy)
- Evolve Gloom into Bellossom (requires 100 Oddish Candy)
- Evolve Sunkern into Sunflora (requires 50 Sunkern Candy)
- Evolve Cottonee into Whimsicott (requires 50 Cottonee Candy)
- Evolve Petilil into Lilligant (requires 50 Petilil Candy)
- Evolve Helioptile into Heliolisk (requires 50 Helioptile Candy)
- Evolve Porygon into Porygon2 (requires 25 Porygon Candy)
- Evolve Lickitung into Lickilicky (requires 100 Lickitung Candy)
- Evolve Rhydon into Rhyperior (requires 100 Rhyhorn Candy)
- Evolve Tangela into Tangrowth (requires 100 Tangela Candy)
- Evolve Electabuzz into Electivire (requires 100 Electabuzz Candy)
- Evolve Magmar into Magmortar (requires 100 Magmar Candy)
- Evolve Porygon2 into Porygon-Z (requires 100 Porygon Candy)
- Evolve Togetic into Togekiss (requires 100 Togepi Candy)
- Evolve Aipom into Ambipom (requires 100 Aipom Candy)
- Evolve Yanma into Yanmega (requires 100 Yanma Candy)
- Evolve Murkrow into Honchkrow (requires 100 Murkrow Candy)
- Evolve Misdreavus into Mismagius (requires 100 Misdreavus Candy)
- Evolve Gligar into Gliscor (requires 100 Gligar Candy)
- Evolve Sneasel into Weavile (requires 100 Sneasel Candy)
- Evolve Piloswine into Mamoswine (requires 100 Swinub Candy)
- Evolve male Kirlia into Gallade (requires 100 Ralts Candy)
- Evolve Roselia into Roserade (requires 100 Roselia Candy)
- Evolve Dusclops into Dusknoir (requires 100 Duskull Candy)
- Evolve female Snorunt into Froslass (requires 100 Snorunt Candy)
- Evolve Pansage into Simisage (requires 50 Pansage Candy)
- Evolve Pansear into Simisear (requires 50 Pansear Candy)
- Evolve Panpour into Simipour (requires 50 Panpour Candy)
- Evolve Munna into Musharna (requires 50 Munna Candy)
- Evolve Minccino into Cinccino (requires 50 Minccino Candy)
- Evolve Eelektrik into Eelektross (requires 100 Eeletrik Candy)
- Evolve Lampent into Chandlure (requires 100 Litwick Candy)
- Evolve Eevee into Glaceon (requires 25 Eevee Candy)
- Evolve Magneton into Magnezone (requires 100 Magnemite Candy)
- Evolve Nosepass into Probopass (requires 50 Nosepass Candy)
- Evolve Charjabug into Vikavolt (requires 100 Grubbin Candy)
- Evolve Eevee into Leafeon (requires 25 Eevee Candy)
- Evolve Sligoo into Goodra (requires 100 Goomy Candy)
How to get evolution items in Pokémon Go
There are multiple ways to get evolution items in Pokémon Go, although there’s no sure-fire way to get the item you need (with the exception of the elemental lures). Instead, keep trying the methods below until you get the item you need:
- Spin Pokéstops — sometimes you will get an evolution item as one of the drops, with the chances of getting one going up when you hit your 7-day streak.
- Go Battle League — you will sometimes get Unova or Sinnoh Stones as rewards for taking part in trainer battles.
- Research breakthroughs — when you hit your seventh daily stamp for completing a research task, there’s a high chance of getting an evolution item as a reward. Sometimes these are guaranteed, but it depends on the in-game season!
- Buy them – keep an eye on the in-game bundles, as they sometimes include the elemental lures.
- Community Day – on occasion, the ticketed Community Day story quests will give evolution items as a reward, though this is not something that should be relied on. The rewards are generally not known until the event begins in Australia and New Zealand, and they generally only include an evolution item if the Pokémon du jour requires one to evolve.
Special ways to evolve Pokémon in Pokémon Go
But wait, there’s more! Some Pokémon strive to be different, and this is true in the world of Pokémon Evolutions too.
The most famous of this is the ‘Eeveelutions’ — when evolving an Eevee, you’ll see a ‘?’ next to the word Evolve, as you’re given a random chance to get one of Flareon, Jolteon or Vaporeon. Beyond that, there are additional requirements to get Umbreon, Espeon and Sylveon (with Leafeon and Glaceon already being explained above).
However, if you don’t have an Eeveelution registered to your Pokédex, there’s what’s dubbed the ‘Nickname trick’. Simply rename your Eevee to the relevant nickname below, and you should see a silhouette of the relevant Pokémon next to the Evolve button.
Visit our dedicated Eevee page, if you'd like to learn everything about evolving this special Pokémon.
Remember, if you already have the respective Pokémon in your Pokédex, this will not work:
- Rainer — Vaporeon
- Sparky — Jolteon
- Pyro — Flareon
- Sakura — Espeon
- Tamao — Umbreon
- Linnea — Leafeon
- Rea — Glaceon
- Kira — Sylveon
Some Pokémon require a little more work to evolve them. Generally speaking, this involves making the Pokémon your buddy and then completing a specific requirement.
You’ll see these adventures on the relevant Pokémon’s page, underneath the option to evolve it. There will be a drop-down arrow with the words ‘Adventure together to evolve’. Clicking that will give you a progress bar and an instruction, such as ‘Win 10 raids’. Below you will see a list of Pokémon, with the adventure tasks you need to complete to evolve them.
Remember, to make a Pokémon your buddy, click the Pokémon icon next to your trainer icon in the bottom left of the screen and scroll down to the button labelled ‘Swap buddies.’
- Evolve Woobat into Swoobat (requires 50 Woobat Candy)
- Evolve Hisuian Sneasel into Sneasler during the day (requires 100 Sneasel Candy)
- Evolve Eevee into Umbreon (requires 25 Eevee Candy)
- Evolve Eevee into Espeon (requires 25 Eevee Candy)
- Evolve Feebas into Milotic (requires 100 Feebas Candy)
- Evolve Mime Jr. into Mr. Mime (requires 50 Mr. Mime Candy)
- Evolve Bonsly into Sudowoodo (requires 50 Sudowoodo Candy)
- Evolve Happiny into Chansey (requires 25 Chansey Candy)
Catch 30 Poison-type Pokémon
- Evolve Galarian Slowpoke into Galarian Slowbro (requires 50 Slowpoke Candy)
Catch 32 Dark-type Pokémon
- Evolve Pancham into Pangoro (requires 50 Pancham Candy)
Make 10 Excellent Throws
- Evolve Galarian Farfetch’d into Sirfetch’d (requires 50 Farfetch'd Candy)
Win 10 Raids
- Evolve Galarian Yamask into Runerigus (requires 50 Yamask Candy)
- Evolve and Hisuian Qwilfish into Overqwil (requires 50 Qwilfish Candy)
Use an Incense
- Evolve Spritzee into Aromatisse (requires 50 Spritzee Candy)
Feed 25 Candies to your Buddy Pokémon
- Evolve Swirlix into Slurpuff (requires 50 Swirlix Candy)
Earn 20 hearts
- Evolve Floette into Florges (requires 100 Flabébé Candy)
Earn 70 hearts
- Evolve Eevee into Sylveon (requires 25 Eevee Candy)
In a throwback to the main-series games, certain Pokémon are cheaper to evolve after trading. While trading a Machoke in the main-series games will immediately trigger an uncancellable evolution, trading a Machoke in Pokémon Go unlocks the ability to evolve it for free, if you so choose.
If you don’t want to trade it (for example, if you have a perfect Machoke and don’t want to reroll its IVs by trading), you can pay the full price to evolve it, as you would any regular Pokémon.
Trading will help you:
- Evolve Kadabra into Alakazam
- Evolve Machoke into Machamp
- Evolve Graveler into Golem
- Evolve Alolan Graveler into Alolan Golem
- Evolve Haunter into Gengar
- Evolve Boldore into Gigalith
- Evolve Gurdurr into Conkeldurr
- Evolve Karrablast into Escavalier
- Evolve Shelmet into Accelgor
- Evolve Phantump into Trevenant
- Evolve and Pumpkaboo into Gourgeist
Time of day
Nocturnal and diurnal Pokémon also exist in this game, to some extent, in that certain Pokémon will only evolve during certain times of day. Obviously, dawn and dusk vary not only by time of year, but country as well, but the generally accepted cut-off time is 8am and 8pm. Remember, you’ll see a tick next to the sun or moon icon when trying to evolve a Pokémon if the game is satisfied that it is early or late enough.
- Evolve Eevee into Espeon after walking 10 km with it as your buddy (requires 25 Eevee Candy)
- Evolve Hisuian Sneasel into Sneasler after walking 7km with it as your buddy (requires 100 Sneasel Candy)
- Evolve Tyrunt into Tyrantrum (requires 50 Tyrunt Candy)
- Evolve Yungoos into Gumshoos (requires 50 Yungoos Candy)
- Evolve Rockruff into Midday Lycanroc (requires 50 Rockruff Candy)
- Evolve Fomantis into Lurantis (requires 50 Fomanis Candy)
- Evolves Eevee into Umbreon after walking 10 km with it as your buddy (requires 25 Eevee Candy)
- Evolve Amaura into Aurorus (requires 50 Amaura Candy)
- Evolve Rockruff into Midnight Lycanroc (requires 50 Rockruff Candy)
Other evolution methods
Here is another interesting evolution methods you'll have to complete in order to complete the Pokédex:
Turn your phone upside down
- Evolve Inkay into Malamar (requires 50 Inkay Candy)
How to Mega Evolve Pokémon in Pokémon Go
Last, but not least, we have Mega Evolution.
This is a special, Digimon-like temporary evolution that will change your Pokémon into a stronger version of itself for 8 hours, assuming you have enough Mega Energy to do so.
You get Mega Energy primarily through beating a Pokémon in a Mega Raid. Before summer 2022, you would generally have to defeat three to five Mega Abomasnows, for example, to Mega evolve your Abomasnow, depending on how fast you take the raid boss down. Now, however, a single Mega Raid is generally all you need to Mega Evolve a Pokémon once.
Once it has been Mega Evolved, walking with the Pokémon as your buddy will grant Mega Energy, in addition to the usual candy.
It’s also worth knowing that you can get secret Mega Beedrill energy just by spinning stops. If you were unaware of this and have Mega Evolved your Beedrill, go check your Beedrill Mega Energy for a nice surprise!
You can also get Mega Energy through Pokéstop research tasks, so keep an eye out for those if you’re low on Mega Energy.
Not all the Mega Pokémon from the main series games are available in Pokémon Go just yet, but you can check if your Pokémon is eligible by visiting its respective page. Alakazam, for example, will have the amount of Mega Energy requires to Mega Evolve it next to its Candy, while Metagross (which cannot Mega Evolve just yet), does not. You will also see a button underneath the Power Up button labelled Mega Evolve. Click this and watch the magic happen.
There are two things you should note, however, before you do this. First is that you can’t power up a Pokémon after it has mega evolved — as you will see from this woefully useless shiny Manectric below, the Power Up button disappears once Mega Evolved. If you want to level it up, you must do so before Mega Evolving it, or after it reverts back to its regular state.
The second thing to note is that you can’t Mega Evolve a Shadow Pokémon, no matter how much energy you have. You can, however, Mega Evolve a Purified Pokémon, which may be a consideration when deciding whether to purify something.
Good luck building your Pokémon party!